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Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Post Office: What is SCSS

Senior citizens savings scheme Post Office is a government-guaranteed savings scheme available to Indian residents over 60 years of age. The deposit expires after 5 years from the date of opening the account but can be renewed once for an additional 3 years.

The interest rate for SCSS from April to June 2020 has been set at 7.4%. This interest rate is the highest among the different small savings plans in India. The scheme is available at public/private sector banks and through Post Offices in India.

As a government-backed savings plan, the terms and conditions that apply to SCSS are the same, regardless of the bank/post office through which you invest.

Rate of Interest For Senior Citizens Savings Scheme

From April 2020, the interest rate on the senior citizen’s savings scheme post office is 7.4% per year for the first quarter (April to June) of the 2020-2021 fiscal years. This interest rate is quarterly reviewed by the Ministry of Finance and may change regularly.

Interest on deposits in Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Post Office accounts is calculated and entered every three months (quarterly).

Below are the interest rates for the SCSS account.

Time Period Interest Rates (% annually)
April to June (Q1 FY 2020-21 7.4
Jan to March (Q4 FY 2019-20) 8.6
Oct to Dec 2019 (Q3 FY 2019-20) 8.6
Jul to Sep 2019 (Q2 FY 2019-20) 8.6
Apr to Jun 2019 (Q1 FY 2019-20) 8.7
Jan to March 2019 (Q4 FY 2018-19) 8.7
Oct to Dec 2018 (Q3 FY 2018-19) 8.7
Jul to Sep 2018 (Q2 FY 2018-19) 8.3
Apr to Jun 2018 (Q1 FY 2018-19) 8.3
Jan to March 2018 (Q4 FY 2017-18) 8.3
Oct to Dec 2017 (Q3 FY 2017-18) 8.3
Jul to Sep 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18) 8.3
Apr to Jun 2017 (Q1 FY 2017-18) 8.4

SCSS Minimum and Maximum Deposit Limits

Depositors can make a lump sum deposit with a minimum deposit of Rs.1000. Deposits higher than Rs.1000 must be made in multiples of Rs.1000. The maximum deposit limit for SCSS is Rs.15 lakh.

Although it is possible to deposit in SCSS accounts in cash, this is only allowed for amounts lower than Rs.1 lakh. If the deposit amount for the SCSS savings plan exceeds Rs. 1 lakh, is required to use a check/draft request to deposit.

Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme Maturity 

Deposits made under the Senior citizen’s savings scheme mature after 5 years from the opening date of the account. However, there is an option for the account holder to extend the account for an additional 3 years after SCSS matured. 

Presently this option of extension is available only once, and an extension request must be submitted within one year of the expiration of the SCSS account.

Also Read: Use of IPPB QR Card: What is IPPB QR Card

SCSS Eligibility 

To take advantage of the Senior citizens saving scheme, Indian residents need to meet the following key requirements:

  • The plan is available to all Indian residents who are 60 years and older.
  • Besides, people aged 55 but under 60 can also apply for a senior citizens savings scheme post office as long as they have retired according to pension or RSV rules. In such cases, the account must be opened within one month of receiving the retirement benefits.
  • Retired defense personnel can also apply for this scheme, regardless of the age limit restrictions mentioned above, subject to other terms and conditions.
  • NRIs (Non-resident Indians) and PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin) are not allowed to open an account for the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme. 
  • In addition, members of the undivided Hindu family may not open an account following these rules.

Taxes on Senior Citizens Savings Scheme

Investments made in the Senior Savings Plan account are entitled to income tax deduction benefit up to Rs. 1.5 lakh as per the Income Tax Act 1961 (Section 80C). 

SCSS interest is fully taxable. In the event the amount of accrued interest exceeds Rs. 50,000 for a year, TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) is applied to the accrued interest. This limit for the deduction of TDS for SCSS investments applies from the assessment year (AY) 2020-21.

Savings Scheme for Seniors’ vs Fixed Deposit

Features SCSS FD ( Tex Saver)
Interest Rate    7.4% (April-June) 6.5%-8.45% (For Senior Citizens)
Maturity Period    5 Year   5 Years
Tax Benefits (On Investment)    Yes   Yes
Tax Benefits (On Returns)    Taxable      Taxable
Premature Withdrawal Allowed after 1 Year (Charged 1.5%)   Not Allowed

Method of Calculating the Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme Interest

Deposits made in the senior savings plan account are interested and paid out yearly. These payments are automatically credited to the savings account at the post office/bank where this senior savings plan account was opened.

