Pension Plans

Pension plans also known as retirement plans are investment plans that lets you allocate a part of your savings to accumulate over a period of time and provide you with steady income after retirement. Even if a person has a good amount of savings, a pension plan is nevertheless crucial.

Savings get exhausted very fast and are sometimes used in emergencies, so selecting the best pension scheme helps you secure your cash flow for meeting basic daily needs post retirement. When you continuously invest in pension plans, the amount grows manifold due to the compounding effect which makes a lot of difference to your final savings corpus. A right pension scheme lets you plan for retirement in a phased manner. So it is advisable to choose a best pension plan that can act as a savior in your golden years.

What is Retirement Planning?

Retirement Planning can be described as the process to plan the long-term and short-term financial goals and the ways to accomplish these goals.  Retirement Planning involves identifying different income sources, analyzing the financial objectives, estimating the future expenses, opting for savings program and managing risk and assets.

Please note-It is important to estimate the future financial objectives in order to determine the retirement goals.

The Need for Retirement Planning

In today’s day and age, it is very important to have proper Retirement Planning. It will help you deal with the eventualities after retirement and maintain a good lifestyle in the retirement years. With the help of proper Retirement Planning, you can create a financial cushion for future so that you can live your golden days of retirement in a stress-free and hassle-free way.

Once you start earning, it is important to plan your financial future as soon as possible. For some individuals, Retirement Planning is athing to do in old age. If you need something, you have to make arrangements for the same in advance. That’s whyplanning for a secured financial future with a retirement plan in India while at a young age is a wise thing to do.

When it comes to being financially independent, everyone has their own perspective.Retirement Planning is needed to be planned meticulously after considering the various choices available.

5 Tips for Retirement Planning

Various retirement plans in India ensures a safe and tension-free retirement. They are among the most popular choices for retirement planning. Since there are many different types of retirement plans in India, it is important to analyseyour financial needs before you decide to choose a retirement plan.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 tips of Retirement Planning:

  • Save for Retirement Now- Many of us rely on personal savings as a retirement planning option. While the salaried individuals will get have pension income after retirement and the self-employed will have savings, opting for a pension plan early on in life always works as a lifesaver.
  • Be Prepared for Future Financial Emergencies- Since most people have only one source of income, having a retirement corpus to fall back on during the golden phase of your life will be quiet comforting. The corpus ought to be adequate enough to take care of your future financial emergencies.
  • Explore various insurance options- In case you have any dependents then life insurance serves as the primary option of income replacement for those who depend on you. In case you don’t have any dependents then you can invest your income in different investment instruments where it can multiply and you can receive a good return on your investment at a particular time period. Moreover, having an insurance policy at an early stage of life is much easy as the premium rates are relatively less and the policies offer higher coverage as compared to the policy you buy in the later stage of life.
  • Diversify your Investments- Retirement Planning doesn’t have to be boring. Since investing only in retirement plans and Pension Plans may not be enough to support your financial situation after retirement, you consider putting your money in different investment instruments for long term capital appreciation and return. Moreover, various investment plans also provide a tax advantage to individuals
  • Think about Your Retirement Wants- much before you reach your old age and get retire start saving money according to your retirement needs. For example, as you age the medical expenses automatically increases so secure yourself and your family with proper health insurance so that in case of any critical illness you are covered entirely. Do give a thought on many other factors like which city you want to settle after retirement, a major investment that can take place after retirement etc.

Why Do You Need to Start Retirement Planning Today?

The early on you start planning for your retirement, the more wealth you can create over a long period of time in order to create a secured future after retirement.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why you should start Retirement Planning today:

  • With the help of a retirement plan in India, you will be able to take care of the financial needs of the family after retirement as it will provide you with a source of income post-retirement.
  • The money saved for retirement can help you deal with any type of emergency situation, be it wealth wise or health-wise, in the future.
  • One of the most important advantages of Retirement Planning is that you can live a stress-free life after retirement as you will not have to be dependent on anyone.
  • With proper Retirement Planning, you can maintain a good lifestyle after retirement and can even fulfil your unfulfilled desires that you couldn’t early on in your life.
  • With the help of pension funds in India, you can assure a guaranteed income after retirement as an annuity to take care of your monthly expenses.

Top 10 Pension Plans in India 2019

Here are the Best Pension Plans in India 2019:

Pension Plan Name Entry Age Vesting Age Policy Term Annual Premium Amount Sum Assured
HDFC Life Click 2 Retire 18 years - 65 years 75 years 10 or 15 - 35 years Rs.24, 000/- minimum -
Edelweiss Tokio Life -Wealth Ultima With Little Champ Benefits -Life Insured - 0- 17 yearsPolicyholder - 18 - 55 yearsWithout Little Champ Benefits -Life Insured - 0 - 60 years 18 - 100 years Minimum: 10 yearsMaximum:  For 5 - 6 PPT: 70 yearsFor 7PPT and above: 100 years minus age of the policyholder at entry Rs.48,000/- minimum Different Sum Assured according to Age
Bajaj Life Long Goal 0 years (Life Assured)18 years (Policyholder) - 65 years (Life Assured) and No Limit (Policyholder) 99 years 99 - Entry age of the Life Assured Rs.60, 000/ minimum N/A
Max Life Online Savings Plan - Retirement 50 years - 75 years N/A N/A N/A N/A
Future Generali - Big Dreams 18 years - 75 years N/A 5 years - 20 years Rs.60, 000 minimum Regular Pay - 10X Annualize PremiumLimited Pay - 10X Annualize PremiumSingle Pay - 1.25X Single Premium  
HDFC Life Pension Super Plus 35 years - 65 years 55 years - 75 years 10 years - 20 years N/A Subject to underwriting
HDFC Life Personal Pension Plus 18 years -65 years 55 years (minimum,75 years (maximum) 10 years( minimum),40 years(maximum) Equal to the policy term Rs. 2,04,841 (minimum); Depends on term, age and premium (maximum)
Canara HSBC Invest 4G Whole Life 18 years - 55 years N/A N/A N/A Age<45 years - 10X Annualize Premium0.5*Term*Annualize PremiumAge >=45 years - 10X Annualize Premium0.25*Term*Annualize Premium
LIC New Jeevan Akshay 30 years - 85 years N/A N/A Depends on thenetry age and purchase price N/A
ICICI Pru Easy Retire 35 years - 70 years 45 years - 80 years 10 years - 30 years Rs.48, 000/- minimum N/A

