Issue No. 21 January - March 2015
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry News

Message from the President

LIA President2015 will be a year of dynamic change for the life insurance industry. With regulatory changes in the pipeline, all the more now it is important that we continue to work closely with one another to maintain the confidence the public have in us and to remain financially resilient.

Overall, the industry is on track to continue its growth momentum. In FY2014, we achieved robust performance and we are glad that our efforts to increase financial literacy and planning have borne good fruit and translated into sustainable growth for the industry. The industry registered seven per cent increase in the overall sum assured for new business, which amounted to S$88.7 billion compared with 2013, and a significant 13 per cent increase in claims payout compared with 2013. This is a strong indication that the industry is providing increased protection to the Singapore market. These results show that we are progressing well in achieving our objective of helping customers to manage their financial risk and meeting their financial needs.

Over the past year, LIA has proactively refreshed guidelines to better meet the long-term financial and insurance needs of all. In August 2014, we introduced changes to the Critical Illnesses (CI) benefit framework aimed at providing Singapore residents with more varied CI products, encouraging life insurers to innovate products and services to better meet the evolving needs of individuals in Singapore. In September 2014, we also released two industry codes for public consultation aimed at providing consumers and policyholders with greater clarity on what they can expect from life insurers and their agents when applying the rules of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

We were heartened to note the government's Budget announcement to improve Singapore's healthcare system by significantly increasing the number of beds in acute hospitals, community hospitals and nursing homes. As Singapore's population continues to age, insurance will play an increasingly important role especially when it comes to medical and long-term care for old age. The number of senior citizens aged 65 and above will triple to 900,000 by 2030 and they will be supported by a smaller base of working-age citizens. All the more it is important for individuals to start to plan early for their retirement nest egg now. As insurers, we have a social responsibility to cater for society's retirement needs by providing appropriate product solutions.

Another facet where insurance will continue to play an important role is in Singapore being positioned as a wealth management hub. This provides opportunities for the life insurance industry to reach out to the High Net Worth (HNW) segment to help meet their needs and objectives which does not only include wealth preservation but also wealth accumulation. With all this, it is therefore vital for insurers in Singapore to operate within a well-capitalised environment that provides the flexibility and opportunity for increased product innovation to meet the needs of all.

LIA is fully supportive of the consultative process by MAS that is going on now for RBC2. The consultation process serves to ensure that changes made, if any, are made with full understanding of the risks and impact and that the steps to be taken are in the right direction. We continue to participate actively in the review of the RBC framework. There will be further rounds of Quantitative Impact Studies, which will help MAS to fine-tune the calibration of risk charges as well as the overall framework. As responsible insurers, we are here for the long haul. Life insurance companies in Singapore are currently well capitalised and with proper planning and transitioning into RBC2, I am confident we will have an even stronger and better capitalised insurance industry in the future, to be able to deliver our purpose more robustly. 

The Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR) recommendations will be implemented this year.

As we gear up for the rollout of MediShield Life at end 2015, LIA and IP insurers will continue to work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and relevant parties to further improve public education on health insurance as well as the relationship between MediShield Life and IPs. In addition, the IP insurers are also developing their standard B1 plans in consultation with MOH. We will continue to work with the healthcare sector and individuals to address concerns over Singapore's rising medical inflation.

With all these measures, we look forward to growing as an industry that has robust financial resilience and high standards of self-regulation.

Khoo Kah Siang

Industry Events

2 January 2015
Great Eastern SG50 Jubilee Baby Gift Packs

GE presenting its special SG50 Jubilee Baby Gift Pack
GE presenting its special SG50 Jubilee Baby Gift Pack

On 2 January, Great Eastern (GE) CEO Dr Khoo Kah Siang presented GE's special SG50 Jubilee Baby Gift Pack to happy parents of the first 50 babies born in KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH). Also present was KKH CEO Professor Kenneth Kwek.

Parents were delighted to receive from GE free first-year health insurance coverage for their baby and were especially smitten by the cute lion booties, bib and mittens.

Commented Dr Khoo: "As a homegrown brand with a proud 106-year history, Great Eastern is privileged to have played our part in contributing to Singapore's growth and providing for the insurance needs for generations of Singaporeans. Welcoming a newborn is a happy occasion and with our Jubilee baby gift, parents can celebrate with peace of mind. We hope our gift is a fitting complement to the government's Jubilee Baby Gift."

Parents-to-be can register at www.greateasternlife.com/sg50 for the gift pack.
 
11 February 2015
Great Eastern Life extends Co-Title Sponsorship for S.League

Support for S.League extended for two seasons
Support also accorded to former S.League stalwart to coach needy children

About S.League

S.League was established in 1996 and is the only professional sports league in Singapore.

