fML Reviews: Aviva MultiPay Plan III

Aviva MultiPay Plan III review

Critical illness plan is a form of insurance that provides a lump sum payout whenever you’re diagnosed with one of the 37 critical illnesses, defined by the Life Insurance Association of Singapore. The lump sum is to help the person during the recovery period, when he/she cannot work. In our previous article, we discussed the differences between single-pay and multi-pay critical illness plans. One plan that we mentioned in the article was the Aviva MultiPay Plan III. Where is Aviva MultiPay Plan I and II? That’s a question that we’re unable to answer. However, we can answer something else instead. In this article, fundMyLife reviews the Aviva MultiPay Plan III and explores their features. Note: this information is accurate as of September 2018.

What is it?

Aviva MultiPay Plan III, as its name suggests, is a critical illness plan that provides multiple payouts. More specifically, it provides up to five payouts across early, intermediate, and severe stage critical illnesses. This also includes payouts if/when your cancer reoccurs. It is available as both a standalone plan or a rider to your existing policies.

Notable features

No waiting period between illnesses of different groups

While multi-pay critical illness plans from other companies have a waiting period, the Aviva MultiPay Plan III is notable because it has no waiting periods between Layer 1 disease groups. Early and intermediate critical illnesses form the first layer. Bear in mind, it’s a maximum of two claims in the first layer.

Aviva MultiPay Plan III Payout structure
Aviva MultiPay Plan III payout structure. Source: Aviva.

For example, if the doctor diagnoses you with Stage I breast cancer and you had a heart attack, you would obtain payout for both conditions. Statistically, it is not likely to happen, i.e. getting multiple critical illnesses from different baskets at the same time, but it’s a good thing to have.

If you take a closer look at the brochure, it says that Aviva will pay 300% of the sum assured less any claim paid from Layer 1. This means that if you suffer from a severe critical illness from the get-go without any claims on early/intermediate critical illness, you’d get the full 300% of sum assured. For example, your payout would be $300,000 if your sum insured was $100,000. However, if you claimed once or twice for early stage, you’d get 200% ($200,000) and 100% ($100,000) respectively instead.

Premium waiver after severe critical illness

This is different from the usual critical illness plan since the plan terminates after you get the payout. There are two advantages with this, as it means you are still protected and you do not have to carry the burden of premium payment during and after recovery.

Special benefit from certain illnesses

If you are diagnosed with one of the 18 conditions set out by Aviva, you will get an additional 20% increase for your sum insured, for a maximum of $25,000 per life per condition. These are the 18 conditions:

The list of special conditions that give additional sum assured for Aviva MultiPay Plan III.
The list of special conditions that give additional sum assured for Aviva MultiPay Plan III. Source: Aviva.

Several of the special conditions listed are children’s diseases, but there are conditions which are relatively regular such as diabetic complications and mastectomy.

Death benefit

Considering that critical illness plans are for the living, and not for the dead, the Aviva MultiPay Plan III has a death benefit component. Even so, the $5,000 death benefit is a paltry sum compared to most of the regular critical illness plans out there. Better than nothing, but you’d have better cover getting a regular life insurance for death benefit.

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The plan is a recent entrant in the critical illness market, and it stands on its own among the emerging multi-pay critical illness plans in the market. The lack of waiting period between early to intermediate stage critical illnesses is a nice feature. The waiting period between a cancer occurrence and a recurrent is two years, which is biologically and statistically sensible.

However, conditions that qualify for special benefits are a mixed bag. The inclusion of juvenile conditions is a push towards getting this plan for your children. However, it is good to note that there are other conditions that you’d get when you’re older, e.g., diabetes complications and osteoporosis with fractures. Breast cancer survivors who opt for mastectomy – a common procedure – can sigh a breath of relief from this feature as well.

As mentioned, with the relatively low amount of death benefit, you should get a proper life insurance as well.

Connect with fundMyLife financial advisers today!

Interested to know whether this plan, or other multi-pay plans are suitable for you? You should ask your financial adviser. Haven’t found a good financial adviser? Worry not – fundMyLife has your back. You can connect with our panel of experienced and awesome financial advisers, curated by us. Head on over to fundMyLife and ask our awesome financial advisers questions. Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term Premiums

Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Term Living Premiums

In our previous article about Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term, we received some feedback. More specifically, the feedback involved discussing more on the Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums. We get it. In a price conscious world out there, everyone wants a plan that is value-for-money. In this article, fundMyLife manually compiled Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums and risk permanent repetitive motion syndrome.

