Major changes in the Sukanya Samriddhi Account Yojana in 2017
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana was big hit among investment schemes launched by Modi Government. It attracted a lot of investors because it’s higher rates of interest with safety of their funds. SSY was a very successful yoajana for parents and guardians of girl child to bear the expenses of higher education and marriage of their daughter.
It was launched with as a secured investment with 9.2% annual return with just ₹1000 as minimum investment. However, the maximum investment is ₹1.5 lac. According to this scheme any parent or guardian can open SSY account for any girl child below or 10 years of age. The rate of interest is announced every year according to Small Savings Schemes. Also, the interest is compounded every year. One thing to be noted is that the rate of interest may change every year as it is not pre-decided as in case of Fixed Deposits (FD), Recurring Deposits (RD) and Term Deposits (TD).
The scheme was launched in January 2015 with best rates possible. However now government after the budget of 2016 has revised some of the rules and guidelines for the SSY. If you have invested or interested in knowing the updates just keep on reading to know the major and minor changes to understand the scheme better.
✅ Changes in Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Scheme (SSY)
Although government has made some minor changes in SSY, yet they are of much significance and one should know them to understand the policy better.
- Rate of Interest – Rate of Interest as told earlier is not fixed and may vary so the previous rate of interest was 9.2% while now this year the new rate of interest is fixed at 8.6%. Also it may change every year as it is not fixed for complete tenure.
- SSY for NRI’s – As per new changes in SSY Scheme the investment scheme is now not available for NRI’s. Previously the scheme was available for NRI girl child also but now SSY is available for only Indian Resident Girl Child. According to this at the time of opening the SSY account the child must be an Indian Citizen residing in India. If in future the status of residence changes the parents of guardians must inform to the post office or bank regarding the same within a month. In such case the interest credited will be reversed and the balance funds in account will be returned to the investor. So according to this change the girl child should be Indian resident residing in India at the time of investment as well as at the time of maturity.
- Maximum Investment Term – The maximum investment term under SSY has been revised from 14 years to 15 years.
- E-transfer Option – The government has introduced E-transfer option. According to which the investor can now link their bank account with SSY account. Hence, they need not visit bank or post office to invest in future. Now they can transfer funds in SSY account online.
- Penalty Rule – SSY has a minimum investment of ₹1000 annually. In case of failure there is a penalty of ₹50. The government has not increased the penalty amount. However, the account will now be considered as ‘Account in Default’. If no further action is taken by investor till 15 years of opening of account, the total deposits on account even prior to when the account was considered as ‘Account in Default’ will be credited with post office saving scheme interest rates. (current post office saving scheme interest rate is 4%) It will be too less as compared to SSY interest rate. (SSY current interest rate is 8.6%)
- Premature Closure – One cannot close SSY account before 5 years, which is minimum investment period for premature closure. In case the investor still wants premature closure of SSY account before 5 years of lock in period the interest will be credited at post office saving scheme interest rate in spite of SSY interest rate.
- Adopted child – Now one can open SSY account for adopted girl child while previously it was not allowed.