Pension plan are a remunerative option of investment that let you allocate a part of your savings to accumulate over a period of time and provide you with steady income after retirement.
What is Pension Plan?
Pension plan or retirement plan are a type of investment plan, which helps you to accumulate a part of your savings over a long-term period so that you can have a secured financial future. Pension Plan helps you to deal with the uncertainties post-retirement and ensures a steady flow of income after retirement. Even if a person has a good amount of savings, a pension plan is nevertheless crucial.
A pension plan helps you to create a financial cushion in a long-term so that you can ensure to have a ffinancially sound future after retirement. In a retirement plan, the insured needs to contribute a specific amount on a regular basis until the time of retirement. The accumulated amount is given back to the insured as pension or annuity at regular intervals of time. The pension plans not only secures the financial future of the individual after retirement but also help an individual to deal with the eventualities post-retirement.
Savings get exhausted very fast and are sometimes used in emergencies, thus it is very important to choose the best pension scheme so that you secure your cash flow for meeting basic daily needs post-retirement. When you continuously invest in a pension plan, the amount multiplies due to the benefit of the power of compounding, which makes a lot of difference to your final savings corpus. By choosing the right retirement plan, you can plan for retirement in a phased manner. So it is advisable to choose the best pension plan that can act as a savior in your golden years.
Best Pension Plans in India
Here are the Best Pension Plans in India 2020:
Annual Premium Amount
HDFC Life Click 2 Retire
18 years - 65 years
10 or 15 - 35 years
Rs.24, 000/- minimum
Edelweiss Tokio Life -Wealth Ultima
With Little Champ Benefits -Life Insured - 0- the 17-year policyholder - 18 - 55 years without Little Champ Benefits -Life Insured - 0 - 60 years
18 - 100 years
Minimum: 10 years Maximum: For 5 - 6 PPT: 70 years For 7PPT and above: 100 years minus age of the policyholder at entry
Different Sum Assured according to Age
Bajaj Life-Long Goal Pension Scheme
0 years (Life Assured)18 years (Policyholder) - 65 years (Life Assured) and No Limit (Policyholder)
Rs. 2,04,841 (minimum); Depends on term, age and premium (maximum)
Canara HSBC Invest 4G Whole Life
18 years - 55 years
Age<45 years - 10X Annualize Premium0.5*Term*Annualize PremiumAge >=45 years - 10X Annualize Premium0.25*Term*Annualize Premium
LIC New Jeevan Akshay Pension Scheme
30 years - 85 years
Depends on then try age and purchase price
ICICI Pru Easy Retire Pension Scheme
35 years - 70 years
45 years - 80 years
10 years - 30 years
Rs.48, 000/- minimum
Types of Pension Plans in India
To cater to the requirement of the insurance seekers, there is a wide range of Pension Plans available in the market. These plans have multiple classifications, based on the plan structure and benefits. These pension plans can be further divided into 8 categories:
A deferred Pension Scheme allows you to accumulate a corpus through regular premium or single premium payment over a policy term. After the completion of the policy tenure, the pension is provided to the insured. The deferred pension scheme offers various different benefits to the insured person. Moreover, it also offers the benefit of a tax exemption that is associated with the pension scheme. In a deferred pension plan, only 1/3rd of the corpus is tax-free on withdrawal, whereas the 2/3rd of the corpus is taxable. The amount invested in a deferred pension plan is locked and cannot be withdrawn for any emergency.
A deferred pension scheme can be bought by paying one-time payment as well as paying regular premium payments. Therefore, these pension schemes are suitable for all types of investors, be it those who want to invest systematically and those who have a chunk of money to invest at one go.
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, based on the lump-sum amount paid by the policyholder. Under the immediate annuity pension scheme, the insured can choose from the range of annuity options. Moreover, the premiums paid are tax-exempted as per Income Tax Act, 1961. In an immediate annuity retirement plan, the nominee of the policy is entitled to receive the money in case of demise of the insured person during the tenure of the policy.
With cover pension plans have life cover component in the plan. Upon the death of the policyholder, a lump sum amount is paid to the beneficiary of the policy. However, the cover amount is not very high since a large part of the premium is paid towards growing the corpus rather than covering for life risk.
Under without cover pension plan, no life cover is offered to the insured person. In the event of unfortunate death of the insured person, the nominee will get the corpus (till the date of the death). Currently, deferred pension schemes come with the option of life cover, whereas immediate annuity plans do not offer the option of life cover.
Under this pension plan option, 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 of the policy.
Under the life annuity plan, the pension amount will be paid to the annuitant until death. After choosing the option of ‘with spouse’, the amount of pension will be given to the spouse of the policyholder, in case of the death of the policyholder.
