ULIPs, or Unit Linked Insurance Plans, are a common investment option in India. They offer both insurance and investment in one product. You pay a premium divided into two parts: one for your life insurance and one for your selected funds. It is that easy.
But some people have a mistaken idea about ULIPs. They think that ULIPs are complicated, expensive, and risky. They fear losing their money or not getting the returns they desire. They are confused by the various charges, terms, and conditions involved in ULIPs.
However, these fears are groundless. ULIPs are not a complicated investment but a flexible and transparent one that can suit different investors’ needs and goals. Here, we will explain why ULIPs are a great investment option and how you can benefit from them.
Facts About ULIP Investment
By introduction, you must have an idea of what is ULIP, now let’s discuss the benefits.
1. ULIPs are transparent and cost-effective
ULIP investments are not as expensive as they may appear. They have become more affordable and transparent after the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) introduced new regulations in 2010. These regulations capped the charges levied by ULIPs, such as premium allocation, fund management, mortality, policy administration, and switching charges. These charges are subtracted from your premium before it is invested in the fund and are disclosed in the policy document. You can also compare the charges of different ULIPs online and choose the one that suits your budget and expectations.
2. ULIPs are easy to understand and manage
ULIPs are not as complicated as they may seem. They combine a single plan with a life insurance policy and a mutual fund. You pay a premium for a ULIP, which is divided into two parts: one part provides you with a life cover, and the other is invested in a fund of your choice. You can choose from different funds, such as equity, debt, or balance, to align with your financial goals. You can also switch between funds per your changing needs and market conditions.
3. ULIPs are diversified and flexible
ULIPs are not as risky and volatile as they may sound. They enable you to spread your investments across different types of funds, which have varying degrees of risk and reward. You can also change the proportion of assets according to your age and risk tolerance. For example, you can invest more in equity funds when you are young and have a long-term horizon and switch to debt or balanced funds as you grow older and approach your retirement.
4. ULIPs are liquid and beneficial
ULIPs are not as inflexible and illiquid as they may look. They offer you the option to make partial withdrawals from your fund after the lock-in period of five years. You can use this facility to meet emergency or planned expenses, such as medical bills, education fees, wedding costs, or home renovation. You can also enjoy tax benefits on your ULIPs under Section 80C and Section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. You can claim a deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh on your premium payments and the maturity or death benefits are also tax-free, subject to certain conditions.
5. Tax Benefits
Another advantage of ULIPs is that they offer tax benefits by exempting the premium, returns, and maturity amount from income tax under Section 80C and 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act. You can save tax and increase your net returns by investing in ULIPs.
- Premium: You can claim a deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh per year for the premium you pay for your ULIP under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. That means you can lower your taxable income and save tax by investing in ULIPs. However, you should ensure that your premium is at most 10% of your sum assured to avail of this benefit.
- Returns: You can enjoy tax-free returns from your ULIP under Section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act. That means you do not have to pay any tax on the returns you earn from your ULIP, whether from capital gains, dividends, or interest. However, you should ensure that your sum assured is at least ten times your premium to avail of this benefit.
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ULIPs are not a tricky investment but a smart and convenient one. They offer you the dual benefits of life insurance and investment, along with transparency, cost-effectiveness, diversification, flexibility, liquidity, and tax benefits. They assist you in reaching your long-term financial objectives, such as building wealth, planning for retirement, or educating your children while ensuring your family’s well-being. So, don’t hesitate to invest in ULIPs and reap the rewards of this versatile and valuable product.