Senior Citizen Saving Scheme: Benefits & Features

Are you a senior citizen looking for ways to ensure a steady source of income after retirement? You may want to consider investing in the Senior Citizen Saving Scheme. This saving scheme helps you gain financial stability and security during your golden years.

Let’s learn more about the benefits and features of the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, also known as SCSS.

What is the Senior Citizen Saving Scheme?

SCSS is a government-sponsored savings programme for people over 60 & one of the best saving schemes in India. This programme 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.

Individually or jointly, you can invest a lump sum in the programme to gain access to regular income and tax advantages. In addition to public and commercial banks, post offices also accept SCSS applications.

What is the Interest Rate for SCSS?

The Senior Citizen Saving Scheme interest rate at the moment is 8% p.a. This is a substantial return compared to other savings and fixed deposit (FD) accounts.

Highlights of the Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS)

Let’s take a quick look at some of the main characteristics and highlights of this highly profitable plan before going into more detail about the SCSS.

Key Features of SCSS

Details

Interest Rates

8% annually (Q4 FY 2022-23)

Duration

5 years (with an option to extend it for 3 more years)

Minimum Investment Amount

₹1000 as one time deposit.

Maximum Investment Amount

₹1500000, or, albeit less, the retirement benefit. But all in a one-time deposit.

Advantages

  • Reliable and safe investment.

  • Superior returns than those of FDs or savings accounts.

  • Tax benefit of up to 1.5 lakh rupees.

Penalty for Premature Withdrawal

  • If a withdrawal is made before the stipulated two years have passed, there is a 1.5% premature withdrawal fee.

  • 1% of the amount is due if you remove money after two years have passed.

 

What are the Eligibility Criteria for SCSS?

The group of people listed below are qualified to create an account under the Senior Citizen Saving Scheme:

  • Those who are 60 years of age or older.
  • 55-year-olds who have retired early due to superannuation or Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) regulations.
  • Retired armed forces members, providing they have met all other requirements.

NRIs (non-resident Indians), PIOs (persons of Indian origin), and any HUF member are not eligible to create an account under this plan.

How Does SCSS Operate?

Source: The following information can be found here.

  • Depositing a minimum of ₹1,000 up to ₹15,00,000 in a single payment will open an SCSS account.
  • The deposit must be made in the SCSS account within a month of the date on which retirement benefits were received from the employer.
  • he deposit amount is limited to the retirement benefits received.
  • Retirement benefits, in this context, refer to any money owed to the account holder as a result of retirement, whether through superannuation or another source. For instance, provident fund contributions, leave encashment, ex-gratia payments, etc.
  • If the deposit exceeds the ceiling amount, the extra money must be returned right away to the account holder.
  • The deposit’s interest will be paid once every three months.
  • Interest may be withdrawn either through ECS or car credit into the Post Office branch’s savings account.
  • After the account’s opening date, it is possible to close it early at any moment with a fee.
  • After the account reaches maturity, it may be continued for a further three years.
  • An extension can be requested within a calendar year of the maturity date.

What Steps Do You Need to Take to Open an SCSS Account?

The steps for creating an SCSS account are listed below:

  • Visit the bank or post office that is closest to you.
  • Provide the duly filled application form and the KYC paperwork.
  • The money being deposited must be accompanied by a cheque (this rule may vary for a lower amount).
  • Declare your nominees (if you want to).

What are the Documents Required to Apply for SCSS?

You need to produce the following documents to open an SCSS account. An important thing to remember is that all these documents listed here must be self-attested.

  • PAN card
  • Aadhaar card
  • Passport
  • Voter ID card
  • Birth certificate/senior citizen card
  • Telephone bill
  • 2 passport-sized photographs
  • Electricity bill

What are the Additional Important Features of SCSS?

The following are some significant attributes of SCSS:

  • Revision of SCSS interest rates is done quarterly depending on factors like market rate, inflation, etc.
  • The interest rate offered to you at the time of starting your scheme remains the same throughout the maturity tenure
  • You can declare your nominee at the time of filling up your application form or later.
  • On the first of April, July, October, and January of each quarter, interest payments will be credited to your account.
  • If the sum is less than ₹100000, you can opt to deposit cash, but if it exceeds that, you must pay by cheque.
  • Capital invested in SCSS benefits from exceptional security and guarantee because it is a government-endorsed programme.

The Senior Citizen Saving Scheme is Available in Which Banks?

Here’s a list of banks offering SCSS apart from the post office:

  • Allahabad Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • Central Bank of India
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Corporation Bank
  • Bank of BarodaVijaya Bank
  • Bank of India
  • Canara Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Dena Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • IDBI Bank
  • Indian Bank
  • Syndicate Bank
  • State Bank of India
  • Union Bank of India
  • UCO Bank

Can Freo Save Be an SCSS Replacement?

Although SCSS has a higher interest rate, it has restrictions on deposit size, maturity length, and liquidity. However, Freo Save is a digital savings account, so it doesn’t come with such limitations.

Moreover, Freo Save offers a competitive interest rate compared to other investment options while being just as safe as a traditional savings account.

This table further clarifies the unique advantages of each, check it out yourself!

Features

SCSS

Freo Save

Interest Rate

8% (January-March 2023)

Up to 7%

Maturity Period

5 Years

None

Tax Benefits (On Returns)

Taxable

Taxable

Deposit Limit

₹1000 to 15 Lakh

₹1000 to 5 Crore

Premature Withdrawal

Allowed (any time after opening but with penalty)

You can withdraw money anytime without any penalty

 

Both options may be appropriate depending on your financial status and ambitions since investing relies on your unique financial demands. Therefore, you should carefully consider your options and choose the one that suits you best.

Open an Account With Freo Save With Zero Balance and Enjoy Up to 7% Interest

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FAQs

The option for a joint account is available, but only with a spouse.

You can manage numerous accounts under the plan, provided that the combined deposits in all accounts do not exceed Rs.15 Lakh.

Additionally, a single deposit branch is not permitted to open more than one SCSS account in a single calendar month.

Yes, under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961, investments made in SCSS are eligible for income tax deduction benefits.

Anyone who is over 60 years old can participate in Senior Citizen Saving Scheme.