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Saving Schemes

Savings schemes are financial instruments where you can get higher returns than a normal savings account by investing small amounts for a fixed interval. Savings schemes in India are generally offered by the government, banks or other financial institutions and have low risk with stable returns.

What are Saving Schemes?

Saving schemes are financial components that are designed to encourage people to save money by making small contributions at regular intervals. You can choose any of the available schemes based on your requirements. These schemes can help you to fulfil your long-term financial needs or you can use the balance for expenses like marriage, education, medical emergencies etc. 
 

Investing in savings schemes with proper discipline can help you to generate a good ROI (Return on Investment) with low risk, as they are backed by the government. Some of the best savings schemes include the Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS), Recurring Deposits (RD), Public Provident Fund (PPF), etc. Keep reading this article to know more about them.
 

As discussed before, savings schemes are financial instruments where you can get higher returns than a normal savings account by investing small amounts for a fixed interval. Savings schemes in India are generally offered by the government, banks or other financial institutions and have low risk with stable returns. 
 

In the past, people usually preferred to keep their money to themselves. But this is not a smart decision as their way of saving cannot beat the inflation rate. 
 

With different saving plans available for all, Indian citizens have the option to increase their wealth with a higher interest rate than inflation. By investing in these schemes, you can save money for your child’s education, marriage and even for your retirement.
 

The interest rates can vary between 6.5% and 8.5% based on different schemes, age group, location, and other factors.

Types of Saving Schemes in India

Tax Saving Fixed Deposits

1. Tax Saving Fixed Deposits
 

Tax-saving FD is a type of fixed deposit that allows you to claim tax deductions under the Income Tax Act, of 1961#. You can claim up to Rs. 1.5 lakh deduction per annum by investing in this scheme. You can choose this fund if you want to get returns from your investment along with tax benefits.
 

Check out the Features:

These are the features of Tax Saving Fixed Deposit saving schemes -
 

1. The first account holder can use the amount of investment in this scheme to claim tax deductions. Under the 80C of the Income Tax Act#, you can claim up to 1.5 lakh deduction every year.

2. This saving scheme has zero risk and offers a fixed rate of interest. Additionally, it offers better interest rates if you are a senior citizen.

3. The maximum investment amount is Rs. 1.5 lakh in every fiscal year. On the other hand, the minimum investment amount is Rs. 100.

4. It has a 5-year lock-in period. At this time, you cannot avail of some facilities such as premature withdrawal, loans or overdraft facilities.

2. Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)
 

Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) is a financial instrument that is a combination of both investment and life insurance. You can get both insurance coverage and investment benefits by investing in this scheme.

Check out the Features:
 

Some key features to consider for this best saving schemes are -

  • Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) offers life insurance coverage for the policyholder. If the policyholder dies, the nominee will receive the sum assured amount as per policy terms.
  • It allows you to invest your amount in various asset classes such as debt, equity, etc. Throughout the investment period, you have the flexibility to choose your fund preferences.
  • The risk of ULIP depends on the asset class and the returns can vary based on the market fluctuations.
  • There is a lock-in period of 5 years. You have to pay the exit fee if you want to withdraw your investment during this period.
  • It has various charges such as fund management charges, premium allocation charges, mortality charges, administration charges, etc.
  • By investing in ULIP, you can get tax benefits under 80C, 80CCC, 80D, and Section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act.
Equity Linked Savings Scheme

3. Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)
 

Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) is a type of investment plan in India that allows investors to invest in Indian equity along with tax benefits. It primarily invests in equity or equity-linked financial components which allows you to get high returns.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Here are the features of this saving scheme in India -
 

1. Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) invests the major portion of your investment amount into market-linked instruments such as equity or equity-related components. As per SEBI regulations, 65% of your investment is invested in equities.

2. Under the 80C section of the Income Tax Act#, you can claim up to Rs. 1.5 lakh tax deduction.
 

3. You have the flexibility to choose between a lump sum or SIP as per your choices and financial condition.

4. It has a 3-year lock-in period and during this, no premature withdrawal is allowed. Once your investment matures you can re-invest your funds after maturity.
 

5. After maturity, you have to pay the long-term capital gains tax which is 10% of the gain. However, if the income on your investment is less than Rs. 1 lakh, you don’t have to pay this tax.
 

6. By investing in an ELSS scheme, you can get tax benefits. It provides better returns as compared to other saving schemes like PPF, NPS, RD, Endowment Policy, etc.

