Issue No. 23 July - September 2015
Message from the PresidentIndustry Events
Industry NewsQ&A with Patrick Teow
Q&A with Irene Ng

Message from the President

LIA President

Life insurance industry maintains steady performance for first half of 2015

Collectively, members achieved a total of S$1,352.7 million in weighted new business premiums, which was a three per cent increase over the same period in 2014.

The industry achieved a three per cent growth to S$964.9 million of weighted annual premium products, and a two per cent growth to S$387.8 million of weighted single premium products.

Nineteen per cent of the weighted single premium products comprised CPF-funded policies.

We see a shift from single premium non-linked to single premium linked products. In a low interest rate environment, yields for shorter term non-linked single premium plans may have less appeal to customers. 

Overall, investment-linked products contributed S$272 million in the first half of 2015, accounting for 20 per cent of total weighted new business premiums. At S$739 million, participating products continued to provide the largest contribution of 55 per cent.

Launched on 7 April 2015, Direct Purchase Insurance (DPI) products drew almost S$200 thousand of weighted new premiums. DPI Term or DPI Whole Life plans are sold without financial advice and are purchased directly from customer service centres or websites of life insurance companies. Through DPI products, we are pleased that the industry is able to meet the basic protection needs of families in Singapore.   

Approximately one in two individuals in Singapore (2.79 million lives) have health cover with premiums amounting to S$1.63 billion as at 30 June 2015.

LIA Singapore continues to pro-actively work with policymakers to provide Integrated Shield Plans (IP) to complement MediShield Life, which will be rolled out on 1 November 2015.

The industry is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders to find innovative solutions that will enable life insurers to continue to play an important role in providing Singaporeans with healthcare financing options.

Looking forward, we expect industry growth for 2015 to be stable compared to last year. We believe that there are still gaps in the protection space, not just coverage for death but also coverage for long term care, disability, critical illnesses as well as accidents.

The industry will continue to exercise prudence to ensure that it is financially strong and well able to fulfil its promises to policyholders over the long run.

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

Khoo Kah Siang

Industry Events

August to November 2015
CPF Retirement Planning Roadshows

CPF Roadshows - Photo 1

Dear Partners,

We are holding a series of retirement planning roadshows in the heartlands to reach out to Singaporeans. Through the roadshows, we hope to encourage them to take active steps towards a more rewarding retirement, and help them to better understand the role that their CPF plays in the process.

The key highlights of the event are the two 30-minute talkshows between show host Lin You Fa, celebrity Irene Ang and a financial expert who will share their insights and personal experiences on planning for their retirement. In addition, there are hands-on activities and games where participants will get to learn about retirement planning in a fun and interactive way.

CPF Retirement Planning Roadshows - Photo 2

Help us spread the word to your colleagues, family and friends to join us at our roadshows! Hope to see you there!

For more information, visit http://ayr.sg/retirementplanningroadshow

30 June 2015
Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) Annual Dinner

Guest of Honour - Tharman Shanmugaratnam
AbS Annual Dinner - Audience

Keynote Address by Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Deputy Prime Minister & Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore

Highlights of his speech:

11.    This evening, I will talk about two important initiatives for Singapore's financial sector that will buttress the foundations for its future progress:

  • First, MAS will rationalise the regulatory framework that has distinguished the domestic and international banking operations, taking into account market developments over the years and global regulatory changes over the last half decade.
  • Second, we will introduce several manpower and talent development initiatives to ensure a strong Singaporean core across the range of activities in the financial sector.

Establishment of Financial Centre Advisory Panel (FCAP)

26.    Indeed, a strong partnership between the MAS and industry leaders and practitioners has been key to the development of Singapore's financial sector, and how we got to where we are today. It will be even more important in the coming years, with changes accelerating in the financial world.

27.    MAS will therefore strengthen its dialogue with the financial industry. We will set up a Financial Centre Advisory Panel (FCAP) comprising senior leaders from the banking, insurance and asset management industries. The Panel will provide guidance in two broad areas:

  • First, overall financial sector developmental strategies. Industry leaders and experts will provide advice on opportunities across the various financial activities, and propose initiatives to ensure continued vibrance in Singapore's financial centre. This includes building synergies across different activities - for example, spurring the development of the capital markets by building on the asset management sector to catalyse equity, fixed income and FX trading activities.
  • Second, we have to build deep skills and expertise relevant to the future and harness technology. These 'horizontals' of skills and technology will be the key drivers in the next phase of our financial centre's growth.

28.    Mr Ravi Menon, MD MAS, spoke just yesterday about the new technologies that are transforming financial services and how MAS and the industry could work together to take advantage of these technologies. I will talk now about how we can build the depth of skills and expertise, across all levels of the financial sector workforce, and how we aim to achieve quality jobs for Singaporeans in a rapidly-changing financial environment.