Assumptions

An insurance premium for a term plan involves several factors: biological sex, smoking status, sum assured, and years of coverage. Given the enormous number of combinations and permutations available, we decided to fix one parameter, that is age.

We assume that the applicant is aged 25. In the subsequent tables, we will vary the following:

  1. Biological sex
  2. Smoking status
  3. Sum assured
  4. Number of years of coverage

Disclaimer: we do our best to get the most accurate information, which is accurate as of June 2018. However, we strongly recommend that you take these figures as a general guide and confirm the numbers with a trusty financial adviser.

Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premium tables

We decided to lump the premiums for both policies together. To get the premium for a particular sum assured at a specific year of coverage, simply look at the intersection between the two values. For example, with reference to the table directly below, you will need to pay $117 per year for Flexi Term if your sum assured is $100,000 for 20 years’ of coverage. On the other hand, you need to $195 (the figure after 117) for the same sum assured and time length.

#1 Male, non-smoker

Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums for a 25-year old male non-smoker
A table for a 25-year old non-smoker male for a range of sum assured for both Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term.

#2 Male, smoker

Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums for a 25-year old male smoker
A table for a 25-year old smoker male for a range of sum assured for both Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term.

#3 Female, non-smoker

Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums for a 25-year old female non-smoker
A table for a 25-year old non-smoker female for a range of sum assured for both Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term.

#4 Female, smoker

Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums for a 25-year old female smoker
A table for a 25-year old smoker female for a range of sum assured for both Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term.

General observations

Based on the tabulated Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums, we can see several notable things. Firstly, the premiums for Flexi Term are relatively level. To elaborate, there is little increase between 5 years, i.e. annual premiums for 2o years vs 25 years. Secondly, it does not pay to be a smoker wanting to purchase either policies. For Flexi Term, smokers for both sexes pay roughly 25-33% more. However, for Flexi Living Term, the difference is around 50%. This is not surprising, given that Flexi Living Term covers critical illness as well.

Ask fundMyLife financial questions today!

As the saying goes, knowing is half the battle won. We hope that these tables help you make a more informed choice with our Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term premiums tables.

However, if you’re still unsure about what you need, why not head on over to fundMyLife and ask our pool of financial advisers? Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: NTUC GIFT

NTUC GIFT review

Written by Chew Jing Xuan

For those who own the NTUC membership card, did you know that being a NTUC member entitles you to beyond just supermarket perks? One of the many benefits would be life insurance with NTUC GIFT- a group term life insurance that NTUC members are entitled to when they join the union. Group insurance are plans that are usually subscribed by employers or group administrator to provide some basic coverage for their employees or members. Around 15% of Singapore’s population are union members – there’s a chance that you are one too if you’re reading this.

What is NTUC GIFT?

NTUC GIFT is a group term life insurance that covers for members of NTUC affiliated unions/associations. It provides coverage for death and total/partial permanent disability. Members are automatically covered if they fulfill these criteria:

  1. Are 16 years old and above and below 65 years old
  2. Have at least 6 months of continuous paid-up union/association membership.

For NTUC GIFT, there is no certificate of insurance as it is a group insurance policy and NTUC is the master policyholder.

Noteable features

#1 Extension of coverage is available after 65 years old

For members who are 65 years old and above are able to opt-in for GIFT Extension to enjoy extended coverage, if they still fulfil the membership tenure criteria. The extension requests are subjected to approval, as well as a token fee of $1-$3 per annum (but this token fee has been waived until 30 April 2022).

#2 Spouses of members are covered as well

NTUC GIFT also covers for members’ spouses against death and total/partial permanent disability, as long as they are between 16 and 65 years old and subject to members meeting the eligibility criteria. Members’ spouses are also eligible for GIFT Extension under the same eligibility criteria as the member.

#3 Union leaders are eligible for higher coverage

Union/ Association leaders are also eligible for double the coverage if they are:

  1. Affiliated to NTUC AND
  2. Registered under the Trade Unions Act or Societies Act.

Premium payment and payout

The premium for NTUC GIFT is fully covered by NTUC, with co-payment from the affiliated unions/ associations. In other words, as long as you continue paying for your NTUC membership fee, which is $117 per annum ($9 per month for Jan-Nov + $18 for Dec), you are able to enjoy this death and TPD coverage (among other benefits, of course).

Payouts for Death/TPD

NTUC GIFT Table
NTUC GIFT payout table for either deaths or TPD for member or his/her family members.

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With a nominal membership fee that entitles members to a multitude of benefits, NTUC GIFT serves as an extremely affordable basic life insurance for many Singaporeans.

However, there are certain things we need to take note of the policy as well. Firstly, the payout benefits is unlikely to be sufficient coverage for most people. As such, it can only serve as a short-term financial aid for the family.

Is the group insurance worth it? Let’s consider the following scenario. A union member of 10 years encounters an accident, and either dies or experiences TPD. His payout is $40,000, which is 34x of the membership fee he paid. Regular insurance plans have a 90-120x of the premiums paid for varying levels of sum assured, albeit the premiums cost more.

In addition, the policy only covers up to age 65, or age 75 if the GIFT Extension is opted. If one is to rely solely on this policy, there would be a protection gap left after 75 years old. Hence, it is essential that members boost their life protection with other policies, while NTUC GIFT can be a supplement to the other policies.

For more details, head over to NTUC GIFT Brochure to find out more.

Ask fundMyLife financial questions today!

And we have come to the end of our review for NTUC GIFT. We hope this review will help you make a better choice.

If you’re still unsure about what you need, why not head on over to fundMyLife and ask our pool of financial advisers? Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

 

fML Reviews: Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term

Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term Review

Life insurance is a form of insurance policy which pays a sum of money upon the death of the insured person. It’s usually one of the first policies that a financial adviser recommends, since it takes care of your dependents if bad things happen to you. Life insurance used to be whole-life plans, i.e. it provides life-long protection. However, in light of changing consumer demands, term insurance emerged as an increasingly popular choice. Term plans, as opposed to whole-life ones, cover you only for a fixed period of time.

In this article, fundMyLife reviews Great Eastern’s term life products – Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term and explores their features. Note: this information is accurate as of June 2018.

What is it?

Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term are regular premium term life insurance. Both Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term have coverage for death, total and permanent disability (TPD), and terminal illness. The difference is that Flexi Living Term also includes additional cover for critical illnesses.

Notable features

#1 Flexibility to convert

You have the option to convert the plan into a whole life, endowment, or even investment-linked plan.

#2 Extended TPD coverage

A common coverage limit for term insurance is either 65 or 70 years old. With extended TPD  benefit, Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term can extend your coverage beyond that, until the age of 85 or the end of the policy term.

Insurance charges

To explore the insurance charges, fundMyLife decided to start with a few key assumptions:

  1. Applicant is 25 years old
  2. Sum assured is $200,000
  3. Cover until 45/55 years old

Annual premiums at a glance

Great Eastern Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term Premiums
The annual premium table for Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term for four different young adults’ profiles.

We constructed four different profiles, varying smoking status and length of cover. At first glance, we observe that Flexi Living Term costs relatively more than Flexi Term per year for all four profiles. This should not be surprising since Flexi Living Term covers critical illnesses as well.

In general, both Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term annual premium is quite affordable at a sum assured amount of $200,000.

Flexi Term Review

The plan is flexible, in more ways than one. Firstly, with a minimum of 6 years’ term, you can hang on to it as long as you want/need. Secondly, you have to option to convert this plan to a different one later in your life. This is good for those who just started out on their careers and do not have any dependents yet. The extended TPD coverage is a nice touch as well.

In a way, Flexi Living Term is like Flexi Term with an additional critical illness rider. However, the coverage is only for regular critical illness. This means you should consider another plan if you want coverage for early critical illnesses.

Speaking of riders – there are riders for these policies. As such, you can supplement this plan with riders that protect you in other ways. For example, personal accident and disability income. However, information is sparse with these riders so you’ll have to approach a financial adviser from Great Eastern for more details.

In addition, bear in mind that Flexi Term and Flexi Living Term are non-participating policies. You won’t be getting any cash accumulation, payouts, or even surrender value. As such, you should consider investing the rest of your money if you want to grow it at some point. If your budget allows it, that is.

Ask fundMyLife financial questions today!

And we have come to the end of our review for Great Eastern Flexi Term life insurance. We hope this review will help you make a better choice. That said, it really depends on what you need.

