New Delhi:The Modi government’s focus on Nari Shakti has brought back the focus on women’s empowerment from health to education and employment. Wealth creation is another aspect of women’s empowerment that has received attention from the government. Putting away money for the rainy day, or merely to build a corpus for life events or a better retirement is an important step towards empowerment.
Here are some schemes that can enable women to set aside a corpus and create wealth for their own future well-being:
Mahila Samman Saving Scheme
Starting from April 1, 2023, this scheme allows for investment of Rs 1,000-2 lakh for 2 years.
On maturity, the principal and interest is credited to the beneficiary’s account.
Investments in this limited-period scheme can only be made until March 31, 2025.
This scheme carries an interest rate of 7.5 per cent
Up to 40 per cent amount may be withdrawn after 1 year
This scheme does not qualify for tax benefit
This small savings scheme is meant to inculcate the habit of saving among women
National Savings Certificate
This scheme is not women-focused but offers a good opportunity for them to save money.
NSC carries a 5 year tenure and offers 7.7 per cent annual interest
Moreover, the minimum deposit starts at just Rs 100. There is no upper limit on investment in NSC.
The scheme allows premature withdrawal in certain circumstances and is also eligible for income tax deductions under Section 80C
Personal Provident Fund
Women can start a personal provident fund for as little as Rs 500
This government scheme carries a 7.1 per cent interest rate
PPF has a 15-year lock-in period with partial withdrawal allowed after 7 years
PPF deposits, interest and withdrawals are tax-free under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act
National Pension System
Women aged 18 years to 70 years can invest
NPS account can be started with a minimum investment of Rs 500 followed by a minimum annual contribution of Rs 1,000.
NPS can generate up to 10-14 per cent returns on an annual basis since it includes market exposure.
It allows subscribers to choose up to 75 per cent market exposure or 100 per cent government securities exposure.
NPS matures when the subscriber turns 60 years old. On maturity, one can withdraw up to 60 per cent of the corpus if it is more than Rs 5 lakh. The rest will be used to purchase an annuity that can provide lifelong returns.
If the corpus is less than Rs 5 lakh, the subscriber can withdraw the entire amount.
Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme
Focused on girl children, this scheme allows deposits with just Rs 250 and a maximum deposit of Rs 1.50 lakh per year.
The scheme must be opened in the name of a girl child up to 10 years of age.
SKAS provides 8 per cent annual return
The scheme matures 21 years from the date of investment or when the girl marries after attaining 18 years of age.
Contributions are only required up to 15 years
Investment under the scheme are eligible for tax deductions up to Rs 1.50 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
Mutual fund investments
Women can invest in markets in a safe and simple manner via mutual funds. They may opt for a one-time investment or a systematic investment plan, whereby a fixed amount is invested into their choice of mutual fund every month.
MF investments start at Rs 500. The subscriber can choose between MFs that have greater exposure to the stock market and those that have higher exposure to government securities, based on their risk appetite.
MF returns are based on the principle of compounding and provide strong returns over longer periods, by weathering market volatility.
Nari Shakti Savings Account
Bank of India has launched the Nari Shakti Savings Account focused on women aged 18 years and above. This account offers personal insurance cover up to Rs 100 lakh, discounts on health insurance and wellness schemes, offers on locker facilities. Nari Shakti account holders are eligible for concessional retail loan rates, processing rate waivers on loans, free credit cards.