Types of Pension Plans in India

Pension Plans are way better investment options that ensure a secure life after retirement. These plans have multiple classifications, based on the plan structure and benefits.These plans can be further divided into 8 categories:

  • Deferred Annuity 
  • Immediate Annuity
  • Annuity Certain
  • With Cover and Without Cover Pension Plans
  • Guaranteed Period Annuity
  • Life Annuity
  • National Pension Scheme(NPS)
  • Pension Funds
  • Whole Life ULIPs

Let’s explore these plans in detail:

  • Deferred Annuity: A deferred Pension Scheme allows you to accumulate a corpus through regular premium or single premium payment over a policy term. After the policy term is over, the pension will be provided. The advantages of deferred Pension Plans are many and these include tax benefits that are associated with this Pension Scheme. Only 1/3rd of the corpus is tax free on withdrawal and from rest of the 2/3rd of the corpus, it is mandatory to purchase pension that is taxable. Money in pension is locked and cannot be withdrawan for any emergency.
  • Adeferred Pension Scheme can be bought by paying one-time payment as well as paying regular premium payments.Therefore, the schemesuits all types of investors be it those who want to invest systematically and those who have a chunk of money to invest.
  • Immediate Annuity: Under an immediate annuity scheme, the pension is provided immediately. The policyholder has to pay a lump-sum amount and pension will be provided instantly, basedon the lump-sum amount paid by the policyholder. A range of the annuity options is available to choose from. Moreover, the premiums paid are tax-exempted as per Income Tax Act, 1961.After the death of the policyholder, their nominee will be entitled to get money.
  • With Cover and Without Cover Pension PlansThe with coverPension Plans have life cover component in the plan. Upon the death of the policyholder, a lump sum amount is paid to the beneficiary. However, the cover amount is not very high since a large part of the premium is paidtowards growing the corpus rather than covering for life risk.
  • Under thewithout coverPension Plan,no life cover is provided. In the event of unfortunate death of the policyholder, the nominee will get the corpus (till the date of the death). Currently, deferred Pension Planscomewith cover and immediate annuity plans comewithout a cover.
  • Annuity Certain: Under an annuity certainplan, the annuity is paid to the annuitant for a specific number of years. The annuitant can choose the period and if they pass away before receiving all complete payment, the annuity will be paid to the beneficiary.
  • Guaranteed Period Annuity: Under guaranteed period annuity plan, the annuity is providedto the policyholder for certain periods like 5years,10years,15 years or 20 years, whether or not he survives that duration.
  • Life Annuity: As per the lifeannuity plan, the pension amount will be paid to the annuitant until death. After choosing the ‘with spouse’ option, the amount of pension will be given to the spouse of the policyholder, in case of the death of the policyholder.
  • National Pension Scheme (NPS): New Pension Schemewasintroduced by the government catering topeople looking to build up a pension amount. The policyholdercan put savings in the New Pension Scheme. Itwill be invested in equity and debt market as per thepreference of the policyholder. The policyholdercan withdraw 60% of the amount at retirement and rest 40% must be used to purchase the annuity. The maturity proceedsare not tax-free.
  • Pension Funds: Pension fund is a type of Pension Plan that remains in force for a long period of time.This plan offers comparatively better returns uponmaturity. Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the government body has allowed 6 companies as fund managers to manage Pension Funds. 
  • Whole Life ULIPs: Under this plan, the money stays invested for whole life of the policyholder and upon retirement he/she can make partial withdrawals and get tax free income. Additional withdrawals are allowed whenever needed or whenever necessary.

Comparison Between Pension Plans

Features New Age Retiement Products (Whole Life ULIP) Regular Retirement Product National Pension Scheme Public Provident Fund
100% tax free income on Retirement for Life Yes No No No
Flexibility to withdraw 100% Fund Value Yes, withdraw upto 100% of Fund Value anytime after 5 years No, withdraw upto 33% of Fund Value upon Retirement No, partially withdraw upto 25% of Fund Value after 10 years No, partially withdraw upto 50% of Fund Value
Tax-free Fund Value withdraw Yes, withdraw 100% of Fund Value tax free No, withdraw upto 33% of Fund Value tax free upon retirement No, withdraw upto 60% of Fund Value tax free upon retirement Yes, withdraw 100% of Fund Value tax free
Flexibility to increase, decrease income Yes No No No
Choice of multiple investment strategy to maximize growth of fund value Yes No Yes No
Tax exemption on Amount Invested Sec 80 upto 1.5 Lacs Sec 80 upto 1.5 Lacs Sec 80 CCD (1B) upto 50K & Sec 80 upto 1.5 Lacs Sec 80C uptp 1.5 Lacs

Features of
Pension Plans

Nowadays, some people start planning for the retirement life at an early stage so that at a later stage they do not have to depend on others to make their ends meet.

