Issue No. 25 January - March 2016
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry NewsQ&A with Ng Wee Jin

Message from the President

Photo of LIA President 2015 - Year of growth and implementation of key initiatives for Singapore's life insurance industry

Protection cover increased by S$12.6 billion, up 14 per cent in 2015

  • The industry achieved almost $3 billion in weighted new business premiums[1] for the year ended 31 December 2015.
  • Weighted annual premium sales saw a seven per cent increase to S$2 billion when compared to 2014.
  • Weighted single premium sales saw a nine per cent increase to S$940.8 million, of which single premium linked sales comprised 26 per cent. CPFIS-included policies comprised 16 per cent of single premium business.

I am pleased to highlight that the life insurance industry saw healthy growth across all types of businesses and provided new protection cover totalling S$101.2 billion compared to 2014, which represents a 14 per cent increase in new business sum assured.

2015 has been a purposeful year for life insurers in Singapore as we focused on implementation of the key Financial Advisory Industry Review (FAIR) initiatives - compareFIRST, Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI) products and Balanced Scorecard for financial adviser representatives.

DPI products drew approximately S$550,000 of weighted new premiums since it was launched on 7 April 2015. DPIs are regular premium plans offering protection benefits.

Total annual premiums in-force for group insurance business rose by seven per cent compared with a year ago, amounting to S$975 million.

Insurers that issue Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) worked closely with the Ministry of Health to implement Medishield Life in November 2015.

Manpower in the Industry

An all-time high of 6,371 office staff were employed by member companies of the LIA. Fourteen thousand six hundred and sixty-nine (14,669) representatives held exclusive contracts with companies that operate a tied agency force.

Looking forward

In 2016, the industry will continue to monitor and fine-tune the implementation of FAIR initiatives to ensure that the objectives and outcomes are aligned.

For insurers with Integrated Shield Plans (IPs), the key priority remains to work on achieving more effective management of ever rising healthcare costs in Singapore, if health insurance is to remain largely affordable.

Khoo Kah Siang

_____________

[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

Industry Events

Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd (FIDReC)
Opening ceremony of City House office
22 January 2016

FIDReC Opening Ceremony - Chairman Address FIDReC Opening Ceremony - Guest of Honour
FIDReC Opening Ceremony - Chairman and GOH FIDReC Opening Ceremony - LIA Executive Director and LIA President
FIDReC Opening Ceremony - Group Photo

FIDReC marks its 10th anniversary in 2016 as well as relocating its premises to City House in end December 2015.

In his address, the Chairman of FIDReC, retired Justice Goh Joon Seng, reviewed the commendable progress made by FIDReC and its preceding entities in making arbitration a successful modus operandi for resolving disputes between retail customers and their financial services providers (product issuers and advisers).

Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director (Financial Supervision) of MAS graced the opening ceremony as Guest of Honour.

For the speech delivered by Goh Joon Seng, go to: Chairman's Opening Address

Great Eastern makes dream come true for volunteer coach
23 January 2016

Company fulfills wish for coach Bukhari bin Mohamed Salleh to play with Fandi Ahmad and other Singapore football legends

Great Eastern Football - Photo 1
Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC (centre), Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad (left), and Bukhari Bin Mohamed Salleh, a volunteer coach at Boys United FC, took part in a friendly football match as part of the final wish granted by Great Eastern for its SG50 Wishes campaign
Great Eastern Football - Photo 2
Six Singapore football legends led by Fandi Ahmad joined volunteer coaches at Boys United FC to conduct a football clinic for 46 youngsters as part of the final wish granted by Great Eastern for its SG50 Wishes campaign
Great Eastern Football - Photo 3
Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad (right) taught youngsters at Boys United FC a few tricks in a clinic as part of the final wish granted by Great Eastern for its SG50 Wishes campaign

SG50 may be over, but Great Eastern has granted one last meaningful wish, rounding up its successful SG50 Wishes campaign.

This morning at Jalan Besar Stadium, Great Eastern made Bukhari Bin Mohamed Salleh's wish come true. Bukhari, a volunteer football coach at Boys United FC, who coaches children, including from low income families, had submitted his wish to Great Eastern to play alongside some of Singapore's football legends in a friendly.

Great Eastern partnered with FAS to arrange for Bukhari and his team of parent volunteer coaches to play against Fandi Ahmad, Nazri Nasir, Ho Kwang Hock, Razali Saad, Shahri Rahim and Samad Allapitchay.

After the friendly, Fandi and team together with Bukhari and his volunteer coaches conducted a football clinic for 45 needy children from Boys United FC, a non-profit club.

