The whole theme of EPFO providing these choices to increase and reduce equity exposure is a case of duplication of effort and design. Financial experts are advising investors to leverage existing options.
Hiral Thanawala | May 02, 2018 11:28 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
There is good news for over five crore subscribers of retirement fund body EPFO. Soon they may have an option to increase or decrease investments of their provident fund into stocks through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the current fiscal. In its last meeting, the Central Board of Trustees decided to explore the possibility of granting an option to increase or reduce equity allocation to subscribers contributing through ETF above the 15% cap.
The Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had started investing in ETFs from investible deposits in August 2015. In FY16, it invested five percent of its investible deposits, which was subsequently increased to 10 percent in FY17 and 15 percent in FY18. However, subscribers were not at all pleased with this increase in exposure to equities. There were some who didn’t want to risk their retirement corpus built through the EPF route. While other subscribers were keen to increase exposure to equities for better returns in the long-term.
So, what advice do financial experts have for EPFO subscribers looking to increase their exposure to equities through the ETFs route when the option is opened up?
Who should increase or reduce investments in ETFs?
Several investors are not reasonably patient with their active investments and panic when they see volatility in the market. Chenthil Iyer, a Sebi registered investment adviser and author of ‘Everyone Has an Eye on Your Wallet! Do You?’ said these investors generally invest only in fixed deposits and post office schemes. “For such investors, increasing the equity exposure through EPF route may be a good option as it is a passive mode of investing and ensures a long-term commitment.”
For investors who manage their active investments and have a well-diversified portfolio, Iyer recommends a minimum equity exposure.
Arvind Laddha, Deputy CEO, JLT, Independent Insurance, has a word of caution. “In the past, there have been negative returns for consecutive two-to-three years or even more from equity markets and this could compromise the savings of EPFO subscribers which they are not used to.”
As not all investors understand the risk of equities and their volatile nature of returns, Kalpesh Mehta, Partner at Deloitte India, feels an investor should also consider one’s age, risk appetite, financial obligations and total net worth before increasing exposure to equities through ETFs.
Benefits of increasing investments in ETFs
Here are the benefits of increasing investments in ETFs through EPF contribution as explained by Amit Gopal, Senior Vice President, India Life Capital: 1) Regular monthly SIP because of mandatory contributions; 2) Inexpensive as employees (contributors) don’t have to pay fund management fees in the current model of EPF; and 3) Tax advantages on contributions. To this, Colonel Sanjeev Govila, CEO, Hum Fauji Initiatives lists institutional framework taking care of selection and research of equities while investing.
Drawbacks of increasing investments in ETFs
Gopal highlights drawbacks such as insufficient administrative track record, illiquidity associated with a retirement fund product, absence of choice in fund manager and products.
To this, Iyer cautions, “Putting the responsibility of equity exposure of this fund on the individual may expose it to the vagaries of the individual’s risk perception, leading to possible over-exposure.”
Make EPF more investor friendly
EPF needs to be investor friendly with additional facilities of enhancing and reducing equity allocation which is likely to be made available in the coming two-to-three months. Iyer feels periodic electronic statements should be mailed to the subscribers which clearly mentions the amount and number of units available in ETF.
“Further an automatic mode of distributing the contribution into equity and debt should be made available based on the age of the individual just like NPS.” This, he feels, will ensure minimum manual intervention in decision-making with regard to equity exposure.
According to Goyal, while EPFO have described some methods of passing on returns, nothing concrete has been implemented. “It is unclear how they will ford the system and governance challenges that could arise.”
It would therefore be good if these issues are resolved before increased allocation and employee choices are implemented. An investor needs to keep a track of this developments for their own benefit.
Leverage on existing options instead of duplicating efforts
The whole theme of EPFO providing these choices to increase and reduce equity exposure is a case of duplication of effort and design. Financial experts are advising investors to leverage existing options.
“The NPS already provides the same structure and benefit. Integrating it with the EPFO and permitting portability is a more efficient way of enhancing employee choice. NPS already has the architecture and track record of administering an employee choice model,” Gopal added.