In case you want to opt for aPension Plan, ensure the plan has the following features:


The annuity is the most distinctive feature of Pension Plans and generally comes in two types, immediate annuity and deferredannuity. As the name suggests, immediate annuity starts immediately. The insurance company pays the annuity Pension Plan amount right after receivingthe lump sum premium. These plans takethe single premium route so that the insurance company can use the amount invested by the policyholderto build up a corpus for him or her.

The deferred annuity plans start paying a certain sum after a few years. The insurance companies offer a diverse range of Pension Plans for various terms that allow the policyholderto choose the period for which they want to receive the annuity.

If you are looking forward toRetirement Planning, then,optfor the best Pension Plan in India by looking at the offer annuity and the charged premium.

Sum Assured

The sum assured is the life insurance cover that the insured receives during the tenure of the Pension Plan. It provides the insured with the much-needed peace as a pre-decided sum assured will be provided to the policyholder’s family in case of the policyholder pass away during the policy tenure.The sum assured is generally provided underwith coverPension Plans. The life insurance companies in India calculate the sum assured in different ways. For instance, a few Pension Plansprovider with a sum assured of say 10 times the premium amount, while others may offera sum assured that equals the fund value of the policy optedby the individual. The calculation varies from company to company. In case, there is no sum assured, then the plan is more in the nature of a pure-play Pension Plan rather than an insurance plan with retirement benefits.

Vesting Age

The vesting age is the age ofaninvestor starts receiving the pension income. Depending on policy purchase dateand the type of premium, the vesting age can be your current age if you opt for the Pension Plan payment to start right away (immediate annuity - lump-sum premium) or after a few years such as 10-15 years. The minimum vesting age for most policies is40 years of age but on average it is around 50 years. The maximum vesting age is generally around 70 years, though some insurance companies may offer plans that have a maximum vesting age of up to 79 years or more.

Accumulation Period

This refers to the period for whichthe premium is paid by the policyholderfor the Pension Plans. Some of the best Pension Plans in India offer the option to the policyholderto start paying off a part of the premium from theamounts they are yet to receive (if any). This decreases the outgo for the policyholderduring the years leading up to retirement and helps them use their money as per their discretion. However, most Pension Planscome with separate periods for accumulation and pay-out. This helps in building up a corpus for the separate to receive a pension.

Payment Period

The payment period, as the name suggests, refers to the period during which the investor starts receiving the payments. This period is generally separate from the accumulation phase and helps the investor to increase theiroverall retirement corpus.

Surrender Value

The surrender value of Pension Plans is the amount the insurance company will pay the individual if they surrender the Pension Plan before its maturityif they have paid the premium for theminimum period. A policyholder may need to surrender a plan for various reasons. When aninsured surrenderstheirPension Plan, they lose all benefits offered by the plan, including the life cover, if any.

Minimum Guarantee of Pension Plans

Every Pension Planmust have a minimum guarantee. Every premium paid towards the insurance benefit as well as the maturity benefitmust-have ‘on zero returns’, as instructed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. This should notbe less than one percent of the premiums paid over the years. Though the minimum guarantee is applicableon all variable insurance plans, most companies offer various types of Pension Plans that may offer better returns than the guaranteed plans. This, of course, varies from plan to plan and you should make sure that you pick ones that offer this best return.  The minimum guarantee of Pension Plansprovides a guaranteed amount that the policyholder will definitely receive at the end of the policy period.

Factors to Consider While Buying Pension Plans

 Here are different factors that should be considered while purchasing a Pension Plan:

  • Monthly Expenses: While planning for retirement, it is very important to keep in mind the monthly expenses. After retirement, the regular source of income is cut-off. Thus, in order to keep up withthe regular monthly expenses of the family, it important to create a financial corpus big enough to take care of all these expenses. Apart from the monthly expenses, it is important to allocate ample fund for the post-retirement unexpected financial emergencies.
  • Inflation: While purchasing a Pension Plan, it important to keep in mind the growing inflation rate and plan accordingly that how much corpus will be sufficient enough to maintain a financially secured lifestyle after retirement.
  • Life Expectancy: There is no way to correctly predict how long an individual will live. Thus, while purchasing the best Pension Plansyour retirement fund should be sufficient enough to support your financial needs during the old age.
  • Medical Expenses: Young people often tend to ignore the future medical expenses. However, when one gets old, they may have to spend a bomb on medical check-ups and treatments. Thus, it is very important that your Pension Plan should provide you with an adequate fund to deal with any type of medical emergencies.
  • Assets and Loans: Another important thing that you should consider while purchasing the best Pension Plans is your outstanding loans and current assets. In case you have any outstanding loans, then repay off these loan(s)on time. If you fail to repay the loan(s) on time then it can take away a chunk of the annuity income.
  • Understand Your Financial Needs: It is crucial that you understand how much you need to sustain yourself and your dependents after your retirement.
  • Do Some Research :Read through the pension plan details in depth to understand what you are signing up for.The pension details in the policies will offer information on the periodicity of your income, how much is guaranteed, how much is dependent on market performance etc.
  • Understand the Different Products: There are various retirement plans available in the market. Shortlist the ones that will fulfill your financial expectations.
  • Know About other Retirement Planning Options: Do not stick to a Retirement Planning solution just because someone says so. One product that suits your friend may not suit you. Look up the provident funds, the Pension Plans offered by the asset management companies and those offered by the insurance companies to get what you need.
  • Do not look at Only the Tax Benefits: Consider tax benefit as a secondary benefit instead of a primary benefit. If you opt for a retirement plan, considering only the tax benefits, you might not be able to build up the corpus you need for your retirement. So, do your Retirement Planningcalculations and choose a plan accordingly.

