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Pension plans offered by insurance companies provide the dual benefits of investment and insurance. A pension plan includes two phases.
Accumulation Phase: In this phase, you tend to invest and accumulate the wealth during the term of the policy. Your funds are invested in securities or other investment avenues as approved by the insurance regulator, IRDAI by the insurance company.
Distribution Phase: In this phase, you tend to consume the already accumulated wealth. This phase most probably begins at the time of your retirement. Some may prefer to withdraw the money even before their retirement.
There are types of pension plans available basis the following parameters
Basis the need and requirement, you may choose the annuity type out of immediate annuity or deferred annuity pension plan.
• Immediate Annuity Plans: Under this plan, the annuity/pension commences immediately after the payment of premium in one lump sum. You will start getting your annuity/pension on an immediate basis after giving the lump sum amount to the insurer.
• Deferred Annuity Plans: As the name suggests defer means to postpone, so under this pension plan, you pay the premiums for a specific time period as per your chosen retiring or vesting age. The money accumulated is then used to pay annuities that help you as a regular source of pension.
Basis the risk appetite, you may choose to opt to buy either a traditional pension plan (low risk) or unit linked pension plan (high risk).
• Traditional Pension Plans: Such pension plans are for those who are looking for a safe and secure return on the money paid towards buying a pension plan. When you opt a traditional pension plan, your money is majorly invested in government bonds and securities by the insurer. The insurer pays a steady return on your investment. In case you have a conservative approach and want your money to be safe, it is prudent to go for the traditional plans.
• Unit Linked Pension Plans: These plans are market linked pension plans. For people having a higher risk appetite, this is the ideal pension plan for them. Under this plan, the investment steering is in your hands and not in the hands of the insurer. You may choose between debt or equity or balanced fund for the growth of your invested amount towards pension. The pension is paid out of the total fund value created at the end.
• Pension Plan With Life Cover: When you choose a pension plan with life cover. You get insurance and pension benefit together under one umbrella product. Premium paid will have the component of insurance (for life cover) and investment (for building the corpus for pension). So in the event of death during the policy term, the nominees will receive the sum assured opted under as life cover.
• Pension Plan Without Life Cover: When you choose a pension plan without life cover, the premium you pay will entirely be utilized for the purpose of building a corpus for pension pool. In the event of the death of the policyholder, your insurer will pay the corpus accumulated in the pension plan to the nominee. It does not provide any sum assured as such policies are without life cover.
There are five annuity/ pension options you can choose from.
1. Annuity payable for Life: under this annuity option, the fixed annuity amount is paid to the annuitant throughout his/ her lifetime. The pension benefits cease after the death of the annuitant/pension seeker.
2. Life Annuity with a return of Purchase Price: Upon choosing this option, the annuitant receives annuity/pension till he/she is alive. In the case of death of the annuitant, the purchase price (maturity amount) is given to the nominees/beneficiaries.
3. Life Annuity with a Guaranteed Period: With this chosen option, the annuity is paid for a guaranteed period or throughout your life (whichever is later). In the case of death of the annuitant, the annuity is paid for the guaranteed period like 10, 15, 20 years (as chosen by the policyholder/Annuitant) and after that, the annuity ceases unless the annuitant has mentioned to pay the annuity/pension to his spouse/nominee.
4. Increasing Annuity: This option provides you with the increase in the annuity amount every year. It usually increases at a specified rate on annually to cater to the growing inflation.
5. Joint life annuity: Under this option, the annuitant receives pension till he/ she is alive. In the event of death of the annuitant, his spouse is entitled to receive the pension.
If a policyholder commits suicide within one year of commencement of a pension plan, no or limited benefits will be payable.
Read the do’s and dont’s related to your Pension Plan.
|Start saving for your pension plan at an early stage. The earlier you act, higher will be your pension funds.||Hesitate in clarifying any query regarding your pension plan.|
|Study about the fees and charges levied on your pension plan. You may ask your pension provider to get the details regarding charges levied on your account.||Forget to read the fine print of your pension plan. Any negligence today may cost your savings for tomorrow.|
|Make additional top up contributions to boost your pension savings.||Feel coerced by a financial advisor to buy a pension plan which is not best fit for you.|
|Monitor the performance of your pension fund.||Allow agent advisor to fill the pension proposal form. Fill it in by yourself.|
|Opt for the pension option as per your post retirement needs.||Take a risk with your pension fund. Invest as per your risk appetite.|
Here are the basic terminologies related to pension.
Actuarial Present Value: It is the value of an amount payable or receivable on a specific date.
Annuity: A financial product wherein an investor has to provide a specific amount on a regular basis to a pension plan provider and in exchange, they assure you to pay the periodic payments usually monthly.
Annuity Plans: Plans which provide insurance plus pension to cater to the post retirement expenses on payment of a specified premium to the insurance company.
Asset Allocation: It determines how your funds will be invested among different asset classes.
Automatic Investment Plan (AIP): It enables the investors to contribute small amounts at regular intervals towards the plan. Funds are deducted automatically from the investor’s savings account or cheque and then invested in a retirement/pension account.
Commutation: It is a part of your pension benefit which you can take as lumpsum at the completion of your pension plan tenure. Usually, one third of the total fund can be commuted as lumpsum.
Compounding: It refers to earning money on a principal amount. It is calculated on a monthly or annual basis. It helps to create wealth.
Contributory Pension Plan: A pension plan wherein the employee makes contributions. In some plans, employers also make contributions to increased benefits.
Contingent Beneficiary: Usually, the investor nominates their spouse as a primary beneficiary. But in the case, both the owner and spouse die due to a mishap, the plan benefits are then transferred to their children or maybe the trusts that are designated as contingent beneficiaries.
Deferred Annuity: this pension plan, you pay the premiums for a specific time period as per your chosen retiring or vesting age. The money accumulated is then used to pay annuities that help you as a regular source of pension.
Defined Benefit Pension Plan: A pension plan wherein an employer promises to provide a fixed monthly benefit after retirement of the employee. Under this plan, the monthly benefit is defined on the basis of certain factors such as employee’s earnings history, age, and tenure of service.
Defined Contribution Pension Plan: This plan provides pension benefits to the employee for services rendered. This plan provides an individual account for every participant and it also defines contributions to an individual account. An individual’s benefit depends on the amount contributed and the investment performance of that pension plan.
Immediate Annuity: Under this plan, the annuity/pension commences immediately after the payment of premium in one lump sum.
Life Annuity Payment: There are several options available to an annuitant when it comes to receiving payment after the retirement. Under the Life Annuity payment option, the payments continue throughout the life of the annuitant.
Life Expectancy: It refers to the average time one is expected to live.
Primary Beneficiary: It refers to a person or entity who is named by the owner of the retirement plan to receive the plan benefits in the event of his/ her death.