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Life and expenses are unpredictable. So, every individual must keep a share of his/her earnings for future needs like education, the marriage of children, source of income post-retirement, and emergencies.

The government of India runs multiple Govt saving schemes in India to cultivate a healthy habit of regular savings among every section of society. So, you can invest to meet your financial goals in the coming years after comparing the benefits and features of each saving scheme.

Below are some most popular saving schemes in India along with details of their respective eligibility criteria, interest rate, flexibility, and other features-

National Saving Certificate (NSC)

National Saving Certificate is one of the most popular government-backed saving schemes in India, which offer dual benefits of fixed income investment and tax-saving options. Being a low-risk investment, it works best for small and mid-income investors.

Key features of National saving certificate (NSC)

  • Available in Post Offices for Indian nationalities only; HUFs and NRIs are not eligible for this scheme.
  • NSC can be purchased by individuals singly, jointly or even for minors.
  • Lock-in period is five years.
  • The interest rate of NSC is revised once after every quarter and compounded annually.
  • The interest rate on NSC from 1st April 2020 is reduced to 6.8%
  • No maximum limit on the purchase of NSC.
  • Accounts can be transferred from one post office to another freely.
  • Account-holders can nominate any family member including a minor.
  • Premature withdrawal is not applicable in NSC except under certain conditions like the sudden demise of the account holder or on the court order.

Benefits of National saving certificate (NSC)

  • Guaranteed returns on maturity.
  • Fixed interest rate.
  • Low risk and secured saving scheme in India.
  • Can start with a small investment as low as Rs.100.
  • Tax benefits on investments up to 1.5 Lakhs under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. 
  • NSC certificates are acceptable in banks and NBFCs as collateral for loans.

Public Provident Fund (PPF)

In 1968, the Public Provident Fund was introduced by the National Saving Organization for better returns along with tax benefits. Being a safe and secured Govt saving scheme in India, everyone prefers to invest in PPF so that they can enjoy a large corpus of their savings at the time when they will require it the most.

Key features of PPF account

  • Available in Post offices and banks.
  • Interest rate on investment in PPF accounts is revised once after every quarter and compounded annually.
  • Interest rate on PPF from 1st April 2020 is 7.1%
  • Long-term investment with a lock-in period of 15 years.
  • Minimum principal amount invested in PPF annually: Rs. 500.
  • Maximum principal amount invested in PPF annually: Rs. 1.5 lakhs.
  • Withdrawal of funds is possible under certain clauses.
  • The principal amount can be paid through a maximum of twelve deposits in one year.
  • PPF accounts can be transferred from one post office or bank to another freely.

Benefits of PPF account:

  • As compared to a regular saving account, the interest rate is comparatively higher.
  • Loan against PPF account applies from 3rd financial year to 6th financial year.
  • After maturity, the account holder can retain the same account without any further deposits with the prevailing interest rate.
  • Lock-in period can be further extended by 5 years with or without further deposits.
  • Tax benefits on the invested amount, interest and received amount on maturity under section 80C of the Income Tax Act,1961. 

Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)

Indian postal department launched Kisan Vikas Patra as one of the best Govt saving schemes in India in 1988. Since its introduction, it has earned immense popularity among masses for its low-risk and doubled assured returns. In fact, in 2011, the government discontinued this saving scheme because of its misuse; however, it was relaunched in 2014 because of its high demand.

Key features of Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP):

  • Initially, KVP targets Indian farmers only as per its name; however, now every Indian above 18 years can invest in KVP.
  • Low-risk saving scheme.
  • Available at all post offices and some selected banks.
  • Account holders can choose any family member as a nominee.
  • Minimum deposit starts with Rs. 1000 (in the multiples of 100).
  • No maximum investment limit is applicable in KVP.
  • Three types of KVP certificates are available including-

Single holder type Certificate (issued to an adult individual or on behalf of a minor).

Joint A Type Certificate (issued to two adults and payable to both).

Joint B Type Certificate (issued to two adults; however payable to only one of them).

