Post office savings plans: Earn over 8% interest in these schemes

Out of the nine small savings schemes of India Post, two schemes- Sukanya Samriddhi and Senior Citizen Savings scheme – offer 8.3 per cent and 8.1 per cent interest per annum respectively.

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New Delhi: Post office savings schemes offer one of the best interest rates on all its nine small savings schemes. Out of the nine small savings schemes of India Post, two schemes- Sukanya Samriddhi and Senior Citizen Savings scheme – offer 8.3 per cent and 8.1 per cent interest per annum respectively. While Sukanya Samriddhi is a savings scheme specifically targeted for the benefit of girl child, the Senior Citizen Savings scheme as the name suggests help people above 60 years to earn higher interest rate on their savings. Here is all you need to know about Sukanya Samriddhi and Senior Citizen Savings Scheme

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

1) This scheme was launched by the Government of India in January 2015 for girl children. This government-backed scheme helps parents of girl children build a corpus for the future education and marriage of their daughter. Along with higher interest rate, this scheme also offers tax benefit to parents, who save money for their girl child through this scheme.

2) A Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened by the parents or legal guardians in the name of a girl child. The account can be opened from the birth of the girl child till she attains the age of 10 years. Only one account can be opened in the name of one girl child. Also, parents can open maximum two Sukanya Samriddhi accounts.

3) A minimum deposit of Rs 1,000 is required to be made every year in Sukanya Samriddhi Account while one can deposit a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh every year into this account. There is no limit to the number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year.

4) Deposits into Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be made up to 14 years from the date of opening of the account. After this period, the account will only earn interest as per applicable rates.

5) Sukanya Samriddhi Account account shall mature on completion of 21 years from the date of opening of the account. However, if the girl child gets married before completion of 21 years, operations of the account will be stopped. The operation of the account shall not be permitted beyond the date of her marriage.

6) Interest rate offered on Sukanya Samriddhi account is decided by the government and is notified by the Finance Ministry in every quarter. 

7) A Sukanya Samriddhi account gets inactive in case you do not deposit minimum Rs 1,000 in a year. However, inactive accounts can be reactivated by paying a penalty. A penalty of Rs 50 will be applicable per year along with the minimum amount required to be deposited for that year.

8) You cannot take a loan against the Sukanya Samriddhi account.

9) But a premature withdrawal can be made once the girl child attains the age of 18 years. The amount that can be withdrawn under this is up to 50 per cent of the balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year.

10) Annual deposits of up to Rs 1.5 lakh into Sukanya Samriddhi Account qualify for tax benefit under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. 1961. The maturity proceeds from this account are also exempt from tax.

Senior Citizen Savings Scheme

1) Individuals with 60 years or more can open this account. Also, an individual of the age of 55 years or more but less than 60 years, who has retired on superannuation or under VRS can also open account subject to the condition that the account is opened within one month of receipt of retirement benefits and the amount should not exceed the amount of retirement benefits. 

2) Maturity period of this scheme is 5 years. After maturity, the account can be extended for further three years by giving an application in prescribed format within one year of the maturity. In such cases, the account can be closed at any time after expiry of one year of extension without any deduction, India Post said on its website. 

3) The maximum amount that can be deposited in this scheme is Rs 15 lakh.

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