What is a Pension Fund?

Savings plans that involve investing a small amount of your income into a fund allocated specifically for retirement purposes are known as pension funds or retirement funds. These funds’ main goal is to provide you with income when you’re retired and in need of a pension.


The need for the pension fund has grown in the recent past as a result of the rising rate of inflation in the country. You can always plan to invest in the pension fund because you never know when a crisis might occur. When you don’t have any other sources of income, pension funds can help you support your family.


Pension funds assist you in saving money for the years after retirement. By consistently contributing a fixed amount to your pension fund, you will gradually accumulate a substantial amount.


It is important to note that, legally, there is no investment option which is defined as a pension fund. However, certain kinds of investment products that allow you to accumulate wealth for your retirement days are classified as pension funds. We describe them in detail in our blog below.





Pension Plan


In a pension plan or retirement plan, a predetermined portion is invested during the duration of your work. By opting for these pension plans, we can invest in a specific fund for retirement purposes. This investment contributes further to receiving payouts after retirement. Pension plans are sometimes referred to as benefit plans. As the term implies, these investments are great for securing the financial well-being of senior citizens.


Fixed investment in a pension plan currently secures the future financially. These investments help you get financial security and deal with any other possible uncertainties in the future.


Insurance coverage is occasionally included with pension plans. Typically, they are long-term plans. Usually, these plans accept either monthly or quarterly investments. All you need to do is make fixed payments over a predetermined amount of time to receive the rewards after retirement.


How Do Pension Funds Work?


There are two stages to the pension funds. The first stage is the accumulation stage, and the second is the vesting stage.


  • Stage of accumulation:

you contribute a fixed amount on a regular basis until you retire.


  • Vesting Stage:

After retirement, you get a steady income stream for the rest of your life.


Pension Fund Categories in India


Some of the most common categories of pension funds in India are:


  • Pension Plans floated by insurance companies.
  • Unit-linked plans that invest in both equities and debt.
  • Government-sponsored funds like the National Pension Scheme, etc.
  • Solution-Oriented Retirement Mutual Funds.


Types Of Pension Funds


There are many different kinds of options available on the market. With regard to the structure and advantages of each fund, there is a specific classification. There are differences in the benefit structures of all pension funds. Individuals typically invest in the following funds:


  • National Pension Scheme (NPS)


The NPS scheme is a retirement benefit programme established by the Government of India to provide all subscribers with a steady income after retirement. It is governed by the PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority). The NPS scheme aims to help people develop the habit of saving for their retirement. It is an attempt by the government to find a long-term way to make sure that every Indian has enough money saved up before they retire.


The NPS scheme pools individual savings into a pension fund, which is then invested by PFRDA-regulated professional fund managers in accordance with approved investment guidelines in diversified portfolios that include shares, government bonds, bills, and corporate debentures.


The two account categories that NPS offers are Tier-I and Tier-II. The pension account with limited withdrawal facilities is known as a “Tier-I” account. The Tier-II account is a voluntary account that offers liquidity for investments and withdrawals. It is allowed only if the subscriber has a Tier-I account that is active.


In NPS, users can receive up to 60% of their corpus as a lump sum at retirement, which is completely tax-free. Even the remaining 40% can be tax-free if it is used to purchase an annuity plan (it is tax-free if purchased from an empaneled insurance provider). The remaining amount needs to be placed in an annuity that will provide consistent income for the remainder of one’s life. Even though the income from the annuity is taxable at the relevant slab rate, this sum is excluded from taxes.


  • Employee Provident Fund (EPF)


The Employee Provident Fund is a popular retirement savings scheme established by the Government of India and regulated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. EPF is managed by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is a welfare scheme enacted to provide a better future for employees. The scheme intends to accumulate a sufficient retirement corpus during an individual’s employment years. Moreover, it instills the working class with the habit of saving and financial discipline.


According to existing rules, any organization with 20 or more employees is required to register with the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and provide EPF benefits to its employees. According to EPF regulations, an employee who earns more than Rs 15,000 per month at the time of joining is not eligible to join the EPF and is considered to be a non-eligible employee. Those employees earning less than Rs 15,000 per month would be required to become EPF members.


Throughout the tenure of employment, both employer and employee contribute to the scheme. The contributions payable by the employer and the employee under the scheme are 12% of PF wages. Once the employee retires, they get the total contribution (including employee and employer contributions) in a lump amount with interest. It is a statutory benefit that employees can take advantage of after retiring or after leaving employment. In the event of an employee’s death, his or her dependents will be eligible for benefits. Any contribution made by the employee towards the EPF Fund is tax-deductible under section 80 C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.


Under the EPF Act, the EPFO operates 3 schemes, namely:


    • Employees Provident Fund Scheme (EPF)
    • Employees Pension Scheme (EPS)
    • Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI).


  • Public Provident Fund (PPF)


Introduced in 1968, the sole aim of this scheme was to offer investors a way to save money and grow their wealth over time with high returns. The Public Provident Fund (PPF) is backed by the Government of India. It is therefore one of the most secure investment solutions available to individuals.
An individual can open a PPF account with as little as Rs. 100. In a year, the minimum investment amount is Rs. 500 and the maximum investment per annum is Rs. 1,50,000.


This contribution limit applies to both minors and adults. You can make a maximum of 12 contributions annually. The maximum amount that can be invested in PPF is up to Rs 1.5 lakh per year and the interest earned on it is tax-free. The total tenure for a PPF account is 15 years. After that, one can extend it for five years at a time. Investors can avail of a loan against their PPF account. With PPF, you’re allowed to avail a loan against your PPF account from the 3rd to 6th year of the PPF account’s opening.


