Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is planning to launch a unit-linked product (Ulip) by August-end. The insurer has approval from the regulatory authority, said V K Sharma, LIC managing director. It earlier launched a Ulip plan launch was in January 2013, that too after a gap of two years. After the new norms for traditional products kicked in from January 1, 2014, life insurance companies had to stop selling existing products and introduce new ones. LIC, too, had to withdraw its products from the market and introduce new variants compliant with guidelines, and which included money-back plans. However, there was no Ulip launch in 2014.
Ulips make up less than 10 per cent of the total product mix of LIC; the rest comprises traditional life insurance products. In a recent interview to Business Standard, LIC Chairman S K Roy had said they have all the necessary approvals for Ulips and would be launching them during the second quarter (July-September). He had also said that historically, their Ulip products have done well and they are optimistic about the new product. Speaking at an insurance conference held by Dun & Bradstreet and LIC on Thursday, Sharma said the confidence of customers has started growing in the insurance sector and the companies. But distribution and costs were still an issue with the industry and it was the tied-channel which had been the backbone of the industry, he added. “We need to have strategies to take insurance penetration to the world average by at least 2020," Sharma said. LIC has collected Rs 7,000 crore under the Varishta Pension Yojana. In the Union Budget 2014-2015, the finance minister had announced the revival of Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana. During the lifetime of pensioner, a pension in the form of immediate annuity according to the mode chosen by the pensioner would be payable. On death of the pensioner, the purchase price shall be refunded. LIC has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme.