Our Prime Minister had announced a new Pension Scheme for Senior Citizens offering 8% returns for 10 years in December 2016. The proposal was also stated in Budget 2017. This has finally been launched on May 4, 2017 with the name of Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana 2017-18 (PMVVY).
In this post we review PMVVY and check if senior citizens should invest into it?
- Minimum age for investment is 60 years
- There is no Maximum age for entry
- It gives return of 8% compounded monthly. So its equivalent of 8.30% annually.
- You can choose to receive pension monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annually
- The pension payment shall be through ECS/NEFT only
- On death of the policy holder, the premium is returned back to the nominee
- The plan is available for only 1 year i.e. from May 4, 2017 to May 3, 2018
- The premium is exempted from service tax
Purchase Price and Pension:
The table below gives the minimum/maximum purchase price and the respective pension that one would receive for 10 years. You can buy anything in between (including both amounts).
The maximum limit above is for one family. Family here means spouse and the dependents.
Also Read: Best Tax Saving Investments u/s 80C
The policy can be surrendered under exceptional circumstances like money required for the treatment of any critical/terminal illness of self or spouse . The Surrender Value payable shall be 98% of Purchase Price.
Loan facility is available after completion of 3 policy years. The maximum loan that can be granted shall be 75% of the Purchase Price. The rate of interest to be charged for loan amount would be determined from time to time by LIC. Loan interest will be recovered from pension amount payable under the policy.
Also Read: 13 Investments to Generate Regular Income
- This is a simple product with a guaranteed return.
- The scheme is guaranteed by Government of India and is managed by LIC. So it has safety of highest level.
- As the economy develops the interest rates come down. Hence it’s a good product to lock 8% interest rates for 10 years. However banks too offer fixed deposit tenure for 10 years.
- The policy can also be surrendered before maturity for treatment of illness.
- 75% Loan against policy can be a good thing for emergency liquidity needs.
- The pension you receive is taxable. This would be added to your income and taxed at your marginal tax rate, similar to fixed deposits.
- The amount is locked-in for 10 years, so the money may not be available if required urgently (other than in case of illness)
- The pension is not adjusted to inflation. Assuming inflation at 7%, the purchasing power of Rs 5,000 would reduce to Rs 2,500 in 10 Years.
Also Read: 25 Tax Free Incomes & Investments in India
How to Buy?
You can check the details with you LIC agent or LIC office.
Alternate Approach: Investments offering more than 8% for Senior Citizens
There are few investments which still offer more than 8% returns for senior citizens. You must look into the same before committing your funds to Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana.
1. Ratnakar Bank offers 8.0% for senior citizens for 3 to 20 years deposit.
The added advantage is you can withdraw the amount anytime without any penalty. RBL does not levy penalty on pre-mature withdrawal of fixed deposit for senior citizens.
Deutsche Bank offers 8.25% for 5 year fixed deposit.
2. NCDs/Bonds listed on Stock exchange. Some examples:
- M&M Financial Services (AAA rated) has yield of 8.64% and residual maturity of 9.11 years
- Edelweiss Housing Finance Ltd (AA+ rated) has yield of 9.71% and residual maturity of 9.49 years
- Reliance Home Finance Ltd (AA rated) has yield of 9.51% and residual maturity of 14.69 years
The problem is the liquidity for these bonds are low and hence it’s difficult to buy/sell. However you can buy easily when they are issued.
Also Read: Latest NCD open for subscription
3. Tax Free Bonds listed on Stock Exchanges
PFC, HUDCO, NABARD, IRFC etc had issued tax free bonds in the past and are available on exchanges with yields in the range of 6.44%. The bonds have residual maturity of 10 to 15 years. As the interest received is tax free, these turn out to be better investments for senior citizens in highest tax bracket. The interest payout is annual. Also all the companies are backed by Government of India and also AAA rated – hence safe for investment.
4. Senior Citizens Saving Scheme
Senior Citizens Saving Scheme offers 8.4% interest which is payable quarterly. This too is backed by Government of India and so is safe. The problem is you can lock-in your amount only for 5 years.
Also Read: All about Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme
5. DHFL Aashray Deposit Plus
DHFL is housing finance company and is rated AAA. It offers 8.25% to senior citizens for fixed deposit up to 10 years. You can choose to get interest monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly.
6. Debt Mutual Funds
Regular income can be generated by investing and then using SWP (Systematic Withdrawal Plan) to generate regular income. This is usually more tax efficient than fixed deposits. Also the returns are closer to bank fixed deposits.
Should you invest in PMVVY:
I think Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) is a good and simple product especially for aged people looking for regular income after retirement. But there are other investments as listed above which offer more returns. You must evaluate those before locking your money in the pension plan.