Graduates and diploma holders from all recognised universities are now eligible for post office life insurance. The Centre has amended rules to make this possible.

Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced on February 1, 1884. It started as a welfare scheme for the benefit of postal employees and was later extended to the employees of the Telegraph Department in 1888.

In 1894, PLI extended insurance cover to female employees of the erstwhile P&T Department at a time when no other insurance company covered female lives. Over the years, PLI has grown substantially from a few hundred policies in 1884 to more than 50 lakh policies as on March 31, 2021.

As on date, all permanent and temporary employees of Central/State Governments, universities established by governments (Centre/ State), Gramin Dak Sewaks, government aided educational institutions, nationalised banks, State Bank of India, subsidiary banks of State Bank of India, Financial Institutions notified by government, defence personnel (Army, Navy, Air Force), personnel of para military force including Assam Rifles, ITBPF, CISF, BSF and CRPF etc., regular employees of public sector undertakings (Centre and State) and regional rural banks are eligible for the scheme.

Apart from these, all permanent and temporary employees of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Medical Council of India, the Dental Council of India, the Nursing council of India, and the Pharmacy Council of India are also covered.

Members of the defence services, including those holding short service commissions, extended service commission and other kinds of non-permanent commissions are also eligible to join the fund.

One can avail of any one of Whole Life Assurance, Endowment Assurance, Convertible Whole Assurance, Anticipated Endowment Assurance and Yugal Suraksha Policy or all of them. Sum assured under each of the schemes will not be less than ₹20,000 but not more than an aggregate of ₹50 lakh with respect to one class/all classes of insurance policy(s) taken together. The value of policy shall be taken in multiples of ₹10,000 after minimum limit of ₹20,000.

A special version of Postal Life Insurance is available for rural areas.  Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) was introduced in 1995 was based on the Malhotra Committee report which had observed in 1993 that only 22 per cent of the insurable population in this country had been insured; life insurance funds accounted for only 10 per cent of the gross household savings.

The prime objective of the scheme is to provide insurance cover to the rural public in general and to benefit weaker sections and women workers of rural areas in particular and also to spread awareness about insurance among the rural population.