SkillsFuture in Financial Services

29.    The next 10 years will be both disruptive and transformative for financial institutions and markets. New technologies will have a significant bearing on the scale and nature of financial sector jobs - everywhere from the front-end of consumer transactions and advice, to the middle and back-end business of processing, risk management and data analysis.

30.    Many jobs in finance will be at risk around the world. But if we prepare well for the changes reshaping global finance, there is significant opportunity in this for Singapore and for Singaporeans working in finance.

31.    Our vision is to be a financial centre that is among the leaders globally in workforce skills and expertise, and one with a strong core of Singaporeans at every level.

32.    MAS has been engaging the top leadership of key financial institutions, here in Singapore and in headquarters overseas, on our initiatives. Their response has been positive. They recognise and support our desire to develop deep skills and a strong pipeline of Singaporean talent, as part of a vibrant and competitive global financial centre. It is in our collective interest that we do this, and in the interests of each financial institution over the long term.

33.    As part of the national SkillsFuture effort, MAS in partnership with the industry and educational and training institutes is now embarking on further initiatives. We will strengthen support for every finance professional to learn continuously, develop his or her expertise, and have a good career. This includes developing Singaporean leaders in finance, with the capabilities to take on responsibilities in Asia and further afield.

Continual Learning and Deepening Specialist Skills

34.    Let me describe these initiatives briefly, starting with our efforts to promote continual learning and to develop deep pools of financial sector expertise in Singapore.

Finance Scholarship Programme (FSP)

35.    First, under the Finance Scholarship Programme (FSP), MAS supports early-career Singaporeans in developing specialist capabilities through post-graduate studies. This includes specialisations in quantitative finance, risk management, actuarial science and specialty insurance, and emerging priorities such as cyber security, data analytics and fraud risk detection. Since the scholarship's inauguration in 2006, more than 150 FSP scholarships have been awarded. MAS will provide 30 scholarships per year to add to the pipeline of specialist talents in the financial sector.

SkillsFuture Study Awards

36.    Second, MAS will offer up to 70 SkillsFuture Study Awards each year for financial sector professionals. These awards aim to equip Singaporeans, especially those in the early to mid-stages of their careers, to develop and deepen their skills through a wide range of programmes, including shorter courses, especially in areas where industry expertise remain in short supply.

Subsidies for Continual Learning

37.    Third, and most broadly, we will also provide generous subsidies to support Singaporean finance professionals in continual learning related to financial sector competencies. MAS currently funds up to 70% of the costs of financial sector training courses. In addition, as announced in this year's Budget, subsidies for all Singaporeans aged 40 and above will be enhanced to a minimum of 90% of training costs for approved courses. This is a significant subsidy from the Government, as we recognise there are opportunity costs that mid-career Singaporeans face when they go for further education and training.

Earn and Learn Programmes

38.    The initiatives I have just described are aimed at all Singaporeans in the financial sector, and especially to help our PMEs stay on top of a changing world of professional jobs. Regardless of whether they start their careers with a master's degree or diploma, we must help them learn continuously, and pick up the skills needed for new jobs in finance.

39.    Our fourth initiative is more specific, and is aimed at providing fresh polytechnic graduates with good opportunities early in their careers. MAS will be introducing the Financial Sector Earn and Learn Programmes for this purpose.

40.    For the prospective polytechnic graduate, this 12-18 month work-study programme will allow him or her to gain valuable employment experience at a financial institution and to receive training which counts towards a Specialist or Advanced diploma upon completion of the programme. These work-study programmes will be designed in collaboration with financial institutions, the polytechnics and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

Developing Strong Core of Singaporean Leaders in Finance

43.    Let me turn finally to the second thrust of our initiatives to develop professional talent and skills, which concerns leadership development. This too is a key priority under SkillsFuture. The development of a strong core of Singaporean leaders in finance, working in diverse global teams, will define our continued success as a financial centre. MAS takes this very seriously.

44.    We have in recent years introduced several initiatives to promote the development of Singaporean leaders in the financial industry.

  • The Finance Associate Management Scheme (FAMS) offers promising young professionals exposure to different aspects of a financial institution's global operations and mentorship by senior leaders.
  • The International Posting Programme (iPOST) has supported more than 35 overseas postings of Singaporeans in finance since its launch in 2013. They have acquired valuable practical experience in diverse working cultures over their 6 to 24-month attachments to regional and global offices of financial institutions.

Asian Financial Leaders Programme (AFLP)

45.    To further strengthen these efforts, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Asian Financial Leaders Programme (AFLP).

