The government offers a basket of products under small savings schemes. From post office deposits to scheme for girl child, you have close to 10 instruments.
Here is a look at all that is on offer and how to use it optimally:
Public Provident Fund (PPF)
PPF is a long-term investment instrument with a lock-in of 15 years, though you can partially withdraw after seven years. The interest rate is currently at 8% per annum. You can invest up to ₹1.5 lakh per annum. Who does it work for? If you are looking for a long-term fixed income instrument, this can be a safe option for you. Considering it falls in the tax category exempt-exempt-exempt, the post-tax return is worth considering.
National Savings Certificate (NSC)
NSC is a five-year small savings scheme and currently gives you an interest rate of 8%. The amount is compounded annually and paid on maturity. You need to invest a minimum of ₹100 and further in multiples of ₹100. It is illiquid, which means you can’t withdraw the money before five years. It will work for those who don’t want liquidity and are looking for a safe investment option.
Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)
Currently, the interest rate on KVP is 7.7% annually. It doesn’t qualify for tax benefit. It is meant for those individuals who don’t have access to other investment options. If you have other investment options, you can avoid this one.
Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme
Dedicated to the girl child, Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened in the name of a girl child if she is below 10 years old. Currently, you get 8.5% returns on your investment. The account matures when the girl turns 21. You can do a partial withdrawal of up to 50% of balance standing after the child attains is 18.
If you have a girl child and are looking for a fixed income product, you can consider Sukanya Samriddhi Account.
Time Deposit In post office
The interest rate in post office time deposit for duration of 1-5 years ranges between 6.90% and 7.80% per annum. It is almost in the range of fixed deposit rates offered by public sector and private sector banks.
This again works for those individuals who don’t have access to other investment options.
What you should do
To make the most out of your small savings instruments, start with looking at your asset allocation and see how much you need in the fixed income category. If you are a conservative investor and want to use fixed income instruments for your long-term needs, you can opt for some of the products.
Investment instruments such as PPF give you tax benefit which you should consider while investing.
However, remember that it is illiquid and avoid putting all your money into fixed income products.