In 2007, S.League was named one of the top ten football leagues in Asia. There are twelve competing teams in the S.League with three foreign teams. In 18 years of history, there are only five different S.League champions namely Geylang International FC, Warriors FC, Home United FC, Tampines Rovers FC and Etoile FC. The S.League champions will represent the Singapore in a playoff match to qualify for the Asian Football Confederation Champions League. It will be commencing its 20th season in 2015.

This brings Great Eastern's sponsorship of the S.League to a notable eight years since it came on board in 2009. A signing ceremony to mark the occasion was held today at Great Eastern's Live Great Space at its headquarters.

Great Eastern's Singapore CEO, Dr Khoo Kah Siang, said, "Great Eastern is delighted to extend our support of the S.League for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. As a Singapore home-grown brand, it is apt that we reaffirm our support for local football during this special SG50 year."

"As a LIFE company, we have made it our purpose to help and empower the community to live healthier and better through sports. Football has the power to unite and create positive energy. It is more than just a game. It has become very much part of the societal fabric... and Great Eastern sees it as our social responsibility to do our part to support the development of Singapore football through our partnership with the S.League, which has brought our brand closer to the community."

"We are delighted to note that our support has helped to develop the League in several ways. One good example is that the League has been a useful platform for the National Under-23 team to prepare for the SEA Games... and we wish them a good showing in Singapore in June."

"On the community front, our collaboration with FAS and S.League on several football initiatives such as school outreach programmes and Live Great football clinics have further promoted important life skills such as teamwork, commitment and perseverance to the young. We will also be leveraging the Great Eastern SG50 Charity Shield on 1 March 2015 to raise funds for needy school children from low income families."

Added Mr Zainudin Nordin, President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS): "Together with SG50 celebrations, the S.League celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. S.League has played a key role in raising the standards of local football, including youth development and football excellence. As such, Great Eastern's continued investment is a good boost not just for the S.League but also for Singapore football as a whole."

"Great Eastern's show of support to the S.League on this auspicious 20th anniversary is a wonderful birthday gift, so on behalf of the FAS and S.League, I would like to thank the management of Great Eastern for their invaluable support and contributions towards the success of the S.League. We look forward to another wonderful two years with you as our key partner and to an ever-improving Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League."

Hailing Great Eastern as key partners of Singapore football, S.League CEO Mr Lim Chin said: "Great Eastern has become synonymous with S.League and is a name that is closely associated with Singapore football. I am very pleased and delighted that Great Eastern will be extending our partnership to an eighth year."

"For the past few years, each new season has been more exciting and interesting than the last. Great Eastern's support gives us even more confidence that the 20th season of the S.League will be even more thrilling than last year when the title was only decided on the final day."

Great Eastern also announced that it will be granting the wish of former S.League stalwart and former Singapore international Aleksandar Duric to conduct football clinics for under-privileged children.

Shared Great Eastern Chief Marketing Officer Colin Chan: "With our Great Eastern SG50 Wishes campaign to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday, we invited the public to submit their wishes and will be fulfilling 50 of the most meaningful during the year. We have received slightly over 2,000 submissions to date."

"Today, I am pleased to share that the first wish that Great Eastern will be granting is Aleksandar Duric's wish to coach under-privileged children. The first clinic will be for 50 to 70 children and will be held this March. In consultation with Aleksandar, we will be inviting children from Pertapis Children's Home and Beyond Social Services to spend the morning learning football skills from one of the League's biggest names. We plan to include more charities in the second clinic targeted for late June."

Aleksandar Duric being presented with the Great Eastern SG50 Children's Football Jersey

Aleksandar Duric being presented with the Great Eastern SG50 Children's Football Jersey to symbolise Great Eastern's granting of his wish to conduct soccer clinics for underprivileged children (Photo credit: Great Eastern Life)

Said Duric, the three-time S.League Player of the Year winner, who is now a fitness coach with Tampines Rovers and a father of three: "I am happy that Great Eastern is fulfilling my SG50 wish. I have always wanted more opportunities to work with underprivileged children and teach them to learn and enjoy to play the Beautiful Game."

1 March 2015
Tokio Marine embarks on a Brand new journey

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore Ltd. (TMLS) and Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore Ltd. (TMiS), have recently launched their new collective corporate brand identity - Tokio Marine Insurance Group.

This rebranding reflects a renewed commitment to being a trusted, one-stop provider of comprehensive insurance solutions by providing a unified customer experience through a combined marketing platform (Life and Non-Life insurance businesses) to meet the varying needs of customers in Singapore.