New Pension Scheme was introduced by the government of India in order to secure the financial future of the individual after retirement. The policyholder can put savings in the New Pension Scheme. As per the preference of an individual, the money invested in the National Pension Scheme is put in equity and debt funds in order to generate returns on investment. The policyholder can withdraw 60% of the amount at retirement and rest 40% of the amount is used to purchase the annuity. The maturity proceeds are not tax-free.
The pension fund is a type of pension scheme that remains in force for a long period of time. This pension plan offers a comparatively better return upon maturity. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the government body has allowed 6 companies as fund managers to manage Pension Funds.
Under this option of the pension plan, the money stays invested for the whole life of the insured 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
For the better understanding of our readers, here we have shown a tabular comparison of different pension schemes in India.
New Age Retirement Products (Whole Life ULIP)
Regular Retirement Product
National Pension Scheme
Public Provident Fund
100% tax-free income on Retirement for Life
Flexibility to withdraw 100% Fund Value
Yes, withdraw up to 100% of Fund Value anytime after 5 years
No, withdraw up to 33% of Fund Value upon Retirement
No, partially withdraw up to 25% of Fund Value after 10 years
No, partially withdraw up to 50% of Fund Value
Tax-free Fund Value withdraw
Yes, withdraw 100% of Fund Value tax-free
No, withdraw up to 33% of Fund Value tax-free upon retirement
No, withdraw up to 60% of Fund Value tax-free upon retirement
Yes, withdraw 100% of Fund Value tax-free
Flexibility to increase, decrease income
Choice of multiple investment strategies to maximize the growth of fund value
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 and Benefits of Retirement Pension Plans
In today’s day and age, people start planning for the retirement life at an early stage so that at the later stage they do not have to depend on others to make their ends meet.
In case you want to opt for a Pension Plan, ensure that the plan you choose has the following features:
The annuity is the most distinctive feature of a pension plan and generally comes in two types, immediate annuity and deferred annuity. As the name suggests, immediate annuity starts immediately. The insurance company pays the pension plan annuity amount right after receiving the lump sum premium. Immediate annuity pension fund comes with the option of single premium payment so that the insurance company can use the amount invested by the policyholder to build up a corpus for him or her.
The deferred annuity pension plan starts paying a certain sum after a few years. The insurance companies offer a diverse range of plan options for different terms that allow the policyholder to choose the period for which they want to receive the annuity.
If you are looking forward to retirement planning, then, zero in on the best pension plan in India by keeping in mind the annuity offered by the pension scheme and the premium charged by the policy.
The sum assured is a pre-defined amount offered to the insured during the tenure of the policy. The sum assured amount is generally offered as death or maturity benefit under with cover pension plan. The sum assured amount is determined by the insurance companies in a different way. Under some pension scheme, the sum assured amount is determined as 10 times of the annual premium paid, while others may offer a sum assured that equals the fund value of the policy opted by the individual. In case, there is no sum assured, then the plan is more in the nature of a pure pension plan rather than an insurance plan with pension scheme.
Age is the age when the investors begin to receive the monthly pension. For example, most of the pension plans keep their minimum vesting age at 45 or 50 years. The vesting age in a pension scheme is flexible up to the age of 70 years. However, some of the insurance companies allow the vesting age to be up to 90 years of age.
The investors can either choose to pay the premium at one go as lump-sum investment or in periodic intervals. The premium invested is simultaneously accumulated over a long-term period in order to create a financial cushion for the future. The accumulation period in a pension scheme is described as the time from which you start investing until the time you invest. For instance, if you start investing at the age of 30 years and you continue to invest until you turn 60, then the accumulation period of the pension plan will be 30 years. Your pension for the chosen period majorly comes from this corpus.
The payment period, as the name suggests, refers to the period during which the investor starts receiving the payments post-retirement. For instance, if an individual receives a pension from the age of 60 years -75 years, then the payment period of the pension plan will be 15 years. In most of the pension plan, the accumulation phase is kept separate from the payment period. However, some pension schemes offer the option of partial or full withdrawal during the accumulation period as well.
The surrender value of pension plans is the amount the insurance company will pay the individual if they surrender the plan before its maturity if they have paid the premium for the minimum period. When an insured surrenders their pension plan, they lose all benefits offered by the plan, including the life cover, if any.
Minimum Guarantee of Pension Plans
Every pension plan must have a minimum guarantee. Every premium paid towards the insurance benefit as well as the maturity benefit must-have ‘on zero returns’, as instructed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. This should not be less than one percent of the premiums paid over the years. Though the minimum guarantee is applicable on 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 plans provides 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 with the 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 plans your 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 pension scheme 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, or pension funds 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 planning calculations and choose a plan accordingly.
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.