Advantages of Retirement Plans in India 

If you are trying to find the best Pension Plan in India, it will be beneficial to understand the advantages of Retirement Planning and the retirement benefits variousPension Schemes in India offer.  Each Pension Scheme in India comes with its own specific retirement benefits,we have mentioned the general advantages of retirement plans.

Savings for a Longer Term

Irrespective of the premium payment mode selected by you, which can be multiple small payouts or a lump sum payment, one thing that you assure with a Pension Plan is savings for the long term. Retirement plans India mainly focuses on creating the annuity that can further invest in generating a steady flow of cash for your post-retirement years.

Regular Income after Retirement

The Pension Schemes in India offer a guaranteed income that helps the policyholderto meet theirday-to-dayexpenses. Your current income and future inflation should lay a foundation of yourRetirement Planning as it will help you to compute the money you’ll need post-retirement. Some of the insurance plans offer incomethat ensures that the policyholder does not have to worry about the future. Since these life-income plans offer better returns, it is a smart way to walk down the Retirement Planninglane.

Insurance Cover

The Retirement Planning solutions people invest in provides them with an insurance cover, to financially protect their familyif the worst comes to pass. Most life insurance companies offer an insurance cover benefitunder various retirement plans so that the spouse does not have to face any financial difficulty if the unfortunate happens.

No-Risk in Investment

The retirement plans in India protectthe policyholder againstany kind of investment risks. If your Pension Plan is offered by your employer, then also you need not worry. This is because, even if the downfall in the stock market, the company has to make up to recover the lost money. However, there will not be any negative effecton your retirement benefit. Moreover, even if your company goes bankrupt, nothing happens to your pension even then. This is because, the government entity- the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, takes care of your pension payouts.

Tax Benefits of Pension Plans

The investment you make in the Retirement Planning solutions will help you to save significantly on your tax. In fact, if you plan it well, enjoy the offered tax benefits. Checking the policy details will also allow you to understand if you can avail tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

Money When You Need It

Some plans offer lump-sum payment that you can use to meet major expenses (if any). In the years leading up to retirement, an individualmay needfunds for various reasons such as buying a flat or paying for children’s wedding. Some pension plansofferto withdraw a large chunk of your corpus to meet financial emergencies. Checkingthe policy details for the various plans will help you in Retirement Planning, as you will be able to pick the ones that suit your future financial expectations.

Different Plans Caters to Different Individuals

While buying a retirement plan in India, you will get numerous options. These options will be according to the age of retirement and the inclusions that you may want. You can pay a lump sum of approximately Rs.5 Lakh in one go and immediately start getting annuity payment. Or you may go for a differed annuity policy to get more interest before the start of payout.

Option to Enhance the Protection

By opting for an add-on rider, you can enhance the coverage of your retirement plans in India. Some retirement plan riders worth considering are- disability due to an accident rider, critical illness rider etc.

You can choose ULIP

With retirement plans in India, you can go for the option of a Unit-Linked Insurance Plans. Under a ULIP,your money willbe invested in equity and debt fundsor safer government securities as per your preference. Based on the market returns,you canget a huge corpus at your retirement. Itcan help you to maintain your lifestyle without making any compromises.

Note- For detailed information of thepension plan, read the plan brochure. You can log on to, to compare the best retirement plan in India for you.

How to Calculate the Return of Pension Plans?

While it is important to strategically planyour retirement and generate aretirement corpus, an investor should opt for a retirement plan based on the offered returns.

Here is how you can calculate the return of pension plans:

With the help of the online pension calculator, you caneasily calculate the return of pension plans. You will need to enter information such as your savings, your expenditure,your current financial liabilities, the total sum required and monthly expenses.Based on the information, the pension plan’s returns can be calculated.

Best Time to Invest in Retirement Plans in India

The early you plan your retirement by optingfor retirement plans in India, the higher returns you will get from your policy. So, it is good to start investing as early as you get your first salary. However, initially, you can start with small amounts and gradually with an increase in your salary you can increase this contribution also.

Why Do I Need a Retirement Plan?

A retirement plan is as important as a health insurance plan.  Here are the reasons why:

You won’t be able to Work Always

Thereare some peoplewho want to work until the last day of your life. Due to ageing, poor health condition will stop most of the people from working. For such times, having a regular source of income works as a virtue.Retirement plans can provide a regular source of income even when you will not be able to work.

To Save for Medical Emergencies

The older you get, you becomemore prone to develop/ contract health issues. Ageing doesn’t only affect your health, it affects your pocket as well. After retirement, one of the most recurring expenses is medical expenses. If you don’t have a senior citizen plan, you have all the more reason to opt for a retirement plan.

A medical emergency may leave a big hole in your pocket especially post-retirement.Having a retirement plan can help you keep such financial crises at bay.

To Check-off Your Bucket List

From childhood to old age,you might have made so many compromises such as not pursuing your dreams, travel plansetc. However, if you have planned your retirement gracefully by opting for one of the best retirement plans in India, you can check off your bucket list items easily.

To Stay Financially Independent

By being financially independent, you will not become a burden for your children during your post-retirement life. This will not only give you mental peace,but it will also give your family (children) a sense of satisfaction that their parents are financially sound.