Commented an elated Bukhari, "I am very grateful to Great Eastern for fulfilling my wish. This is beyond my wildest dreams... to be able to play alongside my football heroes together with my other coaches and parent volunteers. I love football, and I am working with an amazing bunch of kids who share my passion. Seeing our football legends in person and in action will, I hope, spur our young footballers to aspire to greater goals."  
 
Joining the excitement on the pitch was Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, who was specially invited by Bukhari to participate in the friendly.

Great Eastern's Chief Marketing Office Colin Chan said, "We are delighted to fulfil Bukhari's wish. He and his team of coaches are to be lauded for spending their Sundays volunteering their time and services to coach aspiring young footballers. As a LIFE company, Great Eastern has made it our purpose to empower the community to live healthier and better through sports. Football has the power to unite and energise. It is more than just a game. It has become very much part of our societal fabric."

Isma Danish, 10, who was a participant at today's event, said, "I had a lot of fun today and it was so exciting to see the legends play in a match against our coaches. I really enjoyed the coaching session as I learned many tricks. I really like football and hope to play professionally one day. My favourite player is Fandi Ahmad."

Dad Talk
11 October 2015 to 31 January 2016

Tokio Marine Life Singapore celebrates treasured moments in fatherhood

Tokio Marine Life Dad Talk - Photo 1 Tokio Marine Life Dad Talk - Photo 2
Tokio Marine Life Dad Talk - Photo 3 Tokio Marine Life Dad Talk - Photo 4

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore unveiled DAD TALK, a video collage that pays tribute to dads, and highlights the growing role of Singaporean fathers in parenting and the modern family.

Inspired by the increasing number of fathers in Singapore who have indicated their desire to spend more time with their children, as well as the growing number who have taken time off from their careers to focus on their children's growing years, the campaign explored the topic of parenting in a candid and often-humorous fashion, through a mix of personal anecdotes provided by Singaporean fathers of various backgrounds. Five fathers, from an initial selection of 50, were interviewed on their thoughts about how fatherhood has changed them, as well as their hopes and worries for their children, as part of a protection-focused campaign for two recently launched plans, TM Protect PA and TM Legacy LifeFlex. Highlights from the interviews were then compiled in the video collage.

"Parenthood comes with its ups and downs, but is without doubt one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys in life," said Lance Tay, Chief Executive Officer at TMLS. "While mothers have been traditionally portrayed as the primary caregivers, fathers today have become increasingly involved in the parenting process. This campaign is our tribute to all fathers out there who have dedicated themselves to their children, to their wives, to their families."

To date, the DAD TALK video collage has garnered 392,214 views through Facebook and Youtube - watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa5przGlS1E

Great Eastern opens new office at Westgate Tower
2 February 2016

With the new office, company is well-placed to serve the community in western Singapore

Great Eastern New Office - Photo 1
Great Eastern New Office - Photo 2
Great Eastern Holdings Group CEO Khor Hock Seng (centre), Great Eastern Life Singapore CEO Dr Khoo Kah Siang (left), and Chief Distribution Officer Ben Tan, officiated at the opening of Great Eastern Westgate office

Located at Westgate Tower in the heart of Jurong Gateway, which is set to be Singapore's largest regional centre with a catchment population estimated at one million, the office will house a customer service centre and agency offices.

For a start, about 300 Great Eastern distribution representatives, supported by customer service and new business underwriting teams, will be accommodated at the new premises.

Commented Great Eastern's CEO (Singapore) Dr Khoo Kah Siang, "This is a significant milestone for us. We are excited to establish our presence in the West, where a good percentage of our customers reside. Our new Westgate office aptly reflects our customer-centric and business priorities - our commitment to better serve the community in the West, both existing and potential customers; to cater for strategic business growth and the expansion of our distribution force. We believe customers and employees alike will appreciate the open and spacious premises in a vibrant and contemporary setting. Not only is this ideal for greater customer engagement, it will also facilitate and spur collaboration and innovative thinking in our people. We believe a motivated and happy workforce is productive and service-focused."

Ready for Life
18 February 2016

Manulife Singapore launches a campaign encouraging everyone in Singapore to be "Ready for Life: Both now and later"

The integrated campaign, which kicked off nationally in mid-February, extends across multiple media channels such as print, out-of home, radio, digital and social media.

One of the highlights of the campaign is a 40-second commercial, which takes the audience on a heart-warming journey through some of life's most defining moments, and positions each of these as an opportunity to be ready.

Watch the commercial here: www.manulife.com.sg/readyforlife

Manulife Ready for Life Campaign - Photo 1
"Ready for Life" commercial
Manulife Ready for Life Campaign - Photo 2
Main campaign visuals

Wendy Walker, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Manulife Singapore commented:

"We (Manulife) recognise the significance of these moments in life, those that bring new opportunities, and those that make us think about the days still to come. We want to encourage all Singaporeans to start taking steps today towards the security of a brighter tomorrow, so that they can be ready for whatever life presents to them."

Naveed Irshad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Singapore, said:

"Over the last 35 years operating in Singapore, we have seen how important it is to plan one's finances holistically, make the most of savings and protect wealth to secure a comfortable tomorrow. We are committed to helping our customers be financially ready for every stage of life, by providing them with quality advice and a comprehensive suite of solutions that caters to their needs."

For more information on the campaign, visit www.manulife.com.sg/readyforlife

LIA Annual Luncheon
9 March 2016

The LIA Singapore hosted 22 tables of happy staff from member companies, senior leaders of other financial sectors, key regulators and media folks on 9 March at the Ritz Carlton Millenia.

LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - Registration Photo1 LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - Registration Photo2
LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - Registration Photo3 LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - Registration Photo4
LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - Emcee LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - Guest of Honour Photo1
LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - Guest of Honour Photo2 LIA Annual Luncheon 2016 - President and Guest of Honour
Guests Table 1
Guests Table 2
Guests Table 3
Guests Photo1 Guests Photo2
Guests Photo3 Guests Photo4
Guests Photo5 Guests Photo6

In his speech, Guest of Honour Chua Kim Leng, Assistant Managing Director (Banking and Insurance) MAS, noted that Singapore's life insurance industry continued to do well last year despite the more challenging operating environment. However, insurers cannot afford to take growth for granted as insurance is set to be one of the most disrupted industries.

Insurers, especially those with traditional business models, will need to rethink and sharpen strategies and reposition for the future. In responding to these challenges, Mr Chua encouraged insurers to focus on three key areas: Strengthening governance and risk culture; Adopting a consumer-centric approach; and Embracing technology and innovation.

For the speech delivered by Chua Kim Leng, go to: Speech by Guest of Honour

President Photo1 President Photo2
President Photo3 President Photo4

 
Dr Khoo Kah Siang was re-elected for a third term as President of the Association, who in his speech reviewed the industry's endeavours in 2015, and shared that in 2016, LIA will focus on three key initiatives: Introduction of Standard Integrated Shield Plan (Standard IP); Partnership with relevant parties to more effectively manage rising healthcare costs; and Revision of the Benefit Illustration for participating products to increase transparency for customers. He also noted that life insurers are intensifying the pace of embracing technology in new ways and people development to attract and retain new talent.

For the speech delivered by Dr Khoo Kah Siang, go to: Speech by LIA President

Industry News

LIA Register of Unclaimed Life Insurance Proceeds
4 January 2016

The Register represents an additional effort by the industry to reduce the accumulation of, and outstanding amounts of, unclaimed proceeds held by insurers.

An inaugural list of policyholders as at 30 September 2015 having policies with unclaimed death proceeds or unclaimed maturity proceeds outstanding for more than 12 months was created. Henceforth, insurers will update it on a half-yearly basis.

The Register (list) was posted on the LIA Website on 4 January 2016 and displays the following information:

  • Name of policyholder
  • Identification number (masked) of policyholder
  • Name of insurer

Members of the public can do a search and contact the respective insurer(s) if they identify names(s) in this list known to them.

Election of LIA Management Committee Members 2016-17
9 March 2016

There are 27 Members of the Life Insurance Association Singapore, comprising 21 Ordinary Members (life insurers) and six Associate Members (life reinsurers).

The following eight Ordinary Members were elected to the LIA Management Committee on 9 March 2016 for a one-year term of office:

AIA Singapore Private Limited
Main Representative
Patrick Teow, Chief Executive Officer

AXA Life Insurance Singapore Private Limited
Main Representative
Glenn Williams, Chief Executive Officer

Friends Provident International Limited (Singapore Branch)
Main Representative
Christopher Gill, Managing Director - Singapore

Generali Worldwide Insurance Company Limited, Singapore Branch
Main Representative
Malcolm Humphryes, Chief Executive Officer

Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited
Main Representative
Khoo Kah Siang, Chief Executive Officer - Singapore

Manulife (Singapore) Private Limited
Main Representative
Naveed Irshad, Chief Executive Officer

NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative Limited
Main Representative
Ken Ng, Chief Executive

Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Private) Limited
Main Representative
Philip Seah, Chief Executive Officer

Officers of the Association

President
Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited

Deputy President
NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative Limited

Deputy President
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Private) Limited

Secretary
Manulife (Singapore) Private Limited

Treasurer
AXA Life Insurance Singapore Private Limited

"Standard IP" announced
15 March 2016

Life insurers to release new plans on 1 May 2015 providing Class B1 coverage to complement MediShield Life

Standard Integrated Shield Plans ("Standard IP") targeted at Class B1-level coverage will be released from 1 May 2016 by IP insurers.