Babar Zaidi | May 8, 2017, 03.15 AM IST | Times of India
Though it was thrown open to the public eight years ago, investors started showing interest in the National Pension System (NPS) only two years ago. Almost 80% of the 4.39 lakh voluntary subscribers joined the scheme only in the past two years. Also, 75% of the 5.85 lakh corporate sector investors joined NPS in the past four years. Clearly, these investors have been attracted by the tax benefits offered on the scheme. Four years ago, it was announced that up to 10% of the basic salary put in the NPS would be tax free. The benefit under Section 80CCD(2d) led to a jump in the corporate NPS registrations. The number of subscribers shot up 83%: from 1.43 lakh in 2012-13 to 2.62 lakh in 2013-14.
Two years ago, the government announced an additional tax deduction of `50,000 under Sec 80CCD(1b). The number of voluntary contributors shot up 148% from 86,774 to 2.15 lakh. It turned into a deluge after the 2016 Budget made 40% of the NPS corpus tax free, with the number of subscribers in the unorganised sector more than doubling to 4.39 lakh. This indicates that tax savings, define the flow of investments in India. However, many investors are unable to decide which pension fund they should invest in. The problem is further compounded by the fact that the NPS investments are spread across 2-3 fund classes.
So, we studied the blended returns of four different combinations of the equity, corporate debt and gilt funds. Ultrasafe investors are assumed to have put 60% in gilt funds, 40% in corporate bond funds and nothing in equity funds. A conservative investor would put 20% in stocks, 30% in corporate bonds and 50% in gilts. A balanced allocation would put 33.3% in each class of funds, while an aggressive investor would invest the maximum 50% in the equity fund, 30% in corporate bonds and 20% in gilts.
Ultra safe investors
Bond funds of the NPS have generated over 12% returns in the past one year, but the performance has not been good in recent months. The average G class gilt fund of the NPS has given 0.55% returns in the past six months. The change in the RBI stance on interest rates pushed up bond yields significantly in February, which led to a sharp decline in bond fund NAVs.
Before they hit a speed bump, gilt and corporate bond funds had been on a roll. Rate cuts in 2015-16 were followed by demonetisation, which boosted the returns of gilt and corporate bond funds. Risk-averse investors who stayed away from equity funds and put their corpus in gilt and corporate bond funds have earned rich rewards.
Unsurprisingly, the LIC Pension Fund is the best performing pension fund for this allocation. “Team LIC has rich experience in the bond market and is perhaps the best suited to handle bond funds,” says a financial planner.
The gilt funds of NPS usually invest in long-term bonds and are therefore very sensitive to interest rate changes. Going forward, the returns from gilt and corporate bond funds will be muted compared to the high returns in the past.
In the long term, a 100% debt allocation is unlikely to beat inflation. This is why financial planners advise that at least some portion of the retirement corpus should be deployed in equities. Conservative investors in the NPS, who put 20% in equity funds and the rest in debt funds, have also earned good returns. Though the short-term performance has been pulled down by the debt portion, the medium- and long-term performances are quite attractive.
Here too, LIC Pension Fund is the best performer because 80% of the corpus is in debt. It has generated SIP returns of 10.25% in the past 3 years. NPS funds for government employees also follow a conservative allocation, with a 15% cap on equity exposure.
These funds have also done fairly well, beating the 100% debt-based EPF by almost 200-225 basis points in the past five years. Incidentally, the LIC Pension Fund for Central Government employees is the best performer in that category. Debt-oriented hybrid mutual funds, also known as monthly income plans, have given similar returns.
However, this performance may not be sustained in future. The equity markets could correct and the debt investments might also give muted returns.