  • The AFLP will take advantage of Singapore's strong and expanding linkages in the region, including ASEAN, China and India, and aim to strengthen those links through leadership development.
  • It is aimed at equipping finance professionals aspiring to C-suite roles with the knowledge and capabilities to operate effectively across diverse business, regulatory, and legal environments.
  • Participants will be given the opportunity to learn from and interact with top policy-makers from the region and to also build networks with fellow financial sector leaders.
  • The AFLP will be administered jointly by Temasek Management Services and Singapore Management University, with the first intake of AFLP participants slated for November this year.
http://www.temasekmanagementservices.com.sg/tms_academy/programmes/exec_focus_asia_4.html#sthash.itbVMw4J.dpbs

Conclusion

47.    We are now embarked on our next phase of development as a financial centre. It will be driven by deeper collaboration between MAS and the industry, a collective effort to leverage on new technologies, and by staking a position as a leading global centre of financial skills and expertise. The exciting thing is that we can actually achieve this. 
 
For the speech in full, go to http://www.mas.gov.sg/News-and-Publications/Speeches-and-Monetary-Policy-Statements/Speeches/2015/Keynote-Address-by-DPM-at-ABS-Annual-Dinner.aspx

July to early October
Manulife Singapore's retirement campaign encourages Singaporeans to take charge of their retirement

Manulife Singapore launched a new retirement-themed campaign to bring home an important message to Singaporeans - take charge of your retirement now and act before it is too late.

The campaign is inspired by findings from Manulife's Investor Sentiment Index (MISI), a proprietary survey by the company which showed that there were common misconceptions and behavioural issues about retirement planning. For instance, some tended to procrastinate retirement planning due to other priorities, thinking there was still time. Others knew there was a gap between their retirement savings and expenses but did not take action, choosing instead to avoid reality and hope that things would work out in the end.

Through the use of humorous and emotive ads, the campaign seeks to educate consumers about these misguided mindsets and motivate them to take charge of their retirement with the help of Manulife's retirement solutions.

 Alarm Clock Ad
"Alarm Clock" ad
View at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZEN2ah8ChM
 Miracle Ad
"Miracle" ad
View at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eFaSZGwMsk

"Planning for one's retirement may seem overwhelming but the key is to start now and take the first step, no matter how small it may seem. Through this campaign, we hope to use a lighthearted approach to motivate Singaporeans to take immediate actions to secure their retirement," said Mr. Naveed Irshad, President and CEO of Manulife Singapore.

The campaign was rolled out across various platforms, from outdoor advertising on buses and taxis to print, online and mobile advertising. The company also leveraged content marketing by partnering with AsiaOne, a leading online news portal in Singapore, to reach out to Singaporeans through a lifestyle microsite (brandinsider.asiaone.com/Manulife) that features articles, videos and resources about retirement and financial planning.

Consumers can also easily compute their retirement number and find out if there is a shortfall in their finances with Manulife's online Retirement Calculator. The calculator is available in both English and Chinese on Manulife's retirement microsite (manuliferetirement.sg), along with other resources and self-help tools for retirement planning.

Main Campaign Visual1  Main Campaign Visual2
Main campaign visuals
Bus Ad  Taxi Ad
Outdoor advertisements on buses and taxis 

2 - 3 July 2015
AFAS Annual Congress

AFAS President AFAS Annual Congress - Guest of Honour
AFAS Annual Congress - Speaker AFAS Annual Congress - Audience

More than 400 Financial Adviser industry leaders, managers and representatives attended the Association of Financial Advisers Singapore's (AFAS) Annual Congress 2015, which was organised with the theme "Mission Possible". 

With the recent FAIR recommendations and Balanced Score Card framework set to kick in next year, the conference organisers felt that this year's theme signalled to industry representatives, key stakeholders and the public at large that Financial Advisers are eager and ready to meet the challenges of the new insurance and investment landscape.  Hence, the theme, "Mission Possible".

Guest-of-honour Ms Merlyn Ee, Executive Director of Capital Markets Intermediaries at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, highlighted in her speech the "three Cs" - Culture, Competency and Customer Centricity - as fundamental principles that underpin success in the LFA industry.

A firm's board and senior management play a pivotal role in setting the right culture of fair dealing, she said. And it should go beyond coming up with company policies and procedures.

"Gaining the trust of customers essentially means that financial advisers have to look beyond short-term gains and act in their customers' best interests," Ms Ee noted.

In his speech, AFAS President Vincent Ee called for MAS to come up with guidelines to enhance the transparency surrounding the disclosure and understanding of commission rebates which some advisers give to consumers.