The Standard IP has been developed to offer affordable coverage with identical benefits across all IP insurers. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) now have an affordable choice to be covered for services at Class B1 wards. MediShield Life provides coverage sufficient for services at Classes B2 and C wards.

We believe that it will appeal to two groups: Individuals seeking additional coverage to complement MediShield Life, and those looking to downsize from their existing higher private plans.

In general, Medisave can be used by policyholders to fully pay for Standard IP premiums until age of 75. This is based on current Standard IP premiums and Additional Withdrawal Limits. Policyholders above the age of 75 may be required to pay cash for the balance amount of the Standard IP premiums.

Adopt a holistic perspective

There will be variances in the premium rates of the Standard IPs. Each IP insurer takes into account factors including the company's estimation of claims and expenses, and risk management policies.

However, individuals should not only look at the premiums in isolation for ultimately, it is a long-term need for coverage where considerations such as continuity of one's existing coverage, the quality of claims services and one's affinity with a particular brand should also be carefully weighed.

It is also important to note that IP premiums are not guaranteed and therefore different insurers may raise premiums differently over time, taking into account each company's actual claims experience and expenses, and risk management policies.

Price moratorium

All IP insurers have committed to keep their respective additional private insurance premiums for Standard IP targeted at Class B1 coverage fixed for two years starting from 1 May 2016. As the Government has committed to keep MediShield Life premiums constant for five years from launch of MediShield Life, this means that premiums for the Standard IP will remain unchanged for two years.

For information and/or queries relating to Standard IP provided by insurers, please contact:

Insurance company Hotline Email address
AIA Singapore 1800 248 8000 sg.eCare@aia.com
Aviva 6827 7788 cs_life@aviva-asia.com
Great Eastern Life Assurance 1800 248 2888 wecare-sg@greateasternlife.com
NTUC Income 6788 3113 healthcare@income.com.sg
Prudential Assurance 1800 333 0333 customer.service@prudential.com.sg

In addition to Standard IP, non-Standard IPs covering Class B1 continue to be available as well.

Individuals who would like to purchase or retain their private plans for coverage at Class A-level and Private Hospitals are assured that these policies will continue to be available.

An on-going top priority for LIA Singapore is to work on achieving more effective management of rising healthcare costs in order to keep health insurance affordable.

LIA Guidelines issued

  • 19 January 2016
    MC 12/16 - INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE: REVISED INPUT FORM WEF 2016

Q&A with Ng Wee Jin

Ng Wee Jin - Photo1

Wee Jin graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Second Class Upper Division) from the National University of Singapore and has helmed the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd (FIDReC) as its Chief Executive Officer since it was set up in August 2005.
 
Wee Jin started as the General Manager of the Insurance Disputes Resolution Organisation (IDRO), which was FIDReC's preceding entity.
 
Prior to appointment at IDRO, he practised as a litigation lawyer with Messrs Lee & Lee, specialising in commercial litigation and financial disputes in the areas of insurance, banking and revenue.

Ng Wee Jin - Family Photo1 Ng Wee Jin - Family Photo2

Do you have a personal philosophy for life/career that you strongly believe in?
 
Work hard in everything you do.

What do you usually do in your leisure time?
 
I enjoy movies, reading fantasy and science fiction, badminton and table tennis.

Who are your inspirations in life?
 
My parents. They worked hard, provided for the family, never complained and taught me about responsibility, humility and to never ever give up.

Tell us about a little-known fact about yourself.
 
I am a video gamer! My favourite is the Playstation 4.
 
Describe your proudest moment.
 
When I did my first full Court trial on my own less than 12 months after being called to the Bar. I was so "blur" that the Judge actually suggested to me aloud that I should summon the prosecution witness to the stand so that my client could identify the witness!
 
Complete the sentence: "I love my job because ..."
 
I am a sucker for duty and responsibility. They give me a sense of purpose and appreciation.

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