Issue No. 30 April - June 2017
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry NewsQ&A with Andrew Waddell
Q&A with Wilf Blackburn

Message from the President

LIA President - Mr Patrick Teow Strong start to 2017 for life insurance industry

Singapore's life insurance industry started the year strongly with a total of S$811.0 million in weighted new business premiums[1] for the period January to March (1Q2017), a 19 per cent increase compared to 1Q2016. The industry continued to contribute to Singapore's economy which expanded by two per cent in 2016, beating initial forecasts[2].

The continued healthy growth can be attributed to the industry's agility in responding to consumers' trending needs. Life insurers are providing consumers more options in the form of new products and multiple channels to buy insurance policies from. This is also reflected in increased engagement through activities across the different distribution channels, including tied agents, banks and financial advisers.

There was an increase in uptake across both single and annual premiums. Compared to same period in 2016, the industry recorded:

a) a 30 per cent increase to S$281.3 million in weighted single premiums:

  • Single premium par and non-par products comprised 78 per cent, the balance 22 per cent were single premium linked products
  • CPFIS-included products comprised 13 per cent; Cash-funded products took the remaining 87 per cent

b) a 14 per cent increase to S$529.7 million in weighted annual premiums

Ensuring adequate protection is especially critical at a time of economic uncertainty and rapid demographic shifts in Singapore. Life insurers are increasingly leveraging digitalisation to innovate and respond to these fundamental changes. Accordingly, the industry recorded sum assured for new business totalling S$24.3 billion. This was a significant 10 per cent increase compared to the corresponding period in 2016 as the industry continues to better meet the protection needs of society.

Further, some 20,000 Singapore residents bought additional health insurance coverage to complement MediShield Life in the first quarter of the year. In all, new health insurance premiums[3] totalled S$66 million for 1Q2017, of which Integrated Shield Plans (IP) premiums and IP riders accounted for 90 per cent (S$59 million). The remaining S$7 million was contributed by other medical plans and riders.

Products providing regular pay-outs from retirement age

There was an uptake of 5,092 policies designed to provide regular pay-out to policyholders during retirement years, with approximately S$40 million of weighted new premiums recorded over the quarter. Such plans accounted for approximately five per cent of the total weighted premiums for 1Q2017. 

Insurers are increasing efforts to help Singaporeans better plan and prepare for retirement. This is especially critical because of Singapore's rapidly ageing population which, if not effectively managed, will increase the financial burden placed on our smaller economically active workforce and the government. Singapore has the highest proportion of older residents and the fastest ageing population in South-east Asia, according to the World Bank[4]. Currently, one in three working adults is not planning for their retirement[5].

Manpower in the industry

There was a six per cent increase in the number of employed individuals within the life insurance industry in 1Q2017. 6,883 individuals were employed by member companies, up from 6,503 staff in 1Q2016. The industry continues to seek talent in all areas, including underwriting and specialised digital technologies.

Continued employment opportunities in the life industry contrasts with rising unemployment rates in Singapore, which climbed to 2.3 per cent[6] in 1Q2017, and is expected to creep up further this year as the workforce ages and older workers who lose their jobs take longer to find new ones[7].

Moving ahead, the industry is re-defining 'protection' with people-centric initiatives that include championing preventive healthcare for a healthier population because prevention is better and cheaper than cure. In this, Singapore's life insurance industry aspires to be the catalyst for change within our nation's healthcare eco-system.

Patrick Teow

[1] Weighted new business premiums measures premiums collected on new policies by taking into account (1) 10 per cent of the value of single premium products, (2) all of a year's premiums for annual premium products, and (3) adjusted value for products with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.
The figure is calculated as follows: 10% Single Premium Insurance + 100% Annual Premium Insurance + Adjusted premium for Insurance with premium payment durations of less than 10 years.

[2] Singapore economy grows 2% in 2016, helped by strong Q4 (17 Feb 2017). Channel NewsAsia. Available at:

[3] With effect from 1 January 2016, the MediShield Life premiums has been excluded from LIA statistics.

