According to the Principal Financial Well Being Index study, overall 77% of respondents in India feel that the prices of groceries, fuel and other household items will go up in next one year and affect their budgets seriously
Principal Retirement Advisors (India) has said that Indian households are concerned with rising fuel and food prices, inflation and unemployment for 2014. The Principal Financial Well Being Index study conducted by Principal Retirement Advisors along with Nielsen for the December quarter, covered perception and concerns of Indian households about their own financial well-being.
"Indian households are maintaining a cautious outlook as they approach 2014. But it is encouraging to see that a majority of them feel that they are in control of their financial situation and are making decent progress towards achieving their financial goals. The Principal Financial Well Being Index will provide unparalleled insights into how Indian households are managing personal money matters," said Rajan Ghotgalkar, Country Head - India, Principal Financial Group.
Here are some of the major findings of the study…
Perceptions & Concerns of Economy in general
Household Spending, Savings & Investments
Holiday Plan: 73% people say they are not planning a holiday in 2014. Out of remaining 27% who are planning a holiday in 2014, 60% will spend the same amount as last year
Festivity spending: 64% people say they will spend the same amount as last year in the upcoming festivities
Planning for Unexpected Expenses/ emergencies: To cope with unexpected expenses, Indians plan to cut down expenses on non-essential items (42%) and use money from Savings (38%). This indicates that people will have no specific preparation to cope up with emergencies.
Financial Priorities & Attitude towards finances: Overall respondents feel that they are in control of their financial situation (63%) and are making good progress (63%) towards their financial goals.
Availing services of Financial Advisors
Retirement planning attitude & perceptions
Staying happy & stress free (48%) and having enough savings (45%) are the main thoughts for post-retirement finances
Overall 52% people claim to have started investing for retirement when they were 26 – 30 years old. 76% plan to retire between 56-60 years of age. Buying a house (25%), children education (23%) & children marriage are the Top 3 aspirations post retirement
Employee benefits & satisfaction levels
Fraudulent life insurance is being sold with impunity, often using IRDA’s name. Intermediaries have neither been penalised nor have they lost their license. There is a need for stern action from IRDA and insurers to curb the menace. Will the regulator act?
Moneylife Foundation Insurance Helpline has been receiving increased number of complaints regarding fraudulent calls to sell insurance policy. The modus operandi has been to fool a gullible person by playing with their greed. The offers can range from bonus offer by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), interest-free loan from Reliance Capital, Airtel mobile tower rent, call to surrender ULIP without loss, investing in initial public offerings (IPOs) of life insurance companies at attractive price, sharing of agent contest offer to sharing of commission given in form of gold, etc. The callers try to build trust by giving personal details of policyholders’ and their policies. Is your personal data freely available?
There are talks about such information being sold on CD/DVD in locations around Delhi. Imagine, a shady character getting hold of such data of different insurance companies and mis-using it to wreck you financially. Often, the trap is about making good of earlier bad investment by buying another insurance policy. The end result is that the customer is stuck with multiple policies from different insurance companies. Unfortunately, these products are regular premium policies with no option of single premium and hence, the customer is made to choose between a difficult decision to give up the one premium paid or to continue the premium payment each year for a crappy product.
One email to Moneylife stated that, “He told me he is a fund manager of IRDA (soft copy of the ID card send to me is attached)” The ID card was made to resemble an IRDA employee card. IRDA has told life insurance companies to warn their customers against falling prey to fictitious calls and false offers. The regulator has asked all insurers to highlight warning messages in their product advertisements on the same. Insurers have been asked to include the above messages, along with voice-over of this content in clear terms with every advertisement/commercial issued in electronic media (TV/cinema halls, etc). All ads/commercial issued from 1 February 2014, should contain this message. Those receiving such phone calls “are requested to lodge a police complaint along with details of phone call and number.”
But, instead of only putting the onus on the call recipient to make police complaints, will the regulator look at the actual cases of fraud and punish the guilty? After all, the fraudsters in most cases are not collecting the premium payment in cash. The customer will be alarmed if demand is made by cash payment. The payment is made by cheque and a valid policy is given to the customer who is told to wait for the lucrative promises made during the sale. After the “free-look” period is over, the fraudster stops taking the calls from the customer. The policy is logged under a valid corporate agent or broker. Obviously, there is a link between the fraudster (who may be operating as distance marketer, etc) and the corporate agent/broker. The insurance company, corporate agent and broker claim to be a victim, but why not track the link that made the policy sale possible? The truth is not hard to search.
Moneylife Foundation has been successful in getting Rs16.31 lakh refunded by Reliance Life for 27 customer fraudulently sold by its corporate agent AB Capital. Moneylife Foundation has written to IRDA at various senior levels in July 2013 and January 2014 about the issue, but there has been no response. Will IRDA be interested in details of the customers, policies that were fraudulently sold and punish the culprit? It will send a strong signal to ensure the life insurance companies severe ties with dubious corporate agents and insurance brokers. Will IRDA revoke license of corporate agents and insurance brokers who are clearly guilty? Today, consumers cannot even trust an insurance broker to act in the interest of the consumer, even though they represent the customer and not the insurance company.
Reliance Life had been proactive in quickly refunding premium for the cases taken up by Moneylife Foundation. After making over Rs16 lakh refund, Reliance Life has changed tactics. They call the policyholder and ask for proof. If there is voice recording of fraudulent promises or a fake document signed by customer regarding the “interest-free” loan offer, then Reliance Life promptly gives a refund. In other cases, it has started rejecting the refund request. How are these cases any different from the 27 customers who were promptly given refund? How many thousands are still out there who were fraudulently sold by its corporate agent AB Capital? Will IRDA investigate AB Capital and levy a hefty penalty? Moneylife Foundation will keep taking up the issues and fighting to ensure justice is given to all the aggrieved customers.
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For the December quarter, Cummins India posted a 37% fall in its net profit due 6% decline in sales volumes
Cummins India Ltd, manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines, reported a 37% fall in its third quarter net profit on subdued demand in Indian capital goods markets.
For the quarter to end-December, Cummins India said its net profit fell 37% to Rs147.23 crore from Rs234.08 crore while its total revenues, including sales, declined 6% to Rs1,023.01 crore from Rs1,089.46 crore, a year ago period.
“In spite of very adverse market conditions, we maintained our margins as compared to last year and expanded margins as compared to the preceding quarter mainly due to our focus on improving cost efficiencies. We are not seeing any signs of improvement in the Indian capital goods markets,” said Anant Talaulicar, chairman and managing director of Cummins India.
Between December 2012 to December 2013, FIIs shareholding in the company grew to 16.95% from 12.90% in a same period a year ago. While domestic institutional investors (DIIs) shareholding fell to 18.23% from 21.65%, public shareholding fell to 13.82% from 14.45% and promoter shareholding remained same at 51%.
Cummins India has declared an interim dividend of 250% or Rs5 per share.
Cummins India closed 1.30% up on Wednesday at Rs444.95 on the BSE, while the 30-share Sensex ended the day flat at 20,261.
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