Atal Pension Yojna (http://goo.gl/Rs9Xqi ) was announced in Budget 2015-16 as an upgrade to the Swavalamban scheme, which will now fold into the new defined benefit pension scheme for the poor. The pension fund regulator will administer the scheme, which is open to all unorganized sector workers who currently do not avail of any social security scheme and have a bank account. Why this scheme? To give clarity of future benefits to the subscribers—something that was missing in the Swavalamban scheme, says a government note. This is an analysis of the product. Spoiler alert: ‘regressive’ is the word that comes to mind.
The mass affluent Indian home is run on the steam of its band of domestic help—garbage collector, cleaner, housekeeper, cook, driver, gardener, guard, car cleaner, and more—which provides direct services to the household. Then there are the vendors—presswallah, newspaperwallah, flowerwallah. As the wealth level rises, so do the number of people working to make the lives of the rich healthier—add on now the yoga teacher, and the physical fitness trainer. As a mean aside, I can’t help but remember my yoga teacher, who said that the rich homes he went to had fat and unhealthy masters and trim and healthy household help! Their collective salary bill will be a fraction of the monthly income of the mass affluent household.