[4] Fast-ageing Singapore, fewer to support aged; Trend worries experts (27 Sep 2013). The Straits Times. Available at:

[5] 1 in 3 working Singaporean adults not planning for retirement: Survey (15 Feb 2016). Channel NewsAsia. Available at:

[6] May Day Rally: Singapore has to work hard to tackle rising unemployment, says PM Lee (1 May 2017). Channel NewsAsia. Available at:

[7] May Day Rally: Singapore has to work hard to tackle rising unemployment, says PM Lee (1 May 2017). Channel NewsAsia. Available at:

Industry Events

Launch of the Digital Hive @ AXA
27 April 2017

AXA Launch of the Digital Hive

The Digital Hive was launched on 27 April 2017, marking an important milestone in AXA's digital innovation and transformation journey. The Digital Hive is an innovation hub that aims to break boundaries, test, innovate, create and understand the possibilities and opportunities of our market. It also serves as a key venue to showcase AXA's digital capabilities to partners and stakeholders, facilitating the sharing of ideas with all of AXA Singapore, digitalizing the way we work.  

AXA Celebrates Mother's Day
Mother's Day Campaign
1 May 2017 to 18 June 2017

AXA Mother's Day Campaign

To honour the contributions of mothers and to celebrate the spirit of Mother's Day, AXA launched its Mother's Day campaign on 1 May 2017. The campaign offered a suite of solutions that are relevant to different stages of Motherhood. This is the first campaign that takes advantage of AXA's breadth and depth as a composite insurer, offering solutions from all AXA lines of business (Life, Health and P&C), to address the multi-faceted needs of today's customers. 

An internal campaign was also launched where AXA employees shared selfies they took with their mothers along with a personal note. The selfie, along with the personal notes were then sent out to their mothers, including those residing overseas as Mother's Day cards. 

The Music RunTM by AIA
The World's Loudest Fun Run!
6 May 2017

The Music Run by AIA

The Music RunTM by AIA was back to the sunny shores of Singapore for the 3rd year on 6 May 2017 at Sentosa and AIA is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor once again!

This year's event got bigger and bolder with more than 10,000 Music RunnersTM running, dancing and getting active with a slew of fun and exciting activities from all sponsors including AIA. At the Music Village, runners form long snaking queues to participate in the AIA Vitality Activity zone where they had to complete four challenges including powering their own banana juice and plank challenges to redeem an exclusive AIA merchandise. Music RunnersTM also had fun at the AIA 1-Min Rock DJ booth, strike cool poses at the AIA Electric Pose trampoline and got free UV hydro-tattoo to jazz up for the after-run party!

Ms Ho Lee Yen, Chief Marketing Officer flagged off the first wave of the run and Mr Patrick Teow, Chief Executive Officer, led the run with AIA ExCo members and senior management. At the 5KM soundtrack route, Music RunnersTM grooved to the rousing beats of top-voted songs and were also treated to epic photo opportunities such as a stage performances by "rock stars" along the AIA Rock Highway and a live DJ in the air, pumping up everyone along the last km at AIA Electric Avenue.

This year, the event upped the notch for runners' engagement with an Augmented Reality (AR) mobile app that allowed Music RunnersTM to trigger AR filters by scanning special markers in the AIA@Music Village, AIA Rock Highway and AIA Electric Avenue to capture exciting photos and videos.

The evening climaxed with an after party featuring returning radio house DJ Sam Withers and spectacular display of fireworks to mark the success of The Music RunTM by AIA 2017!

We look forward to seeing more AIA Music Runners for even more fun and fitness again next year!

If you missed out all the great fun and excitement, check out AIA Singapore Facebook for the full photo album!

Getting Active and Staying Fit at FitnessFest by AIA 2017
20 & 21 May 2017

FitnessFest 2017 by AIA

The inaugural FitnessFest by AIA 2017 on 20 & 21 May 2017 at Bayfront Avenue was a huge success!