While commission rebates ultimately lower policy premiums to the benefit of consumers, he noted that such incentives if implemented improperly, could turn into inducement and lead to overbuying of insurance policies. It is not good enough to say that commission rebates are not prohibited and that financial advisory firms are only required to administer such schemes without creating an inducement for consumers, said Mr Ee.

In its response, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said that it "will work with the industry and other relevant stakeholders to provide greater guidance on the use of commission rebates, where necessary".

Keynote Speaker Donald White gave a rousing speech to participants to encourage them never to give up but to persevere and "go the extra mile" for their customers.  His speech, entitled "No Mas (More)", was a timely reminder to all present that the future is bright and there are ways to overcome challenges ahead by taking control.

A special segment was the presentation by industry veteran Mohd Amin, on "50 years of insurance and beyond". He regaled participants with the many highs and lows during the development of the insurance industry in Singapore.

Last year, the financial advisory industry in Singapore - which has about 3,000 representatives - saw its market share of new business rise to 18 per cent from 16 per cent.

15 July 2015
SG50 Insurance Golf

The Singapore insurance industry marked the 50th year of Singapore's independence by raising more than $500,000 for seven beneficiaries through a charity golf tournament, "Swing for Charity".

Members of the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA), Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA) and the Singapore Reinsurers' Association (SRA) pooled resources to organise the golf event at the Singapore Island Country Club on 15 July.

A dinner graced by Guest-of-Honour Education Minister Heng Swee Keat capped the day's celebration.

SG50 Charity Golf - LIA President SG50 Charity Golf - Photo 2
Guest-of-Honour Education Minister Heng Swee Keat SG50 Charity Golf Dinner - Performance
Cake Cutting Prize Giving
Audience
Cheque Presentation

The who's who in the Singapore insurance industry, including past Presidents of GIA, LIA and SRA, and guests, turned out in full force at the Singapore Island Country Club Island Ballroom to celebrate Singapore's SG50 milestone.

The SG50 theme rang loud and clear around the ballroom... from the stage backdrop to table names which featured iconic Singapore landmarks to the giant SG50 logo on the birthday cake on stage.

The evening got off to a great start with an energetic Japanese-style drum performance by the SIA-MINDS Japanese 'Taiko' troupe, creating the mood for a night of good camaraderie.

In his speech, Guest-of-Honour Education Minister Heng Swee Keat remarked that he was heartened by the Singapore spirit which was clearly demonstrated in the wake of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's death and in the aftermath of the Sabah earthquake. He encouraged insurers to continue to work together to build a better country and a more inclusive society.

Amidst a rousing birthday song for Singapore and cheers from the audience, Minister Heng led the cake-cutting ceremony on stage.

A simple cheque presentation ensued. Over $500,000 was raised from the SG50 Insurance Golf - Swing for Charity held earlier that afternoon. Minister Heng presented the mock cheque to representatives from the seven selected beneficiaries - Children's Cancer Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, Pertapis Education and Welfare Centre, Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic, Singapore Heart Foundation, St. John's Home for Elderly Persons, and the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Golfers and guests were treated to a sumptuous sit-down dinner. During the evening, it was also prizes galore. Prizes were presented for Novelty Events in the Men's Division A, Men's Division B and Ladies Division. Lucky draw winners walked away with equally attractive prizes while all guests received an activity tracker, which will come in handy.

All in, it was certainly a night to remember!

5 August 2015
Aviva Singapore launches project
yellow@ayer rajah to commemorate SG50

Project Yellow - Photo 1
Project Yellow - Aviva volunteers
  • Aviva staff volunteers to do general cleaning and home appliances installation for 50 lower income homes
  • Concurrent food donation drive to collect non-perishable items from Aviva staff and distribute as goodie bags to the needy and elderly in these homes
  • Supported by 275 staff volunteers from Aviva Singapore in collaboration with Southwest Community Development Council and Pasir Panjang Hill Community Services Centre

Aviva, a leading insurer in Singapore, today launched a charity initiative - Project Yellow@Ayer Rajah (Project Yellow) - in commemoration of SG50. In collaboration with Southwest Community Development Council (Southwest CDC) and Pasir Panjang Hill Community Services Centre (PPHCSC), Project Yellow aims to improve the living conditions of 50 homes from lower income families in the Teban Gardens and Pandan Gardens estates.

Under Project Yellow, 275 Aviva staff volunteers - including some volunteers from the Asian Regional Office as well as Aviva Investors - will do general cleaning and home appliances installation for 50 adopted homes. After visiting the homes today, Aviva will assess the needs and donate suitable new home appliances that can improve the living conditions of these families.

Concurrently, Aviva has also launched a food donation drive to collect non-perishable items from employees, to be distributed to the 50 families. These include staples such as rice, pasta, noodles, breakfast cereal, as well as dried foodstuff and low-sodium canned food.

