The Senior Citizens Saving Scheme (SCSS) was created to meet the post-retirement needs of those who have reached the age of 60 or older, as well as those who have retired via a voluntary retirement program or through superannuation who are at least 55 years old but under 60.
The nation’s federal government program for senior people who are Indian citizens by birth or naturalization aids them in providing the security of a sovereign guarantee to their investment, revenues of which they get after the scheme’s maturity.
Principal Components of the Senior Citizens Saving Scheme
The SCSS delivers better returns than even the well-known fixed deposits, which are accounts offered by Indian banks and non-banking financial institutions that give investors returns that are higher than those of a typical savings account.
For FY20–21, a government-owned bank in India earned interest on normal savings accounts at a rate ranging from 3% to 3.5%. In the same year, fixed deposits provide interest rates between 5% and 5.5%, but the SCSS offers investors an annual return of 7.4%.
Key elements that investors should be aware of before joining the program include:
An Indian national who resides in the nation and is 60 years of age or older may apply for SCSS.
Age eligibility is 55 years of age or older but less than 60 years for those who have retired on superannuation or under the VRS, provided that the account is started within one month of receiving retirement benefits and that the investment amount does not exceed that amount.
Under the age of 50, retired members of the armed forces, except civilian defense employees, may open an SCSS.
NRIs (non-resident Indians) are not permitted to choose the SCSS.
If the investment cap imposed by the Indian government’s 15 lakh rupee ceiling is not exceeded, a depositor may maintain several accounts.
Any number of accounts may be formed in only a personal capacity or jointly with a spouse, with a maximum of four nominations per account. The total investment across all accounts must not go beyond the SCSS maximum investment cap.
A minimum investment of INR 1000 and a maximum investment of INR 15 lakh are required to start an account.
The depositor is required to make a cash payment for investments under INR 1 lakh. Cheque payments are required for any investment over INR 1 lakh. When a government account receives a payment by check, the date of realization is fixed to coincide with the account’s opening date.
Also Read: What Are Savings?
The government decides the interest rate on an SCSS investment at the start of the fiscal year.
For instance, the interest rate in FY19-20 was set at 8.60% but the interest rate in FY20-21 is currently at 7.40%.
Early Account Closing
Before the five-year maturity term, the SCSS account may be prematurely closed.
The account holder receives his main deposit and no interest if the account is closed before one year has passed since it was opened.
A penalty equivalent to 1.5% of the deposit is made if the account is closed early after one year of investing but before two years have passed.
A 1% penalty on the deposit is applied to accounts closed on or after the two-year mark.
Closing of Account
An SCSS account matures five years after the account’s establishment.
Within one year of the account’s maturity, it may be extended for another three years. In these situations, the account may be canceled at any time after the one-year extension has expired without incurring any fees.
Also Read: What is Personal Finance?
An individual is qualified to receive interest at the rate applicable to a basic savings account of the bank that started the account if they do not extend their account through maturity but retain their investment amount in their SCSS account.
The account is closed and the deposit is returned to the nominee with interest accrued up until the date of the account holder’s death in the event of death before maturity or delayed maturity.
The Income Tax Act’s Section 80C provides tax benefits to SCSS depositors by allowing them to classify their investment in the scheme within the annual personal tax exemption cap of INR 1.5 lakh. A person is qualified to pay taxes in line with the direct tax bracket they come under if their cumulative Section 80 C investments for the year exceed INR 1.5 lakh.
In addition to tax on investments, tax is deducted at source from interest payments that exceed INR 50,000 annually.
Also Read: What Is an Index Fund ?
How to Create a SCSS Account
An SCSS account may be created in three easy steps.
Go to your location for Account opening
An approved bank or post office branch are the two places where an SCSS account may be created.
The majority of government banks provide SCSS, and customers must physically visit the bank office to provide the necessary information for the account.
The interest accrued on the plan is immediately deposited to the savings account the bank establishes for the plan, which can, upon request, be connected to another savings account.
Also Read: What are Debt Funds, exactly?
Depositors who create SCSS accounts through the Indian Post Office may obtain the account opening form online, but they must still physically visit the location to deposit it.
The savings account that the post office establishes for the depositor serves as the conduit for interest and deposit activities.
The documentation procedure is straightforward because the program is geared toward seniors. Depositors must possess:
- PAN cards are required as age verification when opening an SCSS.
- Aadhaar Card is an acceptable form of address verification.
- Images of the depositors serve as identification.
- Proof of Retirement: If you are a retired employee, you must present your certificate of employment, a letter saying whether you have been released to superannuation or the Veterans Retirement System, and a document indicating the company has paid out your retirement benefits.
Send in Your Application
You may physically pick up your application form from the post office or a bank branch, or you can download it online and drop it off at the branch of your choosing.
Before completing your form, make sure you are familiar with the SCSS’s terms and conditions.
Send in your application and the necessary paperwork.
Also Read: What are equity Mutual Funds?
Collect Your Passbook
Once the account has been established, you must get your passbook, which will contain details like:
- Opening date of the account
- Accounts Opened: Number
- The amount placed in the account Information about the quarterly interest you will earn
- The account’s maturity date
- Information about your nominees or legal heirs, as appropriate
THANKS FOR READING
Senior Citizens Saving Scheme FAQs
Can I invest 30 lakhs in SCSS?
In the Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme (SCSS), an individual may invest up to Rs 15 lakh. However, one may deposit an additional Rs 15 lakh and establish a joint account with their spouse, who must be the first holder. Therefore, the maximum amount that may be deposited is Rs 30 lakh.
Is interest in SCSS fixed for 5 years?
For a period of five years, the money put in the SCSS account will receive interest. Within one year of the account’s maturity, a holder may request a one-time extension of three years. The interest rate prevailing on the maturity date will be applied to the deposit in an extended SCSS account.
What is the senior citizen saving scheme SCSS?
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, or SCSS for short, is a government-sponsored savings program for those over 60. This program was launched by the Indian government in 2004 with the goal of giving retirees a reliable and secure source of income during their post-retirement years.
Can I invest 15 lakhs each in SCSS and Pmvvy?
The deposits mature after 5 years from the day the account was opened because this program has a 5-year term. Seniors with SCSS accounts, however, have the option of extending the tenure for an additional three years. Once within a year of the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme’s maturity, an extension may be requested.
Can I deposit multiple times in SCSS?
Additionally, each person is only permitted to deposit money once—during the account opening process. A person who qualifies may open several accounts with this program. But the total deposit limit for all of those accounts is likewise restricted to Rs. 15 lakh.
Will the SCSS interest rate increase in 2022?
The post office’s small savings interest rates won’t change from the quarter of July 2022 to September 2022. The government keeps interest rates on modest savings plans constant for the July-Sept quarter, according to a tweet from PTI.