Retirement is a phase of life that everyone looks forward to, but planning the same requires an informed and planned approach. You must start saving and investing early to enjoy a comfortable and financially independent life after retirement. One of the best ways to secure your retirement income is to opt for a pension plan.
A pension plan is a type of insurance product that offers you a consistent income after retirement. You can either invest a one-time sum or make regular contributions to a pension plan during your working years. The pension plan will then pay you a fixed or variable amount of money every month or year after you retire, depending on the type of plan you choose.
There are many pension plans in India, each with its features and benefits. Let’s discuss the four most popular types of pension plans and how they can help you maximise your retirement savings.
Pension Plans in India
Some of the most common types of pension plans are:
1. Deferred Annuity
A deferred annuity is a pension plan that allows you to accumulate a corpus over time by paying regular or a single premium every year. The pension payments start after a certain age, usually 60 years, or after a specified term, whichever is later. You can choose the frequency and amount of the pension payments and the mode of investment (debt, equity, or balance).
The significant advantage of a deferred annuity retirement plan is that it helps you build a large corpus over time, thanks to the power of compounding. You also get tax benefits on your premiums under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961 for up to ₹1.5 lakh per annum. However, the pension income is taxable per your income tax slab. Further, you cannot withdraw the corpus before the vesting age or term, except in case of death or critical illness, based on policy terms.
2. Immediate Annuity
An immediate annuity is a pension plan that requires you to pay a lump sum amount and start receiving the pension payments immediately. You can choose the frequency and amount of the pension payments, as well as the duration of the annuity (lifetime or fixed term). You can also go for a joint annuity, where the pension payments continue to your spouse or nominee after your death.
The main perk of an immediate annuity is that it provides you with an instant and guaranteed income after retirement. You do not have to worry about market fluctuations or inflation affecting your pension income. However, the lump sum amount is not eligible for any tax deduction. Also, the pension income is taxable as per your income tax slab. Furthermore, you cannot withdraw the lump sum amount or change the annuity option once you receive the pension payments.
3. Annuity Certain
An annuity is a pension plan that pays you a fixed amount of money for a specified period, regardless of your survival. You can choose the frequency and amount of the pension payments, as well as the term of the annuity. You can also nominate a beneficiary who will receive the remaining pension payments in case of your death before the term ends.
The main advantage of an annuity is that it ensures a fixed and regular income for a certain period. After retirement, you can use it to meet your short-term or medium-term financial goals. However, you cannot withdraw the lump sum or extend the annuity term once you receive the pension payments.
4. With Cover Pension Plan
A with-cover pension plan is a pension plan that offers both life insurance and investment benefits. A part of your premium provides you with a life cover, while the rest is invested in a fund of your choice (debt, equity, or balance). The pension payments start after a certain age, usually 60 years, or after a specified term, whichever is later. You can choose the frequency and amount of the pension payments and the mode of investment.
The main benefit of a with-cover pension plan is that it provides you with dual protection of life insurance and investment. You get tax benefits on the premiums paid under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961. You also get a death benefit, which is paid to your nominee in case of your death before the vesting age or term.
Pension plans are a great way to secure retirement income and achieve financial goals. However, you need to understand the different types of pension plans and choose the one that suits your needs and preferences. Before deciding, you should also compare the features, benefits, charges, and returns of various pension plans. You can use online tools like retirement calculators and pension plan comparison websites to help you with your research.
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