The government sponsors the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) for senior citizens. In order to cover all sectors of society under the welfare plan, the Indian government launched this scheme in 2004. The main goal of this scheme is to provide financial support to retirees in terms of ensuring their regular income. It guarantees interest payments for every quarter.
What is the senior citizen savings scheme?
The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) is a government-supported savings tool for Indian residents over 60years. The deposit expires after 5 years from the date of opening the account. But it can be extended for another 3 years. The interest rate of SCSS is set at 7.4% from April 2020 to June 2020. This is the highest interest rate among all small savings plans in India. SCSS is available through public/private sector banks and the Indian Post Office. As a government-supported savings tool, no matter which bank/post office you invest in, the terms and conditions applicable to SCSS is the same.
Features of Senior Citizen Savings scheme.
- The minimum deposit for opening the account is one thousand rupees or a multiple of one thousand rupees. And you cannot exceed 150,000 rupees.
- Depositors can extend their accounts for another 3 years after the 5 year maturity period.
- Deposits made under these rules shall pay interest in accordance with the instructions of the Indian government on a quarterly basis.
- If an account holder does not claim the interest that is payable every quarter, such interest shall not earn additional interest.
- All deposits in joint accounts shall belong to the first account holder only.
- Both spouses are free to open an account, and it can be either a joint account or a single account with each other.
- Depositors can nominate one person or more than one person.
- The Depositors can cancel or change the nomination.
- The deposit during account opening should be paid within five years or after five or eight years from the date of account opening.
- It does not allow multiple withdrawals from one account.
Taxation of Senior Citizen Savings scheme
Investments made under SCSS comply with the provisions of Article 80C of the Income Tax Law of 1961 and are eligible for tax relief. According to the current regulations, if you earn more than 50,000 rupees in interest income from SCSS in a fiscal year, you are responsible for paying TDS.
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme calculator
The deposits in the "Senior Savings Plan" account is compounded and paid annually. These expenditures will be automatically credited to the savings account owned by the post office/bank, which has opened a savings plan account for the senior citizen.
Senior citizen savings scheme in the post office
The Senior Citizen Savings Plan (SCSS) is one of the nine small savings plans by the post office. India Post stated that the minimum amount required to open an SCSS account is 1,000 rupees and the maximum amount cannot exceed 1.5 million rupees. If the amount is less than 100,000 rupees, you can open an account in cash. However, if the amount is equal to or greater than Rs 100,000, the investor needs to deposit a cheque.
In order to use this savings plan for senior citizens, resident Indians must meet the following key conditions:
- The plan is applicable to all residents 60 years and older.
- In addition, individuals who are over 55 but under 60 are also eligible to apply for the Seniors Savings Plan, provided they have retired in accordance with an applicable pension or VRS rules. In this case, after receiving the pension, the account should be opened within 1 month.
- The retirement planner can also use the plan regardless of the above age restrictions, but other terms and conditions must be met.
- Non-resident Indians (NRI) and Indians (PIO) do not have the right to open "Senior Savings Plan" accounts.
- Likewise, under these rules, Hindu independent family members can not open accounts.
Firstly, you need two passport size photographs for opening an SCSS account.
Secondly, submit an age proof, for example, Passport, Birth certificate, Senior Citizen Card, Voter ID card, PAN card, Ration card, Date of birth certificate from the school, or Driving license need to be submitted.
Thirdly, you need an address and Identity Proof. For example, a passport or PAN card, Birth Certificate/ Voter's ID/ Senior Citizen Card etc. You also need to carry documents for KYC verification.
How to open an account under the Senior Citizen Savings scheme?
You can open SCSS accounts in any post office or public or private sector bank. The terms of the account remain unchanged. You can also transfer the account from one post office to another. At present, it is not possible to open a Senior Citizen Saving Scheme account online. Therefore, after downloading the Senior Citizen Saving Scheme form, you must print, fill in and submit the complete SCSS form (at the post office/bank) and applicable supporting documents. The SCSS application form requires you to provide some key information when opening a senior savings plan account, such as:
- Applicant's name and PAN
- Name of the main applicant's father/mother/husband/wife
- If you are opening an SCSS account with your spouse, you must mention the name, age, and address of the spouse
- The amount and quantity of the check/demand draft (if any)
- The name, age, and address of the nominee (if you wish to have more than one nominee, please mention the details of each nominee’s share)
Senior Citizens Saving Scheme is the safest and most reliable investment option as the Indian government funds it.
Compared with savings or fixed deposit accounts, the rate of return is very good when the interest rate is 7.4%. Under Article 80C, SCSS investments are also eligible for tax relief of up to Rs 150,000.
With an average term of 5 years, the term of the investment plan is flexible and you can extend it by up to 3 years.