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Thursday, Feb 27, 2003

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AMP Sanmar unveils pension plan

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CHENNAI, Feb. 26

AMP Sanmar Assurance launched a pension plan, `Bhagya Shree', today. A company release says that the plan has been structured with flexibility as the key principle.

Company officials identified multiple options provided to customers in relation to channelling premium contributions and adding a life cover to the pension plan as its unique selling point (USP).

AMP Sanmar has revealed the level of chargeable expenses on the pension plan, another factor picked by the company as a key differentiator from most of the competition.

AMP Sanmar's pension plan follows a handful of other pension plans in the market. The company brochure indicated that customers could choose to channel their contributions into a `Capital Secure Fund' (all investment into fixed income securities) or a `Balanced Fund' (20 per cent of investment in equities). Customers will be allowed "one free switch" between funds in a year.

Mr Mike Wood, Chief Actuary, explained that the company would not offer a guaranteed return on the premium. He added, "there is a cost to guarantees; a guarantee comes at a charge to the customer".

The company brochure indicated that the pension plan offered customers an option of choosing a life cover. For customers who opt for life cover, there are two options.

Setting the company's new product in a context, Mr. S. Balachander, Head — Marketing & Product Development, said that the growth rate of old people was projected to be faster than the growth rate in the population. According to him, "the bulging middle class will give way to bulging old age," while only three per cent of the total population is organised for pension as against a work force that makes up 33 per cent of the population.

Speaking on AMP Sanmar's distribution strategy, Mr S.V. Mony, Chief Executive Officer, indicated, "in Kerala we tied up with a large co-operative bank, and should start selling in the first week of March". He added that alliances with two more banks were under consideration.

AMP Sanmar expects a premium income of about Rs 11 crore by March 2003.

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