For people above 80, pension raised to Rs. 500

The Union government on Thursday lowered the age limit for the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAP) from 65 to 60 years, and increased pension for those above 80 from Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 a month.

Both decisions will have retrospective effect from April 1, 2011.

The lowering of age will benefit an additional 72.32 lakh people in the age group 60-64, entailing an additional burden of Rs. 1,736 crore on the exchequer.

At present, 1.69 crore people above 65 years and living below the poverty line are receiving assistance under the IGNOAP.

The cost of enhanced pension for 26.49 lakh people above the age of 80 will be Rs. 953 crore.

Thus the annual additional burden of the two decisions will be Rs. 2,770 crore, including three per cent administrative expenses.

Consequent to these modifications, the eligibility criteria under the Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme and the Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme will stand revised from 40-64 to 40-59 years and from 18-64 to 18-59 respectively.

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