SCSS i.e., a Senior Citizen Savings Scheme is a government-sponsored retirement savings option that can be availed by senior citizens of age 60 and above.
Quarterly interest payouts, high-interest rates up to 8.7%, and tax deduction permissible according to the Section 80C of the Income Tax Act make it a lucrative investment option for the senior citizens.
Steps to open a Senior Citizen Saving Scheme Account:
A senior citizen can invest a minimum of Rs. 1,000 in an SCSS account and the maximum limit for the investment is Rs. 15 lakhs. The investor can also open multiple accounts, but the principal amount of all these accounts should not exceed Rs. 15 lakhs.
Step 1: Fill and submit the application form
The senior citizens can visit any post office or certified bank branch and fill the application form to apply for an SCSS account.
The form should be furnished along with KYC documents such as address proof, age proof, identity proof, and the cheque for deposit amount.
Please remember that cash deposit is allowed only for an amount less than Rs. 1 lakh and if the amount is greater than 1 lakh then you will have to either deposit a DD or cheque. The deposit amount should be in multiples of 1000.
Step 2: Mention the details of co-applicant or nominee
You can apply for an SCSS Scheme with your spouse as a joint account holder. There is no age restriction for the spouse. You can also mention the details of your children if you wish to name them as the nominee. You can submit the nominee’s details at the time of opening the account or at a later date.
Better investment options for senior citizens: High- yielding fixed deposits
A senior citizen scheme offers an interest rate of 8.7%. Senior citizens can also look at high-yielding company fixed deposits such as Bajaj Finance Fixed Deposit that offer an interest rate of up to 8.95% for senior citizens- which is currently the highest interest rate being offered in the industry. Also, the interest rate is 0.35% more than the interest rates being offered for regular FDs.
The reason for the popularity of SCSS is the safety of the investment. SCSS is a completely safe investment, unaffected by fluctuating market risks. Fixed deposits from reputed corporate such as Bajaj Finance, which have been credited with highest safety ratings by reputed third-party financial institutions like ICRA and CRISIL are also secure and stable. Hence, senior citizens can invest in such fixed deposits without any fear of losing their capital amount or not being paid interest payouts on time.
Periodic interest payouts
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme offers quarterly interest payouts only. If you want more options for periodic payouts, then FD is a good alternative. Senior Citizen Fixed Deposits offered by Bajaj Finance allow you to choose monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, or annual interest payouts depending on their requirements. This facility is quite beneficial for ensuring a regular stream of income for senior citizens to meet their ongoing expenses.
A loan against FD can be raised at any point during the tenor of investment. SCSS does not provide the facility to seek a loan against the maturity amount.
Flexibility in investment terms
The tenor of SCSS is 5 years which can be further extended by 3 years by submitting Form B. In contrast, fixed deposits offer the flexibility to choose a tenor between 12 to 60 months as per your requirement. You can also go for an auto-renewal option of your FD at a higher interest rate. Moreover, you can avail premature withdrawal of FD by paying a nominal penalty fee, which is not available in SCSS.
Therefore, if you wish to diversify your investment portfolio by investing in a safe and lucrative investment scheme, then you can consider Senior Citizen Fixed Deposit as a good alternative to the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme.