Joint Networking Evening: Trading Longevity Risk – hosted by PRMIA and The Actuarial Profession

When: 17th December 2012, 17:30 to 20:30

Where: Staple Inn Hall, London WC1V 7QJ

A helpful event where delegates gain a range of perspectives on the emerging markets for trading longevity risk.

Panellists will present their views on a number of issues such as: overview of the market and its economic function, key risks involved and challenges, emerging themes, the role of regulation and Solvency II and perspectives from risk sellers and buyers.

Speakers include:

  • Douglas Anderson, Hymans Robertson LLP
  • Pretty Sagoo, Deutsche Bank AG
  • David Epstein, Aviva
  • Emma McWilliam, Milliman

To book your place email eventmanagement@actuaries.org.uk

People still unsure about auto enrolment scheme

According to a survey carried out by Corporate Benefits at Friends Life, 26% of people would choose to opt out of a workplace pension scheme. The survey also found that 35% of those who did enrol would be unwilling to contribute any more than 5% of their monthly salary. This is despite only 14% of recipients thinking that saving 8% (the total level auto enrolment will reach) would provide for a comfortable retirement.

20% of those questioned said that they would not persuaded as even a 1% deduction could mean that they would struggle to make ends meet.  However, 41% said increased tax relief would encourage them to save more for retirement.

“Unfortunately, as people are struggling financially in the tough economic climate, they are understandably focusing on paying the bills today rather than providing for the future,” comments Dr Geraldine Kaye of GAAPS Actuarial.

Survey looks at UK life and pension choices for new generation of customers.

Research by Cable&Wireless Worldwide has found that 90% of consumers express some dissatisfaction with the methods of communications from UK financial services providers.

Almost half would like more comprehensive websites which include video explanations and calculators, and17% of those asked wanted an instant message service whilst using the site. With younger consumers looking for more interactivity from providers, insurance providers need to respond to accommodate these needs or risk alienating future customers.

Nicola Dicks, director, General Insurance, Life & Pensions at Cable & Wireless Worldwide comments “Running multiple communication channels is simply not good enough if the customer experience is poor and disjointed, that’s why it’s vital for insurance providers to improve existing communication channels before rushing to invest in new ones. To engage with and retain their customers, insurers should be providing the right information and advice at first point of contact, whatever method that is.”

“Whilst at the moment technology leadership is strongest amongst younger customers, communications requirements will continue to shift as generations move through different life stages. Insurers therefore need to make sure they get their communication channels right–or they could find themselves restricted to a diminishing segment. Improving communications infrastructure will have a fundamental role to play in delivering the transformation required.”

LSE Actuarial Society’s annual CV & Interview Workshop, conducted by the GAAPS

Last month Dr Geraldine Kaye and Kerry Lofts ran GAAPS annual CV and Interview skills workshops at LSE Actuarial Society. It is always a pleasure in my line of work to help those just starting out along the long road of Actuarial exams.

This year’s students were thoroughly engaged, asking fantastic questions whilst we dissected their CVs and naturally we were also delighted to receive such positive feedback from the LSE Actuarial Society, with all students giving us 100% on their feedback sheets.

So, thanks again to everyone who attended the workshop. It was a pleasure meeting you all and we look forward to seeing you again next year.

GAAPS Actuarial is one of the most respected specialist Actuarial Recruitment Consultancies worldwide, and has earned a reputation for providing an efficient executive service to both candidates and employers.

Global insurance prices continue to rise

Global insurance prices increased by 0.9% in the third quarter of 2012, continuing the gradual increases that began in the second half of 2011

The latest quarterly insurance market briefing by Marsh, also found a 1.4% increase in renewal rates in the third quarter. This was the same level as seen in the second quarter, which Marsh said was evidence that price increases might be stabilising.

Andrew Chester, chief executive of the firm’s placement brokering division Bowring Marsh, said: ‘While the global insurance market continues to be in a state of clear transition, the results for individual insureds vary significantly. With capacity and appetite for well-managed risk still strong, insureds are still able to achieve favourable results on renewal in many lines of business.’

Insurance rates for financial and professional business rose by an average of 1.9% for renewals in the third quarter. In particular, concerns over the eurozone crisis among underwriters saw financial institutions in every major eurozone country experience increases in their liability insurance rates.

Casualty insurance rates rose by an average of 1.2% globally – higher than the 0.8% increase seen in the second quarter of 2012. However, a lack of natural catastrophes so far this year has helped to stabilise property insurance rates.

Jane Curtis, Immediate Past President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries comments on the introduction of auto-enrolment in the UK

After the recent introduction of auto enrolment a system which could see up to 11 million workers automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, Jane Curtis President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries  comments on the  ‘positive step’ to encourage people to save for their retirement

“Auto-enrolment is a positive step forward in the battle to encourage individuals to save for their retirement. However by effectively helping individuals to save without realising it there is the danger that they may sleepwalk into retirement without enough money in their pension pot to fund the lifestyles that they want to maintain when they leave work.

“To illustrate this; the minimum contribution for NEST will be 8% per year by 2018.  For an individual earning £20,000 a year and assuming a 5% employee and 3% employer contribution for 20 years the NEST calculator assumes that the pension pot will be worth £47,000 in today’s money, which equates to a tax free lump sum on retirement of £11,700 and an annual income for the rest of life of £1,600. Adding this to the present basic state pension of just under £6,000 a year and someone earning £20,000 a year would experience a significant 65% drop in annual income.

“Of course there are many factors that will affect the value of an individual’s pension pot over time, but what these figures illustrate is that it is as important for each individual to be engaged in saving for their future as it is to automatically enrol them into doing so. This is a communication and education challenge for both the Government and employers and one where the expertise of the architects of pension products, such as actuaries, will have a key role to play.”

Male drivers ‘more likely to use telematics for insurance’

A poll into the use of telematics by drivers has found that more male drivers are willing to have their vehicle monitored for insurance purposes than women.

The survey found that 60% of men would be interested in using a device compared to only 40% of women. This is despite the ruling that insurers will no longer be able to use gender to assess insurance rates, causing women’s insurances prices to rise this December.

Duncan Anderson, global head of property, casualty insurance pricing and product management at Towers Watson said: ‘With the ban on the use of gender in setting insurance prices from December 21, young female drivers could materially benefit from the use of telematics.”

44% of all drivers identified insurance discounts as the most attractive benefit of using a telematic device.