Mr Nishit Majmudar, CEO of Aviva Singapore, commented on the launch of Project Yellow, "The residents we are helping come from lower income families and many of them are unable to perform household chores as they are either elderly or suffer from medical conditions. This initiative, driven by our staff, is aligned with one of Aviva's values to "care more" which also extends to caring more about the communities we operate in. I am heartened by the response from our staff who have volunteered their time and donated generously to help those in need."

Commenting on Aviva's Project Yellow, Ms Foo Mee Har, Adviser to Ayer Rajah Grassroots Organisations and Member of Parliament for West Coast Group Representation Constituency, said, "I applaud Aviva for its efforts in improving the living conditions of the residents in Teban Gardens and Pandan Gardens estates. It is indeed a meaningful way to commemorate our nation's 50th birthday by sharing the joy with 50 families from the lower income group. I hope more companies will follow Aviva's lead to serve the community that we live and work in." 

One of the residents who will benefit from Aviva's Project Yellow is Mr Salleh who lives with his wife at Pandan Gardens. Mr Salleh, aged 62, is wheelchair-bound and has to go for dialysis and medical treatments from Monday to Wednesday every week. He shared at the launch event, "I am unable to do household chores so I am happy that Aviva volunteers are helping to clean my house. They make my living conditions and life better".

26 August 2015
Raise With TMLS - Tokio Marine Raises Awareness about Disabilities through Partnership with Disabled People's Association

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore (TMLS) partnered with the Disabled People's Association (DPA) to "Raise with TMLS" - a company-wide event focused on raising awareness for persons with disabilities in Singapore.

Raise with TMLS event

This partnership event raised S$16,000 through an internal donation drive, which will go towards the publication that both companies will develop together - "Inclusive Practices in Healthcare." This report will look to highlight policies and programmes that promote social integration of persons with disabilities. It will also share experiences concerning disability in order to identify better-coordinated solutions through its roundtable discussions, Government consultations, position papers, letters to the media and press releases.

"Raise with TMLS goes beyond the partnership with DPA. Through the activities, we were able to learn more about the different types of disabilities which helped our staff understand, empathise and therefore, better cater financial advice to families and caretakers of those with disabilities. Our partnership with DPA is a commitment to TMLS' Good Company principles - to look beyond profit and act with integrity for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, business partners and more importantly, to society," said Lance Tay, CEO, TMLS.

"DPA is thankful for the donation from TMLS, and we are excited to partner with them for our upcoming publication. Through this, we hope that we will be able to communicate the importance of financial planning and insurance to those in our network. Our extended partnership with TMLS will help bring us one step closer to our goal of serving as the voice of persons with disabilities and work to ensure that they have equal rights and full participation in society," said Dr. Marissa Medjeral-Mills, the Executive Director of DPA.

TMLS Donation

Raise with TMLS is one of the Good Company events by TMLS. Held at Sentosa, the event engaged TMLS staff in activities that emulated various disabilities, and aimed to help teams better understand the everyday challenges faced by persons with disabilities.

3 September 2015
IBF Distinction Evening

Conferment of IBF Awards

IBF Distinguished Fellow IBF Fellow
2015 IBF Award Recipients
IBF Distinction_Evening
Photos by IBF 

The IBF Distinguished Fellow title is the highest certification mark under the IBF Standards. This prestigious title is conferred upon industry captains who are the epitome of professional stature, integrity, and achievement. The Distinguished Fellows serve as a beacon of excellence for the industry.

Criteria

  • 25 years of financial industry experience
  • Experience in senior executive leadership positions
  • Demonstrated outstanding leadership capabilities
  • Significant contribution to the industry

Dr Khoo Kah Siang, CEO for Singapore, Great Eastern Life, and President of LIA Singapore was one of the Awardees.

The IBF Fellow title recognises industry veterans who have demonstrated mastery of a profession and exemplify thought leadership and commitment to industry development.

Criteria

  • 15 years of financial industry experience
  • Demonstrated professional competence as well as thought and practice leadership
  • Made significant contributions to the financial industry

Ms Irene Ng, Chairperson of IBF Life Insurance Industry Work Group and a member of IBF Standards Committee, and Chairperson of LIA's Underwriting & Claims Subcommittee was one of the Awardees. Get to know more about Irene in the "Q&A with" section.

Congratulations to both for inspiring the rest of us in the life insurance industry to do even better!

Industry News

New Member

CLIS Logo

China Life Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.

We extend a warm welcome to China Life Singapore, which was admitted as LIA's 22nd Ordinary Member on 15 September 2015.