If you’re still unsure about what you need, why not head on over to fundMyLife and ask our pool of financial advisers? Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: Aviva MyLifeInvest

Aviva MyLifeInvest Review

Investment-linked policies, or ILP, are policies that features both investment and protection components. It’s often marketed as a plan that is flexible and is tailored for your needs. It also has high returns, in exchange for high risks. In this article, fundMyLife examines the features of Aviva’s only ILP, MyLifeInvest, and reviews it.

What is it?

Aviva MyLifeInvest is a regular premium ILP. It provides a lifetime coverage for death and terminal illness. It also provides coverage for total and permanent disability (TPD) until age of 70.

Noteable features

#1 Benefits when life-stage events happen

When you reach a new life-stage, you can raise your sum assured without a medical checkup. According to Aviva, it means a change in marital status, childbirth/new addition to the family, i.e. adoption, and approval of mortgage. Bear in mind you’ll have to apply within 3 months of the mortgage approval. On top of that, your change in life-stage requires proper documentation and evidence for the adjustment of benefits.

#2 Reducing coverage

Besides life-stage events where you increase your coverage, you can also reduce your coverage as well. In fact, you can even reduce your coverage to zero to maximize investments. However, you can only do so if either you reach 55 years old, or you have paid at least twelve years’ worth of premiums. On other other hand, increasing the sum assured after reducing it is subjected to medical underwriting.

#3 Riders

This product has several riders available:

  1. Level Term Cover – additional protection against death and terminal illness
  2. Early Critical Illness Cover – covers earlier stages of critical illness on top of regular ones
  3. Critical Illness Additional Cover
  4. Critical Illness Accelerated Cover
  5. Level Term Critical Illness Accelerated Cover
  6. Payer Critical Illness Premium Waiver Benefit
  7. Payer Premium Waiver Benefit
  8. Critical Illness Premium Waiver

In general the riders are categorized into three kinds: 1) enhanced coverage of death and TPD, 2) critical illness coverage, for both early and normal, and 3) premium waivers in the case of sickness or accidents.

Insurance cost

Turns out the product summary is not available publicly online. However, we contacted kind advisers from Aviva for a copy of the MyLifeInvest product summary. From there, we obtained more details on the insurance coverage charge for death, TPD, and critical illness riders separately.

#1 Death benefit

MyLifeInvest death charges
How much you need to pay per year for each $1,000 sum assured. Data obtained from MyLifeInvest product summary.

We observe that the coverage amount is relatively low until early 50s which then starts rising exponentially. Interestingly, the rates are not too different for male and female non-smokers and smokers.

#2 TPD

Aviva MyLifeInvest TPD Graph
The amount of money you need to pay each year per $1,000 coverage for TPD. Data obtained from MyLifeInvest product summary.

The charge for TPD is relatively low for the first 40 years of age, which then increases exponentially thereafter. However, the range of the amount is small, with the maximum of $7/$1000/year.

#3 Critical illness

Aviva MyLifeInvest CI graph
The yearly insurance charge for critical illness per $1,000 coverage. Data obtained from MyLifeInvest product summary.

The insurance charge for critical illness has a similar range to death, with the premiums mostly very low until the age of 50. After that, the premiums go up very quickly.

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As observed from the charts above, the premiums for death, TPD, and critical illness are relatively low for the first 50 years of age. The charges then increase exponentially thereafter. As such, this plan is useful earlier in your life as a means of cheap protection, not unlike term plans.

The option to minimize your coverage, and at some point to zero, is useful if you want to focus on your investments. Who is it for? We think it’s good for people who want to invest but needs a lot assistance – preferably together with a financial adviser who knows what he or she is doing. It requires active monitoring since insurance cover charge increases over time leaving you less to purchase units in funds.

While we obtained a copy of the product summary, there were several details missing such as the specifics for some of the riders, e.g., premium waiver conditions, early critical illness charge, etc. As such, you will have to contact the representatives for more information. However, based on our intuitive understanding of the rider names, think MyLifeInvest is a relatively modular ILP compared to the others out there. This is probably because MyLifeInvest is the only ILP from Aviva, which means it has to be very flexible to cater to as many people as possible.

Ask fundMyLife financial questions today!

That’s all folks! We hope you found the review useful and got more detailed information on what MyLifeInvest is all about.

If you’re still unsure about what you need, why not head on over to fundMyLife and ask our curated pool of financial advisers? Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: NTUC Income VivoLink

NTUC Income VivoLink Review

Investment-linked policies, or colloquially know as ILPs, are policies that combine both protection and investment. Its main draw lies in its flexibility and potential high returns, which comes with high risks as well. NTUC Income offers two ILP products: VivoLink and VivaLink.

