During old age, two of the most significant concerns that individuals have is to ensure a regular cash flow, and second, have access to quality healthcare. Recognising the importance of addressing these needs, the government has introduced numerous schemes and policies aimed at assisting senior citizens.
Here are some of these schemes that directly contribute to their financial well-being and offer healthcare support for their overall wellness.
INVESTMENT SCHEMES BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (MIS): This is a government-backed investment option provided by the Government of India. Post office MIS offers monthly payouts, thus ensuring a regular income stream for investors.
Individual investors can invest up to Rs. 9 lakh in a year, and if investing jointly with a spouse, the total investment limit available is Rs. 15 lakh. The rate of interest on MIS is revised by the government every quarter. However, once the money is invested, the interest rate remains fixed for five years. At present, the existing rate of interest on MIS is 7.4 per cent per year.
By investing in MIS, individuals, especially senior citizens, can benefit from a steady and reliable source of monthly income. It is important to note that the interest earned from MIS is taxable.
Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY): The Government of India (GoI) launched the PMVVY scheme in 2017. Under this scheme, one can invest up to Rs. 15 lakh in a year. One can also select the payout frequency, which is monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly.
PMVVY allows immense flexibility in terms of regular income to senior citizens. The existing rate of interest on PMVVY is 7.4 per cent.
Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS): One can invest up to Rs. 30 lakh in SCSS. At present, the rate of interest on SCSS is 8.2 per cent. One can enjoy a regular flow of income as this scheme offers an attractive rate of interest.
OTHER IMPORTANT SCHEMES FOR THE SENIOR CITIZENS
Besides these schemes that pay a better return than the general public, several other schemes take for the betterment of senior citizens and to care of their health.
Some of the important ones are mentioned below:
Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Yojana (PMABY): Families living below the poverty line can get access to medical facilities for up to Rs 5 lakh per family member every year. The medical facility includes expenses related to pre and post-hospitalisation as well. Treatments can be availed at government-empanelled hospitals in India.
Senior Citizen Health Insurance: The Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme by United India Insurance is specifically designed for the elderly. The entry age of the policy is 61 years.
National Insurance Company also offers a similar policy, Varistha Mediclaim policy for people above the age of 60 years. Oriental and New India Assurance also offers health policies for senior citizens.
Reverse Mortgage Loan: Senior citizens having residential property in their name can use it to create a regular income flow by mortgaging it with the bank. Senior citizens can live in their property during the loan tenure and without any repayment obligation.
Providing financial assistance to senior citizens can significantly alleviate the challenges they face, thus enabling them to lead a secure and comfortable life during retirement. Staying informed and updated about relevant schemes and programs is crucial, as it empowers individuals to fully avail themselves of the benefits and support available to them.
By keeping abreast of these schemes, senior citizens can ensure they receive the maximum assistance and resources to enhance their financial well-being and enjoy their retirement years with greater peace of mind.
The author is an Independent Financial Journalist