International Women's Day: Here are seven financial benefits for womenThe Indian personal finance space does its bit to correct the gender inequality in society by offering women-oriented benefits. The previously available tax rebates are gone, but here are a few other benefits that women can enjoy.  

Lower contribution to the EPF

In the Employee Provident Fund (EPF), both employer and employee contribute 12% of basic salary and dearness allowance. Budget 2018 announced that the mandatory EPF contribution for women employees will be reduced to 8% for the first three years of their employment. This effectively increases their take-home pay compared to their male counterparts. The employer contribution for both sexes remains 12%.

Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme

This scheme is available for the benefit of the girl child below the age of 10. Contributions to it up to Rs 1.5 lakh are exempt under Section 80C. The annual interest on the scheme is higher than FD interest rates at 8.1% and is tax-free. The scheme matures 21 years after opening or until the marriage of the girl after attaining 18 years of age.

SBI Education Loans

Girl students get a 0.5% interest rate concession on education loans given by SBI. The effective interest rate on these loans is 10% for loans up to Rs 7.5 lakhs and 10.75% above Rs 7.5 lakh. Factoring in the discount, female students would be entitled to interest rates of 9.5% and 10.25% respectively on these two types of loans.

Home Loan Rates

Several banks offer lower home loan rates to women borrowers and over time, this can amount to a huge difference. We have taken the case of loans above Rs 75 lakh but this difference also applies to loans below Rs 75 lakhs. Use our calculator to get the rate difference on your EMI

Men Women
SBI (Above 75 lakhs, Salaried) 8.75% 8.70%
ICICI (75 lakh to 5 crore) 8.80% 8.75%
HDFC Ltd. (Above 75 lakhs) 8.45%-8.95% 8.4%-8.9%

Stamp Duty Rates

Stamp Duty is charged at the state level and several states offer lower rates for women by 1-2%. Delhi offers 4% to women compared to 6% for men when registering property. With typical stamp duty rates averaging 5-6% of the property cost, this can make a huge difference.

Life Insurance Premiums

These tend to be lower for women because women have a higher life expectancy. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has a premium of Rs 12,321 on a 30-year-old male applicant (non-smoker) on its iProtect Smart term plan. The corresponding premium for a 30-year-old female applicant (non-smoker) is Rs 10,869.

HDFC Life’s Click-to-Protect Plus (a term plan) has a premium of Rs 8,390 for a 30-year-old man (non-smoker). This is Rs 7,035 for a 30-year-old woman (non-smoker).

Mudra Loans and Stand-up India

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Authority) is a scheme which gives out small loans (going from Rs 50,000 to 10 lakh) to the unorganised sector. A certain portion of these loans has been allocated specifically for women entrepreneurs. Investment promotion subsidies, stamp duty reductions and interest rate subsidies are also given to women entrepreneurs under the ‘Stand-up India’ programme

Author
Neil Borate

Neil Borate is Deputy Editor, RupeeIQ. He can be contacted at neil@rupeeiq.com.