  • Tenure of scheme is 124 months if certificates are purchased between 1st April 2020 and June 30, 2020.
  •  Interest rate on KVP from 1st April 2020 is 6.9%

Benefits of Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP):

  • Encashment of KVP certificate is allowed after the lock-in period of two and a half years.
  • Guaranteed returns.
  • After completion of tenure, withdrawal is exempted from TDS deduction.
  • Fixed-rate of interest.
  • A loan is applicable against KPV certificate.

National Pension System (NPS)

The National Pension System was launched in 2004 as a government-sponsored pension scheme. It is one of the most favourable saving schemes in India for any working individual to have a regular income after retirement.

Key features of the National Pension System:

  • Every Indian having age between 18 - 65 years are eligible to invest in NPS.
  • Transparent and low-cost investment saving scheme.
  • A unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) is issued to each subscriber for accessing respective account throughout the tenure.
  • Minimum investment can start with Rs. 1000.
  • No maximum investment limit is available.
  • Interest rate varies according to returns of pension funds.
  • Scheme gets matured at the age of 60.

Benefits of National Pension System:

  • Flexibility to select or switch investment options and provident fund.
  • A subscriber can operate the NPS account from any place.
  • 40% of the maturity amount is exempted from tax.
  • A tax deduction is applicable to the principal amount up to 2 lakhs.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna

In 2014, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna came into existence as another important saving scheme in India. It aims to provide financial services and products like saving bank accounts, pension, and remittance to every individual of India.

Key features of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna

  • Every Indian citizen above 10 years can open a bank account under this scheme with a minimum number of documents.
  • No minimum deposit is required to open an account.
  • Maximum four withdrawals of up to Rs.10,000 are possible.
  • Maximum deposit amount is Rs. 1 lakh.

Benefits of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna:

  • No minimum balance is required. 
  • A repay debit card is provided to the account holder for withdrawal from all ATMs in India.
  • Eligibility for life insurance covers of Rs. 30,000 after meeting certain requirements.
  • Eligibility to avail loan services up to Rs. 5000 after six months of opening account.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)

As the name indicates, SSY is a saving scheme for Indian daughters as a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign – Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. It was launched in 2015 to ensure financial independence of daughters in the country.

Features of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana:

  • Minimum annual investment for SSY is Rs. 250. 
  • Maximum annual investment for SSY is Rs. 1.5 lakh.
  • A parent or legal guardian of a girl child (10 years old or younger) can open an SSY account. 
  • Two separate accounts can be opened for two girl children.
  • Tenure for the scheme is 21 years from the date of opening of an SSY account.

Benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana:

  • Interest rate on SSY from 1st April 2020 is 7.6% compounded annually (higher interest rate).
  • Withdrawal of 50% of the accumulated amount is applicable when a girl child reaches 18 years of age. 
  • Tax deduction benefits under Section 80C of Income Tax Act, 1961 (on the amount up to 1.5 lakhs annually).
  • Guaranteed returns.
  • Flexible investment option.

Also Check: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Versus LIC Kanyadan Policy

Quick Check

Saving schemes

Interest rate (From April 01, 2020)

Tax Deduction on Principal?

Tenure

National saving certificate (NSC)

6.8 %

Yes

Lock-in period of 5 years

Public Provident Fund (PPF)

7.1%

Yes

Lock-in period of 15 years

Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)

6.9%

No

Maturity in 124 months

National Pension System (NPS)

Market linked

Yes

Maturity at age of 60 of account holder

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)

7.6%

Yes

Maturity after 21 years

Now that you know about some popular saving schemes in India, compare them and invest in the right scheme now. To explore more about them including its documentation and application process, contact customer support of PolicyX.com. We will assist you in every way possible. 

Naval Goel is the founder of PolicyX.com. He is an Associate Member of the Indian Institute of Insurance`, Pune. He has been authorized by IRDA to act as a Principal Officer of PolicyX.com Insurance Web Aggregator.
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