Investment Alerts: EPF interest rate reduced

The Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) cut the interest rate for 2017-18 to 8.55 per cent from 8.65 per cent from 2016-17. The interest rate was 8.8 per cent in 2015-16. The present rate would be the lowest in five years.

The interest rate on EPF was reduced due to low returns from debt instruments. Currently, EPFO invests 15 per cent of its annual accrual in equities via exchange traded funds (ETF) and the remaining in debt instruments. The interest rate offered on EPF is still higher than that offered for the government provident fund and public provident fund, which are earning 7.6 per cent.

ULIP launch from Bajaj Allianz

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd has launched a new Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) with two special features — return of mortality charges and a return enhancer. Return of mortality charges is the cost of the life cover, which the insured will receive at the time of maturity.

The scheme also gives added benefits to those insured who receive the maturity benefit in instalments. If the insured receives maturity benefit in instalments for over five years, she will get an addition of 0.5 per cent of each due instalment, which is a return enhancer. The scheme also provides fund booster, an additional amount added to the fund value on the date of maturity of the policy.

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