Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is a governmental savings scheme in India that was launched as part of the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” initiative.
What is Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana:
The scheme is specifically designed to encourage long-term savings for girls mainly for the education and marriage expenses. Its primary objective is to promote the financial well-being and empowerment of the girl child by facilitating long-term savings.
At what age is the girl child eligible for SSY?
A girl who is in the age of below 10 years old so her parents or guardians can open an SSY account for her.
A family can open only one account per girl child, and a maximum of two accounts is allowed per family (in the case of twin girls as second birth or triplets).
You can take money out of a Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY account when the girl child reaches 18 years of age. At this point, partial withdrawals are allowed, and the money can be used for her higher education or marriage expenses. However, there are specific rules about how much can be withdrawn, and the funds must be used for the intended purposes. The account matures either after 21 years from the date of opening or when the girl child gets married, whichever happens earlier. At maturity, the entire amount in the account can be withdrawn.
How can you empower your child by providing them with Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY):
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY gives committed investment funds, guaranteeing that assets are saved only for the future of girl child to help in girl child empowerment. The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY helps to build financial empowerment offering security and financial and long-term savings for education and marriage.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY plays a role in reducing gender discrimination by ensuring financial empowerment for girls and equal opportunities for education and personal development ignoring the inequalities.
Step-by-Step Opening of an SSY Account for the Future of Daughters:
1. Guarantee that the girl child you intend to open the SSY account is under 10 years old.
Confirmation of the parent or guardian, and showcase the necessary documents that are required to prove the relationship.
2. You need to choose a bank or post office authorized to open Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY accounts.
Mainly, Governmental banks and some of the private banks also offer this scheme.
3. Make sure you have these documents at the time of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY account opening:
a. Birth certificate of the girl child.
b. Identity and relationship proof of the parent/legal guardian opening the account.
c. Passport-sized photographs of the girl child and the parent/legal guardian.
4. Now fill the form with accurate and relevant details.
Attach the necessary documents, including the birth certificate, identity proof, and relationship proof.
5. Do the initial deposit as required by the bank/post office. The minimum deposit amount is different in banks and post offices.
6. Once the form is processed and the initial deposit is made, you will be provided with a passbook for the SSY account.
Also, ensure you receive a payment receipt for the initial deposit.
Benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY:
- Attractive interest rates are usually higher than other savings options.
- Contributions qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Interest earned and the maturity amount are tax-free.
- Specifically designed to meet the financial needs of a girl child’s education and marriage.
- Parents or guardians can choose the amount to contribute, with a manageable annual deposit requirement.
- Easy transfer to any authorized bank or post office in case of a location change.
- Permitted after the girl child turns 18 or completes 10th standard, whichever is earlier. Useful for meeting educational expenses.
- It can be closed after the girl child reaches 18 or gets married, ensuring funds for her future needs.
- Accessible to a wide range of income groups due to a relatively low minimum annual deposit.
- Beyond financial benefits, promotes the importance of saving for the girl child’s future. Fosters a culture of financial empowerment.
Drawbacks of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY:
1. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY has helped in making long-term savings, but it also has a few things to watch out for. One thing to know is that taking money out early is not easy. The rules are strict, and it’s not recommended unless there’s a really important reason, like a sudden need for money.
2. Another thing to keep in mind is that the kinds of investments you can make with Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY are a bit limited. It mostly focuses on things that give fixed amounts of money, which might mean you don’t get as much back as you could with other ways of investing.
3. The plan is made specifically for girls, and you have to start it when the girl is below 10. While this is good for helping in girl-child empowerment.
4. The interest rates you get can change depending on what the government decides. This might make it hard to know exactly how much you’ll get back.
So, while Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana has some good things, it’s important to think about these limitations before deciding if it’s the right choice for your family’s money plans.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana vs Other Savings:
Public Provident Fund (PPF):
- Interest Rates: PPF and SSY offer competitive interest rates, with PPF rates being set by the government.
- Purpose: PPF is open for all individuals, while SSY is specifically designed for the girl child’s education and marriage.
- Tax Benefits: Both offer tax deductions under Section 80C, but only SSY provides tax-free interest and maturity amounts.
Fixed Deposits (FD):
- Interest Rates: FD rates may vary across banks, but SSY usually offers higher interest rates.
- Purpose: FDs are general savings with no specific purpose, while SSY is targeted for a girl child’s future needs.
- Tax Benefits: SSY provides better tax benefits, with both deductions and tax-free returns.
Recurring Deposits (RD):
- Interest Rates: RD rates can vary, but SSY typically provides higher returns.
- Purpose: RD is a general savings scheme, while SSY is earmarked for the girl child’s education and marriage.
- Tax Benefits: SSY offers better tax benefits.
Withdrawal from Sujanya Samriddhi Yojana SSY:
- Withdraw when the girl child turns 18 or completes 10th grade, whichever happens first.
- You can withdraw up to 50% of the money in the account at the end of the previous financial year.
- Use the money for the girl’s higher education or marriage.
How to Apply for Withdrawal:
- Visit the bank or post office where you have the SSY account.
- Fill out a withdrawal form.
- You may need to provide documents like admission letters or wedding invitations.
- You can take out some money and leave the rest in the account.
Closing the Account:
- Close the SSY account when the girl turns 18 or gets married, whichever comes first.
- The money you withdraw is not taxed.