Like most countries, India too has various benefits that can be availed by senior and super senior residents to ease their financial burdens during the retirement.
Here are some of the useful benefits that can help senior citizens save on their monthly budgets:
- Air travel: Permanent Indian residents who have attained 60 years of age on or before the date of the journey can attain 50 percent discount on base fares in economy class for travel within India.
- Railway: Women over 58 years old can attain 50 percent discount and men over 60 years of age can attain 40 percent discount on fares of all classes of Mail/Express/Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi/Duronto trains.
- Bus: Some state governments provide concession on travel fare or reserved seats in state-owned buses.
- Passport: Police verification which is usually conducted before issuing a passport can be postponed to after issuance in case of senior citizens. The condition for the facility is that they have to submit a copy of their child staying abroad (over 18 years of age) with a page of their name on it with the application form.
- Some passport kendras also allow "walk-in" facility to senior citizens, which means they do not need to make an appointment in advance.
Residents over 60 years of age are given senior citizen interest rates on their deposits. The interest is 0.5 to 1 percent over the normal rates. The 5-year senior citizen savings scheme also allows the account holder to gain 8.3 percent per annum interest on their deposits. However, the interest received is taxable on Fds as well SCSS.
Banks also offer special savings accounts for senior citizens and separate queues for them.
Varishta Mediclaim Policy by National Insurance offers senior citizens between 60 to 80 years a maximum assured sum of Rs 1 lakh on hospitalization and Rs 2 lakh for critical illness.
The Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 by LIC provides an assured pension (maximum Rs 5,000 per month) with 8 percent guaranteed return for 10 years. A maximum of Rs 7,50,000 can be invested in the scheme to avail pension on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis.
- To ease the financial burden, total income (for the year) up to Rs 3 lakh for senior citizens and Rs 5 lakh for super senior citizens (over 80 years old) is not taxable.
- Up to Rs 30,000 can be exempted from tax deduction on contribution towards health insurance premium under section 80D of Income Tax Act 1961.
- For expenses towards the treatment of certain illnesses up to Rs 60,000 can be exempt from tax under section 80DDB. The limit for super senior citizens can be increased to Rs 80,000.
- Special registration and clinical examination facilities are available for senior citizens in certain hospitals.
- Senior citizens over 60 years can write to the court to seek a preferential hearing of their cases.