Balanced investors who spread their investments equally across all three fund classes have done better than the ultra-safe and conservative investors. The twin rallies in bonds and equities have helped balanced portfolios churn out impressive returns. Though debt funds slipped in the short term, the spectacular performance of equity funds pulled up the overall returns. Reliance Capital Pension Fund is the best performer in the past six months with 4.03% returns, but it is Kotak Pension Fund that has delivered the most impressive numbers over the long term. Its three-year SIP returns are 10.39% while five-year SIP returns are 11.22%. For investors above 40, the balanced allocation closely mirrors the Moderate Lifecycle Fund. This fund puts 50% of the corpus in equities and reduces the equity exposure by 2% every year after the investor turns 35. By the age of 43, the allocation to equities is down to 34%. However, some financial planners argue that since retirement is still 15-16 years away, a 42-43-year olds should not reduce the equity exposure to 34-35%. But it is prudent to start reducing the risk in the portfolio as one grows older.
Aggressive investors, who put the maximum 50% in equity funds and the rest in gilt and corporate bond funds have earned the highest returns, with stock markets touching their all-time highs. Kotak Pension Fund gave 16.3% returns in the past year. The best performing UTI Retirement Solutions has given SIP returns of 11.78% in five years. Though equity exposure has been capped at 50%, young investors can put in up to 75% of the corpus in equities if they opt for the Aggressive Lifecycle Fund. It was introduced late last year, (along with a Conservative Lifecycle Fund that put only 25% in equities), and investors who opted for it earned an average 10.8% in the past 6 months.
But the equity allocation of the Aggressive Lifecycle Fund starts reducing by 4% after the investor turns 35. The reduction slows down to 3% a year after he turns 45. Even so, by the late 40s, his allocation to equities is not very different from the Moderate Lifecycle Fund. Critics say investors should be allowed to invest more in equities if they want.
Posted On: Apr 30, 2012 | CommonFloor.com
A property transfer to your family member or to a near and dear one is not as easy as you might think. If you own a property in India and wish to transfer it to another person’s name you might as well think that your family member belongs to a similar group. Indeed, it is always safe that you seek legal help when it comes to property transfer. There are various circumstances in which one can transfer property to another person’s name. In case of death, selling your property or gifting it can be are options that can be considered. Properties can vary from a unit to apartments, houses, flats, holiday houses, vacant blocks of land, rental properties and hobby farms.
Once you have decided to transfer the property to another person, you need to know the basic and important formalities required in the process of a property transfer.
Know the valuation or the market price: It is very important that you get the precise valuation of your property before transferring it. Doing this will give you a clear idea about the fluctuations of the capital gains tax event (CGT event).
Hire an attorney: It is always better that you hire an attorney if you’re either gifting or selling the property. An attorney will help you fill out and file the quit claim deed precisely. It is also possible that you can fill out the forms by yourself but you might get a little confused and might require a lot of time. You can also acquire a quit claim deed online as well.
Quit claim deed: This deed is signed in order to transfer any ownership interest of the owner without making any promises regarding the properties interest. They are basically used in order to clear up the title problems or to transfer the property amongst couples after separation or any informal decisions. It is very important to write the precise and complete names of the transferor and the transferee.
Get a warranty deed: It is very important that you get a warranty deed in order to transfer the property to another person’s name. It is also known as the “Grant Deed”.This transfers ownership of the property and promises transfer of property of the owner to the transferee.
Legal description of the property: Mentioning a precise legal description of your property at the time of transferring is very important. Details like your address, landmark, few specifications and dimensions are the details which are needed to be mentioned.
Exclusions: The idea of exclusions is to clearly mention that while transferring the property between people, both the receiving and the giving parties are exempted from being taxed. This can be applied in case of a parent, child, in-laws, step children, and so on.
Gift deed/Will deed: Transferring a property can either be as a gift or as per mentioned in a will. If a person is transferring the property in order to escape the liabilities, he/she will not be exempted from paying the liabilities. The transfer of property as a gift deed will require a stamp duty, whose value and purpose rate will be fixed by the government. It also has to be registered. In case of a Will deed, the stamp duty is implied and the Will will take effect only after the death of the person. There is an option of the Will deed being either registered or not registered.
