Through a recent notification, the finance ministry has brought in some changes in the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY). Even though no major changes were made in the scheme, some small modifications have been made.
In the modified regulations of the SSY scheme, certain provisions have been removed to be replaced with the new ones, while others have been clarified.
Here are some changes that you should know about the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana scheme;
- Higher interest rate: In your SSY scheme, if account holders do not deposit even the minimum amount of Rs 250 in a financial year, it will be termed as an account in default. Till the maturity date of the account, such a ‘default account’ will then earn the interest rate applicable to the scheme, if not regularised till then.
As per the old rules such as ‘default accounts’ only earned the post office savings bank interest rate, hence, this is good news for account holders. The post office savings bank interest rate is usually much lower than the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme’s interest rate. Currently, the post office interest rate is 4 per cent while the SSY scheme interest rate is 8.7 per cent.
- Premature closure of account: Premature closer of an SSY account will be allowed in case of death of the girl child or on compassionate grounds, according to the new rules. For instance, compassionate grounds include cases when medical treatment of the account holder is required for life-threatening diseases or death of the guardian. Comparatively, according to the old rules, one could close the SSY account prematurely either in case of the death of a girl child or in case of a change in the residency status of a girl child. In such a case, the money in the account of the girl child will continue to earn an interest rate of post office savings bank, from the date of deemed closure till the withdrawal of money from the account.
- Operation of account: The SSY account cannot be operated by the girl child till she attains the age of 18 years, as per the newly notified rules. Earlier this was set as 10 years as per old rules. Once the girl child/account holder reaches 18 years of age, she can operate the account by submitting necessary documents that are required to be submitted to the post office/bank where the account is being held.
- Account Opening: Changes have also been made in the additional documentation required for opening an SSY account in case of more than two girl children. If a guardian or parent wants to open SSY account for more than two girl children, according to the newly notified rules, an individual is required to submit an affidavit, along with the birth certificates. Earlier, the parent/guardian had to submit a medical certificate.