New norms on Ulips come into effect today

As per the new Irda guidelines, the commission paid to distributors and expenses charged by insurers will no longer be front-loaded and will be distributed over the lock-in period of the schemes, which has been raised to five years from three years earlier.

Furthermore, Irda has fixed the floor on guaranteed returns from ULIP pension plans at 4.5 per cent, which will greatly benefit policyholders saving up for retirement.

Along with these changes, the regulator has fixed stringent minimum disclosure guidelines for insurers.

Under the new disclosure norms, agents cannot take policyholders for a ride, as they can now see the financial position of the company over the website and do not need to depend on agents, said an industry expert.

Of the 23 private life insurance companies, most have filed applications to launch two new policies each.

However, market players said none of these companies has applied for launching new ULIP pension plans on account of the floor fixed by the Irda on returns.“We have filed for two ULIP products with Irda. We have not filed for any pension product as we will see how the new guideline pans out,” Kotak Life Insurance COO G Murlidhar said.

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