Country name: It is mandatory that you write the name of the country where the property is situated. The form has to be filled with precise information.
Purchase price:In case you’re selling the property, you will have to enter the purchase price. If you’re gifting the property, you will have to enter the nominal monetary amount in the form.
Notarizing the deed: While you’re notarizing or transferring your property, it is important that you find a suitable notary public in order to notarize the deed.
Points to be remembered:
- Other than a relationship breakdown, the stamp duty is payable for other reasons while transferring.
- The market valuation of the property has to be given to the Office of fair trading in order to calculate the stamp duty.
- If the property has a mortgage amount, you will have to discuss this issue with the person who is receiving the property.
- There are a certain amount of costs which will be involved while transferring property.
HARSH ROONGTA | Tue, 13 Sep 2016-06:35am | dna
Despite all this, the detractors of NPS are many and the reasons are fairly significant.
On paper, National Pension System(NPS) has everything going for it. It is an extremely low-cost retirement mutual fund with fund management fees at very low levels. It also allows equity participation up to a maximum of 50% and requires the balance money to be invested in government and debt securities. This provides a healthy mix of high return equity with safe debt instruments. NPS also effectively locks in the investors’ money till they reach the age of retirement. This ensures that the investor does not take any short decision for this investment. It also allows the fund manager to invest with a longer-term horizon in mind, thus allowing better returns. The star advantage, of course, is the exclusive tax deduction of Rs 50,000 for investing in NPS which is over and above the Rs 1.50 lakh limit available under section 80C for other investments and expenses. For salaried employees, the employer can contribute up to 10% of the basic pay into the NPS without payment of tax. What should clinch the argument is the fact that the average return over the past 5 years is a creditable 12% per annum even if you had chosen in the worst-performing equity and debt funds available in the NPS.
Despite all this, the detractors of NPS are many and the reasons are fairly significant. First is the requirement for compulsory investment in buying an immediate pension plan from a life insurance company with at least 40% of the accumulated fund. The immediate pension plans available from life insurance companies are very limited and offer very poor returns around 7% p.a., which is also taxable. Second is the fact that out of the balance 60% (left after investing in compulsory pension plan) only 40% of the accumulated fund can be withdrawn tax free. The balance 20%, if withdrawn, will be taxable, thus reducing the return. Questions have also been raised about the very low fees that fund managers get which may affect the performance of the fund in the long run.
The argument for or against NPS thus rallies around whether the exclusive tax benefit provided initially outweighs the disadvantages of NPS at maturity. Proponents of NPS (and I am one of them) argue that the fears of taxation on the pension income are overstated as the income is spread over many years and you are likely to have low income in your retirement years leading to low or nil taxation rates. Also, the immediate annuity market cannot remain underdeveloped forever and should start offering competitive returns by the time you retire in a decade or more. Also, given the government’s commitment to promoting the NPS, the tax disadvantages of NPS are likely to reduce or disappear over time. The biggest advantage for unsophisticated investors is that the initial tax benefit will ensure that they diligently invest year after year which they may not otherwise do in a regular investment product.
Of course, I think both sides agree that investing in NPS over and above the exclusive tax benefit available for it makes no sense whatsoever currently. So invest in NPS, but only to the extent of the exclusive tax benefit available.
The writer is a chartered accountant and Sebi-registered investment adviser
Source : https://goo.gl/hd8xbA
Vivina Vishwanathan | First Published: Mon, Jul 11 2016. 04 03 AM IST | Live MInt
Actor Sunny Leone’s current business interests include perfumes and online gaming. Personal investments, too, are made with a long-term intent
Sunny Leone is not an ordinary Bollywood star. The 35-year-old has been the most searched person on the Internet in India for four years in a row. The adult movie star-turned-actress was always fascinated with business and was a control freak when it came to finances. But that was before she met husband, Daniel Weber.