4. National Saving Certificate (NSC)
 

The National Savings Certificate (NSC) is one of the best savings schemes that is backed by the Indian Government. This scheme is a good investment option for low and middle-income investors and you can open one easily from your nearest post office.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Here are its benefits and features -

  • National Savings Certificate (NSC) is a low-risk investment option as it is a government-backed investment scheme.
  • An individual can claim tax deductions of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh in a financial year under the 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961 by investing in this scheme.
  • The minimum investment amount is only Rs. 1,000 or you can invest a multiple of 100, allowing you to start with a minimum amount.
  • The interest rate changes every quarter and gives your investment compounded returns annually. But it is payable only at the time of maturity.
  • NSC has a maturity period of 5 years and you can use loan collaterals to get secured loans.
Senior Citizen saving Scheme

5. Senior Citizen saving Scheme (SCSS)
 

Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) is an ideal investment option in India for senior citizens (Age>=60). It offers a fixed interest rate and you can invest in this scheme by contacting your nearest banks or post offices.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Below are the features of this savings scheme -
 

1. Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS) offers a fixed interest rate which changes every quarter. For Q1 FY 2024-25, the rate is 8.2% per annum.
 

2. The minimum investment amount is Rs. 1000 and the maximum amount is Rs. 30 lakh. (multiples of 1000).
 

3. This savings scheme has a tenure of 5 years and further extension is possible in multiple blocks of 3 years.
 

4. A tax deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh is allowed under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act# if you invest in this scheme.
 

5. You will get interest payouts quarterly on your investment amount. Therefore, you will see the reflection on the first date of April, July, October and January.
 

6. This savings scheme has low risk and is beneficial for senior citizens. If your age does not match the eligibility criteria, you cannot open this account.

6. Recurring Deposits (RD)
 

Recurring Deposits (RD) is another best savings scheme which is usually offered by post offices and banks. It allows you to earn interest on your investment by investing a fixed amount every month.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Read the following features and benefits of RD -

  • Recurring Deposits (RD) allows you to start your monthly deposit with as low as Rs. 10.
  • The minimum investment tenure is 6 months and the maximum tenure is 10 years.
  • The interest rate of recurring deposits usually varies between 6% and 9% (depending on the bank).
  • The interest is credited quarterly to your RD account with your principal amount and you will get compounded returns.
  • You cannot make a premature or partial withdrawal in this savings scheme. You have to close your RD account before maturity to get back your amount. However, a penalty amount will be deducted if you close it before maturity.
  • If you fall under the Senior Citizen category (Age>=60 years) you will get a higher interest on your investment amount.
  • If your age is 60 or above, you can get tax benefits by investing in a recurring deposit.
  • By filling out the 15G/15H form, you can request the bank or post office not to deduct TDS from your interest.
Post Office Monthly Income Scheme

7. Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS)
 

Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS) is a small savings scheme backed by the Indian Government. It offers risk-free returns to investors and you will receive the interest every month in your savings account.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Here are the benefits to consider for this best savings scheme -
 

1. Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS) is a low-risk investment option that offers a fixed interest rate on your investment. Currently, the interest rate is 7.4% per annum.
 

2. The maturity period is 60 months (5 years) from the date of your account opening. At this time, you cannot withdraw your funds as your investment is under the lock-in period.
 

3. The minimum investment amount is Rs. 1,000 and the maximum investment amount is Rs. 3 lakh (for a minor account), Rs. 9 lakh (for a single account) and Rs. 15 lakh (for a joint account).
 

4. Your investment in POMIS is transferable in case you change your residential address to a different city. Therefore, your investment amount and interest will be transferred to a new post office.

8. Public Provident Fund (PPF)
 

The Public Provident Fund (PPF) is one of the most popular long-term investment cum savings options which helps to secure your future. This saving scheme is an ideal option for investors who want to get high but stable returns.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Here are its features and importance -

  • Public Provident Fund (PPF) has an interest rate of 7.1% per annum and offers risk-free guaranteed1 returns.
  • The minimum deposit amount is Rs. 500 and the maximum deposit amount is Rs. 1.5 lakh in every fiscal year.
  • By investing in this saving scheme, you can claim up to Rs. 1.5 lakh as a tax deduction under the 80C section of the Income Tax Act#.
  • The scheme has a lock-in period of 15 years when you cannot withdraw the whole amount. Once the lock-in ends, you can extend it by 5 years.
  • A loan facility is available between 3 years and 6 years from the date of opening. Before or after this duration, you cannot avail loan using your PPF account.
  • In certain conditions, a partial withdrawal is allowed from 7th year onwards.
Employees Provident Fund

9. Employees Provident Fund (EPF)
 

Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement savings scheme that is available to every salaried employee in India. This best savings scheme was introduced by the Employees Provident Fund (EPFO) which is a part of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Take a look at the list of features stated below -

1. In the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), both the employee and the employer contribute 12% of the basic salary and DA.