TMLS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Lance Tay said, "This corporate rebranding is a strategic exercise as our new identity - Tokio Marine Insurance Group, more accurately reflects the company's value proposition as a trusted provider of both life and general insurance to meet our customers' needs. TMLS' core business is still addressing the life and group insurance needs of our customers. By unifying our brand, we will be better able to present all our insurance solutions to our customers."

With this rebranding, a new corporate website and brand campaign have also been rolled out.

New Corporate Website

A new corporate website (www.tokiomarine.com/sg) has been designed with the new brand colours to convey an inspiring and forward-looking view of the Tokio Marine Insurance Group. This new site not only offers customers, business partners and advisers a single platform to access the life and non-life information for their specific needs, it also has a modern, clean design format for easy viewing and better navigation.

New Corporate Website for Tokio Marine Insurance Group
New Corporate Site Home Page with New Brand Colours
Revamped "Save for your retirement" web page
Our revamped "Save for your retirement" web page

New Brand Campaign

The brand campaign rolled out on 1 March across various media, including print, outdoor and digital platforms, takes a pragmatic approach with the objective of making progress personal. The "Yesterday/Today" brand campaign focuses on the key decisions that people make in their lives and how insurance solutions offered meets their needs and challenges at different life stages.

Print Advertisements
 
Print Advertisements

TMiS Managing Director and CEO Mr AK Cher added, "A unified brand showcases our unwavering commitment to putting the customer at the heart of everything we do, be it life insurance, group insurance or general insurance. This has always been the cornerstone of our service philosophy. I am excited about this corporate rebranding and am confident that our customers will continue to see us as a trusted and customer-centric brand."

4 March 2015
13th LIA Annual Luncheon
Grand Copthorne Hotel, Singapore

This year's event saw the highest number of guests (nearly 250) enjoying themselves and catching up with one another over lunch. Besides other financial sectors' association leaders and insurance fraternity colleagues, regulators were well represented as were staff from LIA member companies who formed the bulk of the crowd. Some 200 staff volunteer their time and expertise to enable the LIA to carry out its role and work.

Guest of Honour, Mr Ong Chong Tee Mr Ong Chong Tee giving a speech
LIA President, Dr Khoo Kah Siang Guest of Honour and LIA President
LIA Office Bearers
VIPs - Photo1 VIPs - Photo2
Group Photo1 Group Photo2
Guests Photo1
Guests Photo2

Confidence in and Resilience of the Life Insurance Industry

Excerpts of the speech by Guest of Honour, Mr Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore:

4 Two critical factors underlie consumers' confidence in the life insurance industry:

i. First, insurers, together with financial advisers, must be regarded as trustworthy and reliable. Consumers must be able to depend on them to provide appropriate financial advice and life insurance products to meet their needs; and issues of fairness and transparency must underscore the relationship.

ii. Second, given the long-term commitments, insurers must be financially resilient to be able to weather different economic, financial and industry cycles and have adequate financial resources to be able to honour claims.

5 Today, let me therefore take stock of two key policy thrusts that MAS has embarked on with many of you here - the FAIR initiatives and RBC2 - to enhance trust and resilience of the insurance industry respectively.

7 There are three key initiatives under FAIR of particular relevance to the life insurance industry. These are the web aggregator, direct purchase insurance products and the balanced scorecard framework.

8 First, the web aggregator. Life insurers offer a wide range of life insurance products to cater to the varied financial needs of consumers. However, it can often be a daunting task for consumers to be sufficiently informed of what's available to meet his needs and to have some easy way to compare life insurance products.

9 I am pleased to note that a web aggregator will be launched in early April as a collaborative effort between MAS, CASE and the life insurance industry. This will provide a single information portal that will enable consumers to easily look up available life insurance products and compare indicative quotes based on specified parameters in a user-friendly and interactive manner.

10 Second, direct purchase insurance products, or DPI. This is a new class of life insurance products for basic needs that is "retail-access friendly".

  • It will be simpler as the features of DPI are broadly standardised. This allows a consumer to make straightforward product comparisons when deciding which DPI to purchase.
  • It will be easier to buy as consumers who know what they want and do not need financial advice will be able to buy DPI directly from life insurers.
  • It will be cheaper as no commissions will be charged.

11 ...Again, the DPI products will be rolled out in early April, along with the web aggregator. MAS will continue to work with the industry and consumer groups to conduct regular reviews to ensure that the product suite and features of DPI remain relevant in meeting the needs of consumers.

12 Third, the balanced scorecard or BSC framework as proposed by the FAIR panel. MAS has implemented this framework in January 2015 with a one year transition period for the industry to be familiar with the framework before the requirements are legislated in January 2016.

