Monday, July 26, 2010

Need for revising CGEGIS (Group Insurance)

It came into force from 1st January, 1982, and provides employees either the life insurance cover in the case of death during service or a maturity amount in the case of retirement from service.

A portion of the subscription is credited to Insurance Fund and the other portion to the Savings Fund in the ratio of 3:7. The Savings Fund will earn interest at the prescribed rate to be compounded quarterly.

Monthly subscription, life insurance sum assured and Maturity amount applicable for different cadres are as follows

Employee Contribution Insurance
Cadre per month (Rs.) Cover Rs.

A 120 1,20,000
B 60 60,000
C 30 30,000
D 15 15,000

Features of this Scheme:

On Resignation/Retirement: -
Amount of subscription credited to the Savings Fund along with interest thereon will be paid to the employee.

On Death:
Amount of insurance cover of the group to which he belongs on the date of death and the accumulation in Savings Fund will be paid to his nominee/heirs.

• If an employee dies before he was enrolled as a member (i.e. between the date of his joining service and the following 1st January), only the insurance amount will be paid to the nominee/heirs.

• Employee can assign the insurance cover and accumulation in the savings fund to a recognized financial institution, for obtaining housing loans. However, no loans/advance or withdrawals are permitted from Insurance Fund/Savings Fund.

• The amount of subscription is eligible for Income Tax Rebate u/s 88 of IT Act.

The maximum sum assured in the event of death in this scheme is Rs.1,20,000. Remember, this amount is applicable for Group A Officers only. Group B, C and D Officers are entitled for a sum assured to the extent of Rs.60,000, 30,000, and Rs. 15,000 respectively.

Can we stoutly say our life is sufficiently covered under CGEGIS with this meager insurance amount? One of the basic personal finance principles as far as Insurance concerned is under-insurance at times leaves no trace of insurance when it fails to serve the purpose for what it was effected. This is because insurance on Human Life should be sought keeping in mind, the financial loss that the family would suffer in the absence of insured person.

One might ask why Central Government Employees should depend on Group Insurance Scheme (CGEGIS) when he is not barred from insuring his life on his own by opting for insurance policies offered by LIC or other private Insurance Companies.

But, wise men would always advocate in favour of Group Insurance only because of the advantages of getting insured as a group. Especially, Group insurance plans have low premiums. Such plans are particularly beneficial to those for whom other regular policies are a costlier proposition.

Moreover, Group Insurance Premiums are based on head count of the group insured. Obviously, when the group sought to be insured is having more number of employees premium collected per employee would get substantially reduced.

The real advantage of Group Insurance that More Insurance Cover a lesser premium can be enjoyed by the employees if Government reviews the existing CGEGIS and makes some small changes such as providing enhanced Insurance cover after reasonably increasing the premium per head.

To commensurate with the present inflationary trend, a reasonable minimum Insurance cover under CGEGIS has to be fixed, say Rs.5 lakhs.

From the employees side, justifiable increase in the premium by the government for providing adequate insurance cover should readily be accepted as the premium we pay for the existing Group Insurance is very negligible. Government can not provide a decent insurance cover with the such a small premium we pay now.

Under the existing CGEGIS the premium is Rs.10 per month for Rs.10, 000 sum assured. This rate is more or less equivalent to the rate of premium for the sum assured pertaining to Group Savings Linked Insurance Scheme offered by LIC of India. But the major difference is Life Insurance cover offered by LIC under this Group Insurance Scheme is considerably higher. Hence, the Group Insurance offered by LIC could be taken as a benchmark for revising CGEGIS.

To conclude, there is an immediate need in revising CGEGIS to provide for more insurance cover as the existing scheme was devised almost 30 years back after which three pay commissions were formed by Government for revision of salary and allowances.

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