India’s senior citizen population has been gradually increasing as a result of increased longevity, higher health standards, and advancements in medical facilities.
Senior citizens in India benefit from a number of advantages that increase their convenience, lessen their financial obligations, and provide them with care and support in a courteous, organized manner, in addition to getting to enjoy their golden years and spending time with family. The Senior Citizen ID card is a kind of identification offered by the Indian government that entitles holders to a number of advantages.
Benefits of Senior Citizen Card:
Affordable airline tickets
Senior persons with citizenship in India are eligible for a number of reductions on airfare. For instance, if you are over 63 years old and traveling domestically on Air India, you are eligible for a 50% discount on the economy cost.
For domestic travel within India on Jet Airways, seniors over 65 can take advantage of a 50% discount on the economy or premier cost.3. Cheaper Railway Tickets
Travelling to see your loved ones or friends in another city? Railway tickets are cheaper for senior citizens in India.
Male and female senior citizens can avail of 40% and 50% discount respectively for all classes of Mail, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Express, and Duronto trains. However, this discount is not available for tatkal bookings.
Separate counters are available for you to use while booking. For those booking online, the passenger reservation system automatically reserves the lower berth for senior citizens.
Reduced Telephone Charges
Senior citizens aged 65 and above also have their telephone bills subsidised as well. BSNL customers are eligible for registration of telephone on priority and can have the registration charges waived.
MTNL customers are eligible for 25% discount on installation charges, as well as monthly service charges for landline connections.
5. Banking made simpler
Several banks in India have introduced their own special programs catered towards senior citizens through special accounts, discounts, investment benefits, and more.
Bank branches typically have separate queues for senior citizens for your convenience. Many offer special accounts for senior citizens with facilities such as issuance of senior citizen cards, priority service, better interest rates, and more.
You can also receive higher interest on investments. The Senior Citizen’s Saving Scheme offers an interest rate of 8.4% per annum. Senior citizens are also entitled to a 0.5% higher interest rate on fixed deposits than usual rates.
6. Court Hearing Priority
Senior citizens aged 60 and above can write to the court for preferential hearing of your cases to ensure convenience and faster response time.
7. Welfare Schemes
Across all sectors, various welfare schemes have been rolled out for senior citizens in India. Hospitals typically have separate queues and counters for the elderly to assist with registration and clinical examination.
For senior citizens aged 60 and above, National Insurance offers the Varishta Mediclaim Policy that offers a maximum insurance sum of Rs. 1 lakh for hospitalisation and Rs. 2 lakh for critical insurance.
LIC’s Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 is available for senior citizens to receive an assured pension based on a guaranteed return rate of 8% for 10 years. Under this scheme, you can invest a maximum of Rs. 7.5 lakh and receive your pension on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly, or yearly basis.
8. Simpler Passport Application
Applying for a passport is often a tedious process. Typically, police verification must be completed before the applicant is issued a passport. However, police verification may be done post-issuance (subject to condition) for senior citizens.
To do so, you must submit a copy of your son/daughter’s passport (aged above 18) who is studying abroad along with their application form. The child’s passport copy must have a page bearing the name of their parents.
Tax laws for older folks in India are more lenient in order to lessen your financial difficulties upon retirement. People above the age of 60 are deemed senior citizens by the Income Tax Department, while those over the age of 80 are deemed super senior citizens.
For resident senior citizens, income of up to Rs. 3 lakh is exempt from tax. Income between Rs. 3-6 lakh is taxed at 10% while income between Rs. 5-10 lakh is taxed at 20%. Income above Rs. 10 lakh is taxed at 30%.
You may also avail of tax deduction under Section 80D of Income Tax Act, 1961 for health insurance premium. Senior citizens suffering from critical illness can receive tax deduction of up to Rs. 50,000.
How to Get Your Senior Citizen Card
To apply for a Senior Citizen ID card in India, simply fill out the application form along with the following documents: Proof of age, proof of name, proof of address, doctor’s certificate, 3 recent passport size photographs, and INR 50.
The completed form and documents must be submitted online or in person to an authorized center in your state/city. For more information, please visit the official government website of the state you reside in.