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World Senior Citizens Day: Five Schemes For The Elderly You Should Know

According to the 2011 census, the number of people aged 60 and above in India is expected to reach 178.59 million by 2031 and 300.96 million by 2051

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August 21, 2023
Five Schemes For The Elderly You Should Know

Five Schemes For The Elderly You Should Know

On World Senior Citizen’s Day, here are five government schemes launched for the benefit of senior citizens you should know. This special day is observed annually on August 21 to honour the contribution of senior citizens to society. According to the 2011 census, the number of people aged 60 and above in India was 103.83 million, expected to reach 178.59 million by 2031 and 300.96 million by 2051. While the number of senior citizens is expected to triple in 40 years, their requirements will likely increase manifold.

Here we discuss five government schemes for senior citizens available in India.

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY): Anybody in the age group of 18 years to 70 years can buy this insurance, which is renewable every year and covers disability and death due to accidents. One should have a bank or post office account to get this policy. The cover amount is Rs 2 lakh for a premium of Rs 20 per year for accidental death cum disability. One needs to approach the bank or the post office to get the policy, and the amount is deducted automatically annually against the policy. As on April 26, 2023, there were more than 34.18 crore total enrolments in the scheme.

Atal Pension Yojana (APY): APY is another pension scheme launched by the government. The pension amount is fixed in APY, ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, and the subscriber can pay the premium based on the chosen pension amount. It focuses on the unorganized sector. Anyone in the age group of 18 to 40 can take this policy. After the age of 60, the monthly pension is available to the subscriber and the spouse. In case of the death of both, the pension corpus accumulated at age 60 of the subscriber will be given to the nominee. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is the administrative authority for APY.

National Pension System (NPS): The national pension system (NPS) was launched in 2004 for government employees, and in 2009 the scheme was opened to all citizens focusing on the unorganized sector. It gives people another tool to invest long-term and plan their retirement accordingly. Anyone can contribute to the NPS until the age of 60, and after retirement, 60 per cent can be taken in a lump sum and 40 per cent in annuity. If one wants, the annuity portion can be increased as well. The minimum amount per contribution is Rs 500 in Tier I account of NPS and Rs 250 per contribution in Tier II. Anyone aged between 18 years to 60 years can have the NPS. NPS aims to provide old-age financial security to all citizens.

Senior Citizen Mediclaim Policy: The health insurance scheme is for senior citizens. The New India Insurance Company Ltd offers this scheme for people aged 60 years to 80 years. The policy can be renewed beyond the age of 80 if there is no break in insurance. The policy covers hospitalization costs and critical illness treatment. It provides cashless facilities in the network hospitals and reimbursement for the other hospitals and covers pre and post-hospitalization for the 30 days before and 60 days after the patient’s hospitalization. If one does not claim in a year, the sum assured increases by 5 per cent, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent.

Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS): SCSS is a savings scheme for seniors to keep their money and get a regular guaranteed interest income every quarter. Anyone above 60 can invest in this scheme with the post office or the banks. Retired civilian employees above 55 years and defence employees above 50 years can invest in this scheme, ‘subject to the condition that investment is made within one month of receipt of retirement benefits’, says the India Post website. The minimum deposit is Rs 1000, and the maximum is Rs 30 lakh annually. Any investment beyond this limit is returned to the depositor immediately.

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