In this review of LIC International pension plans, we’ll delve into the various features, eligibility, and premiums of their offerings, check their benefits and risks, as well as define annuity plans.
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Table of Contents
Who is LIC International?
With a paid-up capital of USD 52.91 million, LIC International is a fully owned offshore arm of the Life Insurance Corporation of India and holds a life insurance license from the Central Bank of Bahrain.
A variety of pension schemes, including deferred annuity plans and immediate annuity plans, are made available to international employees by the corporation. The pension plans offered by LIC International can be a good option for expats who want to ensure a comfortable retirement income because they offer lifetime income, non-linked investment plans, and flexible qualifying requirements.
Furthermore, these pension plans are denominated in US Dollars, a solid currency, and allow pension payments to be received from anywhere in the world.
Deferred annuity plan meaning
Deferred annuity plans, financial instruments provided by insurance companies, offer a future income stream to policyholders, typically during retirement.
Unlike immediate annuities, where payouts begin shortly after premium payment, deferred annuities have a waiting or accumulation period. During this phase, policyholders make premium payments, and funds grow on a tax-deferred basis, with investment gains remaining untaxed until withdrawals or annuity payments commence.
Some plans offer a fixed interest rate, ensuring a guaranteed minimum return during accumulation. Others, known as variable annuities, are linked to the performance of underlying investment options like stocks or bonds, with returns dependent on market performance.
At the end of the accumulation phase, policyholders can choose income options, including regular payments for a specified period, a lifetime income, or a lump sum. This flexibility allows individuals to tailor their annuity plans to their financial preferences and retirement objectives.
Pros and cons of deferred annuity
Pros of deferred annuity plans include tax deferral, providing potential tax advantages as earnings on the premium are deferred until withdrawals or annuity payments begin. These plans offer income security during retirement, ensuring a reliable income stream for financial stability.
Customizable options, such as various payout choices and riders, allow policyholders to tailor the annuity to individual needs. Fixed deferred annuities, in particular, provide predictable and guaranteed income, offering reassurance for those seeking stability in retirement planning.
On the flip side, deferred annuities come with certain cons. Limited liquidity is a drawback during the accumulation phase, as withdrawals may incur surrender charges or penalties, restricting early contract liquidity. Fees and charges, including surrender charges, administrative fees, and mortality and expense charges, can diminish overall returns.
Variable annuities are exposed to market fluctuations, impacting the value of underlying investments and the eventual income stream. Fixed annuities may pose inflation risk, as fixed income may not rise with the cost of living. Lastly, the complexity of deferred annuities, with intricate terms and conditions, emphasizes the importance of policyholders fully understanding the terms before making a purchase.
Immediate annuity plans
A financial product offered by insurance firms, immediate annuity plans are designed to start paying out a steady income to the policyholder as soon as the policy premium is paid in a lump sum. In contrast to their deferred cousins, which only begin paying out after a period of accumulation, immediate annuities start paying out practically immediately once the premium is paid.
The versatility of instant annuities is on full display in the options available to policyholders, who can select between fixed annuities that guarantee a set income for life and variable annuities that fluctuate in value based on the performance of underlying investments.
A notable characteristic of immediate annuities is the lifelong income option, ensuring payments endure for the entire lifespan of the policyholder, irrespective of longevity. Policyholders also have the option of selecting joint and survivor payments, which will continue after either the policyholder or their spouse has passed away.
The policyholder of an immediate annuity receives payments right away after making a lump sum payment, setting it apart from other types of annuities by virtue of the absence of an accumulation phase. The ability to receive a steady stream of money without having to wait for anything is a major selling point for quick annuities.
Pros and cons of immediate annuity
For those in need of a steady stream of money quickly, immediate annuity plans may be a good option. On the bright side, instant annuities offer a secure and predictable income stream, giving financial stability, especially for retirees who value a solid source of income.
The lifetime income option further strengthens the attractiveness by assuring that policyholders receive payments throughout their lives, decreasing the risk of outliving their investments and contributing to long-term financial security. In particular, fixed instant annuities stand out as a great option for those who want a steady stream of income but don’t want to deal with the volatility of the market.
It’s also worth noting how straightforward the financial arrangement is with immediate annuities: policyholders pay a lump sum, and the insurance company promptly begins making regular payments.
There are, however, downsides to immediate annuities. It’s important to remember that in exchange for a steady income, policyholders often give up access to the initial lump sum premium they paid. This effectively prevents access to the principal amount. There is no opportunity for capital growth with immediate annuities, and the income is either set or variable depending on the annuity type.
Risks associated with inflation exist with fixed annuities since payments do not keep pace with rising costs of living. Although variable annuities can provide access to market-linked gains, they also add complexity to the income distribution process by making it dependent on the success of underlying investments.
Finally, the level of income delivered can be affected by the interest rate that was available when the immediate annuity was purchased, illustrating the significance of the interest rate environment on the financial outcome.
LIC International pension plans
Below are the best pension plans from LIC International that focus on helping people prepare for their retirement financially.
Deferred Future Secure Pension Plan – Plan No. 260
This represents a non-linked, single premium, deferred annuity product designed to provide annuity payments in arrears to the annuitant or survivor upon survival following the completion of the deferment period.
This plan offers flexibility through the option for the policyholder to choose from deferred annuity options, including single life with the return of the purchase price or joint life with the return of the purchase price. The deferment period for this plan spans from 3 years to 10 years.
Eligibility criteria for the Plan No. 260 include a minimum purchase price of USD 15,000, with no maximum limit, although subject to underwriting considerations. The entry age requirement specifies a minimum of 35 years, with no maximum limit, also subject to underwriting.
