CA Chirag Chauhan
1. Introduction: Government of India in the Union Budget 2014-2015, announced the revival of Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana. Excerpts from budget speech by Honrable Finance Minister are, “NDA Government during its last term in office had introduced the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) as a pension scheme for senior citizens. Under the scheme a total number of 3.16 lakh annuitants are being benefited and corpus amounts to Rs.6,095 Crore. I propose to revive the scheme for a limited period from 15th August 2014 to 14th August 2015 for the benefit of citizens aged 60 years and above”
LIC of India has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme.
2. Benefits :
a. Pension Payment :
During the lifetime of Pensioner, a pension in the form of immediate annuity as per mode chosen by the Pensioner shall be payable.
b. Death Benefit:
On death of the Pensioner the Purchase Price shall be refunded.
3. Eligibility Conditions and Other Restrictions:
i. Minimum Entry Age: 60 years (completed)
ii. Maximum Entry Age: No limit
a) Minimum Pension: Rs. 500/- per month
b) Maximum Pension: Rs. 5000/- per month
Ceiling of maximum pension is for a family as a whole i.e. total amount of pension under all the policies issued to a family under this plan shall not exceed the maximum pension limit. The family for this purpose will comprise of pensioner, his/her spouse and dependants.
4. Payment of Purchase Price: The plan can be purchased by payment of a lump sum Purchase Price. The pensioner has an option to choose either the amount of pension or the Purchase Price.
The minimum and maximum Purchase Price under different modes of pension will be as under:
|Mode of Pension||Minimum Purchase Price||Maximum Purchase Price|
|Yearly||Rs. 63,960/-||Rs. 6,39,610/-|
|Half-yearly||Rs. 65,430/-||Rs. 6,54,275/-|
|Quarterly||Rs. 66,170/-||Rs. 6,61,690/-|
|Monthly||Rs. 66,665/-||Rs. 6,66,665/-|
The Purchase Price to be charged shall be rounded to nearest multiple of Rs.5/-.
5. Mode of pension payment: The modes of pension payment are monthly, quarterly, half-yearly & yearly. The pension payment shall be through ECS/NEFT only.
The first instalment of pension shall be paid after 1 year, 6 months, 3 months or 1 month from the date of purchase of the same depending on the mode of pension payment i.e. yearly, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly respectively.
6. Sample Pension rates per Rs.1000/- Purchase Price
The pension rates for Rs.1000/- Purchase Price for different modes of pension payments are as below:
i. Yearly: Rs. 93.8069 p.a.
ii. Half-yearly: Rs. 91.7045 p.a.
iii. Quarterly: Rs. 90.6767 p.a.
iv. Monthly: Rs. 90.0000 p.a.
The pension instalment shall be rounded off to the nearest rupee.
These rates are not age specific.
7. Surrender Value: The policy can be surrendered aftercompletion of 15 years. The Surrender Value payable will be refund of Purchase Price. However, under exceptional circumstances, if the pensioner requires money for the treatment of any critical/terminal illness of self or spouse then the policy can be surrendered before the completion of 15 years and the Surrender Value payable shall be 98% of Purchase Price.
8. Loan: Loan facility is available after completion of 3 policy years. The maximum loan that can be granted shall be 75% of the Purchase Price.
The rate of interest to be charged for loan amount would be determined from time to time by the Corporation.
Loan interest will be recovered from pension amount payable under the policy. The Loan interest will accrue as per the frequency of pension payment under the policy and it will be due on the due date of pension. However, the loan outstanding shall be recovered from the claim proceeds at the time of exit.
9. Taxes: Taxes including Service Tax, if any, shall be as per the Tax laws and the rate of tax as applicable from time to time.
The amount of tax payable as per the prevailing rates shall be payable by the policyholder on Purchase Price. The amount of Tax paid shall not be considered for the calculation of benefits payable under the plan.
10. Free Look period: If a policyholder is not satisfied with the “Terms and Conditions of the policy, he/she may return the policy to the Corporation within 15 days from the date of receipt of the policy stating the reason of objections.
The amount to be refunded within free look period shall be the Purchase Price deposited by the policyholder after deducting the charges for Stamp duty.
11. Author Opinion- The Rate of Interest which a senior Citizen earns on Nationalize Bank FD is around 9.75% . However there is limiting period of 10 years up to which you can make your Fix Deposit. Interest Rate scenario change depending upon Inflation and RBI policies. Expectation from RBI is softening of Interest rate going forward in coming years as growth picks up and inflation softens. So in next 5 to 10 years if interest rate comes down to 5 to 7% this Pension plan can be better way to block the interest rates @9.36%.and earn a steady 5000/- PM when you invest maximum amount. There is one time Service tax of 3.09% applicable on the premium amount. However considering interest rate scenarios and growing economy one can take benefit of the policy.
For any query you can write to [email protected] . Before making any decisions do consult your Professional / tax advisor. Author does not take any responsibility for misrepresentation or interpretation of act or rules. Neither the author nor the firm accepts any liability neither for the loss or damage of any kind arising out of information in this document nor for any action taken in reliance there on.
With Inputs from – LIC India Website