The average age of Indians is on the rise mostly because of the better economic status and healthcare facilities that have emerged over the years.
- 40% has been the rise in life expectancy over the past 38 years.
- Over the past four years, (2005-8), life expectancy has gone up by more than 4 years.
- 7.5% of India’s population falls in the senior category.
- 1970: 49
- 2005: 64
Life expectancy in years; Source: Unicef
The gender gap
- Men: 37 million
- Women: 38 million
(No. of men and women over 60 years in India)
Rates of relevance for seniors
- 20-25% is the discount offered by airlines to senior citizens on full economy fares.
- Rs 60,000 is the deduction under Section 80DDB for medical treatment of those above 65 years.
- 9% is the quarterly interest rate for the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme.
- 60 is the age at which the Indian Railways starts giving discounts to the elderly.
- 0.5-1% is the additional interest on bank fixed deposits that senior citizens can avail of.
- 65 is the age when senior citizens can begin availing of tax benefits.
- 50% is the concession for women above 60 years across all classes of rail travel.
|Taxable Income (Rs)||Tax Liability (Rs)|
|After full benefit of Section 80C and Section 80D; Tax liability includes surcharge and education cess and has been calculated for the financial year 2008-9.|
|Total Income (Rs)||Senior Citizens|
|Up to Rs 2.25 lakh||Nil|
|Rs 2.25 lakh to Rs 3 lakh||10|
|Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh||20|
|Above Rs 5 lakh||30|
|• A surcharge of 10% is applicable if the total income exceeds Rs 10 lakh.|
|• Education cess of 3% is payable on the amount of income tax (including surcharge) for all income levels.|
A look at the premium rates for various mediclaim policies for senior citizens across insurance companies.
- You can avail of tax deduction up to Rs 20,000 under Section 80D.
- If you had taken a policy earlier, continue with it into old age and get discounts for claim-free years. This will help bring down your premium cost.
- Let’s assume that someone takes a health insurance plan for Rs 2 lakh at 35 years and continues it till 60 years and beyond. Given the current premium rates, it works out to an average premium of Rs 5,000 a year for the next 25 years.