You Can Help your Family as Well

Another benefit of retiring gracefully with retirement plans is being able to help out your family in their bad time or when they need (if need be).

Eligibility for Retirement Plans in India

The three main eligibility criteriafor purchasing retirement plans in India are:

  • Entry Age: You can purchase a Pension Plan only after you attain a certain age. There are different age brackets for different insurance plans, but generally the minimum entry age for a Pension Planis 18 years. However, there are some companies that have setthe entry age for pension plansis 30 years. In the same way, there is a maximum entry age forthe Pension Plans.In most cases, it is around 70 years.
  • Premium: There is a minimum premium payment that the policyholder has to payfor taking a Pension Plan. This is because the pension is received according to the premium paid by the policyholder.
  • Vesting Age: This is the age at which the policyholder starts getting a pension. Generally, it is set at 40 years. It cango up to the limit provided by the insurance provider.

Pension Plans - Latest News 2018-19

  • Budget wish list: Push for pension plans, zero GST on term policies

    In the latest budget released by the Indian Government, it announced the launch of term policies with zero GST, which will encourage people to buy term policies, and hence, eventually help the country to have a better GDP percentage for life insurance schemes. As annuity schemes in India have always been taxable, they have always been considered as an unattractive investment option. The government has thus, made a big move to make term insurance plans available at zero GST or at a minimum rate of 5% to deepen financial inclusion amongst the middle-class investors. There isn’t also much attention focussed towards the health & protection needs of the middle and lower income class individuals. Allowing tax deduction provisions for life & health insurance schemes under Section 80 will help address the needs of this class, which forms a major chunk of the country’s population.
  • Budget 2018: PMVVY Limit to Increase to 15 Lakh

    Under budget 2018, the Finance Minister of India has proposed the extension of scheme Pradhanmantri Vaya Vandana Yojana(PMVVY) till March, 2020. Moreover, it has also been proposed by the FM that the current limit of investment will increase to Rs 15 lakh from the pre-existing limit of Rs 7.5 lakh for every senior citizen. PMVVY is a government backed pension scheme that was introduced to secure the future of senior citizens in India. The scheme was launched on May 4th 2017 and was initially available for 1 year. The amount invested in PMVVY is known as purchase price. As per the pension plan option chosen by an individual i.e. (monthly, quarterly, yearly), the pension is provided as arrears starting from the end of the period chosen. Based on the amount invested, the maximum tenure of the policy is 10 years. The increase in the investment limit is proved to be beneficial to seniors.
  • TATA Steel Backed New Pension Plan to Be Joined By a Large Number of UK Workers

    A throng of 1,22,000 workers have signed a deal to switch to a new pension scheme backed by TATA Steel UK after they were affected by the end of the 15 billion pound pension scheme. According to the reports, it has been confirmed that approximately 97,000 members have indicated their shift from British English Pension Scheme to the New Plan by returning their option form, whereas, just 14% of the members chose to stick with the old pension scheme. As a part of the biggest pension conference conducted in the UK, the options form was distributed to around 1,22,000 scheme’s members. Among which 97,000 members filled the forms completely and returned them. TATA Steel UK has welcomed the outcome of the conference conducted as a positive choice. However, the spokesperson of the company has stated that much work is still required to deliver a secure future for their UK business.
  • Budget 2018 and the Financial Aid for Senior Citizens

    In his Budget speech 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley focused on caring for the senior citizens. He announced various tax & related incentives to decrease the fiscal burden on people above 60 years of age and above. All these moves are very welcome since senior-citizens face rising health-care expenses and depend upon their income earned from interest & pension. From affording a 5-fold increment in the tax exemption limit on income earned from savings, recurring deposits and fixed deposits held with post offices and banks of Rs.50, 000, to eliminating the tax deducted at source on this income, budget 2018 offers well-deserved relief to senior citizens. This is done by leaving a more money in the hands of senior citizens savers who are totally dependent on earned interest to meet their day to day expenses. Another tax change is the offer to increase the yearly tax deduction limit for medical insurance premium or/and medical reimbursement to Rs. 50,000 for the elderly. An applause-worthy step is setting the ceiling for tax deduction for medical costs incurred on specific critical diseases to Rs. 1 lakh, regardless of the age of the senior citizen.
  • The Central Government Unwinds Atal Pension Plan Norms

    Payment banks and small finance banks can now offer the Atal Pension Yojana or APY. The Central government believes that such a move will considerably increase the coverage of the plan. The government is of the opinion that these banks will strengthen the current distribution channels of the APY scheme. As per the Ministry of Finance, this step will further help in boosting outreach to subscribers under the scheme. As of now, ten small finance banks and eleven payment banks have obtained licenses from RBI to initiate banking operations in India. Participation in Atal Pension Yojana helps in building a pensioned society and also provides viable fee revenue to banks by way of alluring incentives for mobilizing the scheme at the rate of Rs 120 to 150 per account.  As per government reports, by the end of January 2018, more than 84 lakh subscriptions were registered under the scheme.
  • Indians Best at Retirement Planning: Survey, 2017

    Indians resumed their position of best placed in retirement planning in a global survey conducted by Aegon Retirement Readiness Index (ARRI), in 2017. The superannuation survey was done among 15 countries. Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2017, was based on 6 parameters including - personal responsibility of the respondents, mindfulness, financial understanding and responsibilities, retirement planning, and income replacement. ARRI said that the report is not illustrative of the general population and is directed towards the medium and high-income earners across these cities. India ranks the highest on the ARRI score index with 7.6 score, among the 15 major economies of the world. US, Brazil, China and UK follow the trail with a score of 6.9, 6.4, 6.3 and 6.2 respectively. Spain (4.7) and Japan (5.1) scored the lowest on the index.
  • SeLFIES for India

