MyBit is a crowd-funding platform to support the old age pension needs of low income workers in India. Hard-working individuals are incentivized to save for their retirement through cash rewards, pension co-contributions and discount offerings on products of daily use. MyBit accepts donations from generous individuals living anywhere in the world who believe in making an impact bit-by-bit.

Copyright © CrossLinks Foundation, 2016

A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of. When the history of our times is written, will we be remembered as the generation that turned our backs in a moment of global crisis or will it be recorded that we did the right thing?

Nelson Mandela, South Africa

As per the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector (NCEUS), 93% of the ~500 million workforce in India is employed in the informal sector. However, as per the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), only 12% of this workforce is currently covered by a formal pension or social security scheme compared to 85% in OECD countries.Worse still, by the year 2030, it is expected that close to 200 million of the Indian population will be in the 60+ age bracket.

MyBit leverages the power of the web and mobile technologies to mobilize larger participation of the informal sector in the pension savings system through a micro-reward model. MyBit is an initiative of CrossLinks Foundation, a new non-profit set up with a goal to fashion social change by employing innovative technology and policy toolsets. CrossLinks aims to help communities develop sustainable, inclusive and scalable means of development in urban, peri-urban and rural contexts.


Development Innovation Ventures

Grant Agency

DIV is part of USAID’s commitment to invest in cost-efficient innovations that address global development challenges.


ISEC, Bangalore

Research Partner

ISEC is a premier social science research institute in Bangalore established in 1972.

Crosslinks Foundation

Crosslinks Foundation

Field Partner

Crosslinks is a non-profit organization in Bangalore that works in the area of social security, education and sustainable development.

Copyright © CrossLinks Foundation, 2016

1. Who are MyBit beneficiaries?

MyBit beneficiaries are low income workers living in Karnataka (a south Indian state) who are enrolled for old-age pensions in the Atal Pension Yojana(APY) scheme of the Indian government.

2. How do you enroll beneficiaries?

MyBit beneficiaries are enrolled as APY clients by our field partners and banks who are licensed to provide these services by the Pension Regulatory Authority of India (PFRDA).

3. What does MyBit do with my money?

MyBit transfers your money to the beneficiary in three different ways, depending on your choice.
Copayment: As a co-contribution to his/her monthly APY contribution linked to his/her bank account
Cash Reward: As a cash incentive to the beneficiary if his/her name appears in a monthly lottery draw using money pooled from crowdfunded donations
Discount: As a discount on the purchase of a partner product.

4. How do you choose between co-pay and reward modes of contribution?

While the copay option alleviates the monthly savings burden of the beneficiary, the reward option compensates for his/her loss of discretionary income. Hence both options are equally appealing to the beneficiary.

5. How does the discount option work?

In the discount option, your contribution helps the beneficiary pay for certain partner items of interest such as cellphone recharge, bus tickets or school stationery for his/her children.

6. How much should I donate?

There are no specific limits. The monthly installment for APY can range from Rs 42 to Rs 1455 depending on the vesting period of the beneficiary and the monthly guaranteed income that he/she signed up for.

7. Does 100% of my contribution go to the beneficiary?

Yes, 100% of your contribution is directed to the beneficiary. MyBit relies on other sources of income such as institutional donations and partner commissions for its sustenance, hence it does not charge any overheads on your donations.

8. What is APY?

APY stands for Atal Pension Yojana which is a low-cost old-age pension program of the Indian government designed for the disadvantaged and economically weaker sections of society.

9. Are any matching benefits provided by the Indian government?

Yes, the Government of India provides up to 50% of the beneficiary's contribution up to a maximum of Rs 1000 per annum if he/she joined the scheme befor March 31, 2016.

10. If Indian government is already providing a matching benefit, what value does MyBit add?

The matching benefit provided by the Government of India is only extended to those subscribers who joined the APY scheme before March 31, 2016. Moreover, as of now, the support will be made available only for a 5-year period till 2019-2020. The beneficiary has to contribute regularly to his APY account and cannot have any pending monthly installments in order to be eligible for the co-contribution.

