What is a Senior Citizen Account?
To make a Savings Account more beneficial for the account holders, banks offer various benefits and features with different types of accounts. One such account is a Senior Citizen Savings Account, created specifically for people who qualify as senior citizens.
To utilize this account, you must be classified as a senior citizen. The law considers people to be senior citizens once they’ve attained the age at which post-retirement benefits such as pension and medical benefits become available to them. This is considered to be the age of 60 years. Therefore, you must be either 60 years of age, or above to qualify for a senior citizen’s savings account. In case of a joint Senior Citizens Savings Account, the first applicant must be a senior citizen.
Now the next step: how to open a Senior Citizen Savings Account. The bank simply requires that you provide your identity proof and your address proof along with a few of your latest passport size photographs. This can be done at the nearest branch of the bank of your choice. Usually, bank executives are on hand to provide you with any assistance you may need through this process.
Most banks will require that you need a minimum balance to start the Account, and then maintain an average monthly balance. But this is usually a very low amount.
Features and benefits
There are several benefits that come with a Senior Citizen Savings Account:
- Free Insurance Cover
In case you get hospitalised, the banks will provide a reimbursement cover up to a certain amount (say INR 50,000) for your expenses, with a daily cash allowance for the first 15 days spent at the hospital. Further, you get insurance cover for death by either rail, road or air travel, and insurance for baggage loss in case of fire or burglary, among other things. All that banks require is that you use the Debit card they provide with the account.
- Banking benefits and Debit Card
As the first applicant, you will be provided with the Debit Card to access the account with daily withdrawal limits of up to INR 50,000 and significantly higher shopping limits. In fact, most banks provide first time applicants, especially women, with more benefits. These factors vary from bank to bank, of course.
- Shopping benefits
As mentioned earlier, you get considerably high daily shopping limits with a Senior Citizens Savings Account. This comes bundled with various shopping benefits, such as tie-ups with prominent merchants and franchises. Consequently, you get discounts every time you use your debit card to shop with these retail brands. This includes groceries, fuel, online shopping, online payment apps, pharmacies, as well as transportation.
- Cross-Product Benefits
Banks always offer cross-product benefits to account holders. As an example, consider this: if you already have a Senior Citizens Savings Account with a bank, then they will offer you preferential rates on fixed deposits, or waive the annual maintenance charge for the first year of your Demat account.
- Easy Transactions
Banks are committed to making life easy for their customers, particularly for senior citizens. Free passbook, free travellers’ cheques, payable-at-par cheque-books, online bill payment services, net-banking, email statements and SMS alerts are some of these facilities. In fact, some banks go the extra mile and offer a doorstep banking facility with free cash/instrument pick-up and cash delivery for senior citizens.
- Digital and Payment Solutions
Banks offer digital and payment solutions such as online shopping, transfer of money, SmartBuy, bill payments, Data/Mobile/DTH Card Recharge, etc. They act as a stop shop for all your needs like electronic items, flight tickets, credit cards, etc. You, as a customer can make over 200 transactions from the utmost comfort of your home/office. You can also opt to make transactions from your smartphone, send/receive money 24X7.
These are some of the benefits and features you can get with your Senior Citizen Account, that make life easier to manage, even after retirement. Most banks offer these facilities, with only a few differences here and there.
To read more about the benefits of the other Savings Account available, click here.
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* The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.