PPF is not just a regular tax-saving investment. It’s also a long-term investment that grows with time. Many investors use this as a retirement fund.


  • Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIP)


A Unit Linked Insurance Plan, or ULIP for short, is a financial product that serves both insurance and investing purposes within a single plan. A ULIP is a type of insurance plan that combines life insurance and investments that can help you achieve your long-term goals and protect your family’s finances in case the worst happens.


The premium paid towards a ULIP is divided into two parts. A portion is contributed to your life insurance policy, while the remainder is invested in a fund of an individual’s choice. Depending on your risk tolerance and financial objectives, you can invest in equities, debt, or a combination of both.
One of the biggest benefits of ULIP is the tax exemption you can avail of. Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, you can show the premiums paid for your ULIP and claim deductions of up to Rs. 1,50,000 against your taxable income. In addition, the maturity benefit under ULIPs is exempt from taxation under Section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.


ULIPs offer you the benefits of both investment and insurance combined. Generally, ULIPs have a long-term horizon. It has a five-year lock-in term during which you cannot withdraw your funds. This saves your money and gives it the time to grow. Because of this, ULIPs are a great choice of investment for long-term objectives.


  • Retirement Funds – Mutual Funds


Financial independence after retirement is one of the most sought-after goals among millions of investors. Many Asset Management Companies (AMCs) in India have mechanised plans specifically for this reason in a practical, dependable, and creative way to respond to the needs of retirement planning. Each retirement fund has a unique strategy to increase retirees’ financial stability.


As the majority of investors also prepare for their retirement in addition to their investments, Solution-Oriented Mutual Fund Schemes are one of the finest investment cum retirement strategy for these individuals.


A Solution-Oriented Retirement Fund assists an investor in achieving a specified financial goal. They also help with significant financial responsibilities that could arise after retirement. The minimum lock-in term is five years. Therefore, investments in these mutual fund schemes cannot be withdrawn until five years have passed. This helps the investor build a retirement fund.


Where Do Pension Funds Usually Invest?


Plans for retirement or pensions typically include several benefits, such as insurance coverage and investment opportunities. These plans require you to pay a fixed amount regularly over a specified duration. A pension fund primarily invests using two investing strategies: diversification and prudence. For more information, you can refer to the details mentioned in the above paragraphs.


The Advantages of Investment In Pension Funds


After retirement, these funds can be used to generate a consistent income. Post-retirement, it becomes a source of income that aids in meeting the needs of the individual. To get started with pension plans, individuals must begin depositing a portion of their income into a pension fund that is suited to their circumstances.


Planning for retirement when you’re young has several benefits, one of which is that you may stretch out your savings over a longer period of time. In this manner, when you come closer to retirement age, you avoid becoming overburdened with the problem of saving quickly. You can choose your retirement age, which is another advantage of planning for early retirement.


People begin investing in pension funds at a young age due to the high rate of return, which is sufficient to cover their basic needs. Having a solid investment portfolio will allow you to confidently enter a new era of your life. Some of the advantages of investing are:


  • Guaranteed Income:


The majority of pension funds provide a fixed income upon retirement. The pension may be paid till death or for a certain amount of time. You can also avail the option of lump sum payment too. The same completely depends on the kind of fund you select. For example, the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement benefits scheme that is provided by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The scheme intends to accumulate a sufficient retirement corpus during an individual’s employment years.


  • Tax Benefits:


The tax benefits of a pension plan are the most important factor. Tax exemption is dependent on the plan chosen. The amount invested in the retirement plans is subject to tax exemption under Section 80C. The maximum exempt amount is Rs. 1.5 lakh. For example, any individual who is a subscriber of NPS can claim tax benefits under Sec 80 CCD (1) within the overall ceiling of Rs. 1.5 lac under Sec 80 CCE. It might be a relief to your source of income while also allowing you to save for the future.


  • Vesting Age:


This is the age at which you begin to receive a monthly pension. Most plans have different minimum and maximum vesting age brackets. This feature can vary depending on the plan you choose.


  • Financial Backup For Emergencies:


The unpredictability of life might be frightening when you aren’t employed. One of the key advantages of retirement planning is the ability to prepare for these situations. You can make sure that you are safeguarded in the event of a financial emergency by setting aside a sizable corpus for your retirement. For instance, the EPF scheme aids in overcoming unexpected situations such as those involving health, finances, or other factors. This will enable him or her to utilize the corpus when these uncertainties in life arise.


  • Long-term investments:


Plans for retirement savings operate as long-term savings vehicles regardless of whether the depositor chooses a lump sum or regular payments of small amounts. Savings are assured. These plans also provide an annuity that can be invested accordingly to generate a consistent cash flow after retirement.
The PPF Account, or Public Provident Fund Scheme, is one of the most popular long-term savings and investment options due to its combination of safety, returns, and tax advantages


  • Investment Options:


Depending on their risk profile, pension funds provide investors the option of investing in government securities or taking on some risk by investing in debt and equities.


Selecting the Right Retirement Fund With Kuvera


The Pension Fund is another common term for the Retirement Fund. When you have a wide range of investment options that are available to you, the decisions you make need to be planned and prudent. Planning for retirement is an essential component of your entire financial strategy. You cannot afford to take the risk of running out of money during retirement. In addition to your usual savings, you must devise a retirement plan that can pay for your regular needs in retirement and offer a little extra for hobbies.


How To Invest In Retirement Funds Using Kuvera:


Step 1: Download the Kuvera app or go to the Kuvera website to sign up.

Step 2: Register on the platform by completing the KYC process.

Step 3: Go to the “Invest” page and choose “Solution-Oriented Retirement” to see the full list.

Step 4: Select and compare various Retirement Funds mentioned there to begin your investment journey with Kuvera.


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