When one retires, one may seek a semblance of stability and restfulness in their life. During one’s employment, the focus may often be on working hard and providing for loved ones. However, as retirement nears, many people may want to settle down to a life of peace and relaxation. To ensure that finances do not become an obstacle in achieving such a lifestyle, many people may opt for pension plans.
Pension plans may allow a policyholder to enjoy a regular income after retirement, at the frequency of their choice while also giving the assurance of life insurance coverage.
Let’s learn more about pension plans and the tax benefits applicable to them.
Pensions Plans 
Before we understand the pension plan types and their tax benefits, let us comprehend in simple terms how a pension plan typically works.
A pension plan is a product that aims to provide financial benefits to retirees. One can park funds into their pension plan and allow it to accumulate over time. When the pension plan matures, the policyholder receives regular pay-outs at the frequency of their choice subject to plan’s terms & conditions.
Usually, the maturity period is scheduled around the policyholder’s retirement. This may help them have a steady source of income even when they may no longer be employed.
Tax benefit on retirement plan are applicable on such plans, basis provisions stated in the Income Tax Act, 1961.
What Are the Tax Benefits for Retirement Plans?
Now that the workings of pension plans may be clear to you, let’s dive deep into the tax benefits one can enjoy with these plans.
Section 80C & Section 80CCC deductions 
Under Section 80C & Section 80CCC of the Income Tax Act of 1961, the money paid to keep in effect or to keep in force an annuity plan may be eligible for a tax deduction of up to Rs 1.5 lakhs. Thus, the payments made to buy a new annuity policy or to renew an existing annuity policy may be used to reduce one’s tax liability by a considerable margin.
The pension plan tax benefit limit of Rs 1.5 lakhs also includes and is clubbed with the other deductions available under Section 80C.
The policyholder must have opted for the old tax regime to be eligible for such life insurance deduction under Section 80C & 80CCC. If the policyholder is a taxpayer under the new tax regime, then they cannot claim this deduction, as per prevalent laws.
In the case of a lump-sum premium paid for multiple years at once for such retirement plans, only the amount applicable for the preceding year shall be considered for taxation.
• Exemption on pension received 
Under Section 10 (10A) of the Income Tax Act of 1961, the policyholder can withdraw up to 60% as per guidelines issued by IRDAI on 8th July 20194 of the accumulated corpus during the vesting stage without any taxation. The rest of the corpus may be considered income and can be taxed according to the tax slab the policyholder falls under.
You may get an estimate of your tax liability, after considering the deductions, with the help of an income tax calculator.
The retirement plan tax benefits are subject to several terms and conditions. If you wish to buy a pension plan with an intention of adding it to your tax-saving strategy, then you may reach out to a tax consultant or a financial expert for details before proceeding.
How to Select the Right Retirement Plans?
To make the most of your pension plan, it is vital to curate it in a way that is suitable for your needs and budget.
Some points you may want to consider in the process could be:
• Your reason for receiving the pension
Whether you are buying a pension plan to meet your daily expenses after retirement or to pay for a specific yearly/half-yearly goal (such as travelling) should be considered. This may help you decide how much amount you want to receive and at what frequency.
• Your risk appetite
If you have a moderate-to-low or no risk appetite, then you may want to consider selecting options that include minimal to no risk. There are some plans that offer guaranteed income as well, with terms and conditions attached. Many people after their retirement often may look for conservative options. You must consider these factors and review your risk-taking capacity before buying such retirement plans.
• Your budget
You may want to ensure that planning for your future years does not come at the cost of having to cut essential costs in the present times. Hence, keep your budget in mind when finalising a pension plan.
A pension plan may be a significant addition to your retirement planning due to its variability and host of features. The tax benefit provided by a pension plan may also be used to lessen your tax outgo. Retirement planning helps you live your golden years more freely.