The deferment period, a key feature of the plan, provides further flexibility, ranging from 3 to 10 years. This structure allows individuals to customize their participation based on their financial capacity, age, and preferred timing for annuity payments.
Immediate Future Secure Pension Plan – Plan No. 249
This is a pension plan that will begin pension payments immediately upon inception and is characterized by its non-linkage, single premium, instant annuity nature. Depending on the annuity chosen, the plan’s guarantees will remain in effect for a set time and then for the rest of the annuitant’s life.
Additionally, surrender benefits are made accessible under particular conditions, such as critical illness of the annuitant or the loss of employment before superannuation.
Life annuity with return of purchase price, life annuity without return of purchase price, life annuity increasing at a simple rate of 3% per year, and life annuity with provision for 50% of the annuity being provided to the spouse upon the annuitant’s death are just some of the annuity options available under the plan.
Minimum purchase price of USD 15,000, with no upper limit subject to underwriting considerations, is required to participate in the Plan No. 249. Participants can enter the program anywhere between the ages of 40 (finished) and 75 (closer to birthday). Payments can be made on a yearly, semiannual, quarterly, or monthly basis, giving you more freedom of choice.
Deferred Future Secure Pension Plan – Plan No. 250
Deferred annuity options for single life or joint life with return of purchase price are available under this plan, as they are under Plan No. 260. This plan is set up to deliver both death and survivor rewards, with the latter depending on the annuity type selected.
Minimum purchase price of USD 15,000, with no upper restriction subject to underwriting considerations, is required to participate in the Plan No. 250. Potential participants have a variety of ages to choose from, as the admission age limit goes from 35 (completed) to 72 (nearest birthday). Individuals can tailor the 3- to 10-year deferment duration to their specific needs and long-term savings targets under this plan.
LIC New Immediate Future Secure Pension Plan 259
In order to ensure the annuitant’s financial stability in retirement, this plan provides a lifetime income guarantee. Each policyholder’s demands are different, so this plan offers an array of advantages.
The plan’s benefits include a lifetime annuity with or without the return of the purchase price, a lifetime annuity that increases by 3% annually, and a lifetime annuity that provides a 50% payout to the surviving spouse upon the annuitant’s death. These choices provide leeway, letting individuals pick the annuity plan that best suits their needs and objectives.
Underwriting constraints notwithstanding, the minimum purchase price for participation in the LIC New Immediate Future Secure Pension Plan 259 is USD 15,000. There is no maximum limit. There are many people who can join because the admission age limit is between 40 (completed) and 75 (closer to birthday).
For your convenience and to accommodate your personal preferences, you can choose to receive your annuity payments annually, semiannually, quarterly, or monthly.
Expats can benefit greatly from these programs because they provide them with the chance to supplement their retirement income with individualized annuity products. The terms, benefits, and eligibility requirements of each plan should be carefully examined so that individuals may make an educated choice that matches their financial goals and circumstances.
Individuals interested in LIC International pension plans should be prudent and carefully review the terms and conditions, including any associated fees and charges, before making a decision because the specific fees and charges for these plans are not explicitly outlined in the available information.
Contacting LIC International or their authorized representatives directly is recommended for those who want complete and detailed information regarding the fees and charges associated with LIC International pension schemes. Individuals are better able to make educated decisions about how to protect their retirement income when they are given clear and comprehensive information in a straightforward manner.
LIC International pension plans vs other pension plans in the market
When comparing LIC International’s pension schemes to those of competitors, let’s look at some of the most positive and negative features.
Pros of LIC International Pension Plans
- Secured Retirement Income for Life. LIC International pension plans provide expatriates with a guaranteed lifetime income, assuring financial security throughout their retirement.
- Plan for Separated Investments. These plans are distinct in that they are not linked to the stock market and so are not subject to the volatility of the stock market.
- Access to global markets and a stable currency. Because the US dollar is such a strong currency, participants in these plans can choose to receive their pension payments in any country in the globe.
- Recognized Name. Expats can feel safe and secure with LIC International because it is a branch of LIC of India, one of the most respected insurance companies in the world.
- Flexibility and Options. These programs allow participants to tailor their retirement savings to their unique situation and investing goals.
- Competitive Eligibility Criteria. All kinds of people will be able to join LIC International’s pension plans because of the reasonable entry age and purchase price requirements.
- Tax Benefits. There may be tax advantages to having an international pension plan, such as tax-deferred growth and maybe tax benefits in retirement, depending on the country in question.
Cons of LIC International Pension Plans
- Complexity. The terms, restrictions, and costs associated with international pension schemes can be complex. Understanding the intricacies of these strategies calls for significant thought and research.
- Charges and Payments. There is a possibility that international pension plans will have higher costs and expenses than local ones. Investment returns are affected by these expenditures, so they need to be carefully examined.
- Exposure to Foreign Exchange Risk. Diversifying into other currencies might help mitigate some risks, but it also exposes you to new ones. Investment returns may be affected by fluctuations in exchange rates when recalculated into the policyholder’s local currency.
- Indicators of Market Danger. Foreign-market investments are vulnerable to price swings. Economic and geopolitical events can considerably alter the performance of the investment portfolio, introducing an element of market risk.
- Limits on Withdrawals. Policyholders’ options may be constrained by early withdrawal fees or other limits imposed by international pension schemes.
- Alterations to the Law. Changes in foreign rules or tax laws might have repercussions for the performance and taxation of international pension schemes. It is critical for policyholders to keep up with the ever-changing regulatory landscape.
- Mobility Restricted. Different nations have different rules and tax consequences when it comes to transferring or porting foreign pension schemes. Those who frequently travel internationally should familiarize themselves with the restrictions placed on their belongings.
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