News notes

News notes

New Ulip promises to lock in your gains

ICICI PRUDENTIAL Life Insurance Co. Ltd has launched a new unit-linked insurance plan (Ulip) called ICICI Pru LifeTime Maxima. This Ulip has a special inbuilt “trigger portfolio" feature.

This feature seeks to offer the policyholders a chance to book profits in the equity market and protect his profits from any future market volatility. The profit is automatically transferred to a liquid fund, consisting of money market instruments. The investments are initially distributed between two funds—equity and debt in a 75:25 ratio. The funds are reallocated based on a trigger, which sets off when the equity fund makes a 15% gain or loss. If the value of the equity fund goes beyond 75% of the portfolio, the excess is transferred to the debt fund, which invests in money market instruments.

This Ulip also offers seven fund options, ranging from pure equity to pure debt. It is a regular premium policy and the minimum annual premium is Rs24,000. The policy allocation charge is 7.5% in the first year and comes down to 3.5% in the second and the third years. Thereafter, it becomes nil. The premiums get bumped up by 2% from the sixth year.

However, a sore point in the policy is that the policy administration charge—between 0.80% and 0.90%—is a percentage of the premium that you pay.

—Deepti Bhaskaran


IndusInd goes green, starts solar ATM

In a bid to go green, IndusInd Bank Ltd has launched its first solar energy-powered automatic teller machine (ATM) in Mumbai.

Interestingly, the ATMs will be able to run even at night. The solar panel is capable of absorbing and storing enough energy during the day to power the ATM even after daytime.

A solar ATM can help conserve up to 8 hours of energy every day. Romesh Sobti, CEO, IndusInd, says: “We will save up to 1,980KW every year through a single solar ATM. "

A single solar ATM can help save Rs25,000 per year as compared with a normal ATM and Rs45,000 per year against a generator-operated ATM.

The bank has converted an existing normal ATM into a solar ATM instead of installing a new one.

—Bindisha Sarang


New pension plans at post offices too

You can now invest in the New Pension System (NPS) even through a post office. The pension regulator, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), has allowed India Post to distribute both the Tier I and Tier II schemes of NPS.

For now, India Post will offer this facility through 800 of its branches, which have an information technology (IT) infrastructure to accommodate the NPS. By next year, it is expected to offer NPS through 10,000 branches.

Rani Nair, executive director, PFRDA, says: “The points of presence need to get integrated with the central record-keeping agency. So, in that sense, they have to have an IT infrastructure. More branches will be added as and when they are able to upgrade."

—Deepti Bhaskaran