will launch an insurance-linked pension scheme for non-resident
Keralites in April 2002, at the start of the new financial
year. The 1.6-million-strong non-resident Keralite (NRK)
community has for long been demanding such a scheme.
To begin with, the scheme will be run with the help of
the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), a state-run insurance
giant, says Non-Resident Keralite Affairs Department (NORKA)
secretary Jiji Thompson.
"We have also commenced talks with two private insurance
companies. Since, as of today, rules do not permit a private
insurance company to run a pension plan, we will take
it up with them at a later date," he says. "Keralites
living abroad or in other Indian states can join the scheme
by making a minimum stipulated contribution."
"For example, if a 40-year-old NRK pays an annual
contribution of Rs 5,000, from age 55 he will get a monthly
pension of Rs 2,000 for life. In case of the death of
the policy-holder, the selected sum assured plus money
in the investment account will be paid out," says
Thompson. NRK Minister M M Hassan said: "We have
worked on all aspects, so there shouldnt be any snag
to begin the scheme in April."
Incidentally, the previous E K Nayanar-led LDF government
was set to announce a pension scheme for NRKs in March
last year and reports
indicated that it had set aside Rs 5.5 million to meet
the initial expenses. But for some unknown reason the
scheme was not launched.
The state government, meanwhile, is apparently considering
a pure insurance scheme for the 900,000 returned expatriates.
"The exact date and the details of this are being
worked out," says Thompson.