It\u2019s that time of the year when all are looking for tax-saving investments under Section 80C, Section 80D, etc. Industry experts suggest it is very important to choose and invest in an option which is well-thought and planned so that you could also attain your investment goals along with tax savings. Various factors such as maturity period, the rate of return and lock-in period are involved that help in deciding which tax saving option is better. Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance Broker, says, "Today the first-time investors or the fixed deposit-oriented investors are gradually shifting towards mutual funds and insurance policies. During the changing investment pattern, investors can also look at market-linked instruments like ULIPs." These plans invest in the stock market and have a mix of equity, balanced and growth schemes. If you are also eying at ULIPs to invest, find out some of the benefits\u00a0of this plan. Lock-in period - ULIPs come with a lock-in of five years which can help investors form a habit of disciplined investing and at the same time saving on taxes. Experts suggest these being long-term insurance plans, investing in a single ULIP helps. The tax benefit of this policy can be availed every year till the end of Premium Paying Term (PPT). The lock-in is calculated from the date the policy is issued and the premium can be paid either on a monthly basis or as an annual lump sum amount. Returns - ULIPs invest in various asset classes through different funds. Additionally, in ULIPs the renewals take care of the tax savings. In terms of tax savings, the maturity amount that the policyholder gets is completely tax-free. Come with Dual Advantage - ULIPs are especially suggested for long-term goals because they come with the tax advantage of up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Goyal adds, "The minimum sum assured offered under ULIPs is almost 10 times the annual premium paid by the investors below 45 years of age." Offer you the flexibility - ULIPs also come with an option of switching funds unlimited times, which are free of cost. With this option, you can choose among growth, balanced, income funds, or equity as per your desire or requirement. Top-up your investments - Investors also get the option to invest excess cash through periodic top-ups in ULIPs. The top-ups may be eligible for deduction under Section 80C as well as the exemption under Section 10 (10D) provided the premium not exceeding 10 per cent of the sum assured. "In any case, the additional return which is generated through top-up investments ensures that the potential tax liability does not hinder your financial planning," says Goyal. Thankfully, owing to the new IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) guidelines, various costs of ULIPs such as administration charges, fund management charges, surrender charges and premium allocation charges have fallen.