PM's social security schemes enroll nearly 50 million ahead of launch

The three new national security schemes launched today have enrolled about fifty million people during the week before their official launch today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Kolkata.

The launch, which was held simultaneously in 115 locations across the country, saw a total of 101 banks, including regional rural banks and cooperative banks, selling these insurance products to their customers.

With about 80 per cent of the country's population still without any social security cover, the new schemes - two insurance products and one pension product - are targeted especially at the unorganised sector and economically weaker sections, although open to others as well.

The government estimates that the existing pension schemes cover only 11 per cent of the working population at present.

The new life insurance plan - the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana - will offer Rs2 lakh cover at Rs330 premium every year. Bank account holders in the age 18 to 50 years are eligible to join the scheme. The life risk cover will get terminated after 55 years.

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana will offer a renewable one-year accidental death-cum-disability cover of Rs2 lakh at Rs12 premium every year. The insured will get Rs1 lakh in case of partial but permanent disability.

Multiple bank account holders can join the schemes through any one of the savings accounts.

The government has directed banks to sell the policies to all their account holders by 31 May but the deadline could be extended till 31 August this year, in case of a target shortfall.

"We have kept the deadline short so that people do not delay in taking the policy cover," financial services secretary Hasmukh Adhia said Friday. The government has not decided on whether it will extend the schemes beyond August.

The Atal Pension Yojana is for the people in the unorganised sector who are outside a formal pension net so far.

The pension scheme would allow subscribers between the ages of 18 to 40. The government has promised to co-contribute 50 per cent of total contribution or Rs1,000 per annum, whichever is lower, for the first five years. Subscribers without any social security and are not income tax payers will get this added benefit. However, people have to enroll themselves before 31 December this year to get government contribution.

Under the scheme, subscriber will get guaranteed minimum pension from the age of 60. The pension could be Rs1,000, Rs2,000, Rs3,000, Rs4,000 or Rs5,000 per month, depending on the size of contribution.

An Aadhar number is not mandatory for joining the pension scheme.