BADMINTON player Lee Chong Wei’s silver medal in the Beijing Olympics has not only earned him accolades but also a RM80,000 whole life insurance policy under the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM)-Carlsberg Athletes Retirement Scheme.
OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said Lee also had another RM50,000 whole life insurance policy for winning the gold medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
“Lee has a total RM130,000 life insurance policy. And the amount could increase as he will be playing in many more Asian and Commonwealth Games,’’ said Sieh.
Besides Lee, 57 athletes are beneficiaries of the scheme initiated after Carlsberg became the sponsors in 1996. The sponsorship from Carlsberg was used for the scheme to provide a retirement benefit for athletes who had won gold medals in the Asian and Commonwealth Games and any medal in the Olympics.
Sieh said the programme was whole life insurance scheme and the OCM paid the annual premium for 14 years.
“As it is a whole life policy, the premium paid by OCM is low and affordable. The main objective is to ensure the athletes are protected after retirement or disability.
“After 14 years, OCM need not pay any more premium as the revenue generated from the premium paid is sufficient to cover the athlete indefinitely or until the demise of the athlete, in which case the next of kin benefits.
“Should the athlete decide to terminate the policy and take out whatever funds accumulated over 14 years, the amount will be very less and lower than the insured value.
“However, if the athlete was to wait for 30 years or until the athlete is 60 years old to terminate the policy, the amount accumulated will be quite high and almost as much, if not higher than the insured value.
“The longer the athlete allows the policy to run, the more the athlete can benefit. This is the reason we call it the Athletes Retirement Scheme. It is supposed to be terminated when the athlete has retired from working. The athletes don’t have to pay anything for the benefits accrued. When the athletes in the scheme are about 60 years old, there is a tidy sum saved for them,’’ said Sieh.
In 2008, the OCM paid annual premium of RM39,661 for the athletes in the scheme and the total sum insured is about RM2mil. However, in 2007, bowler Sarah Yap had opted out of the scheme.
The scheme is an incentive and challenge for athletes to achieve good results at the Asian and Commonwealth Games as well as the Olympics.
The more gold medals they win at different Asian and Commonwealth Games and the more medals they win at different Olympics, the more benefits they could obtain.
Sieh said Nicol David , who has a RM150,000 policy cureently, would have at least a RM250,000 insurance coverage in her name by 2010.
“If squash becomes an Olympic sport in 2016, she stands a good chance to win another RM160,000 policy by winning the first Olympic gold medal,’’ said Sieh.
The value of the Policy for the
1. Athletes who win gold medals, in the individual events, at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games will each be provided with a while life policy of value RM50,000; For members of a doubles team, each member of the gold medal winning pair will be provided with a policy worth RM25,000; For gold medal winning teams, with more than two members, each member of the team will be provided with a policy worth RM10,000.
2. Athletes winning gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympics, in individual events, at the Olympics, will be provided with a whole life policy of value RM160,000, RM80,000 or RM40,000 respectively. For members of the medal winning teams, the value of the policy, will be value of the individual medal, divided equally by the number of team members.
3. Athletes shall be provided with one policy for one Games, irrespective of the number of medals won.
4. Atheletes winning medals at subsequent Olympics, Asian and Commonwealth Games will be provided with additional policies under the above conditions.
5. The policies are assigned to the OCM and should any athlete, due to serious misconduct or involvement in any unlawful activity, may have the policy terminated.
The OCM-Carlsberg Retirement Scheme
It is in the form of a Whole Life Insurance Police for the benefiting athlete. OCM will pay the annual premium until the 14th year, after which the benefiting athlete has the option of:
i. Surrendering the policy by taking the cash
ii. To conintine with the policy without premium payment with death benefit of RM50,000 and have the option to surrender the policy for cash.
iii. To continue with the policy by paying the premium privately.
The beneficiaries of the scheme
1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games
Athletics: G. Saravanan; Badminton: Cheah Soon Kit, Choong Tan Fook, Lee Wan Wah, Ong Ewe Hock, Wong Choon Hann, Yap Kim Hock, Yong Hock Kin; Boxing: Sapok Biki; Rhythmic Gymnastics: Thye Chee Kiat, Carolyn Au Yong, El Regina Tajuddin, Sarina Sundarajah; Shooting: Nurul Huda Baharin; Bowling: Kenny Ang, Ben Heng; Weightlifting: Muhammad Hidayat Hamidon.
1998 Bangkok Asian Games
Billiars&Snooker: Chong Tin Sam, Ooi Chin Kay; Karate: C. Muralitharan, R. Muniandy; Squash: Nicol David; Swimming: Lim Keng Liat.
2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games
Badminton: Ang Li Peng, Chan Chong Ming, Shew Choon Eng, Lim Pek Sien, Mohammad Hafiz Hashim; Lawn Bowls: Siti Zalina Hashim; Weightlifting: Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim.
2002 Busan Asian Games
Karate: S. Premila, R. Puvaneswaran; Squash: Ong Beng Hee; Bowling: Wendy Chai, Sarah Yap, Shalin Zulkifli; Wushu: Ho Ro Bin.
2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games
Badminton: Lee Chong Wei, Chan Chong Ming, Koo Kien Kiat, Wong Choon Hann, Choong Tan Fook, Wong Pei Tty, Chin Eei Hui, Wong Mew Choo, Julia Wong, Ooi Sock Ai, Siti Zalina Ahmad, Nor Iryani Azmi, Nor Hashimah Ismail; Weightlifting: Mohd faizal Baharom.
2006 Doha Asian Games
Badminton: Koo Kien Kiat, Tan Boon Heong; Squash: Ong Beng Hee, Nicol David; Bowling: Ben Heng, Aaron Kong, Daniel Lim, Esther Cheah, Aziela Zandra, Wendy Chai, Choy Poh Lai, Sharon Koh, Shalin Zulkifli; Wushu: Chai Fong Ying; Sailing: Rufina Tan.
2008 Beijing Olympic
Badminton: Lee Chong Wei