Author: Nilesh Harde

Senior Citizens Savings Scheme SCSS

Senior Citizens Savings Scheme SCSS

  • SCSS is for senior citizens who are 60 years or above on the date of opening of the account. Also people with 55 years of age who have retired by VRS can open SCSS within one month of receiving the retirement benefits.
  • Minimum Investment: Rs. 1,000
    Maximum Investment: Rs. 15 Lakhs
  • The joint account can be opened only with your spouse. There is no age limit applicable for the joint account holder.
  • The interest is paid out quarterly. The interest is 8.3% w.e.f July 1, 2017
  • No partial withdrawal is permitted before 5 years. The account may be extended for a further period of 3 Years


  • The interest is paid quarterly to the saving account, hence can serve as regular income for retired
  • Redemption on maturity comes directly to your bank account or through post-dated cheques
  • The SCSS carries a sovereign guarantee for principal and interest payments. So it’s the safest investment


  • The interest from SCSS is taxable
  • Bank would deduct TDS if the total interest in a year is over Rs 10,000
  • NRIs and HUF are not eligible to open an account


  • You can open SCSS with Post offices, or nationalized bank
  • SCSS account can be closed after 1 Year (with penalty)
  • If your income is not taxable, you can provide form 15H or 15G so that banks don’t cut TDS
  • Any retired Defence Services personnel is eligible for SCSS irrespective of his age
Loan against securities

Loan against securities

Many investors build portfolios of bonds, deposits, equity shares and mutual funds. When faced with an unexpected requirement, they feel unsure about whether to raise funds or liquidate investments. They are also worried about rebuilding the asset. Loan against securities a facility offered by banks and non-banking finance companies, can serve as a good alternative.

Banks provide a complete list of approved securities against which they are willing to offer a loan. A lien is created against these securities in order for the loan to be taken. The value of loan is a percentage of the value of the securities, which can be anywhere between 50% (for equity shares), and 90% (for bank deposits).

A current account with overdraft facility is opened and a borrowing limit is set based on the value of the collaterals. Investors can draw from the account whenever they choose, and can repay it by depositing the amount back into the current account. The process is simpler and more flexible than that of an EMI-based loan.

The interest rate on an loan against securities is lower than that of a personal loan or a credit card, since it is secured by collateral. Interest is charged monthly, on the basis of the daily outstanding balance in the overdraft account.

Once the limit is sanctioned based on the value of the collateral, investors are free to withdraw the loan amount as needed, including through the ATM and internet banking facilities. Repayment can be made based on cash inflows at any time.


  • An loan against securities is usually offered only to resident individuals in the given format. Check with your bank for other products if you are a HUF, NRI or any other entity.
  • Additional charges for overdraft account maintenance, processing and stamp duty on loan agreement are applicable to loan against securities transactions.
Benefits of Investing in Mutual Funds

Benefits of Investing in Mutual Funds

Benefits of Investing in Mutual Funds

What are Mutual Funds?

A Mutual Fund is a company that brings together a group of people and invests on their behalf.

“Mutual Funds were created to make investing easy, so consumers wouldn’t have to be burdened with picking individual stocks”

Scott Cook

Why Mutual Fund?

  • Diversification – ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ concept
  • Professional Management – Qualified professionals with research teams manage your funds
  • Transparency – Sharing account statements, factsheets and declaring NAVs daily
  • Regulation – Funds follow strict regulations to protect investors
  • Rupee Cost Averaging – Your money buys more units when markets are high and vice-versa
  • Liquidity – Redeem your investments with convenient payout options

Fayde Ka Funda

Invest in Mutual Funds and let the professionals handle your money.

Using SIP Calculator, To prepare a plan and illustration of your investment.
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Requesting a new PAN card

Requesting a new PAN card

You may need to get a new PAN card if you have to update your address, or in case the existing PAN card is lost, or if the card has a old photograph which needs to be replaced. In these cases, the person already has a PAN card, but seeks a new card with updated details, or is seeking a duplicate card with the same number. The procedure is quite simple to follow.


The form ‘Request for New PAN Card Or/ And Changes Or Correction in PAN Data’ can be downloaded/submitted online from NSDLTIN website or the website of any other facilitator. The form has to be filled up with all details, including photograph.


If there are no changes in details, no new documents except for a copy of the old card and photograph is needed. If there is no proof of existing PAN card, the application is taken on good effort basis.


If the address or any other detail needs to be modified before re-issue, the applicant should provide proof of identity and address, date of birth, along with copy of the old PAN card and photograph.


Rs 107 is payable as fee for the issue of a new PAN card. If the address for delivery of the card is international, a fee of Rs 989 is payable.

Multiple PANs

It is illegal to have more than one PAN card. If you inadvertently hold more than one card, you must quote the other PANs and submit them for cancellation.

