The provision of mandatory monthly contributions and penal provisions for non-contribution towards the scheme by subscribers have been removed and the new rules allow individual subscribers to make monthly, quarterly or half yearly contributions instead, a finance ministry statement said.
The discontinuation of monetary contribution towards the pension scheme has been greatly modified in favour of the subscriber, while any account will not be deactivated and closed until the account balance with self-contributions minus the government's co-contributions becomes zero due to deduction of account maintenance charges and fees, the statement added.
Penalty for delayed payment has been simplified to Re.1 per month for a contribution of Rs.100, and the earlier practice of levying different penalties for different slabs has been done away with.
Premature exit from the scheme before 60 years of age was not allowed except in the event of death of terminal illness but now a subscriber can voluntarily exit from the scheme and receive his contribution along with the interest earned on it after deduction of account maintenance charges, the statement said. However, the government's co-contribution along with the interest earned on it will not be paid.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata in May, APY aims to provide a minimum monthly guaranteed pension to subscribers ranging from Rs.1,000, Rs.2,000, Rs.3,000, Rs.4,000 or Rs.5,000.