We know what you’re thinking. No, VivoLink is not the name of the bridge to VivoCity. VivoLink is the sibling investment-linked plan (ILP) of VivaLink, which we reviewed in our previous article. In this article, fundMyLife examines NTUC Income VivoLink’s features and reviews it.

Disclaimer: we are neither endorsing nor hating on these products, nor ILPs in general. We believe that there’s a time and plan for everyone. As such, it is all the more important that consumers are aware of the pros and cons of these products.

What is it?

VivoLink is a regular premium ILP.  The plan pays the basic benefit or cash-in value (whichever is higher) in the event of death or total and permanent disability (TPD) before the age of 70. VivoLink also pays the basic benefit or cash-in value in the event of diagnosis of dread disease, or critical illness.

The death benefit depends on your age range when you die, i.e. the younger you are the higher the payout is. In the case of accidental death or TPD, the amount received is higher compared to the same age bracket. Restrictions apply to accidental deaths and TPD, i.e. you’d get a lower payout if risky activities or occupations caused the death or TPD.

Notable features

This is a list of selected features of the plan that we thought were interesting/unique. Other information like calculation of benefits can be found here.

#1 Retrenchment benefit

One thing that stood out in the plan was the retrenchment benefit. If you have not been able to find employment for three months, you can choose not to pay the premiums for a maximum of 24 weeks. Your coverage is not affect during this. Note: you must have paid a minimum of six months’ premiums.

#2 Extensive range of funds

One draw is that you can choose from a wide range of funds. You can invest in as many funds as you need to, provided that you can set aside a minimum amount for each fund that you put in. Choosing VivoLink also gives you access to NTUC Income’s very own Aim Series. The Aim Series funds are a mix of equities, bonds, and alternative assets such as commodities and property. It is composed of five different funds: 1) Aim Now, 2) Aim 2025, 3) Aim 2035, and 4) Aim 2045. As its name suggests, you can choose the fund based on the target year that you need it. For example, if you want the money in 2045 you choose Aim 2045. Besides the amount of time, the funds also differ in risk profiles. Aim Now has the lowest risk profile whereas Aim 2045 has the highest.

#3 Policy loan

As opposed to its sister plan VivaLink, you can apply for a policy loan if you are unable to pay the premiums. The current policy loan amount (as of May 2018) is either 50% of the total cash value of the policy, or 80% of the net investment amount – whichever is lower. The interest rate of the loan is set at 5.5% p.a. If the amount of the loans and interest is more than the cash value of the policy, all benefits will stop.

Insurance details

NTUC VivoLink Premium
The minimum and maximum premium per unit time. Table adapted from https://www.income.com.sg/NTUCIncome/CMSTemplates/PrintFaqs.aspx?pId=7672

There is no discount for paying annually, and as such for cash flow purposes it might be a good idea to go for monthly payment instead of yearly where you pay a lump sum.

VivoLink Review

The retrenchment benefit is useful for those who stand a high chance of retrenchment/unemployment. PMETs are at high risk of being retrenched. While older professionals are at risk of being retrenched, younger workers are not spared as well. Besides the retrenchment benefit, VivoLink has other features that allow temporary respite for customers who cannot pay the premiums. For example, policy loans help deal with the matter temporarily. It’s a crutch, and it’s dangerous to depend too much on a crutch.

One thing – there are no riders available for this plan. However, the plan does cover death, TPD, and dread disease/critical illness. Compared to other plans, dread disease/critical illness usually comes as a rider to a main life insurance plans. While there is dread disease/critical illness coverage, you do not have the option of adding an early critical illness rider. You will have to supplement it with other early critical illness plans out there. In addition, riders that waive premiums are also unavailable so you must take note of that too.

All in all, VivoLink is relatively more flexible in investment due to a larger pool of funds, but is less so for protection compared to its sibling ILP. The critical illness coverage in the base plan offsets the lack of riders.

Fun fact: Muslims can consider NTUC Income’s offerings because NTUC handles Shariah-compliant funds in Singapore. The Takaful Fund is one of the special funds in NTUC Income that invests in global equity markets via Shariah-compliant instruments.

