Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme was launched in 2014 and has become quite popular since then. Government has issued certain clarifications and made some amendments to the existing scheme on March 18, 2016.
We list them below:
1. SSA can be opened for adopted girl child, if she meets all other eligibility criteria.
2. The money in SSA can be deposited by either the parent/guardian of the girl child or by the girl herself.
3. The interest rate of Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme can be set from time to time by the government. Earlier the interest reset period was annually. From FY 2016-17 onward the interest would be reset every quarter for all Small Saving Scheme including SSA.
4. Interest Rate Calculation: The interest would be compounded annually. For calculation of interest only lowest balance from the close of tenth day to end of month would be considered. This means you should deposit money before 10th of month to get interest in that month.
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5. In case the annual deposit is more than the permissible maximum limit of Rs 1.5 Lakh, no interest would be paid on the excess amount. This excess amount can be withdrawn anytime.
6. Online Deposit Allowed: Until now the deposit in Sukanya Samriddhi Account could be done by cash/cheque or demand draft only. Now you can do online payment in case the bank has such facility. Some banks like ICICI, SBI provide online deposit facility in PPF account. You can expect similar facility in SSA in due course.
7. Account in Default: A minimum deposit of Rs 1,000 needs to be made every year to keep account active. In case you miss this the account is labeled as “Account in Default”. The account can be made active again by paying Rs 50 for every year of non-payment.
8. In case the SSA has default status for 15 years, the entire deposit would only receive interest rate prescribed for Post Office Savings Bank at the time of its maturity. As of today this interest is 4%. However, the above rule would not be applicable in case the default was due to death of the Guardian of the child, who opened the account. In this case the account would receive interest rate as prescribed for SSA.
9. Partial withdrawal for Education: Amount up to 50% of balance as in the last financial year before withdrawal can be made for higher education of the account holder girl child. For e.g. if you give application for withdrawal in April 2016, you can get 50% of balance as of March 31, 2015.
The withdrawal can be lumpsum or in 5 installments – 1 installment every year for 5 years. The withdrawal can only be made if the Account holder has attained the age of 18 years or has passed 10th standard.
The application should be accompanied with documents showing confirmed admission, fee details supporting the required amount.
10. Account Closure: The Sukanya Samriddhi Account can only be closed after the girl child turns 18. For closure account the account holder has to submit document for proof of age. Earlier an affidavit stating the age was enough.
The account can be closed prematurely one month before marriage or three months after marriage. Earlier the account could be closed only after marriage.
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11. The new rules state that no interest would be paid on account after maturity (after 21 years of opening it) but not closed. Earlier the account received interest applicable for SSA even after maturity of the account.
12. Duplicate Passbook: A duplicate passbook can be issued to the parent/guardian of the account holder or to the girl child on payment of Rs 50.
13. Change of Citizenship: Only resident Indians are eligible to open Sukanya Samriddhi Account. in case there is change of resident status as non-citizen or non-resident of India (NRI), the guardian should inform the bank within one month of this change. The account would be closed and no further interest would be credited in the account.
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14. Account Transfer: The Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be transferred from one bank/post office to the other and between bank and post office. This transfer would be free in case a proof of change of residence is given else a payment of Rs 100 has to be made to the bank/post office where the account is being shifted.
15. Resident Indian Girl Child: Only an Indian Resident Girl Child can be the Beneficiary under the SSA Rules.