Investment is an essential requirement owing to the enormous benefits it offers in terms of saving and helping existing funds increase. Investment can also be intended towards ensuring your own protection such as through insurance plans.
In recent times, Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) have emerged as a very popular investment instrument owing to their ability to do both. Read on below to learn about how ULIP works and the different advantages of ULIP that will be extremely useful to you.
What are ULIPs?
ULIPs have emerged as one of the preferred investment plans available in the market as they offer the dual benefits of an insurance cover and an investment for your life goals. You can customize the ULIP plan according to your life goals and risk appetite.
Thus, you can choose the ULIP funds in which you wish to invest, namely, debt, equity or a mix of both. If you pick a mixed option, you can also choose how much of it will be dedicated towards investing in either instrument; depending on your risk profile.
How ULIP Works
The process of availing ULIP insurance and as an investment is simple. Read on below to understand the steps involved.
Step 1. While opting for a ULIP policy, you need to decide the amount you wish to pay as premium and the frequency of your payments. You can choose to make the premium payment as a lump sum or at monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual intervals.
Step 2. Units of the premium you pay will be allotted towards different funds. These funds can be equity-based, debt-based or even a hybrid fund, which invests in both equity and debt securities.
Step 3. You can also switch between ULIP funds if your risk profile or life goals change. You can also opt to switch funds based on market performance and if you believe that, you can get better returns by investing in a different fund.
Step 4. While understanding how ULIPs work, the first thing you need to know is the lock-in period. During the lock-in period, you will be unable to withdraw any amount All ULIPs have a lock-in period of 5 years.
Step 5. Upon maturity of the ULIP, you will receive the fund value, which can be redeemed through the units allotted to the funds.
Why Invest in ULIPs
There are several reasons why ULIPs are emerging as one of the most preferred investment instrument today. The advantages of ULIPs are numerous, and some of these have been listed below –
ULIPs offer enormous flexibility in terms of what you want to do with your money. Aside from the amount you set aside as your ULIP insurance, you have a wide range of choices in terms of how you wish to invest. Even after you invest, you can always choose to switch between the funds you have invested in. For instance, if you have invested in equity funds at a time when the markets are thriving, it is a good fiscal decision. However, after investing, if any crises arise which cause the market to dip; you can always choose to shift your investment to a less risky fund such as debt securities, which offer secured returns. You can also exercise flexibility if you find your risk profile changing. For instance, a younger professional can afford to make a riskier investment as compared to someone nearing their retirement years and with a higher amount of monetary responsibilities.
ULIPs offer liquidity to investors since you can choose to withdraw partial amounts in case of any financial emergencies you may face. It is always possible to be faced with situations where you urgently require funds and in such cases, it is always good to have liquid funds, which can be withdrawn from your ULIP. However, you can only make partial withdrawals from your ULIP only once the lock-in period of 5 years is over.
3. Taxation Benefits
Most investors look for the tax benefits involved in making an investment. The advantages of ULIPs under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, premiums paid towards ULIP insurance are exempt from taxation up to Rs. 1.5 lakh. Additionally, Section 10(10D) of the same act enables tax exemptions on pay-outs regardless of whether it is a premature withdrawal or whether it is made to the policyholder or their nominee. The tax benefits mentioned above are subject to provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961, as amended from time to time.
4. Life-Goal Based Investment
Your ULIP insurance and investment are completely aligned to your life goals. This means that you can pick your ULIP based on the life goal you are looking to achieve whether it is intended to help you save for your child’s education or marriage or even for your own retirement. You can also invest in a ULIP, which can help you save up for a family vacation. Aligning your ULIP to a life goal helps you save up for that specific goal and ensures that you accomplish it without compromising on any of the essential bits.
It is advisable to begin investing in ULIP plan at a young age because you will be able to gain the maximum benefits of the investment, which would help you to achieve your life goals. ULIP plans are preferred option for long-term goals. If you have understood how ULIPs work, make sure to begin your investment soon.