A spouse of the government employee will be permitted to open an account under the Senior Citizen Saving Scheme in case of the death of the employee. Also, the scheme can be extended for a block of three years, not just once but a number of times.
“The spouse of the government employee shall be allowed to open an account under this Scheme, if the government employee who has attained the age of fifty years and has died in harness, subject to the fulfilment of other specified conditions,” a notification by the Finance Ministry said which has been made effective from November 7. Here, the Government Employee includes all Central and State Government employees eligible for retirement benefits or death compensation.
There is no change in the conditions for retired personnel of Defence Services (excluding civilian defence employees) who shall be eligible to open an account under this scheme upon attaining the age of fifty years.
Senior Citizen Saving Scheme is a small savings scheme that can be opened in a post office. Here, both principal and interest are guaranteed by the government, and social security is ensured during the silver age. It permits depositing up to ₹30 lakhs and getting access to regular income along with tax benefits. For the quarter beginning October 31, the rate of interest is 8.2 per cent, which is applicable till December 31, 2023, as the rate of interest is revised every quarter. During the current year, the scheme has collected ₹74,675 crore against ₹28,715 crore during the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
The scheme can be opened by an individual who has attained the age of sixty years on the date of opening of the account or who has attained the age of fifty-five years or more but less than sixty years and who has retired on superannuation. Earlier, one was permitted to open the account within one month of receipt of the retirement benefits and proof of date of disbursal of such retirement benefit(s). Now, an account can be opened “within three months from the date of receipt of the retirement benefits and proof of date of disbursal of such retirement benefits along with a certificate from the employer indicating the details of retirement on superannuation or otherwise, retirement benefits or admissible financial assistance to an eligible government employee who died in harness, employment held and period of such employment with the employer, is attached with the application form.”
Another key change is regarding extension after maturity. Earlier, the account holders were permitted to extend the account for a further three years within one year from the date of maturity, and it was available only once. Now, the ‘only once’ term has been removed, and “the account holder may extend the account for a further block period of three years by making an application in Form-4 within one year from the date of maturity or the date of the end of each block period of three years.” Also, the extension of the account shall be deemed to have been made from the date of maturity or the date of the end of each block period of three years, irrespective of the date of application, the notification added.