2. Currently, the rate of interest is 8.15% per annum and there are some additional benefits such as insurance, pension, and lumpsum return on retirement.
 

3. An individual can claim tax deduction under section 80C of the Income Tax Act (up to 1.5 lakh per annum) by investing in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

4. Every month, your EPF is deducted from your salary. Therefore, a one-time payment or manual payments are not required.

10. National Pension Scheme (NPS)
 

National Pension Scheme (NPS) is a pension program scheme launched by the Central Government of India. Any employee from the private, public or unorganised sector can invest in this scheme. However, an employee from the armed forces sector can not invest in this savings scheme.
 

Check out the Features:
 

Here are the features of this popular savings scheme in India -

  • The National Pension Scheme (NPS) is available to all citizens in India. But earlier, it was only available for employees under the Central Government.
  • This scheme cannot offer guaranteed1 returns as it is a market-linked investment scheme. But, it offers much higher returns compared to PPF.
  • Traditionally, this saving scheme offers an annual return between 9% and 12% based on the market situation. You can use a saving calculator to know the actual returns.
  • A certain portion of your investment amount goes under equity investment (50% - 75% of your invested amount).
  • You can get tax benefits under Section 80C and 80CCD under the Income Tax Act of 1961# by investing in this.
  • Every investor gets a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) from NPS. It ensures seamless portability across jobs and locations.
  • NPS is one of the lowest-cost pension schemes in the world which helps to build retirement corpus along with the tax benefits.

List of Savings Schemes in India

Sr No

Saving Schemes

Interest Rate offered

1

Tax Saving Fixed Deposits

6.50% - 7.75%a

2

Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)

13.80% - 27.50%b

3

Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)

10% - 12%c

4

National Saving Certificate (NSC)

7.70% pad

5

Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS)

8.20%e

6

Recurring Deposits (RD)

2.50% - 8.50%a

7

Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS)

7.40%f

8

Public Provident Fund (PPF)

7.10%g

9

Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

8.25%h

10

National Pension Scheme (NPS)

9% - 12%

HDFC Life Savings Schemes Plans

HDFC Life offers various savings schemes that combine both life insurance and savings-oriented investment options. By investing in these schemes, you can get life insurance, tax-saving benefits, etc. A detailed discussion of the types of savings plan is provided below.

HDFC Life Click 2 Achieve

Guaranteed Returns

Guaranteed Returns

HDFC Click 2 Achieve offers guaranteedreturns. You can choose the pay-out mode based on your preferences. You can either choose regular income, money back options or a lump sum payment option with the assurance of guaranteedreturns.
 

Flexibility

Flexibility

The savings scheme gives you the flexibility to choose among different options such as premium payment terms, policy terms, benefit structures, death benefits, etc.

Regular Income

Regular Income

The plan offers you an option to receive a regular income which also increases by 10% every year.

Survival benefit

Survival benefit

Additionally, you can offset your future premium payments against the survival benefit pay-outs.

Tax Benefits

Tax Benefits

By paying your premiums towards this scheme, you can get a tax deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum under the Section 80C of the Income Tax Act#. Also, you can get tax benefits# under Section 10(10D) on the final amount you receive after maturity.

HDFC Life Sanchay Plus

Guaranteed benefits

Guaranteed benefits

HDFC Life Sanchay Plus plan offers to claim guaranteed benefits in the form of regular income or lump sum payment of the maturity amount.

Long-term income alternative

Long-term income alternative

The savings scheme can be a long-term income alternative where the individual can get a guaranteed1 income option for a fixed term of 25 - 30 years.

Guaranteed income

Guaranteed income

By investing in this savings scheme, you will receive guaranteed1 income until your age becomes 99 years.

Assured returns

Assured returns

This scheme is not linked to the market. Therefore, it has low risk and the guaranteed1 of assured returns. If you are a low-risk investor, you can choose this plan to invest your money.

Tax benefits

Tax benefits

The amount you are investing in this scheme is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Also, you can get tax benefits# under Section 10(10D) on the final amount you receive after maturity.

Comparison of Different Types of Saving Schemes

Even though you have an idea of what are the features and benefits of the best savings schemes in India, read this table below to get a better understanding of their difference. This will help you make an informed decision regarding your investment.

