In India a person who has attained the age of 60 years are entitled to the category of senior citizens unlike some advanced countries like UK and Canada where senior citizens' status is given only on attaining 65 years of age. A senior citizen i.e. every 60 years old and above individual becomes entitled to a variety of exclusive financial as well as non-financial benefits.
Tax laws are relaxed for the senior citizens to ease their financial burden.
• Income of up to Rs 3 lakh is non-taxable. For super senior citizens (over 80 year of age), income of up to Rs 5 lakh is non-taxable.
• Health insurance premium of up to Rs 30,000 gets tax deduction under Section 80D of Income Tax Act 1961.
• Senior citizens suffering from a critical illness can avail a tax deduction of up to Rs 60,000 under Section 80DDB. The limit is increased to Rs 80,000 for super seniors.
The senior citizens can avail of various discounts on fares.
•Air travel: Senior citizens with Indian citizenship, who are over 60, are eligible for 50% discount on economy fare for domestic travel.
• Rail travel: Men over the age of 60, and women over the age of 58 are eligible for 40% and 50% discount respectively. The discount is available on fares of all classes of Mail/Express/Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi/ Duranto trains.
• Bus travelSome municipal corporation and state governments give concession to senior citizens on bus fare. Certain bus seats are also reserved for them.
They get higher interest on investments
• The Senior Citizen's Saving Scheme is available to all seniors over the age of 60. It offers interest of 8.4% per annum.
• Senior citizens get 0.5% higher interest rate on fixed deposits than the standard rate.
Government has several senior citizen welfare schemes.
• National Insurance offers 'Varishta Mediclaim Policy', for .. * National Insurance offers 'Varishta Mediclaim Policy', for seniors aged 60-80. Maximum sum insured offered is Rs 1 lakh for hospitalization and Rs 2 lakh for critical illness.
• LIC's Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 will provide an assured pension to senior citizens based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% for 10 years. A maximum of Rs 7.5 lakh can be invested in this scheme and one can get pension on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual basis.
Their telephone bills are subsidized.
• BSNL: Senior citizens over 65 are eligible for registration of telephone on priority. Registration charges are also waived for them.
• MTNL: Senior citizens over 65 are eligible for 25% concession on installation charges and monthly service charges for landlines connections
Banks, hospitals, etc. make special allowances for them.
• Separate queues for the elderly in hospitals for registration and clinical examination.
• Senior citizens over the age of 60 can write to the court for preferential hearing of their cases.
• Senior citizens can be issued a passport on post police verification basis if they submit a copy of the passport of their child (above 18) staying abroad (with a page having their name) as an additional document along with their application form.
• Bank branches have separate queues for the elderly.
• Most banks have special accounts for senior citizens that offer facilities like issuing senior citizen cards, priority service at branches, etc