“I was 8 or 10 years old when I used to go to the street with my brother and a neighbour in Canada, and shovel snow in the driveways and earn a dollar a piece. But the snow was two-feet high and we thought we should charge more because it was double the work,” says Leone, who was born in Canada and lived there as a child. In fact, as a child, she routinely put up lemonade stands during summers and shovelled snow in the winters to earn money. “I was the girl who sold things for my basketball team and soccer team. That was before I even went to high school.”
Her interest in business continued in high school. “When I went to high school in California, I joined a club called Future Business Leaders of America. That is when I started learning a lot of things about marketing, and supply and demand. I took different classes around business and economics. We would go to young entrepreneurial conferences in that area and that’s kind of where everything started.”
Even at a young age, Leone wanted to start her own venture. “When I became an adult, I realised that (adult content) was a business. But more than that, I wanted to own a website and run my own company.” She used to handle everything. “If I have to be in this industry, I want to make all the money—every dollar. After all, it is my body, my image and my brand.”
So, she learnt to manage her website, learning HTML, video editing, photography, and how to build thumb gallery posts (TGP). “I would do everything from start to finish. That was when I learnt about website traffic. In a digital world, traffic is the best thing you can have. I learnt where to send this traffic and how to capitalise all of it.”
Leone says a business should be grown slowly and steadily. “Believe me, it takes at least a year to three years for a business to turn profitable. I don’t believe in any business that is fast paced. If it is moving very fast, it doesn’t seem right to me. I like the idea of growing slowly and steadily and making the roots of the company strong.”
Move to India
Moving to India was a calculated risk for Leone. When she got an offer to participate in the prime time reality show Bigg Boss in India, Leone initially declined. “I thought it was absolutely insane because I’d got so many hate mails from the Indian community. Because I had got so much hatred, I said I don’t want to go through it again.” But then her husband, Weber, went to her with a PowerPoint presentation and armed with statistics. “We had the viewership and the reach details. We started doing further research. I think at that time Bigg Boss was watched by 25 million people in 10 different countries or something. It was huge. By the time I finished researching, we both came to the conclusion that if we didn’t take this chance, it might be one of the biggest regrets we would ever have.”
She was taking a chance, and she was scared. “There was a lot of negativity and backlash for Viacom, Bigg Boss, and Colors for bringing me here because it was the first time someone from that (adult content) industry was coming to mainstream television. Meanwhile, I thought if I work for a couple of weeks, make money and then come home, I could put a down payment on a house and go back to living in my bubble. I didn’t think anything was going to come from it.”
But when she started working in Bigg Boss, she realised she was breaking into a market that she has been trying to enter for years. “Our research showed that majority of the traffic that came to my website or different social media sites was from India. We were not capitalising the traffic. Nobody made it to the ‘join’ page or purchased anything. Bigg Boss was my chance to break into a market that I had never been able to tap into.” She says people knew her and were at her website but were not spending. “There is definitely a disconnect that happens when you are someone from abroad. Living here is being a part of the Indian culture and there is a connect that happens. Hence, moving to India was very calculated.”
Taking plans further
After Bigg Boss, Leone bagged some Bollywood movies and debuted with Jism-2. She has also done a song for Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees, which is expected to hit the screens next year.
While Leone may be getting more and more films now, she knows that her role in the entertainment industry will not last forever. “It can end like tomorrow,” she says. Therefore, she is always thinking of branching out. “Once we got a handle of how it works in India, after signing a bunch of movies and doing different brand endorsements, we have tried to think of ways to branch out.” She considers movies as only a small piece of the puzzle. Among her other ventures are TV shows. Apart from movies, she does a show every year. At present, she co-hosts MTV Splitsvilla.
As part of the expansion plan, she has launched a perfume line—The Lust. “It is manufactured by me. Taking the Kardashian model, and some of the other artists out there in the US, the goal is to keep growing. When the movies or something else ends, I know that we have created something here above, beyond, and bigger than us.”
After perfumes, Leone plans to venture into women’s cosmetics. “I plan to create products for women such as nail polish, skin care, lipsticks…. I’m not sure about clothing right now but it is something we keep talking about,” says Leone. “We have invested a lot of time and money in it. I personally would like to invest more money in merchandising and branding because it is something that can continue forever.”