Saving Schemes

Eligibility

Investment Tenure

Investment Amount

Tax Savings

Tax Saving Fixed Deposits

Indian Citizens & NRIs

Min & Max: 5 years

Min: Rs. 100 

Max: Rs. 1,50,000

Only the investment amount is eligible for deduction under Section 80C

Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)

Indian Citizens & NRIs

Min: 5 years

Max: No limit

Min: Rs. 1,500 annum

Max: Rs. 1,50,000 annum

Investment amount is eligible for deduction under Section 80C and maturity amounts can be eligible for exemption under Section 10(10D) subject to conditions 

Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)

Indian Citizens & NRIs

Min: 3 years

Max: No limit

Min: Rs. 500 per annum 

Max: Rs. 1,50,000 annum

Only the investment amount is eligible for deduction under Section 10(10D). Gains on maturity are tax free upto Rs 1 lakh per year.

National Saving Certificate (NSC)

Indian Citizens

Min: 5 years

Min: Rs. 1000

Max: No limit

Only the investment amount is eligible for deduction under Section 80C 

Senior Citizen Saving Scheme (SCSS)

Indian Citizens aged 60 years or above, above 55 years and below 60 years for retired civilians, or above 50 years and below 60 years for retired defence employees

Min & Max: 5 years + 3 years extension

Min: Rs. 1000 

Max: Rs. 30,00,00

 

The investment amount is eligible for deduction under Section 80C . Interest amount is exempt from tax upto Rs 50,000 per year.

Recurring Deposits (RD)

Indian Citizens & NRIs

Min: 6 months

Max: 10 years

Min: Rs. 100 

Max: No limit

Interest exemption upto Rs 50,000 only for Senior Citizens.

Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (POMIS)

Indian Citizens

Min & Max: 5 years

 

Min: Rs. 1000 

Max: Rs. 9,00,000 (For single account), 15,00,000 (For joint account)

No exemption

Public Provident Fund (PPF)

Indian Citizens

Min & Max: 15 years + 5 years extension (No limit)

Min: Rs. 500 annum

Max: Rs. 1,50,000 annum

Investment , interest earned and maturity amounts are eligible for exemption upto specified limits.

Employees Provident Fund (EPF)

Salaried employees in India

Min: 15 years

Max: Retirement age

Min: 12% of the basic salary

 

Investment, interest and maturity amounts are eligible for exemption upto specified limits.

National Pension Scheme (NPS)

Indian Citizens aged between 18 - 70

Min: 3 years

Max: Retirement age

Min: 500 per annum

Max: No limit

The investment amount and 60% of the maturity amount are eligible for exemption


Now that you have an idea of what are the best saving schemes to invest your money in, make sure to choose the one that meets your needs the most. It is always not necessary to invest in risky funds and government saving schemes not only provide you with security but stable and regular returns making it the best option if you are looking to create your retirement corpus. 

1. Provided all due premiums have been paid and the policy is in force.

2. Save 46,800 on taxes if the insurance premium amount is Rs.1.5 lakh per annum and you are a Regular Individual, Fall under 30% income tax slab having taxable income less than Rs. 50 lakh and Opt for Old tax regime.

#Tax benefits & exemptions are subject to conditions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and its provisions. Tax Laws are subject to change from time to time. Customer is requested to seek tax advice from his Chartered Accountant or personal tax advisor with respect to his personal tax liabilities under the Income-tax law.

HDFC Life Click 2 Achieve (UIN: 101N186V03) A Non-Linked, Non-Participating, Individual, Savings Life Insurance Plan Life Insurance Coverage is available in this product.

HDFC Life Sanchay Plus (101N134V22) is a non-participating, non-linked savings insurance plan. Life Insurance Coverage is available in this product.  

a. Interest Rate for varies Bank to Bank.

b. Rate of Interest for stocks/funds may vary depending on the market value

c. Returns vary as per the performance of underlying assets. Depends on Equity Market.

d. https://www.nsiindia.gov.in/(S(dig1wpnemg5uhcadaa44gtrf))/InternalPage.aspx?Id_Pk=182

e. https://www.nsiindia.gov.in/(S(5aa02f55d10whxigo1v0vr55))/InternalPage.aspx?Id_Pk=181

f. https://www.myscheme.gov.in/schemes/pomis

g. https://www.nsiindia.gov.in/(S(xtipmgvtru5mqyadqbe14iyr))/InternalPage.aspx?Id_Pk=178

h. https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/MiscPDFs/InterestRate_OnPFAccumulationsSince1952.pdf

ARN - ED/05/24/11750