One of the most popular savings plans for seniors is the Senior Savings Plan run by post and banks. It offers security as well as high returns for the elderly.
Can I open a Seniors Savings Plan online?
Unfortunately, there is currently no way to open the Savings Plan for Seniors (SCSS) online. In fact, we are in an age where everything is online, but some government-backed programs like the Seniors Savings Plan are not yet online. This is also true for many post office programs, where we still have to fill out the physical forms and deliver them to the post office.
Especially for the elderly, the government should have had an online facility, given their age and the need to annoy them even less. It’s unclear when the government will ensure the Seniors Savings Plan is activated online. In fact, there are many state government owned companies like Tamil Nadu Power Finance where term deposits can be opened online using an app.
Should I invest in the Seniors Savings Plan, even if it is not online?
Seniors today have very limited choices as banks offer an interest rate of 5.5% only on term deposits. In general, interest rates in the economy as a whole are very low. Against this background, it makes sense to invest in the scheme given that the interest is much higher at 7.4% per annum. A natural person over 60 can open this account. However, retired civilian employees over 55 and under 60, provided that the investment is made within one month of receiving pension benefits. Individuals also enjoy a tax benefit under SEC80C of the Income Tax Act.
There is also a cap on the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme and investors cannot invest more than Rs 15 lakhs. Interest is paid quarterly and applicable from the date of filing until March 31 / June 30 / September 30 / December 31. It is good for investors who are looking for regular income.
It should be noted that a TDS would be applicable in the event that interest income exceeds Rs 50,000 each financial year. Investors therefore plan accordingly before investing. All in all, this is a good program for the elderly, although it is unfortunate that there is no option to open an account online.
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Article first published: Friday, December 3, 2021, 10:50 a.m. [IST]