The Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS) has made lives of senior citizens easier with the main aim of providing senior citizens of the country a regular income after they attain the age of 60 years old. Some of the main benefits of the scheme are:
- Tax benefits are provided
- Safe to invest in the scheme
- Interest rate has been reduced from 8.6% to 7.4%
- Premature withdrawal is allowed
The scheme comes with various security features and provides individuals a savings option for the long run. The SCSS is available at post offices and certified banks across the country.
The main features of the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme are mentioned below:
- Maturity of the scheme: The maturity period of the scheme is 5 years. However, individuals can extend the maturity duration for 3 years by submitting an application in the required format within one year of maturity of the account. However, the account can be closed without any charges after the expiry of the account.
- Nominations: Nominations can be added to the policy at the time of opening an account or after the account has been opened.
- Number of accounts: Individuals are allowed to operate more than one account by themselves or open a joint account with their spouse. However, joint accounts can be opened only with the spouse and the initial depositor is the investor of the joint account.
- Minimum and maximum amount: Only a single deposit is allowed to be made in the account. It can be in the multiples of Rs.1,000 and the maximum amount that can be deposited is Rs.15 lakh. Deposit amounts less than Rs.1 lakh can be paid by cash, while amounts more than Rs.1 lakh must be paid by cheque. In case of cheque payments, the date the cheque realizes will be the opening date of the account.
- Transfer of an account: An SCSS account can be transferred from a bank to a post office and vice versa. The process to open an SCSS account is also easy and hassle-free.
- Premature withdrawal: After one year of opening the account, premature withdrawal is allowed. However, a 1.5% charge and a 1% charge of the total amount deposited will be charged in case of premature withdrawals after 1 year and 2 years, respectively.
Process to Open an SCSS Account
An SCSS account can be opened at a bank or a post office. The process to open an SCSS account is mentioned below:
- Visit the nearest post office or bank branch.
- Submit the application form along with the KYC documents.
- A cheque for the amount that is being deposited must be provided.
- You can add nominees to the account.
The eligibility criteria for the SCSS are mentioned below:
- An individual who has attained the age of 60 years or above at the time of opening an SCSS account.
- Individuals who have attained the age of 55 years old, but are below the age of 60 years old and have retired on superannuation are eligible to open an SCSS account.
- Individuals who have attained the age of 55 years old and have retired before the implementation of the SCSS rules are eligible under the scheme.
- Under the SCSS, retired Defense Services personnel are eligible irrespective of their age. However, certain other specific conditions must be met by these individuals.
- Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are not eligible to open an SCSS account.
- Hindu Undivided Families are not eligible to open an SCSS account as well.
Documents required to open SCSS account
Given below are the documents that individuals must submit in order to open an SCSS account:
- Two passport-size photographs
- Form A must be completely filled and submitted.
- Identity proof such as Passport or Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card must be submitted.
- Individuals must submit proof of address such as Aadhar card or telephone bill.
- A document confirming the individual’s age must be submitted. Age proof document can be the PAN Card, Voter ID, Birth Certificate, Senior Citizen Card, or Passport.
All the documents that are submitted to open an account must be self-attested.
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