The high-energy fitness festival that served as a multi-fitness arena for all individuals to discover and kick-start their fitness journey, housed 6 different arenas, and a main stage that featured various workouts from boxing, spin, parkour, crossfit, yoga, poundfit, bodyweight training and many more! Main highlight of the 2-day event was Pop Pilates and PIIT 28 by Cassey Ho of Blogilates which saw throngs of participants getting into the groove with her despite the hot weather.

The festival also included a Shopping and Food Village onsite where participants and the public enjoyed healthy eats, shopped for great deals, and participated in the various activities at the AIA Get Active zone.

Thank you to all participants for braving the heat and sweating it out with us at FitnessFest by AIA 2017! Let's continue to Get Fit, Be Fit and Stay Fit!

Check out AIA Singapore Facebook for the full photo album!

Active Lifestyle, Wholesome Fun at Cold Storage Kids Run '17
Official Sponsor by AIA
28 May 2017

Cold Storage Kids Run '17 (Official Sponsor by AIA)

Cold Storage Kids Run '17 marked its 10th Anniversary on 28 May 2017 as Singapore's longest-running children sports event and AIA has been an Official Sponsor for four years running, getting families to get active, eat healthy. We had a great turnout with close to 10,000 children and family members coming together at Sentosa bright and early on Sunday morning to participate in the event.

Accompanied by their parents, kids from as young as six months to the age of 12 took part in competitive and non-competitive categories, which included the AIA Vitality Family Fun Run for children aged 5-6 years old.

Upon crossing the finish line, all participants headed to the post-race Carnival for a fun filled morning, where snaking queues could be seen at the AIA booth with children and parents having fun blending their own juices and winning exclusive AIA-Spurs merchandise in the soccer kickabout challenge with our beloved Chirpy!

Check out AIA Singapore Facebook for the full photo album!

Corporate Responsibility in Action @ AXA Corporate Responsibility Week 2017
29 May to 2 June 2017

AXA CR Week 2017

More than 320 AXA employees participated in AXA's Corporate Responsibility (CR) week this year. With a theme focused on risk prevention and empowering people to live better lives, employees from AXA embarked on a week-long journey to make a difference to society.

AXA employees volunteered at the Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen to help prepare the 5,000 daily meals that will go towards feeding the vulnerable segments of society. As part of the CR week initiative, pre-loved items were recycled through an internal Salvation Army donation drive that will provide relief for those in need.

In addition, to raise awareness on risk prevention, AXA also invited social enterprise Freedom Cups to the office for a talk on how they reduce waste and empower women in less developed communities. To round off CR Week 2017, AXA employees took an educational tour at the NEWater facility to gain insights of what they can do to contribute to mitigating the water risks Singapore is facing.

TMLS celebrates first moments of parenthood with new protection campaign
May to July 2017

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd. (TMLS) launched new campaign "#MyLoveForYou" in May, in celebration of the overwhelming parental instinct to protect their children,

TMLS Protection Campaign Inspired by the first milestone of parenthood - the tender moment of holding a new-born child, the campaign follows the journeys of two couples in their final months of pregnancy. The two families discuss their preparations, anxieties, excitement, and dreams for their children as they gear up for the arrival of these new additions to their families.

The campaign is a new milestone in our ongoing endeavour to provide customers with a comprehensive range of solutions to protect their families. These include our recently-launched TM Term Assure,  KidAssure GIO Rider and a niche coverage plan TM Protect Cancer, as well as TM Protect 1, Singapore's first disability plan that fills a vital protection gap by providing a monthly benefit upon the inability to perform a single Activity of Daily Living.

The "#MyLoveForYou" campaign is scheduled to run until end-July 2017, and TMLS is inviting the public to share their treasured memories of love, protection and gratitude through a series of contests on our company's official Facebook page. We are pleased to share that the campaign has been well-received by the public thus far. Two weeks into the launch, the campaign has already garnered a total of 300k views, 1,500 reactions and almost 500 shares.

