Best Pension Schemes for Senior Citizens: Old age is inevitable. It brings many new changes and the most important one is ‘Retirement’. After retirement, your income may be zero or less. Taking care of medical and other necessary expenses during such times can be challenging. This would be the time where investing in a pension plan from an early age can act as a savior.
The Government of India has launched several special pension schemes to provide financial stability and security to senior citizens after retirement. Let us look at some of the best pension plans for senior citizens.
APY – ATAL PENSION YOJANA
There are many pension schemes in India, many of them do not benefit low-income groups, especially workers in the unorganized sector. But Atal Pension Yojana is totally different. It is a government sponsored pension scheme that encourages workers and laborers to voluntarily save for their retirement by making a small contribution every month.
Benefits of Atal Pension Yojana
- APY is a social security scheme that helps unorganized sector workers to secure their future by contributing a small amount during their working years.
- For every contribution made by the subscribers, the Central Government will pay an additional 50% of the total contribution or Rs.1000 per annum, whichever is less. Contributions are made for five years to the accounts of all APY subscribers.
- In the event of death of the subscriber, the nominee of the scheme is eligible to claim the amount accumulated in the account or the pension amount.
- Subscribers get monthly pension between Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 on investing in APY. This amount depends on the contribution made by the subscriber.
NPS – NATIONAL PENSION SYSTEM
NPS is the most popular of all the pension schemes offered by the government for senior citizens. It is a voluntary-contribution based pension scheme which offers a number of benefits to the subscribers. NPS was launched in 2004 and was initially available only to government employees. In 2009, it was expanded to all regions.
Benefits of National Pension System
- The most important advantage of investing in NPS is that it provides inflation-adjusted returns to the subscribers. A part of the contribution made to the NPS account is invested in various market linked instruments including equity. This means that subscribers can earn higher returns than traditional fixed-income investment options like bank fixed deposits and APY.
- NPS requires subscribers to compulsorily invest in the scheme till the age of 60 years. Partial withdrawals are permitted for up to three years from the date of account opening, but only for specific purposes such as buying a house, child’s education, or paying medical bills. The maximum withdrawal amount allowed is 25% of the total contribution.
- To get monthly pension after retirement, NPS members contribute to their account till they reach the age of 60 years or retire from their employment. After attaining the age of retirement, the subscriber can withdraw a maximum of 60% of the deposit either in lump sum or in a phased manner. The remaining 40% of the amount should be used to buy an annuity. The lump sum amount withdrawn is free from tax.
PMVVY – PRADHAN MANTRI VAYA VANDANA YOJANA
This government-backed pension scheme for senior citizens provides financial independence and social security to individuals by offering them a return on investment after retirement. This plan is offered only by the largest insurance provider in India; LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) and it provides assured returns for ten years.
Benefits of Pradhan Mantri Vay Vandana Yojana
- The PMVVY scheme offers the beneficiaries an assured return of 8% per annum on their deposits.
- The return or pension is paid for ten years, and the beneficiary can choose the period of the payment.
- Individuals can invest a minimum of Rs 100 and a maximum of Rs 15 lakh in the PMVVY pension scheme.
- In case of death of the individual before the end of the plan, the principal amount is credited to the account of the nominee.
- Individuals investing in PMVVY can make a premature exit from the scheme only in case of critical illness. However, a penalty of 2% will be levied in such cases.
VPBY – VARISHTHA PENSION BIMA YOJANA
Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana is a government pension scheme for senior citizens that offers guaranteed returns and income security. This plan provides annuity payment to the old age in the form of immediate annuity plan. VPBY, also known as LIC VPBY, is implemented through LIC and the individual has to pay the premium of his choice at the inception of the policy. Once the premium is paid, they are entitled to get regular pension.
Benefits of Senior Pension Insurance Scheme
- All payments under VPBY policy are made through ECS or NEFT.
- It offers an assured pension with guaranteed returns at 8% interest rate per annum, which is higher than many other senior citizen pension schemes.
- The plan provides individuals a free-look period of 15 days from the date of receipt of the policy document. This means that if the member wishes to discontinue the policy, they can do so without any charges.
- The premium paid under this policy is eligible for tax benefits under section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act.
- Individuals can apply for a loan against their VPBY policy after three years of purchasing the policy. Individuals can avail up to 75% of the policy amount as loan.
IGNOAPS – INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OLD AGE PENSION SCHEME
Pension scheme for senior citizens offered by the Government of India plays an important role in securing the financial future of the elderly. IGNOAPS is one such pension scheme in India. It was introduced by the Ministry of Rural Development in 2007 and is popularly known as NSAP (National Social Assistance Programme). The primary objective of the scheme is to provide social security by giving pension to its beneficiaries including senior citizens, widows and disabled.
- Benefits of Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
- This pension scheme for senior citizens provides them with a monthly pension to help them take care of their old age expenses.
- It is a non-contributory government pension scheme, which means that the beneficiary need not contribute any amount to get the pension.
- Beneficiaries in the age group of 60-79 years are entitled to get a monthly pension of Rs 200, and beneficiaries above the age of 80 years get a pension of Rs 500.
- The pension amount is deposited directly into the bank account or post office account of the beneficiary.
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