FDs vs. ULIPs: Understanding Tax Implications and Investment Objectives   

Investors often face a dilemma when choosing between different investment options, especially when considering the balance between returns, risk, and tax efficiency. Fixed Deposits (FDs) and Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) are two popular investment avenues in India, each offering distinct benefits and tax implications. This article delves into the differences between FDs and ULIPs, focusing on their investment objectives and tax implications. We will also discuss the role of tools like a fixed deposit app and the impact of FD tax in making informed investment decisions.

Overview of fixed deposits and ULIPs

Fixed deposits

Fixed deposits are a traditional investment option known for their safety and guaranteed returns. Investors deposit a lump sum amount with a bank or financial institution for a fixed tenure at a predetermined interest rate. The principal amount is returned along with the accrued interest at the end of the tenure.

Unit linked insurance plans

Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) are hybrid financial products that combine insurance and investment. A portion of the premium paid is allocated towards life insurance coverage, while the remaining amount is invested in various equity and debt funds. ULIPs offer the potential for higher returns based on market performance and provide the added benefit of life insurance.

Investment objectives

Safety and guaranteed returns with FDs

Fixed deposits are ideal for investors seeking safety and guaranteed returns. They provide a stable income stream with minimal risk, making them suitable for conservative investors, retirees, and those looking to preserve capital. The interest rates are fixed, offering predictability and ease of financial planning. Using a fixed deposit app can further enhance the convenience of managing FD investments, allowing investors to compare rates, open new FDs, and track their investments seamlessly.

Growth potential and insurance with ULIPs

ULIPs cater to investors looking for a combination of investment growth and life insurance coverage. They offer the potential for higher returns through market-linked investments in equity and debt funds. ULIPs are suitable for long-term financial goals such as wealth creation, children’s education, and retirement planning. The flexibility to switch between funds allows investors to adjust their investment strategy based on market conditions and risk appetite.

Tax implications

FD tax implications

Interest earned on fixed deposits is subject to taxation. The interest income is added to the investor’s total income and taxed as per their income tax slab. Banks deduct Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on interest income exceeding ₹40,000 per annum for regular citizens and ₹50,000 for senior citizens. This deduction is at a rate of 10%, provided the investor’s PAN is available with the bank. Without a PAN, TDS is deducted at 20%.

To avoid TDS deductions, investors with annual incomes below the taxable limit can submit Form 15G (for individuals below 60 years) or Form 15H (for senior citizens) to the bank. This ensures that TDS is not deducted, allowing investors to receive the full interest amount. Using a fixed deposit app can simplify the process of accessing and submitting these forms, streamlining tax management.

ULIP tax benefits

ULIPs offer several tax benefits under the Income Tax Act. The premiums paid towards ULIPs are eligible for deduction under Section 80C, up to a limit of ₹1.5 lakh per financial year. Additionally, the maturity proceeds and withdrawals from ULIPs are tax-exempt under Section 10(10D), provided certain conditions are met, such as the sum assured being at least ten times the annual premium paid.

The tax-free nature of ULIP returns makes them an attractive option for long-term investors seeking tax-efficient growth. However, it is essential to stay invested for a minimum of five years to fully benefit from the tax advantages and avoid surrender charges.

Comparing FDs and ULIPs

Risk and return profile

Fixed deposits are low-risk investments with guaranteed returns, making them suitable for risk-averse investors. The returns are fixed and unaffected by market fluctuations. In contrast, ULIPs carry market risk, as the returns depend on the performance of the underlying equity and debt funds. While ULIPs offer the potential for higher returns, they also expose investors to the volatility of the financial markets.

Liquidity and lock-in period

Fixed deposits offer flexibility in terms of tenure, ranging from a few months to several years. However, premature withdrawals may attract a penalty, reducing the effective returns. ULIPs have a mandatory lock-in period of five years, during which the invested amount cannot be withdrawn. While this ensures long-term investment discipline, it limits liquidity in the short term.

Cost and charges

Fixed deposits have minimal associated costs, with no management fees or administrative charges. Investors simply earn interest on the deposited amount. On the other hand, ULIPs come with various charges, including premium allocation charges, fund management fees, mortality charges, and policy administration fees. These charges can impact the net returns, especially in the initial years of the policy.

Making an informed decision

Assessing financial goals and risk appetite

Choosing between FDs and ULIPs depends on individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. Investors seeking safety, guaranteed returns, and capital preservation may prefer fixed deposits. Those looking for long-term growth, market participation, and life insurance coverage may find ULIPs more suitable.

Using technology for better decision-making

Leveraging technology can enhance the investment experience and aid in making informed decisions. A fixed deposit app provides a user-friendly platform to compare FD rates, calculate returns, and manage investments efficiently. Additionally, using a fixed deposit app can simplify tax management by providing easy access to forms like Form 15G/15H and tracking TDS deductions.


Understanding the tax implications and investment objectives of fixed deposits and ULIPs is crucial for making informed investment decisions. Fixed deposits offer safety and guaranteed returns, making them suitable for conservative investors, while ULIPs provide the potential for higher returns and life insurance coverage, catering to long-term financial goals.

The Bajaj Finserv app is an excellent tool for managing your fixed deposit investments. It offers comprehensive features for comparing FD rates, calculating returns, and handling FD tax forms. By using the Bajaj Finserv app, investors can effectively navigate the complexities of both FDs and ULIPs, ensuring a balanced and profitable investment strategy.

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