Industry News

Guidelines issued

28 April 2017

5 May 2017   

29 May 2017

5 May 2017

Old Mutual International (OMI) Singapore Sponsored a Co-branded White Paper with Hubbis on Diversifying the HNW Insurance Opportunity in Asia
11 May 2017

OMI-Hubbis White Paper OMI Singapore worked with Hubbis to produce a White Paper on the HNW insurance opportunity in Asia and there were a few key findings.

Despite the region's ability to create new millionaires every year, the amount of penetration based on estimates from market players is somewhere between 3 per cent and 5 per cent. This shows that there is a clear mismatch between the HNW insurance opportunity in the region and the levels of take-up that brokers, carriers, agents and banks have achieved to date - mainly via universal life (UL) policies.

There is a need to broaden the offering beyond the focus on UL to secure more clients and retain more AUM. The consensus between practitioners is that more time and investment is needed in education for advisers to give them greater confidence and conviction to offer alternatives to UL policies. The familiarity with the features of UL often results in advisers preferring to talk to their clients about this option. 8 out of 10 clients with real needs walk away with no solution.

Click here to read more of the White Paper.

If you would like know more about what UL alternatives OMI has to offer, please feel free to contact

What happens if a CPF member has not made a nomination?

CPF Nomination


If you have yet to make a CPF nomination, here's what will happen to your CPF savings upon your death.

Your CPF savings will be transferred to the Public Trustee's Office (PTO) for distribution to your family member(s) in accordance with the intestacy laws or the Inheritance Certificate (for Muslims). For more information about how they will be distributed by the Public Trustee, please refer to:

You should make a CPF nomination if you want your CPF savings to be distributed according to your wishes. There are no costs involved in making a nomination. Find out how to do so here:

Q&A with Andrew Waddell

Andrew Waddell

Andrew Waddell is the Managing Director of Friends Provident International Limited (Singapore Branch) and Secretary of the LIA.

Andrew has over thirty years of experience in finance, working closely with leading ASX listed wealth managers and insurers in Australia. Andrew has an Associate Diploma Business (Marketing) from Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia.

What are some of your career highlights?

Building a successful career in Australia and then transitioning to the vibrant Asian market.

Do you have a personal philosophy for life/career that you strongly believe in?

When things get challenging, face into them. Be courageous and take them on!

What do you usually do in your leisure time?

I love spending time with family and friends, travelling, great food and wine. Listening to music and either playing or watching sports.

Who are your inspirations in life?

My inspiration comes from family and friends. It never ceases to amaze me what they are capable of both professionally and personally.

Tell us about a little-known fact about yourself.

It is a fact I have a secret desire to be the 5th band member of U2!

Describe your proudest moment.

Simple. When I receive compliments on my sons character.

Complete the sentence: "I love my job because ..."

It's challenging, filled with diverse experiences and I get to work alongside terrific people who make a positive difference to people's lives. It's a privilege.

Q&A with Wilf Blackburn

Mr Wilf Blackburn

Wilf Blackburn
Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Assurance Company Singapore

Wilf Blackburn assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Prudential Singapore) with effect from November 2016.

Wilf is an industry veteran with close to three decades of diverse experience, having worked in seven countries in Asia.

Wilf joined Prudential in 2012 and led new market initiatives prior to his appointment as CEO of Prudential Vietnam in July 2014. His work included overseeing the launch of Prudential's business operations in Cambodia and the establishment of Prudential's representative office in Myanmar and Laos.

Prior to joining Prudential, Wilf was with Allianz, during which his roles included Regional GM, Life & Health Insurance for Asia and CEO of their joint venture companies in China, Thailand and the Philippines. Before Allianz, Wilf worked in the United Kingdom for three life insurers and a firm of consulting actuaries.

Wilf, a British national, qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) in 1995. He has an MBA from the University of Bath and a BSc (Mathematics - 1st Class Hons.) from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (his home town) and has been a postgraduate student at both the City University (now CASS) and Harvard Business School.

