The Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme (SCSS) is among the most popular post office investment schemes for senior citizens. The government-backed scheme comes with a lock-in of five years and allows for a lump sum investment, much like a fixed deposit, but with the interest being provided quarterly.
So, if you are a senior citizen and want to invest a lump sum, here’s how you can open an SCSS account with your bank or post office.
Features And Eligibility
You can open an SCSS account if you are at least 60 years old on the date of opening or 55 years old if you have retired under superannuation, or taken a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) or special VRS. The minimum age limit for retired defense personnel is 50 years.
The minimum investment is Rs 1,000 and the maximum investment is Rs 30 lakh. The account can be opened either individually or jointly.
The scheme matures after five years and can be extended by another three years. A premature closure of the account is possible by paying a penalty of 1-1.5 percent. Also, note that the account can be extended for an unlimited number of times in blocks of three years. During the extension, the prevailing interest rate on the renewal date will be applicable.
Also Read: 6 Benefits Of Investing In A Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS)
The interest earned under SCSS is not tax-free, but deposits in SCSS qualify for deduction under Section 80C of the Income-tax Act, 1961 for up to Rs. 1.5 lakh (under the old tax regime). A quarterly interest income is earned from the date of deposit to March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.
The rate of interest on SCSS is typically 25-50 bps higher than the senior citizens’ bank deposits. At present, the rate of interest is 8.2 percent per annum, revised quarterly.
Tax deducted at source (TDS) on the interest amount is applicable when it is more than Rs 50,000. However, one can avoid TDS by submitting Form 15H to the bank or the post office where one has this account.
How To Open An SCSS Account?
You can open an SCSS account either with a post office or your bank. Here’s the step-by-step process to open an SCSS account.
- Visit the bank or the post office where you want to open the account.
- Take the SCSS account opening application form.
- Fill up the form and submit your know-your-customer (KYC) documents, including your copy of your Permanent Account Number (PAN), Aadhaar, and passport-size photograph.
- Include a nominee or nominee in your account.
- Sign the account opening form and self-attest the KYC documents.
Once your account is opened, you can deposit the amount in the SCSS account.