Planning for retirement is rather a life-long process. Even though, one can start their retirement at any age but it works best, when an individual includes this factor into their financial planning from the starting. Planning for retirement from an early stage of life is the best way to ensure a secured, safe and fun retirement.
Let’s take a look at the key take away of retirement planning.
Retirement planning can be described as the financial planning of investment, savings and final distribution of money in order to sustain one’s self at the time of retirement.
There are various popular investment options, which allow the individuals to accumulate fund with the advantage of tax benefit.
While planning for retirement it is important to consider factors like future liabilities, expenses and life expectancy along with asset and income.
The early one starts planning for retirement the better fund they can accumulate over a long period of time in order to have a secured life after retirement.
Retirement Planning Goals
It is important to note that planning for retirement starts way before an individual gets retired—the sooner the better. Even though, the amount of money one requires to retire comfortably is entirely personalized, but there are various rules of thumb that can provide an idea of how much to save.
Here we have taken an example in order to help you understand how much retirement corpus one needs at the time of retirement.
Mr. Kumar is 42 years old married man and is currently working in a private company in a position of senior product manager. His wife is only member of the family who is dependent on him. Mr. kumar wants to retire at the age of 60.
He currently earns Rs.80,000 per month, while his monthly expense is Rs.52,000 including the insurance premium and mutual fund investments. He is adequately insured and has created an emergency fund of 6 months. Considering the above mentioned information, let’s take a look at how much retirement corpus he needs during retirement.
Current Monthly House Hold Expenses
Post Retirement Monthly Current Expenses
Number of years left for retirement
Estimated Post Retirement Expenses
Retirement Corpus Required
In order to maintain the same life-style after retirement, Mr.Kumar will require approximately Rs.2.12 crore in order to live a secured life after retirement.
Advantages of Retirement Plans in India
If you are trying to find the best pension plan in India, it is very important to understand the advantages of retirement planning and the benefits offered by various pension schemes in India. Each pension scheme in India comes with its own specific retirement benefits, further here we have mentioned some of the advantages offered by the pension scheme in India.
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 retirement plan is savings for the long term. Pension scheme India mainly focuses on creating the annuity that can further invest in generating a steady flow of cash for your post-retirement years.
The pension scheme in India offers a guaranteed income that helps the policyholder to meet their day-to-day expenses. Your current income and future inflation should lay a foundation of your retirement planning as it will help you to compute the money you’ll need post-retirement. Some of the insurance plans offer income that 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 lane of retirement planning.
The retirement planning solutions people invest in provides them with an insurance cover, to financially protect their family if the worst comes to pass. Most life insurance companies offer an insurance cover benefit under various retirement plans so that the spouse does not have to face any financial difficulty if the unfortunate happens.
The pension schemes in India protect the policyholder against any 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 effect on 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.
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.
Some plans offer lump-sum payment that you can use to meet major expenses (if any). In the years leading up to retirement, an individual may need funds for various reasons such as buying a flat or paying for children’s wedding. Some pension plans offer to withdraw a large chunk of your corpus to meet financial emergencies. Checking the 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.
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.
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.
With pension schemes in India, you can go for the option of a Unit-Linked Insurance Plans. Under a ULIP, your money will be invested in equity and debt funds or safer government securities as per your preference. Based on the market returns, you can get a huge corpus at your retirement. It can help you to maintain your lifestyle without making any compromises.
Note- For detailed information of the pension plan, read the plan brochure. You can log on to PolicyBazaar.com, to compare the best retirement plan in India for you.
Why Do You Need to Start the 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 reason why you should start retirement planning today.
With the help of the 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 retirement life after retirement as you will not have to be dependent on anyone.
With proper retirement planning and by investing in the right pension plan, 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.
Best Time to Invest in Retirement Plan
The early you plan your retirement by opting for 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.
Importance of Retirement Plan
A pension scheme is as important as a health insurance plan. Here are the reasons why:
There are some people who want to work until the last day of your life. Due to ageing, poor health condition will stop most of the people from working. In such case,, 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.
The older you get, you become more 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 pension scheme can help you keep such financial crises at bay.
From childhood to old age, you might have made so many compromises such as not pursuing your dreams, travel plans etc. 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.
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.
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).
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 pension plans in India, it is important to analyze your 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 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.
Eligibility for Retirement Plans in India
The three main eligibility criteria for 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 Plan is 18 years. However, there are some companies that have set the entry age for these plans as 30 years. In the same way, there is a maximum entry age for the pension fund. In most cases, it is around 70 years.
Premium: There is a minimum premium payment that the policyholder has to pay for 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 can go up to the limit provided by the insurance provider.
How to Calculate the Return of Pension Plans?
While it is important to strategically plan your retirement and generate a retirement 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 can easily 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 scheme returns can be calculated.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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?
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
Ans: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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