Some years bank, the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) launched a pension scheme guised as an insurance plan – the Varishta Pension Bima Yojana. Here’s everything you would want to know about this policy.
(Note: Varishta Pension Bima Yojana has been discontinued, and is no more available. It has been replaced by “Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)“. This article is meant to educate you about the Varishta Pension Bima Yojana, which was very popular with seniors when it was under operation).
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) offers a very convenient insurance scheme for elderly people – it has a single premium, and the rate of return is guaranteed.
In effect, it works like a fixed deposit. Therefore, it is quite attractive for many people. Let’s understand the features of Varishta Pension Bima Yojana (also popularly known as Varishta Pension Scheme or Varishta Bima Yojana)
The scheme is available only to people aged 55 years or more. This is the minimum age while starting this scheme. There is no upper limit / ceiling on the entry age.
Minimum and Maximum Deposit Amount
This is the premium amount for this single premium policy. But since this insurance policy acts more like a fixed deposit (FD), it is more popularly called the “deposit” amount.
The minimum deposit required is Rs. 33,336, and the maximum deposit accepted under the scheme is Rs. 2,66,665.
You can choose to receive the pension monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly.
Rate of Return
The rate of return offered is 9% per annum, guaranteed. This is the yield if you choose monthly pension payment.
As the pension payment frequency reduces, the effective yield goes up. Thus, if you opt for the yearly pension payout option, the yield would work out to 9.38% per annum.
Limits on the Pension
The minimum monthly pension offered is Rs. 250, and the maximum monthly pension offered is Rs. 2,000. The pension depends on the amount originally deposited.
The pension earned through the Varishta Pension Bima Yojana is fully taxable. It would be merged with your income for that year, and would be taxed as per the prevailing IT slabs.
When does the pension start?
In this policy, you start receiving the pension immediately – you would receive your first pension installment in the first period following your deposit.
Thus, if you opt for monthly pension, you would start receiving your pension in the first month following your initial deposit. Similarly, if you opt for quarterly pension, you would start receiving your pension at the end of first quarter following your initial deposit.
Tenure / Duration
There is a lock-in period of 10 years for Varishta Bima Yojana. You can not withdraw your funds before 10 years. You can maintain the scheme for any duration after 10 years.
Loan Facility / Early Withdrawal
Early withdrawals are not allowed from the scheme. But you can take a loan of upto 75% of the original deposit amount after 3 years of the original deposit.
The rate of interest on such a loan would be determined by LIC at the time of giving out the loan.
Termination of scheme
The scheme terminates at the time of the death of the depositor (that is, the policy holder). At that time, the nominee / beneficiary gets the original deposit amount.
Is Varishta Bima Yojana for you?
The Varishta Bima Yojana offers a very good fixed return of 9% per year.
Also, since the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is a public sector undertaking (PSU) and is owned by the Government of India, the deposit amount and the interest are virtually risk free.
Therefore, if you are over 55 years old and need some periodic cash flow, definitely consider investing in LIC’s Varishta Bima Yojana.
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