Tracking Status of Application

You can check the status of your PAN application using Acknowledgement Number at

Points to note

  • If a PAN card is lost even before it is delivered against a new application, the application submitted for PAN can be used as documentary proof, instead of a copy of the old PAN.
  • If the applicant is not an individual or HUF, it is mandatory to provide office address and proof of office address in case of applications for issue or re-issue of PAN cards.
EPF (Employee Provident Fund)

EPF (Employee Provident Fund)

  • EPF is mandatory for salaried employees working for companies with more than 20 employees
  • Under EPF rules, you need to contribute 12% of your Basic pay + DA to EPF
  • The employer matches this EPF contribution
  • You have option to put up to 100% of Basic pay + DA to EPF. This is known as Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF). The employer generally does not match your VPF contribution
  • Interest rate : 8.55% (FY 2017-18)


  • The interest earned on EPF/VPF is Tax Free
  • Can take loan against EPF and also do partial withdrawal under certain conditions
  • Convenient to invest as the amount is directly deducted from salary


  • Money is locked till your retirement
  • The EPF interest rates are market linked and set by EPFO every year
  • The withdrawal of EPF takes time


  • You can opt for VPF by giving a request to your company at the start of every financial year
  • Only your contribution in EPF and VPF is considered for Tax Deduction
  • If you withdraw your EPF before 5 years the amount is taxable and also the earlier tax deduction claimed is nulled
  • In case you change your job, you can transfer the previous EPF to your current employer
  • Website
  • To check EPF balance
e-insurance account

e-insurance account

Steps to opening an e-insurance account

1) Select the insurance repository or contact your insurer that has partnered with a repository.

List of Insurance Repositories

Insurance Repository Website
M/s NSDL Database Management Limited
M/s Central Insurance Repository Limited,
M/s Karvy Insurance Repository Limited 
M/s CAMS Repository Services Limited,


What is an Insurance Repository?
Insurance Repository is a facility to help policy holders buy and keep insurance policies in electronic form, rather than as a paper document. Insurance Repositories, like Share Depositories or Mutual Fund Transfer Agencies, will hold electronic records of insurance policies issued to individuals and such policies are called “electronic policies” or “ePolicies”.

2) Download the account opening form from the website of the repository or the insurer.
3) Submit the documents, along with KYC documents, to the ‘Approved Person’, website or branch of insurer.

What are the documents required to open an eIA Account?

  • ID Proof: Aadhar Card or PAN Card
  • Address Proof: Any one of Aadhar letter, Passport,Voter ID card, Driving license, Bank Passbook

4) The ‘Approved person’/ insurer will verify the e-insurance form and process the application.

5) The form will be submitted to insurance repository if you have deposited it with your insurance company.
6) The repository will open the account and send the ID and password via text and e-mail to you.
7) You can log in to the repository website and access your policy details.
8) Existing policies can be linked to e-insurance account by submitting the required form to repository. You can view and download policy.

What are the benefits of holding Insurance Policies in electronic form?

There are multiple benefits in holding insurance policies in electronic form under a single eInsurance Account (eIA). These benefits include:

  • Safety: There is no risk of loss or damage of a policy as may happen with paper policies; the electronic form ensures that the policies are in safe custody and can be easily accessed when needed.
  • Convenience: All insurance policies, be it life, pension, health or general, can be electronically held under a single eIA. This means all details of all policies are available in a single account (place). The details of any of the policies can be accessed at any time by logging on to the online portal of Insurance Repository. Premium for all the policies can be paid online and many service requests or complaints can be logged at this website.
  • Single Point of Service: All service requests in respect of eIA or any of the electronic policies held under the eIA can be submitted at any of Insurance Repository’s service points – there is no need to go to the offices of individual insurance companies for service.
  • Less Paper work: When you want to buy a new electronic insurance policy under an existing eIA, you don’t need to go through KYC verification all over again, if there are no changes to your KYC details already recorded in your eIA. Further, if you want to make any changes to your personal details like address or contact no, it is enough to change the details in your eIA with Insurance Repository by submitting a single request – Insurance Repository, in turn, will inform all the insurance companies with whom you hold electronic policies, about the changes.
Loan against life insurance policy

Loan against life insurance policy

Apart from an insurance cover that a life insurance policy provides, it can also be used to secure a loan at a competitive rate. These loans are provided by the insurance company itself or any other NBFC or bank, which provides loans against securities. This facility is, however, not available against term insurance policies or Ulips that invest in equity or equity-oriented securities.

Loan amount

The maximum value of a loan depends upon the type of policy and its surrender value. The amount of loan is typically a percentage of the surrender value of the policy. Loan amount can be as high as 80% to 90% of surrender value in case of traditional money back or endowment insurance policies. Some insurance companies take into consideration about 50% of the total premiums paid to calculate the maximum loan amount.


