Post offices across the country offer nine saving schemes which offer interest rates between 4 per cent and 8.3 per cent. The nine post office saving schemes are as follows: savings accounts, recurring deposit accounts, fixed deposit or time deposit accounts, monthly income scheme account, senior citizen savings scheme, public provident fund accounts, national savings certificates (NSC), kisan vikas patra (KVP), and sukanya samriddhi accounts. These schemes are listed on India Post’s website, indiapost.gov.in. If you are planning to invest in any of these saving schemes, you should know about their features and interest rates.
Given below are post office saving schemes in detail:
Post office savings accounts
For opening this account, you require a minimum amount of Rs. 20. The account can be opened in one post office and can be transferred from one to another. At least one transaction of deposit or withdrawal in three financial years is necessary to keep the account active. The savings account of post offices also offers an ATM facility.
Interest rate on post office savings accounts
This account offers 4 per cent interest rate per annum on individual / joint accounts.
Post office recurring deposit account
A recurring deposit account with post offices requires a minimum of Rs. 10 per month or any amount in multiples of Rs. 5. There is no maximum limit on the amount of investment in this account. Subsequent deposit can be made up to 15th day of next month if account is opened up to 15thof a calendar month and up to last working day of next month if account is opened between 16th day and last working day of a calendar month. There is rebate on advance deposit of at least six instalments. One withdrawal up to 50 per cent of the balance allowed after one year. It may be repaid in one lump sum along with interest at the prescribed rate at any time during the currency of the account.
Interest rates on post office recurring deposit accounts
Post office recurring deposit accounts offer an interest rate of 6.9 per cent per annum (quarterly compounded). So, on maturity Rs. 10 in account fetches Rs. 717.43. It can be continued for another five years on year-to-year basis.
Post office fixed deposit or time deposit account
You require a minimum of Rs. 200 and in multiple thereof. There is no maximum limit on the investment. Any number of fixed deposit accounts can be opened in any post office. The investment under five years fixed deposit qualifies for the benefit of Section 80C of the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961 from 1.4.2007.
Interest rates on post office fixed deposit
Post office fixed deposits offer interest rates of 6.6 per cent, 6.7 per cent, 6.9 per cent and 7.4 per cent for tenures of one year, two year, three year, and five year accounts.
Post Office Monthly Income Scheme Account (MIS)
This account requires an investment in multiples of Rs. 1,500. The maximum investment limit is Rs. 4.5 lakh in single account and Rs. 9 lakh in joint account. An individual can invest maximum Rs. 4.5 lakh in MIS (including his share in joint accounts). MIS account can be transferred from one post office to another.
Interest rates on post office Monthly Income Scheme Account
This account offers 7.3 per cent per annum interest rate which is payable monthly. The amount can be prematurely en-cashed after one year but before three years at a discount of 2 per cent of the deposit and after three years at a discount of 1 per cent of the deposit. (Discount means deduction from the deposit.)
A bonus of 5 per cent on principal amount is admissible on maturity in respect of MIS accounts opened on or after 8.12.07 and up to 30.11.2011. No bonus is payable on the deposits made on or after 1.12.2011.
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)
An individual of the age of 60 years or more may open a senior citizen savings scheme. An individual of the age of 55 years or more but less than 60 years who has retired on superannuation or is under voluntary retirement can also open the account subject to the condition that it is opened within one month of receipt of retirement benefits – the amount should not exceed the amount of retirement benefits. There shall be only one deposit in the account in multiple of Rs. 1,000 maximum not exceeding Rs. 15 lakh. The maturity period is five years. Premature closure is allowed after one year on deduction of an amount equal to 1.5 per cent of the deposit and after two years, on deduction of 1 per cent of the deposit. After maturity, the account can be extended for further three years within one year of the maturity by giving application in prescribed format. In such cases, account can be closed at any time after expiry of one year of extension without any deduction.
Interest rates on senior citizen savings scheme (SCSS)
This account offers 8.3 per cent interest rate per annum, payable from the date of deposit of 31st March/30th September/31st December in the first instance and thereafter, interest shall be payable on 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December.
15-year public provident fund (PPF)
This scheme requires a minimum investment of Rs. 500 and a maximum of Rs. 1,50,000 in a financial year. The deposits can be made in lump-sum or in 12 instalments. Maturity period is 15 years but the same can be extended within one year of maturity for further five years and so on. The maturity value can be retained without extension and without further deposits also. Deposits in PPF accounts qualify for deduction from income under Section 80C of IT Act. Interest on PPF is completely tax-free. Withdrawal from PPF accounts is permissible every year from seventh financial year from the year of opening account. Loan facility is available from third financial year.
Interest rate of PPF accounts
PPF accounts offer an interest rate of 7.6 per cent per annum (compounded yearly).
(Also Read: Post Office Saving Schemes: National Pension System (NPS) Income Tax Benefits, Transaction Charges)
National Savings Certificates (NSC)
A single holder type certificate can be purchased by an adult for himself or on behalf of a minor or by a minor. Deposits qualify for tax rebate under Section 80C of IT Act. NSCs require a minimum investment of Rs. 100 and in multiples of Rs. 100. There is no maximum limit on the investment.
Interest rate on NSCs
NSCs offer 7.6 per cent interest rate which is compounded annually but is payable at maturity. An amount of Rs. 100 grows to Rs. 144.23 after five years. The interest accrues annually but is deemed to be reinvested under Section 80C of IT Act.
Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)
KVPs require a minimum investment of Rs. 1000 and in multiples of Rs. 1,000. There is no maximum limit on the investment. KVP certificates can be purchased by an adult for himself or on behalf of a minor or by two adults. KVPs can be purchased from any departmental post office. A nomination facility is available. KVP certificates can be transferred from one person to another and from one post office to another. Certificates can be encashed after two-and-a-half years from the date of issue.
Interest rate on KVPs
KVPs offer 7.3 per cent as interest rate which is compounded annually. The amount invested doubles in 118 months (9 years and 10 months).
Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts
A legal guardian/natural guardian can open this account in the name of a girl child. Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts require a minimum deposit of Rs. 1,000/-and a maximum of Rs. 1,50,000 in a financial year. Subsequent deposits can be made in multiples of Rs. 100. Deposits can be made in lump-sum. There is no limit on the number of deposits either in a month or in a financial year. Partial withdrawal, maximum up to 50 per cent of balance standing at the end of the preceding financial year, can be taken after account holder’s attaining age of 18 years. The account can be closed after completion of 21 years.
Interest rate on Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts
Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts offer interest rate of 8.1 per cent per annum (with effect from 1.01.-2018), which is calculated on a yearly basis and is compounded yearly.