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 plan matures after five years from the account’s opening date but can be renewed once for an additional three years.

The interest rate for SCSS from April to June 2020 has been set at 7.4%. This interest rate is the highest among India’s different small savings plans. 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, you invest in.

What is SCSS?

Senior citizens saving scheme post office is a government-backed pension plan. Indian senior citizens above 60 can invest in SCSS in a lump sum individually or jointly and receive regular income and tax benefits.

The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme is primarily intended for senior Indian residents. Being government-backed, it is a secure investment, gives an excellent interest rate, and provides tax benefits. It is a great investment choice for people over 60.

What is the Rate of Interest For Senior Citizens in Post Office?

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 year. The Ministry of Finance reviewed this interest rate quarterly, which may change regularly. 

Interest on deposits in the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme Post Office 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

What is the Maximum Amount One Can Deposit Under SCSS?

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, it is required to use a check/draft request to deposit.

Maturity Period for Senior Citizen Savings Scheme?

A senior citizen’s savings scheme matures five years after the account’s opening date. However, there is an option for the account holder to extend the plan for an additional three years after SCSS matures. 

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

Eligibility Criteria for SCSS

To take advantage of the Senior citizens saving scheme, Indian residents need to meet the following 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.
  • Regardless of the age limit restrictions mentioned above, retired defense personnel can also apply for this scheme, subject to other terms and conditions.
  • NRIs (Non-resident Indians) cannot open an account for the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme. 
  • In addition, the undivided Hindu family members may not open an account following these rules.

Is Senior Citizen Saving Scheme Taxable?

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 TDS deduction for SCSS investments applies from the assessment year (AY) 2020-21.

Savings Scheme for Senior Citizens vs. Fixed Deposit

   Features

SCSS
   Interest Rate    7.4% (April-June)
   Maturity Period    5 Year
   Tax Benefits (On Investment)    Yes
   Tax Benefits (On Returns)    Taxable
   Premature Withdrawal Allowed after 1 Year (Charged 1.5%)

Method of Calculating the Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme Interest

The senior citizen’s savings plan account deposits 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, if 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 Indian 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 a week is available via telephone banking services.

If you are a senior and intend to complete SCSS registration with a bank, you must 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 offline and online at the Indian Post Official website. 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 the post office/bank) and the related documents.

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

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

Post Office SCSS Premature Closure

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 for a premature withdrawal from SCSS are as under:

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

Advantages of Senior Citizen Savings Scheme

  • High Yield: The interest rate on this scheme is high, 7.4% per year. It is more than most tax savings plans in the 80C section of the Income Tax Act.
  • Medium Term Investments: This account has an original maturity of 5 years but can be extended for another three years. It 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. One thousand up to a maximum of Rs. 15 lakes. However, only one-time lump sum investments are allowed.
  • In case of any financial emergency, premature withdrawal is available (with applicable penalties).
  • Easy Access: This scheme is available at Indian post offices or designated bank outlets throughout India.

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

The government of India backs the senior citizens savings scheme Post Office. 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 five 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 of the Income Tax Act. 

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

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