    In a major decision taken by the Indian Government, it has decided to allocate a total of Rs 50 lakh crore for the infrastructure, in the budget released for the current financial year. At the same time, there are also certain provisions introduced in the budget to improve the life of retirees/senior citizens. “A life of dignity” comes with the confidence to ensure the income security of senior citizens in India. SelFIES (Standard of Living indexed, Forward-starting, Income-only Securities) is a long-term bond introduced to help retirees lead their pre-retirement lifestyle even after their retirement. Most of the times, part-time employees, people from low-income group, rural workers, etc. can’t save enough for their retirement due to the obvious lack of funds. SeLFIES will give them access to invest in low-cost, safe and liquid bonds issued by the Indian Government. Financial literacy rate in India is still relatively low; hence, SeLFIES is a welcoming change that will allow people to access their funds when they actually need it, eventually simplifying the process of retirement planning.
  • Plea against pension for ‘freedom fighter’

    In a latest statement released by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, the Madurai Bench has favoured an appeal to grant freedom fighter pension to a senior citizen. Earlier, the claimant, Govindarajulu, 91 years of age, was denied pension based on the fact that he was not able to fulfil the specified eligibility criteria for the requirement. According to the set criteria to claim freedom fighter’s pension, the claimant should already have attained the age of 18 at the time of her or his imprisonment. Also, s/he is required to submit a copy of jail records by the authorized committee. In an earlier judgement, Govindarajulu was denied pension, stating that he wasn’t able to submit relevant documents to specify his date of birth. In its statement, the Madras High Court has expressed regrets and apologized for the state’s insensitive approach toward the whole matter. In the latest statement released, Justice K Ravichandra Babu chided the system for its ‘bureaucratic dogmatism” and said that pension facility for freedom fighters is not a charity done by the government, but is a bestowal of honour for those who fought for our freedom. In the judgement released by the Madras High Court, the Tamil Nadu Government has been ordered to grant the pension for Govindarajulu in two weeks.
  • A Panel to Analyze Pension plan

    The Kerala state government is to appoint a ‘committee’ to analyze the socio-economic & legal significance of the CPS (Contributory Pension Scheme). The committee will analyze the effects of 2 facets of the CPS: the transfer of states’ funds to (private) fund managers and the co-occurring existence of 2 schemes in the state- the statutory schemes and the contributory schemes. An announcement was made by finance minister of Kerala Dr. T M Thomas Isaac in a reply to a Calling Attention motion put forward by MLA Mullakkara Ratnakaran. Mr. Ratnakaran demanded the establishment of a ‘commission’ for studying pension plans. Dr. Isaac has accepted Mr. Ratnakaran’s demand for specifying a time-duration for the committee to present its report. The committee members and schedule are yet to be announced later. As per the contributory pension scheme, a government employee contributes a decided percentage of his/her basic salary, it is then combined with the dearness allowance and an equal portion is contributed by the government.  A pension fund manager will be entrusted with the same. The fund manager will invest the money in the shares and mutual funds.
  • Sale of Traditional Pension Plans Increase Owing to recent market fluctuation

    Looking at the fluctuations in the equity market, Indians have now started opting for traditional pension plans as well as life insurance plans instead of ULIPs. As reported by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, people are now inclined more towards life insurance policies such as life insurance (67.8% of products in the market were purchased). Moreover, 18.6% pension plans were purchased in the financial year 2015-16. The sales of these products have increased as compared to year-on-year sale.

    Sales of ULIPs have gone down, and its contribution to the insurance pool has slipped from 16.1% (2014-15) to 13.6% (2015-16). Out of Rs. 25 lakh crore invested by life insurance policies, only Rs. 3.4 lakh crore was from ULIPs. The traditional products have a major share in the current market. In this sector, life funds contributed Rs 16.9 lakh crore. Moreover, Rs 4.6 lakh crore was the contribution of the pension funds.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 16 December 2019
Plan Name Plan Features Entry Age - Min/Max Maturity Age - Min/Max Policy Term(PT) & Policy Paying term(PPT) Plan Benefits Sum Assured in case of Death
HDFC Life Click to Retire
  • Secure your retirement with Assured Vesting Benefit and also gain from upside in the market
  • Lower vesting/maturity age of 45 years
  • No Entry or Exit charges.
  • Partial Withdrawls allowed post the 5th policy year.
  • Tax deduction is available under sec 80(C) when Sum Assured is atleast than 10 times Annual premium.
18 - 65 Years 45 - 75 Years PT: 10, 15 - 35 Years
PPT: Single Pay, 8, 10, 15 Years
  • Policy vests at the end of the policy term, and your Maturity Benefit it will be the higher of: Fund Value or Assured Vesting Benefit.
  • Death Benefit: Incase of demise of life assured before end of policy term, Nominee receives higher of fund value or Sum Assured
105% of the cumulative premiums paid.
Birla Sun Life Wealth Secure
  • Pay premiums for a limited term and get life cover for whole life
  • Flexibility to choose from 3 investment options to suit your investment needs
  • Flexibility of partial withdrawals to meet any emergency fund requirements
  • Tax deduction is available under sec 80(C) when Sum Assured is atleast than 10 times Annual premium.
1 - 60 Years NA PT: whole life
PPT: 5 to 30 Years
*On maturity you get entire Fund Value that is the Total value of your investments. *Guarenteed additions in the form of additional units will be added every year post the 10th policy anniversary. *Death Benefit: In the unfortunate event the life insured dies while the policy is in effect, the nominee will get higher of Base Fund Valu or Base Sum Assured.
For Age less than 45:
Higher of
10 *Annual Premium or [(70 - entry age)/2]* Annual Premium

