Monday, March 22, 2010

IRDA Promoting Insurance Companies Instead of Being A Regulator?

In the midst of its spat with SEBI over regulating ULIPs, insurance regulator IRDA on Thursday sought to hard sell unit-linked insurance policies as an alternative to regular income or pension payouts.

"If you have not already provided for regular income/ pension during your retired life, consider Unit Linked Pension Plan," Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority said. In a public notice issued today, IRDA highlighted various risks as also benefits associated with the ULIPs.

ULIPs -- one of the most common insurance plans sold by life insurers where the money collected from consumers is invested into equity and debt markets and returns are linked to the same -- has become a bone of contention between the two financial sector regulators, with both claiming authority to regulate these schemes.

Earlier this year, Securities and Exchange Board of India issued show-cause notices to various life insurance companies, asking why they did not seek its approval before offering the ULIP schemes, as they invest part of their corpus in capital market.

However, the insurance sector, including IRDA, objected strongly to this move, saying the SEBI Act, that requires the market regulator's approval for any investment schemes related to securities market, does not apply to insurance.

In its today's public notice, IRDA said money from consumers is invested in a fund of their choice such as equity, debt, liquid etc in a Unit Linked Pension Plan.

Posted via email from Ranjan's posterous

Post a Comment