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For parents, the future of their children is of the utmost importance. They sacrifice on so many things in exchange for the happiness of their children. Two of the significant expenses that a parent of a girl child would have to bear is higher education and marriage. This needs long-term planning as they come at a considerable cost. We have covered the following in this article:

1.What is Sukany Samriddhi Yojana?

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) is a government offered investment cum savings scheme targeted at the parents of a girl child. The main objective of the SSY scheme is to encourage parents to invest in a long-term plan for their daughters’ higher education and marriage.

The SSY scheme is a significant part of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiative. It was announced in January 2015 by the Prime Minister of India. The parents of a girl child under the age of 10 years are eligible to invest in this scheme. The investment in SSY scheme is locked in for 21 years from the date of opening the account. However, one can invest only for 15 years from the date of the account opening.

Investments made in SSY accounts are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. One can invest up to Rs 1,50,000 a year in these accounts while a minimum of Rs 250 a year must be made. SSY accounts can be opened and operated at any branch of authorised banks and India Post Office.

2.What are Children Mutual Funds?

Children’s gift mutual funds are positioned at raising funds for various life events of children such as higher education and marriage. These funds are classified as balanced or hybrid mutual funds. One can invest in children mutual funds only in the name of their child (minor).

Children’s gift mutual funds are generally locked-in for a period of 18 years. These funds are classified as hybrid-debt oriented and hybrid-equity oriented, depending on the equity exposure. If the equity exposure is 60% or more, then they are considered hybrid-equity, if not, they are considered hybrid-debt.

3.Comparison of SSY with Children Mutual Funds?

The following table gives a wholistic comparison of SSY with children mutual funds:

 

Factor

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Children Mutual Funds

Account management

Parents or legal guardian can operate the account until the girl child turns 18 years old, post which she takes control of the account

Parents or legal guardians operate the investment account

Returns

Fixed (It is currently 8.5% per annum)

Not fixed as it depends on the markets

Number of accounts 

Maximum of two accounts for a family with two or more daughters

No restriction placed on the number of accounts

Risk

Risk-free as sovereign guarantees back the scheme

Can be risky at times, especially when the market sentiment is down 

Lock-in period

21 years from the date of opening the account

18 years from the date of opening the account

Investment limit

Rs 1,50,000 a year

No limit

Premature withdrawal

Allowed only once, after the girl child attains the age of 18 years

Allowed after the elapse of three years from the date of opening the investment account

Maintenance cost

No maintenance cost

Expense ratio is charged on a yearly basis

 

4.Conclusion

Before you decide between the SSY and children mutual funds, you need to assess your risk profile and objectives. If you are willing to bear some risk, then investing in children mutual funds is advisable, if not, then investing SSY makes sense.

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