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Monday, April 10, 2017

Recurring Deposits

All About Recurring Deposits

Recurring deposits combine regular investing with guaranteed returns - making them an attractive option for risk averse investors

The recurring deposit (RD) is one of the most basic financial products available it the market. It can be used as a tool to inculcate the habit of saving.

What is a Recurring Deposit?
An RD is a type of term deposit offered by banks and non-banking financial companies. There are two types of RDs-regular and flexible. A regular RD is offered by all banks, while only some offer flexible ones. A regular RD allows you to deposit a pre-specified amount at pre-decided intervals. It becomes a compulsory investment. The instalment amount once fixed, cannot be altered. For instance, if you sign up with a bank to invest R1,000 every month for 12 months in a regular RD, you will have to invest the specified amount at a fixed date every month. In a flexible RD, you can deposit any amount, on any day, and any number of times. Other than visiting the branch to open an RD, nowadays many banks allow you to open using the Net banking facility as well.

How does it work?
 The tenure ranges from three months to 10 years. Some banks have a lock-in period of 1-3 months. The money you invest in an RD, earns interest, and it gets compounded. Data from Deals4loans shows that as of June, interest rates on RDs were in the range of 7-9.10% per annum, depending on bank and tenor chosen. Senior citizens get an additional 15-25 basis points as interest. (One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.)

In a regular RD, in case of delayed instalments, a penalty is charged as a flat fee or a percentage of the amount. For instance, with ICICI Bank Ltd, the depositor is liable to pay monthly interest at the rate of R12 per R1,000, and it depends on time and the amount. If you withdraw the amount before the maturity date, you will have to pay 0.5-2% as penalty, depending on the tenure. You cannot withdraw partially.

Some banks allow you to take a loan against the deposit. Generally, the loan amount can be 75-90% of the deposit value. For instance, State Bank of India allows you to take a loan of up to 90% of the deposit amount at an interest of 0.5% per annum above the interest rate of the RD.

What should you do?
It can also be useful for those who do not have access to financial instruments such as equity or debt. If you are in the lowest tax bracket or have no taxable income and are looking for guaranteed returns, it may work for you.

However, you should know that since RDs come under the definition of time deposits, the interest earned will attract tax deducted at source (TDS). So, TDS will be applicable if the interest earned on the RD (or if you have more than one with the same bank) exceeds Rs 10,000. If you come below the income tax bracket, you can avoid the TDS by filing Form 15G or 15H.

Debt Funds are better than Recurring Deposits

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1. DSP BlackRock Tax Saver Fund

2. Invesco India Tax Plan

3. Tata India Tax Savings Fund

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5. Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96

6. Franklin India TaxShield 

7. Reliance Tax Saver (ELSS) Fund

8. BNP Paribas Long Term Equity Fund

9. Axis Tax Saver Fund

10. Birla Sun Life Tax Plan

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