27 July 2015
Aviva announces 'Digital Garage' in Singapore

Aviva announces today the development of a 'Digital Garage' in Singapore - a dedicated space where technical specialists, creative designers and commercial teams explore, develop and test new insurance ideas and services which make financial services more tailored and accessible for customers.

The digital centre will have a starting team of 30 people, supported by a further 200 technology specialists based in Singapore. The building will be designed to support a different working style from traditional insurance offices, in a bid to drive greater collaboration and project-based working, and to encourage fresh thinking.

The Garage will take a place in Singapore's emerging digital economy. Building on collaborations thus far, Aviva will establish lasting relationships with the Singapore FinTech community and start-ups, with partners, and with research bodies.

Aviva is a pioneer of digital insurance in Singapore, and the Digital Garage will build on Aviva's experience of providing motor insurance, travel insurance, home insurance, pensions and investments online in Singapore and internationally. Aviva has already established a similar Digital Garage in London and will share expertise and insights into digital insurance gained in the UK with the new digital centre in Singapore.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:
"The UK and Singapore are at the forefront of digital innovation. It's great news that Aviva are launching this digital hub, bringing together experts to develop new digital products and services to customers."

Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, said:
"MAS looks forward to partnering industry players, like Aviva, to promote the use of innovative ideas and new technologies to provide customised insurance solutions at affordable prices in key areas such as health, wealth, and retirement. We are well placed to do this, given Singapore's vibrant FinTech community, strong digital capabilities, and deep talent pool in analytics."

Mark Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aviva plc, said:
"Aviva puts digital first because that's how our customers want to deal with us. The new digital garage will create the products and services they want, how they want them and when they want them. But the Singapore innovation centre is far more than a building - it's a campus, where the best brains bring the best ideas and make them happen."

Chris Wei, Executive Chairman of Aviva Asia and Global Chairman of Aviva Digital, said:
"This new space will help Aviva deliver revolutionary digital products and services. In this way, we will capitalise on our major strength as a composite insurer offering a full range of life, general, health insurance and asset management products, to help our customers at every stage of their lives."

The UK's largest insurer builds on its commitment to Singapore

The new Aviva Digital Garage in Singapore underlines Aviva's long term commitment to Singapore. Aviva is an industry leader in Singapore, having built a meaningful market presence and is one of the few composite insurers able to offer a one-stop shop for all their customers' savings, retirement, life, health and general insurance needs.

In addition to its local Singapore business, Aviva opened its Asia regional office in Singapore in 1999 to be a centre of expertise and governance from which to grow its businesses around the region. Aviva's Asia business is a significant part of the group and in 2014 grew value of new business by 30%.

29 July 2015
Aviva, the British Government and the Government of Singapore to promote digital innovation in insurance

Aviva, Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have signed a statement of intent to support and promote digital innovation in insurance in Singapore and across Asia for the benefit of customers.

The agreement was reached as part of the UK Prime Minister's trade mission to South East Asia to promote the UK's insurance and financial technology sectors. Mark Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aviva plc, is part of a delegation of 30 UK business representatives to join the Prime Minister's trade mission.

As part of the statement of intent, the parties agreed to work in collaboration to support and promote digital innovation initiatives to:

  • Drive digital innovation in the insurance sector and help develop new business models, products, processes and channels to meet consumers' risk management needs in areas such as life, savings, retirement, health, general insurance, specialty insurance and reinsurance.
  • Bring global digital skills and resources to inform and develop the Singaporean and regional insurance sectors.
  • Support FinTech start-ups with expertise, resource, and facilities.
  • Understand and respond to customers' changing needs in the digital age to help design better insurance propositions and enable customers to more easily access them directly or through the channels most convenient to them.
  • Look at how business practices, policies and regulation contribute to this, exploring options to promote competition, lower costs and minimise barriers to digital products and distribution.

As part of the trip, Aviva announced on 27 July the development of a 'Digital Garage' in Singapore. This is a dedicated space where technical specialists, creative designers and commercial teams explore, develop and test new insurance ideas and services which make financial services more tailored and accessible for customers.

Mark Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aviva plc, said:
"This agreement paves the way for Singapore to be at the forefront of the digital revolution in insurance and for Aviva to lead the revolution."

12 August 2015
CPF's InTouch Magazine

Is CPF LIFE all you need for retirement?

LIA President With increased life expectancy and the need to save for a longer retirement, CPF LIFE was introduced in 2009 to provide Singaporeans lifelong monthly payouts starting from their payout eligibility age. These payouts might be sufficient for basic needs in retirement, but what about those who need or want more for their retirement lifestyle? We chat with the President of Life Insurance Association Singapore, Dr. Khoo Kah Siang, to hear his thoughts.
Dr Khoo Kah Siang, President of Life Insurance Association Singapore
Retirement Planning Image

Plan your retirement road map early

Dr Khoo recommends discussing your goals with a trusted financial planner to determine the desired retirement lifestyle. "Having a financial plan is a necessary first step of your retirement planning. It will provide a roadmap on how to reach your retirement goals in a structured approach," explains Dr. Khoo. This is a key step to determine how much you need to save and the financial products you can invest in to complement your CPF LIFE.