Recently, Leone wrote a collection of short-stories for the mobile-first digital publishing house Juggernaut. Titled Sweet Dreams, the stories, as defined by Juggernaut, are “fictional stories of power… emotions… desires”. “It was a little bit more difficult than I anticipated. It takes a lot of work to be a good writer.” She is also into online gaming with Teen Patti with Sunny Leone.
The next step, says Leone, may be producing movies in India. “But I am in no rush because there is a shift happening in the entertainment industry and if you don’t have great content and dialogues, usually it doesn’t work.”
Leone has stopped working in the adult content industry. Her focus now is on building her brand. “I stopped working in that industry long time ago. But we have a lot of traffic and we don’t know what to do with it. Now we have a reach of around 100 million people. Hence, let’s say, there is a company that wants me to tweet about something or put it on Facebook, I use this traffic to monetise now.” The same strategy works when she wants to raise money for charity. “We also found that the traffic is now monetised because those people are donating or spreading the word. We are able to do so many things now, which we were just not able to do earlier.”
Leone has over 1.5 million followers on Twitter; a reach she uses for promotions and branding. “Every day, we use social media to get across something that we want to say. A brand will call and say we want you to tweet about our brand once, which we do.” But she says she doesn’t like spamming. “For instance, we do movie promotions. There have been some directors who come and say ‘I want you to keep tweeting every 20 minutes the same thing over and over’. I say it is not going to happen because you are not going to get traction with this. It is not going to work. You are not even letting it get absorbed before having me tweet again. We don’t want to block them (the followers) or get them to unfollow.”
Like her business ventures, in investments, too, Leone has only what she understands. Her investment portfolio has a mix of stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and retirement funds. “In the US, we have invested some of our money in very stable stocks and some mutual funds. We also have some IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts).” An IRA offers various tax breaks. It’s a basket in which you keep stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other assets. “We have bought our home there. We have invested a lot of our money in real estate. We do love the idea of getting into real estate a bit more. We are also interested in investment homes. And we obviously save a lot of money.”
When it comes to stocks too, she remains updated. “When this whole Brexit happened, we lost some money, which was not fun. But I do believe that it will steadily go back up and back to normal. This is just a shock to everybody. I didn’t think that this would affect us, but it did.”
The Indian stock market, however, is not part of her portfolio yet. “It is difficult for Overseas Citizens of India and people from outside of India to invest in India. You have to follow the whole process, which is crazy.”
The Indian real estate market, too, is not in her view. “It is really difficult to invest in Indian realty. When there are so many people involved, money just goes away. And then trying to sell the house and transfer the money into our bank account out of India is another huge issue. I think buying stocks and mutual funds is probably little easier with the right people in India, than buying real estate.”
She is not interested in start-ups due to the way their valuations work. “I have been hearing a lot of information about start-ups and how they are getting evaluated. Personally, I think it is a very interesting business model that I don’t think is going to last very long. My husband might think completely opposite. I think it is great if it is a start-up that stays true to what it is, instead of getting evaluated and getting into selling some big dream to somebody else.”
Leone doesn’t look at gold as an investment choice. “I know that there are a lot of families in India that buy gold. I like wearing them—gold, diamond, jewels—rather than looking at them as an investment option.”
Daniel: the financial guru
Before Leone was married, she took care of all her finances. “As far as finances were concerned, I used to put a lot of my money back into my company. But at some point I did have to branch out. You can’t micro manage everything. Before I met Daniel (her husband), I was in control of everything.” Initially she had doubts about doing business with her husband. “When we started doing business together, it was really difficult mentally to bring someone into my inner financial and business circle. But he has a great business mind as well. So when we started discussing all these different things, it was very natural for us to come together and form a company together.” Now she thinks it is the best thing that has ever happened to her. “His business background and mine are totally different. And he just completely streamlined everything and helped me organise things because I was growing faster than I could manage. You need help at that point. You can’t think of doing everything. You will stop growing, since you don’t have the time in a day to do everything.” She says her husband manages everything, ensuring that she and her staff work every day and their money is allocated in the right places in multiple countries. However, financial decisions are always taken after weighing the pros and cons.
