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Prashant Tripathy, managing director and chief executive officer (MD&CEO), Max Life Insurance, speaks to Mint about the sharp increase in term insurance premiums and what investors can expect from the company’s foray into pension fund management.

You have recently bagged licence to become sponsor of a pension fund to manage NPS (national pension system). When is the fund likely to be launched and what can investors expect?

Launching the pension fund management (PFM) subsidiary forms one of the key elements towards our long-term aspiration to become a prominent player in the retirement space. We are currently in the process of setting up the PFM company and expect to commence business under our subsidiary over the next five to six months.

As fund management is core to our business, prospective investors can expect superior returns by choosing our PFM subsidiary. Max Life as a sponsor has already showcased the investment capabilities with its total Assets Under Management (AUM) recently crossing the 1 trillion mark, which is a testament to consistent and long-term performance of the portfolio. As with other pension fund managers, investors will have the flexibility of fund allocation and rearrangement as per their risk appetite.

Term insurance premiums have seen sharp increase of 20-40% since covid-19 outbreak. By how much has Max Life's term plan premiums increased and what has caused the hike?

Our term plan prices have increased in line with the increase experienced by the overall industry. The reason for the hike is primarily on account of increasing reinsurance costs, along with few other factors.

With some tax sops on ULIPs gone, has the product become less attractive to investors?

ULIPs (unit-linked insurance plans) have been on an upswing, mainly because of the upward market movement. We believe the transparency and long-term efficiency of ULIPs continue to place them as a strong investment and savings instrument. We have not experienced any significant drop in ULIP sales post the changed tax rules.

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