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When it comes to saving schemes, senior citizens tend to look for investment options that offer high-returns with minimum risk. Risk-free investments ensure that senior citizens can depend on a stable income while enjoying the post-retirement life.
Therefore, banks and other financial institutions offer a wide range of senior citizen saving schemes that are meant to provide stability and security. However, most of these stable investment options fail to offer attractive returns.
On the other hand, the government-operated India Post offers several senior citizen saving schemes that may prove to be viable investment options. Also, these post office schemes for senior citizens provide good interest rates along with high returns on investments.
So, here are some post office schemes for senior citizens that offer better security and may help maintain a certain level of financial independence as well.
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)
The most popular post office senior citizen saving scheme is the SCSS. This government-backed saving scheme is available through India Post offices as well as through public and private sector banks.
So, the terms & conditions applicable to the SCSS post office are the same regardless of the bank/post office you choose.
What is the eligibility for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme?
The following individuals/groups are eligible to invest in SCSS:
How to open post office SCSS account?
You can open a Senior Citizen Savings Scheme account at any of the authorized banks or post office branch across India.
Documents required for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme
You can open your SCSS post office account by submitting the following documents:
Post Office SCSS Interest Rate
It is important to know about the interest rates while applying for any senior citizen saving scheme in banks or even through any other mediums. The Ministry of Finance reviews the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme interest rate every quarter.
So, the post office SCSS interest rate is calculated on a quarterly basis and is subject to periodic change. Also, as of April 2020, the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme interest rate is 7.4% per annum for the first quarter i.e. April to June (Q1 FY 2020-21).
Here are the post office interest rates for senior citizens savings scheme:
Benefits of Post Office Senior Citizen Savings Scheme
Similar to other schemes launched for the benefit of senior citizens, the SCSS post office is also backed by the government. This makes it one of the safest and most reliable senior citizen saving schemes.
As mentioned earlier, you can open your senior citizen savings scheme in any of the authorized banks or post office across India. In addition to this, it has an easy application method as well.
Also, the senior citizen savings scheme interest rate is quite good when compared to any savings account or FD account. The interest on senior citizen savings scheme is 7.4% for the first quarter of FY 2020-21.
Tenure of SCSS
The tenure of the SCSS is 5 years, which can again be extended for another 3 years. After the completion of your 5-year tenure, you can extend this post office SCSS by submitting the duly filled Form B.
Note: The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme allows for only one extension. After this, you can close your post office SCSS account within one year of extension to avoid any kind of penalty.
Premature Withdrawal of SCSS
In this post office senior citizen saving scheme, you can opt for premature withdrawals after one year of opening SCSS account. Also, if you wish to close the account after one year but before the end of two years, then premature withdrawal charges of 1.5% of the deposit amount is applicable.
If closure of your SCSS account takes place after 2 years of opening, then the premature withdrawal charges will be 1% of the deposit amount.
Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS)
Although the post office monthly income scheme is available for all individuals aged 10 years and above, it is also one of the best post office schemes for senior citizens.
When compared to the post office SCSS, this post office monthly income scheme has similar policies for tenure and premature withdrawals.
Features of POMIS
This post office monthly income scheme is highly reliable and offers a stable income as well. You are allowed to deposit a minimum amount of ₹ 1500 and a maximum amount of ₹ 4.5 lakh.
Also, it offers an assured monthly income along with high returns which makes it one of the best senior citizen saving schemes. Since, it is a fixed-income scheme, your invested money is safe and risk-free.
Eligibility of POMIS
Any resident Indian, aged 10 years and above can invest in this government-backed post office monthly income scheme. This means that even senior citizens can enjoy the benefits of POMIS.
How to open POMIS account?
You can follow the below steps to open a post office monthly income scheme account:
Interest Rates of POMIS
Similar to the senior citizen saving scheme interest rate, the interest rate of POMIS is also calculated and fixed by the Finance Ministry on a quarterly basis. For Q1 of FY 2020-21 i.e. April – June 2020, the interest rate of POMIS is 6.6%.
Here are the historic post office interest rates for POMIS:
Tenure of POMIS
Just like the post office senior citizen saving scheme, the POMIS has a lock-in period of 5 years as well. Also, at the end of this 5-year term, you can reinvest the maturity amount in POMIS.
Premature Withdrawal of POMIS
If you wish to withdraw the invested amount within one year of opening the POMIS account, you would not receive any benefits. However, if you withdraw the amount between the 1st and 3rd of investing in POMIS, then a 2% penalty charge is applicable.
Also, a 1% penalty charge is applicable if you withdraw between the 3rd and 5th year.
So, these were some of the best post office schemes for senior citizens. While SCSS and POMIS are similar in their tenure and other policies, they offer a wide range of benefits for senior citizens.
Also, they are among the safest and highly secure senior citizens saving schemes. Apart from these post office schemes, the government offers other saving schemes such as the PM Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) and the Varishta Pension Bima Yojana for Senior Citizens.
This makes it easier for you to choose from any of these saving schemes for senior citizens and plan for a secure and independent future.
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