New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved lowering the age limit for the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) from 65 years to 60 years and increasing the rate of pension from Rs 200 to Rs 500 to persons of 80 years and above. The revised norms would be applicable with retrospective effect from April 1, 2011.
It is estimated that lowering of the age limit would benefit about an additional 72.32 lakh persons in the age group of 60-64 years and living below the poverty line.
It is estimated that 26.49 lakh persons above the age of 80 years and living below the poverty line, would become eligible to receive enhanced central assistance @ Rs. 500 per month. At present 169 lakh persons above the age of 65 years and living below poverty line are receiving central assistance under IGNOAPS.
The additional funds required will be Rs 1,736 crore for providing old age pension at the rate of Rs 200 per month per beneficiary in the age group of 60-64 years and Rs 953 crore for providing enhanced pension at the rate of Rs 500 per month per beneficiary of age 80 years and above.
Thus the total additional requirement will be Rs. 2,770 crore including 3 per cent administrative expenses.
As a result of change in the eligibility criteria for receiving old age pension, eligibility criteria for widow pension under IGNWPS and disability pension under IGNDPS will get revised from 40-64 years to 40-59 years and from 18-64 years to 18-59 years respectively.(INN)