for age equal to or greater than 45:
Higher of
7 *Annual Premium or [(70 - entry age)/4]* Annual Premium
Max Life FYPP
  • Guaranteed Maturity Benefit
  • Option to choose the maturity age as per your requirement
  • Option to guarantee the retirement benefit for your spouse in the unfortunate event of your death, if you have opted for Max Life Partner Care Rider
  • Guaranteed Loyalty Additions added to the fund, starting 11th year
  • Tax deduction is available under sec 80(C) when Sum Assured is atleast than 10 times Annual premium.
30 - 65 Years 50 - 75 Years PT: 10 - 75 minus entry age
PPT: Single Pay, Regular Pay from 1 Year to Policy Term
Maturity Benefit:
  • Pension Maximiser Option: you will receive an amount equal to the higher of Fund Value or 101% of cumulative premiums (including top up premiums, if any)at maturity. If you opt for the Pension
  • Preserver Option: you will receive an amount equal to the higher of Fund Value or 110% of cumulative premiums (including top up premiums, if any)at maturity.
  • Death Benefit: Higher of the Fund Value as on date of death or Sum Assured
105% of the cumulative premiums paid (including top up premiums, if any)
HDFC Life Click to Invest
  • Premium payment option of single pay, 5 pay, 7 pay, 10 pay or regular pay
  • Choose from the range of 8 fund options
  • Lump Sum partial withdrawls allowed post the 5th year.
  • Tax deduction is available under sec 80(C) when Sum Assured is atleast than 10 times Annual premium.
0 - 65 Years 18 - 75 Years PT: 5 - 20 Years
Single Pay,
Limited: 5,7 and 10 years
Regular: 5 to 20 Years
Maturity Benefit: You will get the fund value of your investments & will have the option to take the fund value as periodic installments also.
Death Benefit: Nominee will receive highest of Sum Assure or Fund Value or 105% of all premiums.
Single Premium: 125% of single Premium
Regular and Limited premium (age < 55): 10 * Annual Premium
Regular and Limited premium (age > 55): 7 * Annual Premium
Sbi Life e-Wealth
  • Twin Benefit of life insurance cover and market linked returns
  • Choice of two plan options based on overall exposure to equity, debt and money market instruments
  • Liquidity through partial withdrawals from 6th policy year onwards
  • Tax deduction is available under sec 80(C) when Sum Assured is atleast than 10 times Annual premium.
18 - 50 Years 60 Years PT: 10 - 20 Years
PPT: Same as policy Term
Maturity Benefit: On maturity the current Fund Value of investments made is paid as Lumpsum alternatively option to choose periodic installment options is also there.
Death Benefit:Nominee will receive highest of Sum Assure or Fund Value or 105% of all premiums.
10 * Annual premium

What is Provident Fund?


The Provident Fund (PF) scheme was launched by the Government of India in 1968 to create a pan India scheme for the citizens for their retirement planning. Any Indian above the age of 18 years can open the PF account and deposit amounts from as low as Rs. 500 to Rs. 1.5 lakh per year. The PF interest rate is compounded over its 15 years tenure to build up a large retirement corpus base for the individual. It has a lock-in period of 7 years and allows the investors to make withdrawals from the eight year onwards, though withdrawal of all the funds is allowed only after the maturity period. The plan can be renewed beyond the initial 15 years for additional periods of 5 years each.


What is Employees' Provident Fund or Employees’ Pension Scheme?


Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) is a provident fund and insurance scheme administered by the Government of India for all employees of various organisations across the country. The provident fund requires employees of a member organisation to make a contribution of 12% of their income towards the fund along with an equal contribution by their employers. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation that manages the fund invests most of the amounts received from employees in debt securities though the Government allows 5% to 15% to be invested in the stock market.

The Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) is a completely different scheme but which is interrelated with the Employees' Provident Fund, both being managed under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act of 1952. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation diverts 8.33% of the 12% salary contribution that the employers have made for their employees’ EPF into the employees’ EPS accounts. The 12% contribution that the employees have made from their own salary stays in the EPF.


What Is New Pension Scheme and It’s Benefits?


The National Pension Scheme or the New Pension Scheme is a Government of India initiative to give policyholders a pension plan that will take care of them at old age. The retirement planning becomes easier with the new pension scheme as the pensioners receive a pension depending on their contribution towards the pension plan during the accumulation stage. The voluntary new pension scheme in India is managed by the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority that was set up by an act of the Indian Parliament in 2013. 

The new pension scheme is a voluntary scheme that is open to all people in the age group of 18 to 60 years. It seeks to inculcate a discipline of savings among Indians to take care of their future. The new pension scheme contribution starts with Rs. 500 per month or Rs. 6,000 per year. There is no limit on the maximum contribution, though. The Income Tax Act allows a deduction of only Rs. 50,000 under section 80CCD (1B).

The new pension scheme provides a range of benefits such as the option to select from a range of investment choices and to choose the pension fund manager of one’s choice. The new pension scheme also allows individuals to switch between different investment options and also between different fund managers. Let’s look at them in more detail to answer the question what is new pension scheme?