Currently, the interest rate on SCSS is 7.4% (since the first quarter of fiscal year 20-21). For example, you have invested Rs. 15 lakh (maximum allowed amount) in SCSS, at the end of the five years the maturity value will be:

  • 5 years of investment = 15,00,000 rupees
  • 1-year interest rate = Rs. 1,11 000
  • Amount due on maturity = Rs 20,55,000

How to Open An SCSS Account in the Post Office

Any India resident can open a senior savings plan account at any post office in India. Interest from the investment of the SCSS account is automatically transferred to the depositor’s savings account in the same post office.

India Post’s broad reach ensures that the SCSS account option is available to Indians across the country, even in the most remote areas.

Account Registration of SCSS at Banks

In addition to post offices, the SCSS account is also offered in selected banks in the public/private sector.

Here are the main benefits of opening a Senior Savings Plan account with licensed banks:

  • Accrued interest can be credited directly to the investors’ savings account at the bank’s branch.
  • Standard bank account statements are sent to depositors by post or e-mail.
  • Customer service 24 hours 7 days a week via telephone banking services.

If you are a senior and intend to complete SCSS registration with a bank, you will need to follow the appropriate procedure to open an account.

Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Application Form 

The Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Post Office application form is available both offline at the Indian Post Office and online. If you plan to open an SCSS account at an Indian post office, you can download the SCSS application form from the official website of India Post.

Many participating banks, both public and private, have the option of downloading the SCSS application form from their official website. You can also get an application form from designated branches of participating banks in India.

How to Complete a Senior Citizens Savings Application Form

At present it is not possible to open an SCSS account online, so once you have downloaded the SCSS application form, you will need to print, complete, and submit the completed SCSS application form (at post office/bank) and the documents related.

When you are going to open an account under SCSS you have to give some important information like:

  • Name and PAN of the applicant.
  • Name of parent /spouse of the main applicant.
  • If a joint account with the spouse in that case spouse’s name, age, and address must be provided.
  • Check amount and number (if available).
  • Name, age, and address of the nominee (if you want to be more than one nominee, indicate the detail of individual share of each nominee).

SCSS Deposit Premature Withdrawal

You can withdraw your deposit from the SCSS account prematurely, but there will be a penalty for that and this penalty is based on the time between account opening and withdrawal. The penalties on premature withdraw from SCSS are as under:

  • 1.5% from the deposit amount will be deducted as a penalty if you leave the scheme before completion of 2 years from the account opening date.
  • 1% from the deposit amount will be deducted as a penalty if you leave the SCSS between 2 years and less than 5 years after opening the account.

The Advantages of Investing in Senior Citizens Savings Scheme

  • High Yield: The interest rate on this scheme is high, 7.4% per year. This is more than most tax savings plans in the 80C section of Income Tax Act.
  • Medium Term Investments: This account has an original maturity of 5 years, but can be extended for another three years. This encourages older people to use this savings system as a medium or long term investment plan in their economy.
  • Investments made under SCSS are tax-deductible as per Income Tax Act 1961 Section 80C.
  • The flexibility of the investment amount: Any amount can be invested in multiples of Rs. 1000 up to a maximum of Rs. 15 lakes. However, only one-time lump sum investments are allowed.
  • In case of any financial emergency option of premature withdrawal is available (with applicable penalties).
  • Easy Access: This scheme is available at Indian post offices or designated bank outlets throughout the country.

SCSS Account Cancellation Before the Expiration Date

If the primary account holder dies before the maturity of the SCSS the account will be canceled and all remaining funds will be transferred to the legal heirs/nominees.

The nominee or legal heirs must fill up an application in a prescribed format along with a death certificate of the actual account holder for deceased claims and facilitate the closure of the account.

Conclusion

Senior citizens savings scheme Post Office is backed by the government of India. This scheme is for the residents of India who are over 60 years of age. The maximum deposit limit for SCSS is Rs.15 lakh and the maturity period of the scheme is 5 years.

The interest rate for the SCSS is 7.4% for the first quarter (April to June) of the 2020-2021 fiscal years. Investments made in the SCSS are entitled to income tax deduction benefits under Section 80C. 

           

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8 thoughts on “Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Post Office: What is SCSS

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