Being financially independent
Leone always wanted to be independent. “I wanted to be on my own ever since I was really little. Also my parents would tell me over and over again that you have to be independent. That stuck with me.” Besides financial independence, her parents always tried to tell her to save money. “I grew up in a lower middle-class family, so we didn’t have a lot of money. As I got older, I realised I should save money. She doesn’t have any money regrets. “I am pretty calculated. If I am not 100% convinced that this is going to be financially viable, I won’t take the risk. If I know that it is a risk and if it doesn’t work, I am okay with what is lost too. I think I am realistic when it comes to investments.”
Source : http://goo.gl/u5y8sE
Babar Zaidi | TNN | Jun 13, 2016, 06.53 AM IST | Times of India
NEW DELHI: The first time Arjun Amlani used an online calculator to assess his retirement needs, he was shocked. The Mumbai-based finance professional, whose gross income was around Rs 10 lakh a year then, needed more than Rs 8 crore to fund his retirement needs. “The eight-digit number was too scary,” he says.
Figures thrown up by excel sheets and online retirement calculators can be intimidating. Here’s an example: if your current monthly expenses are Rs 60,000, even a conservative inflation rate of 7% will push up that requirement to over Rs 4.6 lakh in 30 years. To sustain those expenses for 20 years in retirement, you need a corpus of Rs 9 crore. To some investors, such enormous figures seem so unattainable that they just stop bothering about retirement. That’s a mistake.Retirement cannot be wished away. The paycheques will stop coming, and your living expenses won’t end but keep rising due to inflation. Worse, critical expenses like healthcare will be growing faster than overall inflation. The sooner you start saving for that phase of life, the more comfortable retirement will be.
The big question is: how can one build a nine-figure nest egg when the monthly surplus is Rs 15,000-20,000? Mutual fund sellers claim that an SIP of Rs 15,000 can grow to Rs 10 crore in 30 years. But this calculation assumes compounded annual returns of 15% for the next 30 years.It’s not advisable to base your retirement plan on such over-optimistic assumptions. Life insurance agents will offer plans that will give you an assured sum on retirement. But the returns they will generate are too low and the amount required will be too high. An endowment policy that gives Rs 10 crore after 30 years will have an annual premium of roughly Rs 12 lakh — or Rs 1 lakh per month.
Increasing the investment
When Amlani used the calculator, his monthly income was around Rs 85,000 and he needed to invest almost 20% of this for his retirement. A year later, his income has gone up and so have expectations. The calculator now says he needs to save over Rs 10 crore in the next 27 years, but Amlani is not worried. If he continues putting money in his PF, PPF and equity funds as planned, it won’t be difficult for him to reach the target.
All Amlani has to do is increase the quantum of investment every year. If a 30-year-old with a monthly salary of Rs 50,000 starts saving 10% (Rs 5,000) for his retirement every month in an option that earns 9% per year, he will accumulate Rs 92 lakh by the time he is 60. But if he raises his investment by 10% every year (in line with assumed increase in income), he would have saved Rs 2.76 crore.
It’s surprising that not many investors follow this simple strategy even though their income rises every year.Sure, the annual increment in salary is nullified to some extent by the increase in cost of living. Yet, even when there is a marked increase in investible surplus, people don’t match investments with the increase in income. The silver lining is that contributions to the Provident Fund are linked to income and automatically increase after every annual increment.
The right investment mix
We looked at three types of investors: risk-averse individuals who stay away from equities, moderate investors who have some exposure to stocks and aggressive investors who are willing to take risks. Each starts with a monthly investment of Rs 15,000 spread across different retirement saving options, and increases the investment amount by 10% every year. Unfortunately for the risk-averse investor, his nest egg is considerably smaller than those of the moderate and aggressive investors.