Early planning is also crucial. "If you start late, you will either have to save an impossibly large portion of your income or bear unnecessary investment risks to make up for lost time," Dr. Khoo cautions.

Understand your investment options beyond CPF LIFE

For some members, the Full Retirement Sum (FRS) or Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) could meet their needs in retirement. But to live out your dreams for your golden years, it may be wise to diversify your income stream. Dr. Khoo suggests some options:

Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)
This voluntary savings scheme offers tax incentives and can be used to purchase investment products from financial institutions for long-term retirement savings purpose.

Endowment plans
These provide a high level of cash value accumulation that can be used to supplement your retirement income. Some even offer yearly or monthly payouts during your retirement years.

Investment-linked insurance plans
Apart from providing protection and investment opportunities to underlying funds, they also allow flexible ad-hoc premium top-ups to help build your wealth faster.

Private annuity plans
Private annuity plans enable policyholders to receive payouts up to a certain period, or for as long as they live.

Private Investments
Investing in unit trusts or stocks is an alternative way to grow your wealth. With a longer time horizon, you could take higher risks for potentially higher returns. Pursuing gains in excess of inflation could help your purchasing power increase during your retirement years.

Rental property income
Owning a property that you can rent out can be a great wealth building tool. The Lease Buyback Scheme is an additional option for elderly households living in 4-room or smaller flats to supplement their retirement income.

Old Couple Image

Protect your present and future

While receiving a regular stream of income during retirement is crucial, it's also important that you are well-protected. "An accident or health problem can potentially cause a loss large enough to financially destroy your lifetime of savings." Dr. Khoo reminded.

Insure your retirement nest egg with these options:

Whole life insurance
This not only offers life insurance protection, but also builds cash value or surrender value in the long term. You can consider exploring limited premium plans where you can finish paying premiums before you reach retirement age and still continue to enjoy the coverage.

Critical illness insurance
As a standalone policy or a rider to an existing policy, this provides benefits in the event of death, total and permanent disability, and critical illness events such as heart attack, stroke or cancer.

Hospital and surgical insurance
This ensures you are well-protected against medical expenses that could deplete your retirement savings. Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) are good complements to the current MediShield and the upcoming MediShield Life.

Long-term care insurance
This type of insurance provides basic financial protection to those who require long-term care, especially in old age. The ElderShield and the ElderShield supplement plans are examples that can help provide for such protection.

While your CPF LIFE monthly payouts helps you sustain your basic needs during retirement, planning ahead for additional streams of income and sufficient protection will go a long way in ensuring your retirement will be one worth looking forward to.

September 2015
"From Challenge to Opportunity: Wave 2 of the East Asia Retirement Survey"

Prudential Survey

Prudential, in collaboration with Dr Richard Jackson of the Global Aging Institute, undertook a major study on retirement attitudes and expectations in East Asia, covering 10 markets in the region.

From Challenge to Opportunity: Wave 2 of the East Asia Retirement Survey found that while today's Singaporean workers are better prepared for retirement than today's retirees, most worry about their retirement security. Singaporeans also favour individual or government responsibility for retirement income over family responsibility, and have favourable attitudes toward the financial services industry and companies. In fact, 74 per cent of today's workers in Singapore expect to receive retirement income from insurance or annuity products and/or stocks bonds or mutual funds when they retire.

For more information, visit www.prudentialcorporation-asia.com/eastasia-retirement-2015/

Q&A with Patrick Teow

Patrick Teow

I am a Chartered Financial Consultant and Chartered Life Underwriter, and have been in the life insurance industry for more than 30 years both locally and regionally.

I am currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AIA Singapore, responsible for overseeing and managing AIA's operations in the market.

1. What are some of your career highlights?

Joining a dynamic New AIA - a refreshing new company after 2010 IPO, I am pleased to be able to contribute towards the company's vision of being the pre-eminent insurer of Asia and building the Premier Agency across all AIA markets across Asia.

As the CEO of AIA Group Agency Distribution during the last two years, it was especially fulfilling to be able to contribute towards raising the productivity of the company's proprietary tied agency through premier training systems, quality recruitment and targeted campaigns for different agency segments. AIA is now the world's largest insurer for Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) membership. MDRT qualification is one measure of the success of our Premier Agency strategy.

