All you need to know about the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme
03 Jul 2019
Old age often brings uncertainty. Senior citizens face questions about their physical, emotional and financial health. The Government of India recognises the importance of financial security for the senior citizens and has started the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS). Apart from providing financial security to senior citizens, it is one of the best tax saving options for senior citizens.
Who is eligible for the SCSS?
- An Indian resident aged 60 years or above.
- Indian resident above 55 years but below 60 years who have retired under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme rules or have appropriate superannuation. Under this, the SCSS account needs to be opened within a month of receipt of retirement benefits.
- Retired defence personnel (excluding defence civilians) meeting particular terms and conditions can also avail the scheme on attaining the age of 50 years.
Non-Resident Indians, Person of Indian Origin, and members of a Hindu Undivided Family are not eligible for the SCSS.
Where can one avail the SCSS?
An eligible individual can avail the scheme through a private or public sector bank or the Indian Post Office. Since SCSS is a Central Government scheme, the rules and regulations of the scheme are standard across these institutions.
What is the interest rate on the SCSS?
The interest rate on the SCSS changes every quarter. The amount is calculated and credited every quarter, too. For the last financial quarter of 2019-20 i.e. January- March 2020, the interest rate is 8.6%.
What is the minimum and maximum deposit limits?
Individuals availing the SCSS can make lump sum deposits into their account. The minimum deposit stands at Rs.1000 while the maximum amount is Rs. 15, 00, 000. Any deposit greater than Rs.1000 will have to be made in multiples of Rs.1000.
When will the scheme mature?
The deposited amount matures 5 years after the date of account opening. The account holder can extend the account once, by a period of 3 years. However, the application for maturity extension needs to be made within one year of account maturity.
What is the interest on senior citizen scheme taxability?
- There is SCSS tax exemption under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. However, SCSS tax benefit is capped at Rs. 1, 50, 000.
- In case of interest amounting to more than Rs. 50, 000, for a fiscal year, TDS is applicable starting FY 20-21.
What are the different benefits of the SCSS?
- Being a government initiative, the depositor is protected by the facts associated with government schemes. This means, the depositor will not be affected by the economy.
- The Senior Citizen Saving Scheme tax benefit serves as a good way of saving money as the SCSS tax is deductible under the Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- In case of financial emergencies, the depositor can prematurely withdraw the amount with applicable penalties.
Now that you know how SCSS works, you can understand if it is the best financial option for you.
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7 PPF Account Benefits You Should know About
If you are looking for a low-risk investment option, a Public Provident Fund or PPF is the answer for you. It is a long-term investment tool that helps you save money as well as enjoy tax benefits. The returns on a PPF investment are high, too, making it one of the most popular investment products of India. PPF account and its benefits are endless but here are seven top benefits you should know about:
Low risk: One of the biggest Public Provident Fund benefits is that it is a safe investment product. Since PPF account is not linked to any markets and is backed by the Government of India, an important PPF account benefit is that it has little to no risk. The returns on your investment are guaranteed by the government, so you can invest in a PPF and relax. An additional PPF account benefit is that if, unfortunately, you default on your debts, the funds in your PPF account cannot be attached by a court order to pay off the debt.
Tax benefits: Any investment up to Rs 1.5 lakh in a year into a PPF account is eligible for tax benefits under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. So your investments will be deducted from your taxable income. Another Public Provident Fund tax benefit is that the interest you earn on your investment is completely tax free.
Nomination benefits: A PPF account can be opened by anybody, including minors. Minors can invest in a PPF account under the guidance of a legal guardian. An important public provident fund benefit is that the account comes with a nomination option. So, you can nominate a beneficiary to your account in the unfortunate case of your death.
No minimum limit: With a PPF account, there is no minimum limit on deposits. You can start as low as Rs 500 and go on increasing the funds up to Rs 1.50 Lakhs.
Good returns: While you have the liberty to invest as low as you want, your returns are guaranteed by the Government of India. One of the PPF account benefits is you can also decide if you want to invest monthly or at once. For Quarter Jan-Mar 2020, the interest rate on a PPF account is 7.9% compounded annually.
Liquidity and loan facilities: A PPF account goes a long way at your time of need. One of the PPF account benefit is that you are eligible to get a loan from the Bank against a PPF account you hold with them from the 3rd F.Y. till end of 6th FY. In case of emergency, you can also make partial withdrawals from your PPF account on completion of five years from the end of the year in which the account was opened.
Flexible tenure: A PPF benefits after 15 years when the account tenure is over. Upon maturity you can decide to withdraw the entire amount or further invest in the PPF for an additional five years by applying for account extension within one year of maturity.
These are the top benefits of a PPF account. There are more advantages such as a PPF account can be transferred from your bank to a post office or other bank near you. You can also have your PPF account moved to a different Bank of Baroda branch. To invest in a safe and reliable investment tool, click here.
Benefits of Life Insurance
Life insurance is a must in today’s world. Modern living is an expensive business, and people have to bear the burden of huge costs like children’s education, EMIs on home loans, healthcare and so on. So it is important for every earning member to have a life insurance policy to protect the financial interests of his or her family. There are many benefits of life insurance policy, which we will look at in this article.
Features of life insurance
Let’s look at the features and advantages of life insurance policy:
Protection: The first and foremost objective of a life insurance policy is to ensure the financial protection of your family, and this could include dependent parents, spouse, children or siblings. The demise of the sole earning member could put dependents to considerable hardship, especially since cost of living is very high these days. Life insurance gives you the assurance that your family members will be looked after in the event of your untimely demise.
Contract: Life insurance is basically a contract between the insurers and the individual who takes out the policy. You pay premiums every quarterly/half yearly/yearly to the company. In return, the insurer will give a lump sum to your family in the event of your demise.
Premiums: Premiums are paid quarterly / half yearly which you need to pay to get life insurance. The amount will vary from person to person, depending on the tenure of the policy, age of the policyholder, health and type of policy.
Affordable: Life insurance is an affordable way of ensuring the financial well-being of your family. Premiums on policies, particularly term insurance, are quite low and worth your while for the protection they offer.
Easy to buy: Buying insurance from company is quite easy. Insurance companies have specified persons, who will visit you at your home or office and help you with options and paperwork. You can also do it online at your convenience.
Tax benefits: Another one of the benefits of life insurance policy is that you can deduct the premiums you have paid from your taxable income. Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
Savings: There are some life insurance products that combine savings and insurance. This can be a good way of saving for the future and protecting your family at the same time
Types of life insurance
Now that we’ve seen the essential features of life insurance policy, let’s look at the types:
This is the most basic, and most popular, of life insurance policies. You purchase a policy for a certain period for which you pay premiums. For example, if a policyholder wants a policy till the age of 60, he or she can take one. And if the policyholder passes away before 60, the nominee is paid the death benefits.
Unit-linked Insurance Plan
A Unit-Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) combines investment with insurance. At the end of the policy, the policyholder gets a certain sum. This is unlike a term plan where the payout is made only on the death of the policyholder. Part of the premium is paid for life insurance, while the remainder is invested in either stocks or bonds, depending on the investor’s risk appetite and investment goals. The investments yield returns which are then given to the policyholder after the end of the policy period