This is because apart from PF and investments in small savings schemes, he has invested in low-yield life insurance policies and pension plans. Life insurance policies offer assured returns and a tax-free corpus. But the returns are very low–even a long-term plan of 25-30 years will not be able to generate more than 6-7%. Pension plans from life insurance companies are also high-cost instruments. While this shows that equity investments are critical for a long-term goal, the other two haven’t taken too much risk either.
The equity exposure of the moderate investor does not exceed 53% while the aggressive investor has a marginally higher allocation to stocks. The moderate investor comes close to the Rs 10-crore mark, while the aggressive investor manages to reach the nine digit figure.
Investing discipline needed
The big problem, however, is the lack of investing discipline. Though our calculations do not allocate too much to equity, we have assumed regular investments for 30 years. In reality, data from AMFI shows small investors withdraw 47% of investments in equity funds and 54% of investments in non-equity funds within two years. In fact, 27% of equity fund investments are withdrawn within a year. “Small investors just don’t have the patience or the long-term vision required to make money from equity investments,” says a senior fund manager. It’s futile to imagine a nest egg of Rs 10 crore if your investment term is only 1-2 years.
The trajectory of equity investments is never a straight line. It will have ups and down, which is an inherent feature of this asset class. However, in the long-term, these investments will prove more rewarding than fixed income options. Although equity funds have churned out much higher returns in the past 15 years, we have assumed a conservative 12% returns from equity investments.
Source : http://goo.gl/qYLTb0
PF withdrawal norms dropped: There could be good reasons to keep your money with the EPFO unless you need it for a specific purpose and you have no alternative sources to meet those expenses.
By: Sarbajeet K Sen | Updated: April 20, 2016 5:25 PM | Indian Express
Employee Provident Fund members may have won the battle against the government’s move to impose restrictions on EPF withdrawal, but should they rush to take out the money if eligible to do so?
There could be good reasons to keep your money with the fund unless you need it for a specific purpose and you have no alternative sources to meet those expenses.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider staying invested in with the Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
Provides old-age income security: The main purpose of contributions to EPF is to create a corpus for the golden years of the members. The corpus created through compulsory savings should be looked at as a fund that would provide financial security at old age. It should not be withdrawn unless for specified emergency purposes. Besides, there is provision for pension and insurance under EPFO.
High rate of interest: EPFO has set the interest rate for 2015-16 at 8.8 per cent, which makes it one of the most lucrative fixed-income savings instruments. This is even better than Public Provident Fund (PPF) which now gives an annual interest of 8.1 per cent. Hence, financial advisors often suggest voluntary increase in EPF contributions from the employee side beyond the mandatory 12 per cent of basic.
Compounding for more years builds large corpus: With the money being compounded at a healthy interest rate the fund can help generate a corpus at retirement can be substantial. A quick calculation shows that an average monthly contribution of Rs 5000 for 30 years at 8.8 per ent compounded annually will create a corpus of Rs 82.35 lakhs after 30 years. However, if the same it withdrawn after 25 years, you will get around Rs 54 lakhs and over 20 years the corpus will be substantially lower at Rs 32 lakhs.
Provides tax-free returns: EPF enjoys Exempt, Exempt, Exempt (EEE) status and hence it is not taxed throughout its life including contribution, accumulation and withdrawal. If tax-saving is factored in, the 8.8 per cent interest rate works out effectively to nearly 12.5 per cent interest if you are in the 30 per cent tax bracket. However, if you withdraw the corpus before completing five years as member and the amount is over Rs 30,000, you will have to pay tax as per your income slab.
Interest paid even in dormant accounts: The government has recently taken a decision to resume paying interest on ‘dormant’ EPF accounts. Earlier, if your money with EPFO had no contributions for over 36 months it was being categorized as ‘dormant’ and no interest was paid on it. That was a good reason to withdraw the money and invest it to other productive avenues. Not any longer. You can now retain the accumulation and earn healthy interest till retirement.
Source : http://goo.gl/mKmSU7