Conclusion

That’s all folks! We hope that you understand VivoLink a bit better now. It is an interesting product that may or may not suit you, depend on your financial planning portfolio.

However, if you’re still unsure what you need, why not head on over to fundMyLife and ask our curated pool of financial advisers? Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

fML Reviews: NTUC Income Vivalink

NTUC Income VivaLink Review

Investment-linked policies, or colloquially know as ILPs, are policies that combine both protection and investment. Financial advisers (or at least errant ones) often promote these to consumers as a way to have the best of both worlds. It’s a controversial plan, with plenty of threads on forums cautioning people of its lack of utility.

In the previous comprehensive list of ILPs in Singapore, we briefly reviewed NTUC Income’s ILP offerings – VivoLink and VivaLink. In this article, fundMyLife takes a closer look at one of these two policies, VivaLink and reviews it.

Disclaimer: we are neither endorsing nor hating on these products, nor ILPs in general. We believe that there’s a time and plan for everyone. As such, it is all the more important that consumers are aware of the pros and cons of these products.

What is it?

VivaLink is a regular premium ILP. In the event of death or total and permanent disability (TPD) before age 70, the plan pays the basic benefit or cash-in value, whichever is higher, minus any applicable fees and charges. In the case of death or TPD due to an accident, you will also receive an additional 100% of the sum assured or $100,000. However, the additional money might be lower if certain risky activities are responsible for the accident.

Noteable features

This is a list of selected features of the plan that we thought were interesting/unique.

#1 Guaranteed insurance coverage in the first 10 policy years

A relatively attractive draw, since you’ll never know what might happen to you in the next 10 years.

#2 Additional riders

  1. Dread disease cover: dread disease is another term for critical illness, and if the insured individual diagnosed with such a disease he or she is paid the sum assured.
  2. Dread disease premium waver: The rider waives future premium payments for VivaLink if you are diagnosed with any of the dread diseases.
  3. Payor premium waver: If the insured person is not you – the policyholder and payor – and you die or experience TPD, future premium payments are waived.
  4. Enhanced payor premium waver: Similar to payor premium waver, except the waiver happens when/if you are diagnosed with dread disease as well.

#3 Benefits when life events happen

One notable feature is the ability to increase coverage without medical assessment when you enter new life events and/or receive additional units for increase in regular premium. NTUC Income defines life events as “turning 21 years old, getting married, purchasing a residential property or becoming a parent.”

There are a few more features that we observed, but were self-explanatory. For example, bonus allocation of units in the 15th and 20th policy year. There’s also a retirement option that allows you to reduce insurance coverage to $0 from 55 years old onwards to maximize wealth accumulation.

Insurance charge

We here at fundMyLife love data. As such, it was fortunate that we found information on the yearly insurance charge for death and TPD for each $1,000 insured. Based on the data, it seems like the most important factors are sex and smoking status.

VivaLink premium graph
The annual insurance charge for death and TPD. Source: https://www.income.com.sg/forms/policy-conditions/vivalink.aspx?ext=.pdf

Based on the graph above, the yearly insurance charge for death and TPD becomes exponential after you’re 40 years old. Unsurprisingly, male smokers pay the most, followed by female smokers, male non-smokers, and finally female non-smoker. Female smokers and male non-smokers pay about the same for the annual insurance charge for most of the time.

VivaLink Review

As observed from the graph above, VivaLink is good for a relatively cheap death and TPD protection for an early part of your life. With the additional riders, you can also enjoy critical illness coverage and premium wavers in case of any mishaps.

The life event feature was interesting because of the acknowledgement that an individual’s needs change over time. This feature is useful because you require additional medical underwriting when you want to increase your insurance coverage. In addition, there’s no change in the monthly premium if you exercise the first option to increase coverage.

The extra dread disease/critical illness rider is useful, but there is no rider for early critical illness. For that, you will have to purchase a separate plan. In general, this plan is a useful plan if you are confident that you will enter/can enter the stated life events.

Fun fact: Muslims can consider NTUC Income’s offerings because NTUC handles Shariah-compliant funds in Singapore. The Takaful Fund invests in global equity markets via Shariah-compliant instruments.

Conclusion

That’s all folks! We hope you found the review useful and sheds more light into what VivaLink is all about.

If you’re still unsure what you need, why not head on over to fundMyLife and ask our curated pool of financial advisers? Alternatively, you can check out our curated pool of individual advisers and ask them questions directly.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

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