HDFC Life Pension Ad: Taaki kal, bilkul aaj jaisa ho – How true!
Moneylife Digital Team 18 February 2013

HDFC Life Pension’s advertisement promises that your tomorrow will be just as today if you buy its pension plans. Well, tomorrow will surely be as messed up as today if you fall for it. The wise guy in the advertisement has got it all wrong—present and future

HDFC Life’s advertisement on its retirement product HDFC Life Pension has the ‘wise’ guy admonished by a friend for frequently changing his car. He tells the wise guy that after retirement there will be no salary. The wise guy responds that he will have money after retirement as he has purchased the HDFC Life Pension Plan. Taaki kal, bilkul aaj jaisa ho.

The wise guy has got his current priorities wrong with frequent changing of his car. He seems appropriately overweight too. He certainly has got his future messed up with his retirement planning. He would have been better off with putting money in the good old PPF (public provident fund), instead. The press release in the advertisement campaign states that it is targeting the younger audience to change the mindset. Beware of the campaign. If only you listen to your parents or grandparents rather than spending time in front of the idiot box, listening to the hardsell of an insurance company!


Here is math for the wise, overweight guy. The advertisement says that putting Rs5,000 per month for 20 years will earn lifelong retirement pension of Rs11,659 per month (pm). Well, good luck with retirement on Rs11,659 pm after 20 years. The value of that Rs11,659 after 20 years at 9% inflation? Only Rs2,081!


If he only puts Rs5,000 pm in PPF for 20 years (@8.8% pa), he may get lifelong pension of Rs19,045 pm. It is a whopping 64% higher pension amount than what HDFC Life’s slick advertisement offers. We are not even talking of mutual funds here. And if you end up with the HDFC Life Pension plan’s assured benefit of paltry 101% of all premiums, then your lifelong pension will be less than Rs8,000 pm. Thanks, for the misleading ad, cleared by the insurance regulator. By the way, have you seen a similar ad by mutual funds? No. Because mutual funds cannot advertise such promises.


Another version of the advertisement has the ‘wise’ guy chide his wife for spending. He says there are lots of expenses with children, promotion party, vacation, nephew and niece’s admission and renovation. Wife concedes and agrees to think before spending. The punch-line has the husband giving jewelry to his wife and tells her to go ahead with spending. It is because the wise guy has HDFC Life Retirement Plan.


The advertisement may actually be correct in a perverse way! If today’s priorities are messed up, then tomorrow should logically follow it. Taaki kal, bilkul aaj jaisa ho. How true!


Read - HDFC Life Pension: Are you keen on a 1% guaranteed return?

Suiketu Shah
1 decade ago
This companies bank's top level office bearers is misusing the good image and name of the owners to cheat,fool and swindle officially,unofficially or otherwise anyone possible.Beware bigtime of HDFC Bank.
1 decade ago
U can't assure anyone with the rate of return from equity over small , mid or long term .. what abt people who invest in Bluechip equity in 1929 just ahead of great depression , before 1987 crash , before Dot com bubble or before 2008 Financial crisis ... it include all time frame from small to middle to long term but one thing is similar in all these events ... No investor get even their principal amount back till now. they how they assure about highest NAV guranteed or say u will get 15%pa for next 20 year or say you need Rs 100000/- pm after 20 year if you want same livehood of Rs 3000/- pm ... how they know in future we will face inflation or deflation. Future of Finance sector is dark by the time every indian become educate HDFC need to invest 5000 PM so they can survive after 20 year.
jaideep shirali
1 decade ago
I agree with the article, ads should not be misleading, as ULIPs deliver only in the long term. But to expect PPF rates to remain constant for 20 years is unrealistic. We have seen PPF rates come down from almost 12% to the current level. The comparison is flawed in that respect. I feel we need to have instruments with some equity component to deliver good returns over such long periods.
Replied to jaideep shirali comment 1 decade ago
True. PPF rates can go down in future. HDFC Life ad fine print has calculation wrt 8% for accumulation phase of 20 years. If we assume 8% PPF returns for 20 years, the annuity payment will be Rs17350 per month, which is 48% higher than HDFC Life lifelong pension. The gap is till too wide.
1 decade ago
I loved your review of the advertisement. Keep it up. This calls for more, we want more of this :) There are many advertisements like this making tall claims. Need to post mortem them too...
Sujit Menon
ramchandran vishwanathan
1 decade ago
There is lack of accountability from our regulator who clears such advertisements. Infact advertisements for financial products must be banned as they always mislead & missell products to customers. Also in a 10 second slot its not possible to communicate such a scenario 20 years later
Bharat Joshi
1 decade ago
Do they really belive, THEY CAN FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME............Especially from the stable of MOST COVETED BANK.
anil garg
1 decade ago
HDFC life are master in FOOLING you.You can have a MASTERS DEGREE of BEFOOLING given by HDFC LIFE university.
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