Wilf and his wife, Judith, have five children.

What are some of your career highlights?

Before entering university, in the mid '80's, I started work at my first job, in an actuarial consultancy. I thought I would be doing a lot of complex calculations but instead, I was also tasked with plenty of photocopying and doing deliveries. I didn't think much of this additional work experience at first but when there was a postal strike in London (in the days before emails) I quickly became one of the most valuable people in the company, delivering important documents to clients and cheques to the banks. It was then that I realised that everybody in a company has an important role to play.

Another career highlight was around 12 years ago when I was working in Thailand and got directly involved for the first time in paying a claim cheque in respect of a customer who died in a plane crash. When I handed the cheque over to the family of my customer, the true meaning of our business really hit me. Sometimes, it's easy to forget the real reason why our business exists. Insurance is about providing people with peace of mind in times of crisis. It is a very meaningful purpose.

Finally, I remember a previous time as a CEO in a MNC time when I led my team to win the group's much coveted annual global award for innovation, beating over 120 companies globally. I was really proud of my team because innovation was not historically in our DNA and yet, they managed to overcome their inherent ways of working and push the boundaries to achieve the impossible. I am very passionate about innovation. I believe in an innovative culture, people don't use ideas from the CEO. Truth is, CEOs don't often have the best ideas. People closest to the customers do because they know best what works, what doesn't and how we can improve the experience for our customers.

Do you have a personal philosophy for life/career that you strongly believe in?

I strongly believe that at work we have to enjoy what we are doing. We spend so many hours of our life at work and what we do should ideally give us the same excitement as a hobby would. We should do it because we love it.
More generally, I like to pay attention to what I can give back to the world. What can I give to the people I interact with? How can I help the people I meet? In the end, we are all dust. It is how we make use of our time on earth to give to others that is really important.
What do you usually do in your leisure time? 

Wilf and his wife Wilf and his family - Photo1

I spend time with my wife, our children and our dogs. One of our favourite things to do as a family now is to take our dogs to explore the lovely parks in Singapore.

Who are your inspirations in life?

Firstly, Mahatma Ghandi. He didn't mind being in the minority of one. You can be in the minority of one and still be right. I draw inspiration from him particularly when I am doing something new. When you do something different from all others, you need to be comfortable to be in the minority of one because it's likely everyone is going to tell you the opposite.

Secondly, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. He had the wisdom of drawing the good things from the country's history and building on them. It is important to realise that as a leader, our job is not to destroy everything and start again. When Singapore became independent, Mr Lee did not immediately destroy the entire British heritage but instead, where appropriate, he built on its strength. To me, while that was so counter-intuitive, it showed the humility and wisdom of Mr Lee. To me, he was a transformational leader and a visionary - one who looked beyond the immediate pain in order to make decisions for the long term.

Finally, a Chief Distribution Officer I worked for early on in my career taught me an important career and life lesson. When I was working for him, I made a mistake but instead of reprimanding me, he told me "Wilf, show me a man who has never made a mistake and I will show you a man who has never done anything." This helped to shape my philosophy that if we are not making any mistakes, then we are probably not doing enough to solve problems in new ways, and hence not learning and growing fast enough.

I am also inspired by my youngest son, George. Several years ago, when he was 11 years old, having seen his older siblings take a gap year prior to entering university, he decided he would like to do the same thing, but, in his case, prior to entering secondary school. He told us that he wished to go to Barcelona and play tennis at an academy for a year. His courage to take a different path really inspired me and I said 'yes' to supporting his passion for pursuing tennis because I believe you don't need to do everything in the same order as the rest of the world. You can at times carve your own path in life.

Describe your proudest moment.

Wilf and his family - Photo2
Wilf and his family - Photo3

Six proudest (continuous) moments - my wife and our five children

Complete the sentence: "I love my job because ..."

...of the diversity it offers me.

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