What is the maturity period of ULIP and how to exit before the maturity period is over

When it comes to planning for the future, understanding the intricacies of your investment options can be a game-changer. Unit-linked investment plans (ULIPs) stand out as a compelling choice for those looking to combine life insurance with the growth potential of the capital markets. But what happens when life throws you a curveball, and you need to rethink your investment before the maturity period? Let’s dive into the world of ULIPs, exploring their maturity period and how you can exit early without losing out on your financial goals.

Understanding the Maturity Period of ULIPs

ULIPs, embodying the ulip meaning of blending life insurance with investment opportunities, are not just any investment; they are a long-term commitment that marries the security of life insurance with the growth opportunities of equity and debt funds. Typically, a ULIP comes with a lock-in period of five years, encouraging investors to stay the course to reap the benefits. Beyond this, the policy matures anywhere between 10 to 20 years, offering substantial returns if the markets perform well.

Key Points to Remember:

Lock-in Period: A mandatory 5-year period during which withdrawals are restricted. This period is crucial for the policy to take advantage of compounding and market growth, ensuring that your investment has the time to mature and potentially increase in value. Additionally, this lock-in phase helps instil financial discipline by encouraging long-term savings and investment behaviour, aligning with the goal of providing both insurance cover and investment growth.

Maturity Benefits: On maturity, you receive the fund value, which could be significantly higher, depending on market performance. The beauty of ULIPs lies in their ability to offer a diversified investment portfolio, allowing your funds to grow in alignment with market dynamics and your risk appetite. Moreover, the tax benefits associated with ULIPs under sections 80C and 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act enhance the attractiveness of the maturity proceeds, making them a tax-efficient investment option.

Early Exit Strategies:

Life is unpredictable, and there might come a time when you need to exit your ULIP early. Whether it’s due to a financial emergency or a change in investment strategy, knowing your options can make a big difference.

Before the Lock-in Period Ends:

Exiting a ULIP within the first five years comes with its set of challenges. If you surrender the policy, the insurer will transfer your investment to a Discontinued Policy Fund, subject to a discontinuance charge. However, you are not left high and dry; the fund continues to earn a minimum guaranteed interest rate until the end of the lock-in period, after which you can access the funds. This strategic pause ensures your investment doesn’t just stagnate but potentially grows, even if you have decided to step back.

After the Lock-in Period:

Once the lock-in period is over, the restrictions ease up. You can surrender your policy without any discontinuance charges, and the entire fund value is paid out to you. This option is more financially forgiving and allows you to redirect your investment as you see fit. Moreover, it opens up new avenues for reinvesting your capital into options that may align better with your current financial goals and market outlook.

Making the Choice: To Stay or To Exit?

Deciding whether to continue with your ULIP plan or to exit early is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Each step in this journey can significantly impact your financial well-being and future planning. Here are key factors to guide your decision:

Financial Goals: Does the ULIP still align with your long-term financial objectives? It’s crucial to reassess your goals periodically to ensure that your ULIP investment is still on track to meet them. Changes in life circumstances, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or career progression, might necessitate a re-evaluation of your investment strategy.

Market Performance: How are the underlying funds performing? Could your investment yield better returns elsewhere? The performance of the funds within your ULIP should be compared against broader market trends and alternative investment options. This comparison might reveal opportunities for higher returns or necessitate a reallocation of funds within the ULIP to adjust to changing market conditions.

Financial Needs: Are you in immediate need of liquidity, or can you afford to stay invested for a longer term? Evaluating your liquidity needs is essential, especially in unforeseen circumstances that require access to funds. However, it’s also important to weigh this against the benefits of staying invested, such as potential appreciation in fund value and the compounding effect, which could significantly enhance your returns over time.


ULIPs are a unique blend of insurance and investment, designed for the long haul. While they offer the flexibility of early exit, doing so without a solid understanding of the implications can be detrimental to your financial health. Whether you choose to stay the course or exit early, ensure your decision aligns with your broader financial strategy, keeping in mind that patience often pays off in the world of investment.