Indian Senior citizens are eligible to access a range of benefits, availing ease and convenience to their life and financial burden. Below given is a list of financial benefits offered to senior citizens in India:
Senior citizens receive several relaxations in Tax laws. No tax is applied on income of up to Rs 3 lakh. No tax is applied on income of up to Rs 5 lakh (For super senior citizens, over 80 year of age), is non-taxable. Under Section 80D of Income Tax Act 196, health insurance premium of up to Rs 30,000 gets tax deduction. Under Section 80DDB, tax deduction of up to Rs 60,000 is offered to senior citizens suffering from a critical illness, and Rs 80,000 for super seniors respectively.
Higher interest on investments can be availed by senior citizens. With 8.4% per annum, the Senior Citizen’s Saving Scheme is available to all seniors over the age of 60. Whereas 0.5% higher interest rate is offered on fixed deposits.
A host of discount offers is available for senior citizens. Where Air-India offers 50% discount on economy fare for domestic travel for Senior citizens over 60 in age; Railways provide 40% and 50% discount to Men over 60 and women over the age of 58 respectively. The discount is available on fares of all classes of Mail/Express/Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi/ Duranto trains. Travel discounts are also available bus fares.
The Indian Government has devised several senior citizen welfare schemes. Some of which are, National Insurance Plans, such as ‘Varishta Mediclaim Policy’, for seniors aged 60-80 offering insurance amount of maximum Rs 2 lakh for critical illness and Rs 1 lakh for hospitalization. Another plan is, LIC’s Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 that provides an assured pension to senior citizens based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% for 10 years. A maximum of Rs 7.5 lakh can be invested in this scheme and one can get pension on monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annual basis.
Telephone bills are subsidized for Senior Citizens. Senior citizen customers of BSNL, who are over 65 are eligible for registration of telephone on priority. Registration charges are also waived for them. MTNL Senior citizen customers over 65 are eligible for 25% concession on installation charges and monthly service charges for landlines connections.