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Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) V/S Senior Citizens Special Fds – Which Is More Beneficial

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SCSS (Senior Citizen Savings Scheme) vs FDs - FY2023
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Senior citizens have several investment options, some government-backed and others private. Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) and Senior Citizens Special FDs are two of the most popular choices. Senior citizens want two things from their investments first, decent guaranteed returns, and second, regular income to maintain their lifestyle.

This article will look at the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) and Senior Citizens Special FDs to assess which is best for your investment needs.

Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)

The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) is a government-supported investment scheme crafted for senior citizens who can invest a lump sum to earn a regular income to cover their expenses.

Features

DescriptionFeatures
Age (Min, Max)Min age: In case of- General Public: 60 years Superannuation or VRS: 55-60 years Defence Pensioners(excl civilian defence personnel): 50 – 60 years   Max age: No upper age limit
 Tenure of deposit5 years, with the option to extend for another 3 years. A maximum of one extension is permitted.
Amount of depositMin: Rs. 1000 Max: 30 Lacs (revised limit as per Budget 2023)
Interest Rate100 basis points above 5 years over government bond yield (From 01/01/23 to 31/03/23 applicable interest – 8%)
Loan FacilityNot available
TDSAs per the applicable tax slab
Can be Availed throughNotified banks and Any  Post Office
Premature withdrawal/ ClosurePremature withdrawal/ Closure

The Perks of the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)

  • Safe and secure investment vehicle
  • Guaranteed returns
  • Higher rate of interest
  • Good source of regular income
  • Tax exemption u/s 80C available

Drawbacks of the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)

  • Investor loses the benefit of compounding due to quarterly interest payout. So, this scheme may not benefit those who immediately need regular income for their living expenses.
  • Interest paid is taxable therefore reduces the net interest earned post taxes
  • A loan facility is not available under Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)
  • If you don’t close SCSS post maturity, you get an interest of 4%, applicable in the Post Office savings bank account.

Senior Citizens Special FDs

1. SBI We Care FD

The largest nationalized bank launched a senior citizens special FD called “SBI We Care FD”, designed specifically for senior citizens. This product falls under the Retail TD segment and is available as a new deposit or a renewal of maturing deposits with the bank.

Features of Senior Citizens Special FDs Scheme: SBI We Care

DescriptionFeatures
EligibilityMinimum Age: 60 years
 Tenure of depositMin: 5 years Max: 10 years
Interest Rate100 bps over rate offered to the public
Loan FacilityAvailable (Interest of 1% above the relative FD rate)
TDSAs per the applicable tax slab
Can be Availed throughBranch/Internet Banking/YONO
Valid till31.03.2023
Interest Rate7.50% (w.e.f 15.02.23)

2. ICICI Bank Golden Years FD

ICICI Bank introduced a special senior citizen FD scheme named “ICICI Bank Golden Years FD” on 20th May 2020 as a tool of income protection by providing additional interest of 30 basis points.

DescriptionFeatures
EligibilityMinimum Age: 60 years Max Deposit: Rs. 2 crore
 Tenure of depositMin: 5 years 1 day Max: 10 years
Interest Rate60 bps over rate offered to the public
Loan FacilityAvailable. Bank, at its discretion, may offer a loan/OD facility at an interest rate of 2% above the contracted rate with a reduction of up to 1% as per the terms and conditions of the Bank.
TDSAs per the applicable tax slab
Can be Availed throughBranch/Internet Banking
Valid till31.03.2023
Interest RateFor single deposit Less than Rs. 20mn – 7.50% (w.e.f 24.02.2023) Above Rs. 20mn but less than Rs. 50mn – 6.75% (w.e.f 06.03.2023)
Premature withdrawal/ ClosureOn or after 5 years 1 day – 1.10% Before 5 years, 1 day – 1%

3. HDFC Senior Citizens Care FD

The HDFC Senior Citizens Care FD is a senior citizens special FDs scheme launched on 20th April 2020. The private sector giant offers premium interest rates to its senior citizen customers (both on new deposits and renewals), helping them generate regular income to meet the rising costs.