What is PM Pension Scheme?


The Pradhan Mantri Atal Pension Yojana or PM pension scheme for short is a unique retirement planning option introduced to bring the rural population under the ambit of pension schemes in India. The retirement planning solution allows any individual within the age group of 18 to 40 to contribute and get the necessary retirement benefits that were hitherto not available for them. The premium can be paid through monthly, quarterly and half yearly payment options.


What is Participating and Non-Participating Pension Plan?


The participating pension plans are also called the traditional type of insurance plans, since the bonus in these products are similar to the reversionary bonuses of the standard insurance policies. In traditional plans, the insurance company offers the insured a bonus that is a percentage of the sum assured of their policy. This bonus is generally declared by the insurance company each year based on its performance in the previous year. The reversionary bonus is generally of the nature of simple interest where the bonus of the previous period does not get added to the sum assured. These bonuses declared in the tenure of the retirement policy get accumulated and the lump sum amount distributed to the insured party when the policy matures. The participating pension scheme in India allows for a planned approach to retirement planning.

The non-participating plans declare their bonus amounts at the time of the investor signing up for the plan. The insurance company has no discretion in non-participating pension plans and have to deliver on the amounts promised under the pension plan. Most of the top pension plans in India offer retirement benefits or bonuses that are pegged to certain indices. These may be the larger market index or smaller indices comprising of a few securities or government bonds. The non-participating plans offer more definite returns and make it easier for people to do their retirement planning.


What is a Pension Plan?


Pension Plan is a kind of insurance cum investment plan. In this plan, the insured pays regular premium to the insurance company to build up a corpus over time. On maturity (retirement), this corpus is paid back to the insurer in the form of regular income. However, in case the insured dies, the beneficiary will get the sum assured along with the bonuses.


What is annuity?


The regular payouts you get of your pension plan post retirement is called annuity. The annuity can be availed on a monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/yearly basis.


Why do I need pension plans?


Pension plan assures a regular income post retirement when you enter the no-more-paychecks phase of your life. Retirement is perhaps the best time to enjoy leisure activities. Pension plan funds your to-do-lists post retirement. A pension plan is a great way to be financially independent in your second innings.


I already have a provident fund account. Do I still need a pension plan?


Yes, you do. 'PF is simply not enough.' The ever growing inflation will make your PF amount look quite minuscule in the future. It will not suffice your future expenses. This becomes all the more important, as you become more vulnerable to health problems in your old age. A lone provident fund amount will utterly fail to financially support the healthcare needs.


How do I calculate the retirement corpus?


You can do that with a Retirement Calculator. You need to put in the following details in the calculator and it’ll sum up an ideal corpus.

Present cost of living (monthly expenses) Inflation rate Retirement age Number of years you expect to live post retirement.


What are the types of Pension Plans?


Pension Plans can be classified on various parameters. Here On the basis of mode of premium payment

Deferred Annuity Pension Plan - The premium is paid regularly on a monthly/quarterly/annual basis. The annuity begins after a time period as specified by the policyholder in the annuity contract.

Immediate Annuity Pension Plan - A lump sum is paid as a one-time premium and the annuity begins almost immediately and continues for the policy term or throughout the insured’s life.

On the basis of nature of investment

ULIP Pension Plans - The pool of funds created by the premiums of the insured persons is invested both in debt instruments and equity instruments. Since it’s a market linked plan, the potential for returns is high.

Traditional Pension Plans - The pool of funds created by the premiums of the insured persons is invested only in debt instruments. The returns are steady but not substantial.

On the basis of tenure

Life annuity Pension Plan - The annuity is paid out to the insured until his/her death.

Fixed Term Annuity Pension Plan - The annuity is paid out to the insured until a fixed term (decided by the policyholder). The term could be quite earlier than the insured’s death.


How is a Pension Plan different from a Term Plan?



Term Plan

Pension Plan


To get a financial back up for your family in case of your demise

To get a financial back up for yourself and your family while still living. Though, like a term plan, it also provides a sum assured to your family in case of your demise

Maturity Benefit

Entire maturity amount is paid out at once and is tax exempted

1/3rd maturity amount is paid out as lump sum and is tax exempted The rest 2/3rd is paid out as annuity and is taxable


What are the tax benefits on Pension Plans?


As per section 80CCC of the Income Tax act, the premiums paid out for the pension plan are subjected to a deduction of up to a maximum of Rs 10,000 on taxable income.


Which annuity retirement plan should I choose- Deferred annuity or immediate annuity?


Choosing the right annuity plan can bring major changes to your retirement income. Nowadays, many people consider buying annuity pension plans as the part of their retirement option. Annuity plans can be broadly categorized into immediate annuity plan and deferred annuity plan. To know which retirement plan you should choose it is important to learn more about these plans: 

Deferred Annuity Plan: Under this plan, annuity phase is preceded by saving phase. Such types of policies are designed for people who don't require immediate pensions and have several years till the retirement age. It means they have enough time to invest and build a corpus. All premiums which are paid get invested till the maturity date.

Immediate Annuity Plan: In immediate annuity plan, if you are above 30 years, you can pay a lump sum amount and then start earning annuity benefits immediately after retirement. The payments can either be scheduled for a fixed tenure like 5, 10 or 15 years. Here, it is important to mention that immediate annuity plans are non-participating products and thus, they don't earn bonuses.

You can choose any of the above plans based on your risk appetite, fund requirement and current annual income.


What is accumulation phase?


It is the time period during which you regularly pay premiums to the insurance company to receive income post retirement in the form of pension.

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