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» Home » India » Overview of schemes » 1.8. National Old Age Pension



Scheme name in english Local name Public/Private Contributory Govt. Level
1.8. National Old Age Pension Public mandatory Non contributory Central government

National Old Age Pension

  • Programme Type: Cash transfers ¿ unconditional - social pension
  • Programme Title: National Old-Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS) (part of the National Social Assistance Programme)
  • Agencies Involved: Central and State Government
  • Year started: The National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) launched by the Ministry of Rural Development on 15th August, 1995.
  • Programme Description: NOAPS provides cash payments to destitute elderly households.
  • Programme Objectives: To provide security to elderly and destitute households through a cash transfers
  • Transfers: The amount of pension was Rs.75 /- per month per beneficiary until 2007. In November 2007, the pension amount was raised to Rs 200 per month per beneficiary, and the State governments were allowed to contribute over and above this amount.
    • The State Government may add to this amount from their own sources.
    • Upper ceiling on the number of beneficiaries for a State/UT is prescribed by the Central Government.
  • Targeting: Categorical (beneficiaries are required to be aged 65 or older) and informal individual assessment. Beneficiaries must be a destitute in the sense of having little or no regular means of subsistence from his/her own sources of income or through financial support from family members or other sources. In 2007, eligibility under this scheme was now based on older people age 65 and over who are living below the poverty line ($ 1.25/day).
  • Coverage: In Fiscal Year 2005-06, the NOAPS and Annapurna covered approximately 8.84 million older persons in the country and the Government released a budget of $ 266.5 million for both of these programmes. The estimated number of beneficiaries for the subsequent year (FY 2006-07) increased to 10.17 million, and the Government¿s budget also increased to $ 456 million.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Central and State Government
  • Operational Effectiveness: A HelpAge International study of Uttar Pradesh found that cash limits on the funding available for the programme provides a disincentive for government officials to publicise the programme. Criteria for eligibility are poorly understood, and the registration and selection processes are complex and time consuming. Delivery of the benefits is erratic.
  • Cost: In 1999-2000 the value of the benefits distributed was US$ 9.5m.
  • Welfare Outcomes: In spite of its low value, the pension benefit can make a significant difference to the lives of poor people.

Changes to the NOAPS occurred in November 2007. At that time, the Government renamed the pension programme the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS).


  • Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database (Version 4.0 August 2008) | More...
  • Rajan, S.I. [2001] Social Assistance for Poor Elderly: How effective?, Economic and Political Weekly XXXVI (8): 613-617
  • HelpAge International [2003] Non-contributory pensions in India: A case study of Uttar Pradesh, London: HAI.
  • Asian Development Bank - Social Protection Index Project | More...
Scheme Target Group (categories of the population)
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Scheme Affiliation (number of contributors and affiliated members)
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Scheme Expenditure
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Scheme Benefits

» National Old Age Scheme Pension
Basic; Periodic; Cash; Total Individuals; Means-test; Old Age

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