DescriptionFeatures
EligibilityMinimum Age: 60 years Maximum age: 80 years Max Deposit: Rs. 5 crores
Minimum amount: Rs. 10,000
 Tenure of depositMin: 1 year: 10 years
Interest Rate 75 bps over rate offered to the public The Tenor       
Interest Rate  More than 1 year – 2 years – 7.50 %
More than 2 years but less than 3 years -7.25%
More than 3 years but less than 5 years – 7%
5 years  –  7%
Between 5 years – 7 years – 7%
Loan FacilityAvailable
TDSAs per the applicable tax slab
Can be Availed throughBranch/Internet Banking/Phone Banking
Valid till31.03.2023
Interest Rate6.50%
Premature withdrawal/ closureAllowed. A penalty of 1.0% will be levied.

4. IDBI Naman Senior Citizen Deposit

IDBI launched this special senior citizens FDs scheme on April 20, 2022, to alleviate the growing inflation pressure on senior citizens by providing regular income sources.

DescriptionFeatures
EligibilityMinimum Age: 60 years Max Deposit: Rs. 2 crore
 Tenure of depositMin: 5 years 1 day Max: 10 years
Interest Rate 60 bps over rate offered to published ic
Loan FacilityAvailable (Interest of 1% above the relative FD rate)
TDSAs per the applicable tax slab
Can be Availed throughBranch/Internet Banking
Valid till07.04.2023
Interest RateFor single deposit Less than Rs. 20mn – 7.50% (w.e.f 24.02.2023)
Above Rs. 20mn but less than Rs. 50mn – 6.75% (w.e.f 06.03.2023)
Premature withdrawal/ ClosureFor single deposit Less thPrematuremn – 7.50% (w.e.f 24.02.2023)
Above Rs. 20mn but less than Rs. 50mn – 6.75% (w.e.f 06.03.2023)

Drawbacks and Limitations of Senior Citizens Special FDs

  • There is no tax exemption available.
  • Premature withdrawals incur a penalty.
  • Reinvestment risk exists. As the senior citizens special FDs renew automatically, you may earn lower interest rates upon reinvestment.
  • Only domestic deposits are eligible.
  • Inflation risk as the interest rate is lower than the inflation rate.
  • Lack of flexibility because each scheme has specific requirements you must meet.

Comparison: Senior Citizen Saving Scheme vs Senior Citizens Special FDs

 Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)Senior Citizens Special FDs  
Interest rates25-50 bps higher than FDs25-50 bps lower than SCSS
Deposit Amount (Min, Max)Min Investment: Rs. 1000 Max Investment: Rs.30 LacsMin Investment: Rs. 1000 Max Investment: Rs. Up to 2 crores
Tax BenefitsTax exemption up to Rs. 1.5 lacs allowed under Sec 80 C.No tax benefit allowed
Tenure5 years extendable for another 3 years7 days to 10 years
Lock-in-period5 yearsNo lock-in period
Interest PayoutQuarterly (on 1st working day of every financial quarter)The principal plus accrued interest is paid on maturity.
Loan FacilityNot PermittedLoan facility allowed
LiquidityLess liquidityHigh Liquidity

Key Takeaways

As you approach retirement age, you are done with your financial planning and responsibilities. Aside from capital appreciation, you require an additional source of regular income to supplement your living expenses.

 You should be clearer now if you were undecided between the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) and the Senior Citizens Special FDs scheme. We hope that the information in this comprehensive guide has made building a healthy portfolio that generates consistent income much more straightforward.

FAQs

Can Senior citizens open both a Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) account individually?

Yes, but the total investment per investor should not cross the upper limit of 30 lacs as proposed under Budget 2023.

What happens in the event of the death of the SCSS account holder?

If a Senior Citizen Savings Scheme account holder dies, the account is closed at the request of the nominee/legal heir, and interest is paid only until the account holder’s death.

How can I save TDS on Senior Citizens special FDs?

If your taxable income, including interest income, is less than the taxable limit, you can avoid TDS deduction by submitting form 15 H to your respective bank. If your total interest income exceeds Rs. 50,000, you are taxed at a lower rate (i.e. 10%). You can fill out Form 12 BBA and save the excess TDS deduction.

Read more: About Research and Ranking
How Long-term investing helps create life-changing wealth – TOI

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