11. How can I be sure that my money has been transferred to the beneficiary?

You will receive an e-mail message within 72 hours that will provide the transfer details.

12. If I do not possess a credit card, can I pay by cash or cheque?

Yes, if you are based in India, you can pay by cheque or do a cash deposit at the nearest branch of Mera Bank. Please write to us at for details.

13. Is it safe to use my credit card on your website?

Yes. MyBit website uses HTTPS, so that your browser only communicates with our server over a secure channel. Also, we do not store your credit card information on our servers.

15. Where can I learn more about the APY program?

Please visit PFRDA website for further details on the National Pension Scheme.

Copyright © CrossLinks Foundation, 2016

Copyright © CrossLinks Foundation, 2016


420, Pederson Rd,Unit A, Oakdale, CA 95361


USA: +1-540 (282) 8076

India: +91-974 (685) 1233




Copyright © CrossLinks Foundation, 2016

Copyright © CrossLinks Foundation, 2013

Copyright © CrossLinks Foundation, 2016

NPS-Lite: The Timing is Right

PFRDA Act 2013 was passed by the Indian parliament and received Presidential assent in September 2013. It declares the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) as a statutory body. Adoption of electronic KYC norms (Know Your Customer) by PFRDA for subscriber verification considerably speeds up the process of on-boarding new subscribers without having to resort to extensive paperwork. This holds particular relevance for low-income migrant workers who otherwise struggle to meet the stringent enrollment requirements of banks with regard to identity/address proof.

MicroSave has recently published a study that tracks the history of pension products for unorganised sector in India. It also provides a detailed analysis of the NPS-Lite implementations.

MicroSave Study


United Nations launches Global Income Security Index for Elders

In 2013, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge International devised a new multi-dimensional index that serves as a quantitative measure of the well-being of senior citizens in 91 countries. The “Global AgeWatch Index” considered 13 indicators covering income security, health, education, employment and enabling environment while ranking these countries.

India ranked #73 in terms of overall index value and #54 in the income security domain. Sweden which celebrated centenary of its universal pension scheme in 2013 topped the list followed by Norway, Germany, Netherlands and Canada.

Global AgeWatch Index

World Bank Research on Matching Contributions for Pensions

The World Bank has published a comprehensive review of the international experience in the area of matching defined contribution (MDC) schemes for old-age pensions. The report discusses implementations in both developed and emerging economies and concludes that MDC schemes are moderately effective in increasing worker participation and raising individual contribution levels in pension programs in high-income settings. However, there is insufficient evidence to assess transferability of these results to lower-income and middle-income countries like India on account of greater vulnerability to everyday shocks, and in the absence of effective social risk management instruments to overcome these constraints.

The study observes significant scope for rigorous impact evaluation and innovative MDC designs that encompass better matching structures, advocacy measures and behavioral approaches to realize larger participation and savings effects in developing countries.

Matching Defined Contributions

ILO on a Social Protection Floor for India

Prof. Ravi Srivastava at ILO-India Office explores the feasibility of a legislation-backed, entitlement-based social protection floor (SPF) for India in line with the guiding principles laid down by ILO Recommendation 202 on the key elements of a social security system. The study analyzed the financial costs in achieving an SPF across six dimensions of social security, namely, education, employment, pensions, health, housing and food. Prof. Ravi concludes that the costs of creating an SPF for India are quite modest and can result in a socially inclusive and sustainable growth.

The report also presents an overview of the existing social pension schemes in India. India’s state-assisted initiatives for the poor, that covers senior citizens, widows, and disabled persons, together serve ~2.5 crore beneficiaries. The National Old Age Pension scheme (IGNOAPS) offers Rs 200 per month to poor persons between 60-79 years of age and Rs 500 for those above 80.

Social Protection Floor

Leave a Reply