14 Under the BSC framework, a major proportion of a representative's remuneration will be based on whether the representative has acted professionally such as consumer needs analyses, recommendation of suitable products, and adequate disclosures. This BSC initiative will help to align the interests of financial advisers with their customers. Over the longer term, the BSC framework will boost consumer confidence in the professionalism of the financial advisory industry.

15 Let me now turn to the new risk-based capital framework or RBC2. Why the move from RBC to RBC2?

16 Insurance regulators around the world are adopting risk-based capital and Singapore has been a frontrunner with our current Insurance Risk-Based Capital (RBC) framework introduced in 2004. This risk framework has served us well, and our insurers have navigated largely unscathed through recent financial crises; while the framework allowed for regulatory intervention in a timely and effective manner. Now, I know this begs the question - if it isn't broken, why fix it?

17 The answer is that the operating environment for global finance including insurance, has and will become increasingly complex given the more connected global markets, the vulnerability of contagion, an overall low interest rate environment that pushes investors including insurers to target more risky higher yielding products and potential new risk areas such as in some emerging markets or in technology risks.

18 It is important that our insurance capital framework remains relevant and effective and that insurers operating in Singapore are well-capitalised to weather different crises and risk forms.

20 Last year, MAS published our second consultation paper, which outlined our key proposals for RBC2. We also conducted the first quantitative impact study (QIS1) to assess the potential impact of the proposed changes on the industry. All direct life and composite insurers had participated in QIS1. I would like to thank the LIA and its members for the active participation and feedback. Indeed, many of you have expressed understanding and support for many of the proposed enhancements in the RBC2 framework.

For the full speech, please go to http://www.lia.org.sg/files/news/2015/03/Guest_of_Honour_Speech.pdf

18 March 2015
Manulife Singapore spreads water safety message in the community

As the presenting sponsor of national water safety programme SwimSafer, Manulife Singapore is committed to promoting the importance of water safety among the future generation of Singapore. To support this, the company has lined up a number of initiatives to reach out to the community.

In January this year, Manulife Singapore rolled out the SwimSafer school outreach programme to engage primary school students and impart important tips about water safety. The programme, which targets to reach out to at least 40 primary schools annually, is delivered through a fun and interactive skit. Manulife's SwimSafer mascot, a delightful and animated penguin, also makes a special appearance during the skit, bringing lots of laughter and entertainment to the audience.

Manulife Singapore is also bringing the message of water safety to children from less fortunate backgrounds. Over the March school holidays, Manulife staff and agent volunteers spent a fun-filled afternoon with 100 children from Singapore Children's Society and Life Community Services Society, who got to learn about water safety through the SwimSafer skit. This was followed by an exciting Amazing Race to explore the Singapore Sports Hub. To round off the afternoon, the children were treated to a private movie screening of the latest children's blockbuster, "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water".  

SwimSafer School Outreach Programme
Students had great fun while learning important water safety tips during the SwimSafer school outreach programme.
 
Deputy Director of Sport Singapore and CEO of Manulife Singapore
Simon Tan, Deputy Director, Programme Development, Sport Singapore (left) and Naveed Irshad, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Singapore (right) with Manulife's new mascot in support of SwimSafer.
   
Children in an exciting Amazing Race
100 children from Singapore Children's Society and Life Community Services Society had a fun time learning water safety tips and exploring the Singapore Sports Hub in an exciting Amazing Race.

Industry News

New organisational structure for LIA Singapore

With 2015 being an exciting year ahead with the many regulatory changes, LIA is taking the opportunity to elevate industry standards and shape the future of the life insurance industry in Singapore.

We will continue to be proactive in our efforts to meet the growing needs of individuals and businesses alike, ensuring that the industry will grow robustly and positively. To move this forward, LIA will be introducing a new organisational structure to enable us to remain nimble and quick to adapt to today's fast-growing environment.

Sometime in April or May, we expect to be electing eight from our current 21 Ordinary Member Companies to form the new Management Committee. The new Committee will in turn elect from amongst themselves five office bearers including one president and two deputy presidents.

It is our mission to continue to develop a progressive life insurance industry by collectively enhancing consumer understanding, promoting industry best practices and through the association, fostering a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect with government and business leaders.

The leadership at LIA will continue to champion industry priorities before that of individual companies. We recognise that it is only with the joint efforts of all stakeholders - regulators, insurers, healthcare practitioners, individuals - that we can, together, ensure the well-being of our society and the financial stability of our economy.

LIA has been more forthcoming in responding to public queries on the role of insurance in key social issues during 2014 by actively engaging the media to address issues directly. This open and transparent communication is key to helping the industry address misconception among the public, which stem mainly from a lack of awareness of how insurance works.

LIA Guidelines issued

Unsubscribe Terms of use www.lia.org.sg