HDFC Life, one of India’s leading life insurance companies, today announced the launch of HDFC Life Pension Guaranteed Plan, a single premium annuity product. This product is the only-one-of-its-kind which offers guaranteed deferred annuity rates for a life-time, right at the time of purchase.
When individuals think of long-term financial planning, they often neglect the most crucial aspect, that of retirement planning. It is only when one gets closer to their fifties or crosses their fifties that he/ she starts thinking about retirement. With improvement in healthcare facilities, the quality of life has gone up and so has the longevity. In this scenario, it is necessary to ensure that one is able to live a comfortable life after retirement.
In the absence of social security, annuity plans are the safest and most preferred means of regular income for retired individuals. In case of Immediate Annuity plans prevalent today, one starts receiving regular payments right after purchasing the product. This is suitable for individuals who are closer to retirement age or have retired. Deferred annuity options prevalent today, are usually opted for by those who want to plan in advance for their retirement. In case of Deferred Annuity, the rate is as per the prevailing rates during the time the annuity starts.
In the current scenario of market volatility and decreasing interest rates, it is difficult to predict what the annuity rates will be, let us say, 10 years from today.
HDFC Pension Guaranteed Plan offers the unique benefit of guaranteed annuity rates for a deferred annuity plan, at the time of purchase itself. The plan rewards those who plan in advance for the long-term by offering higher annuity rates. One can purchase the plan and choose to receive the annuity, say 10 years later. However, the rate of the annuity to be given 10 years later will be fixed right at the time when the policy is purchased, i.e. today. This comes with the return of purchase price to ensure that one can leave a corpus behind for their loved ones.
HDFC Life Pension Guaranteed Plan offers the flexibility to choose how one receives annuity – one can choose to receive it monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually. Further, the joint life option works well for those who want to extend the benefit to their spouse.
Mr. Srinivasan Parthasarathy, Sr. EVP – Chief Actuary & Appointed Actuary: “Indians do not have social security hence it is necessary that we protect ourselves financially against all kinds of eventualities. Life after retirement can be difficult in case one does not plan for it. The culture of joint families is no longer prevalent, which means that after retirement one either needs to be financially prepared to meet his/her expenses or depend on children. The first option can be achieved through annuity. Although annuity rates may be acceptable today, if interest rates were to fall, annuity bought at retirement may be lesser than today’s rate. The fact is that no one typically offers a guaranteed annuity that starts in the future.”
“We have designed HDFC Life Pension Guaranteed Plan to enable individuals secure their retirement. The deferred annuity option rewards early planners by offering an annuity rate that is guaranteed for life, right at the time of purchase. One does not need to wait until retirement to know the annuity rate. Further, those planning in advance for their retirement are rewarded by way of higher annuity rates, which could be as high as 13% depending upon the deferment period”.
Annuity as an asset class needs to be well understood by the rising middle-aged and middle class population as they are the ones who will benefit from this.