Laws Protecting the Rights of Senior Citizen in India

Senior Citizen according to the law are those individuals who have attained the age of 60 years or above. In India, we have different generations existing with different intellectual levels or ideologies and are segregated by their age. The following are the types of generation that exist in India:

  • Baby Boomers (born in 1946 – 1964)
  • Generation X (born 1965–1980)
  • Millennials (born 1981–1995)
  • Generation Z (born 1996–2010)
  • Generation Alpha (born 2011–2025)

All the senior citizens fall under the category of generation of baby boomers and Generation X. 

It is our due responsibility to take care of these generations who have contributed in any way to this country. The government and its citizens must treat them with respect. However, many senior citizens are unaware of their rights that leads to exploitation of their rights. In this article we will discuss 5 key rights of senior citizens:

1. Rights stated in the Constitution

– Article 41: This article is covered under the Directive Principles of State Policy, which enumerates that the state has to implement such policies or provisions to enable the right to work, education, and public assistance in cases of unemployment, sickness, old age, and disablement.

– Article 46: The state is responsible to empower and promote the educational and economic interests of the weaker section of people, and preventing them from all sorts of exploitation.

Albeit, these articles fall under DPSP, which is not enforceable by law but imposes a certain obligation over the state to provide for these rights to develop a welfare state.

2. Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007

– This Act aims at securing the life of the senior citizens who have reached the age of 60 years and above by enabling provisions dealing with their maintenance and welfare preventing them from being insolvent or destitute. The Act also keeps into account the safety of their life and property including all the necessities. A few of the provisions are as follows:

a. If a senior citizen has no children, they are entitled to receive maintenance from their relatives who is now the owner of or managing their estate.

b. Maintenance amount fixed as per the Act was Rs.10,000 while the Government has passed a bill to eradicate this upper limit which is yet to be implemented as a law.

c. Default in paying up the maintenance may land the defaulter in prison for a period of 3 to 6 months or a fine of up to 10,000 rupees or both, as per the amendment bill of 2019.

d. As per the provisions of this act, the maintenance should be paid within a period of 30 days from the due date, which as per the amendment shall be reduced to 15 days when implemented.

e. The Act also provides for the establishment of at least one old age home in every district with a capacity of 150 senior citizens.

f. Senior citizens even after the transfer of property by way of gift or will have the right to terminate such will or gift via an application to the Tribunal as per section 23 of the Act, and even abandoning your parents may attract criminal and civil punishment against those liable to take care of their parents or senior citizens, as the case may be.

3. Tax benefits

– Income slabs for senior citizens start from 3-5 lakhs and the tax levied is 10% and for senior citizens income of up to 5 lakhs is tax-free.

– Senior citizens also get a deduction under sec 80D of the Income Tax Act for the payment of medical insurance premium up to Rs.20,000 and up to Rs.60,000 in case of treatment of any disease or ailment.

– Senior citizens without any recurring business income are only supposed to pay only the self-assessment tax and no business tax is charged from them.

– They also get tax benefits under sections 88B, 88D, and 88DDB. Furthermore, they are also entitled to high interests on tax savings schemes from various investment options to choose from.

4. Conveyance discounts

– According to the provisions of National Policy for Older Persons, 1999, all the senior citizens above the age of 60 years are entitled to a 30% concession on train tickets, and in case of women above the age of 60 years get up to 50% concession while traveling via Indian Railways.

– Not just this, under the same act all the senior citizens traveling via Air India are offered 45% discount on their ticket price, plus the flight attendants need to pay special attention over such class of citizens, from boarding till they de-board the plane assisting and providing them with wheelchairs if needed during de-boarding the plane.

5. Pension scheme

– As per the National Old-age Pension scheme, the Central government is supposed to pay a pension of Rs.200 to senior citizens belonging to BPL families and the state government also contributes to the same by depositing Rs.200 to their pension account. 

– The Government has also set up a public portal that allows pensioners to gather information regarding their pension accounts and can file pension applications as well. Portal link:

– The types of pension schemes offered by the Government to senior citizens are as follows:

a. Atal Pension Yojana (APY): Under this scheme, the laborer or the worker is supposed to contribute out of its income every month, and the government to makes 50% contribution in respect to their contribution into their account, which at the time of retirement is paid to them monthly. Even, after their demise, the amount accumulated can be paid to the legal heir.

b. National Pension System: This is the most famous pension scheme launched by the government, and was established in 2004. This scheme is now applicable to all sectors, not just the government sector, and provides post-retirement benefits. Akin to all other schemes, the senior citizens need to make a periodic contribution to this scheme which will then be paid at their retirement. After retirement one is allowed to withdraw up to 60% of the funds accumulated in the NPS account and the remaining goes to the annuity.

c. Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY): This scheme is launched by LIC i.e. an Indian statutory insurance and investment corporation. They offer an interest rate of 8% per annum on the deposits made by senior citizens. The deposits are to be made for 10 years with a minimum amount of Rs.100 up to Rs.15 lakhs. Early withdrawal from the scheme in case of dire illness, a penalty of 2% is charged by the body.

d. Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY): This policy is also launched by LIC offering 8% interest on the deposits, and the senior citizens can also claim an exemption under 80C for the premium paid under this scheme. Senior citizens after subscribing to this policy, within 15 days can opt to cancel it without any extra fee.

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