To avail the loan, a loan application form needs to be filled by the insurance policy holder. The application form must be accompanied with the original insurance policy document. A payment receipt for the loan amount and a copy of a cancelled cheque must also be enclosed with the application.

Deed of assignment

The insurance policy needs to be assigned in favour of the lending institution/insurance company as the case may be. The assignment deed needs to be executed by the policyholder in the prescribed format. Assignment details are endorsed on the policy document as well.


The insurance company or financing institution may charge a nominal loan processing fee for disbursal of the loan.

Points to note

  • Interest rates on loan against insurance policy is usually much lesser than a personal loan.
  • If in case the interest due on the loan exceeds the surrender value, the policyholder runs the risk of losing insurance cover.

Using Loan EMI Calculator, calculate total interest paid & total principal amount paid at the end of every financial year. Download Mobile app from

Asset Allocation in Mutual Funds

Asset Allocation in Mutual Funds

1. What is asset allocation all about?

Asset allocation is the process of deciding how to divide your investment across various asset categories, such as equity mutual funds, debt mutual funds and cash, which are the most common components of an asset allocation strategy.

The objective of asset allocation is to minimise volatility and maximise returns. The process involves dividing your money among asset categories that do not all respond to the same market forces in the same way at the same time.

Asset allocation varies from one investor to another. It is determined based on your age, lifestyle, goals and risk-taking appetite. For example, a conservative investor will be told to hold 50% in equity mutual funds, 45 per cent in debt mutual funds and 5 per cent in gold funds.

2. How does asset allocation work?

Before embarking on your financial journey or investing in any financial product, typically a financial planner or wealth manager suggests an asset allocation based on his assessment of an investors profile.

For example, an investor holding a Rs 1-crore portfolio could have 50 per cent allocation to equity mutual funds, 45 per cent to debt mutual funds and 5 per cent to gold funds. This is supposed to be monitored on a regular basis.

So after a year, if due to a rise in the stock markets, equity mutual fund allocation rises to 60 per cent, it should be brought back to its original level of 50 per cent. This is necessary to avoid a higher loss to the portfolio if equities fall due to some reason. Wealth managers say sticking to an asset allocation plan is crucial to achieving your financial goals.

This approach reduces risk on the portfolio too. When the equity component goes up, the investor can bring back his allocation by switching some units back to debt funds.

Similarly when allocation falls due to a fall in the market, he can increase it to his original allocation by switching from debt funds to equity funds.

3. Why should one follow an asset allocation?

It is difficult to predict which asset class will go up when or to time the markets. For example, equities may be up while gold may be down, and vice-versa. However, if you have your wealth spread across assets, you will be less hit and get the best risk adjusted returns. Wealth managers believe in the long term, 90 per cent returns come from proper asset allocation.

4. How often should one review asset allocation?

Investors should review it at least once a quarter. If any asset class moves up or down by more than 10 per cent of their targeted allocation, they could look at rebalancing their portfolio.

Bonus in insurance plans

Bonus in insurance plans

  • When a life insurance company makes a profit, it is supposed to distribute a part of that profit to its policyholders, in the form of bonus payments.
  • Not all life plans are eligible for bonus. Plans can either be participatory, thereby qualifying for bonus, or non-participatory, that do not qualify for bonus.
  • Bonus is different from guaranteed addition (GA). Bonus depends on the insurer’s profit while GA is an assured addition to the policy and is disclosed upfront.
  • Bonus depends on quantum of investment gains of the ‘with profit’ fund either as a certain amount per Rs 1,000 sum assured or as a percentage of the sum assured.
  • In most traditional life policies, bonus amount keeps getting added to the policy and keeps accumulating till the policy’s maturity. This is ‘reversionary’ bonus.
  • Terminal bonus is added on maturity of policy or on death. It is a onetime bonus that the insurer declares for policyholders who keep policy till maturity.

Using Insurance needed Calculator, To know the insurance needed.
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Why health cover claims get rejected?

Why health cover claims get rejected?

Pre-existing disease: Medical conditions that exist before obtaining the health insurance policy are not covered from day one. A waiting period of up to 4 years can apply for such conditions.

Policy exclusions: Some illnesses covered only after a few years. Standard exclusions are cost of spectacles, dental and cosmetic surgeries, expenses for diagnosis and treatment relating to pregnancy etc.

Gap in renewal: The health insurance policy is renewable provided you pay the premium within 15 days of expiry date after which it lapses. During this gap period, coverage is not be available.

Policy coverage: The health insurance policy will mention sub-limits under heads such as room rent, consultancy fees, ambulance charges etc. and amounts over which costs will not be covered.

Incorrect information: Any wrong information given at the time of purchasing the policy if making a claim when discovered at a later stage could lead to claim rejection.