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

To put it simply, "we all have only one life to live, make sure it is a good one". And, all of us continuously look forward to a better tomorrow. But this is not going to happen by merely thinking about it. It requires us to be committed and take action to achieve our goals.

I strongly believe in setting high standards and to dream big. Also, if our mind can conceive and believe, amazing things can be achieved.

3. What do you usually do in your leisure time? 

Patrick Teow with friends

During my leisure time, I play golf. It's a therapeutic game that allows me to be close to nature and to spend quality time with friends who are also avid golfers. Besides this, I look forward to spending time with my loved ones over a good meal. I also enjoy the simple things in life, such as taking a walk, or reading a book.

4. Who are your inspirations in life?

There are many famous and prominent people in the world that I respect and admire. There are loads that I can learn from them and reading their life stories provide me with a host of inspirations.

Even watching a movie or reading a book that tells about an underdog who did good, does inspire me to do better with my life - I am a firm believer that ordinary people can do extra ordinary things.

People who I really admire are individuals who have reached the pinnacle of success but remain humble and rooted. Now, that's inspiration!

5. Tell us about a little-known fact about yourself.

I am a workaholic and I love what I do - my work is my hobby. While I work hard, I also play equally hard, by smelling the roses along the way each day.

6. Describe your proudest moment.

In addition to AIA Group being ranked #1 on the MDRT membership list, I am most proud when people come up to me and share how I have positively impacted their lives in some way or another. It could be a speech I have made, a letter I have written or just a simple gesture to show that I cared.

So sometimes when testimonies come my way, it does make me feel proud that I have contributed and I did something special for someone. And yes, it feels great! 

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

This is a truly meaningful and noble industry. The good that the insurance industry does is often misunderstood and diluted.

In the world of uncertainty, we provide certainty and what we deal with day in day out, are about peoples' hopes, dreams, financial security, aspirations and their future, which are important to me. This is because we can make a difference to the lives of our customers and their families by doing the right thing every day.

What we do is very real and that is what has kept me in the life insurance industry for more than three decades, and am looking forward to many more years.

Q&A with Irene Ng

Irene Ng

I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Degree, specialising in Insurance, from the Nanyang Technological University Singapore.  After few years of working, I decided to pursue a Diploma in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the School of Medicine at The University of Melbourne.

I joined the life insurance industry after my graduation from NTU, and took a one year stint to study in Melbourne in between. I spent slightly more than three years with two direct insurers, and joined Gen Re in early 1999, and have been here ever since!

1. What are some of your career highlights?

Irene Ng and her colleagues at Gen Re

I wouldn't say that my career has any special great highlights, but during my more than 16 years with Gen Re, I have been lucky to be given opportunities to do different things at different point in time. In addition to heading the underwriting and claims team in the Singapore office for several years, I had the opportunity to manage client accounts for couple of years. This was great fun as I really enjoyed dealing directly with direct insurers (mostly with actuaries and marketing departments), discussing new product ideas and helping to shape new products and bringing it to fruition.  One highlight in my career is to be made the Regional Chief Underwriter for Asia. This gave me opportunity to see a much wider market than just South East Asia and India, expanding my responsibility to include Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. Seeing how similar and different each market is to the other helps broaden my mind and perspective on our business.

Of course, the key highlight to my career is to be conferred the title of IBF Fellow for Life Insurance recently. This came as a surprise, as I have never viewed my work as having such significant contribution to the industry. Nevertheless, this is a great encouragement, and spurs me to want to do more for the life insurance industry.

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

I strongly believe in lifelong learning and embracing change. No matter how many years I have been in the same industry and same job, there are new things to be learnt. This world is moving in such a fast pace, and there are never ending new things to learnt and catchup upon. I do not believe in status quo, or doing things just because it has always been done this way. I look for change, and more so to see ways that things can be done better if done differently.

3. What do you usually do in your leisure time?

Triathlon Diving at Maldives

I spend a lot of my time outside work doing sports. I enjoy swimming, running and cycling. My elder son has always been a triathlon enthusiast, and he always wanted the family to take part in triathlons together. I finally conceded to his nudging, and started taking part in various multi-sports events this year. I enjoy this thoroughly. Although being disciplined in training regularly is tough, I see this as a way of not only keeping healthy, but a way to train my mental strength, to overcome the mind to keep going even when body wants to give up. In addition to sports, I also enjoy reading, and scrapbooking.

4. Who are your inspirations in life?

My greatest inspiration in life is the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Some might think this is a cliche, but I truly admire his tenacity and perseverance. He had a great mind and foresight. Some may say that he was not a kind man, or was just plain lucky that many things go in the direction that he predicted. I don't believe that anyone has so much luck in his life. Mr Lee's untiring work for Singapore, and how he forge friendships with other nations to help Singapore gain the standing and advantage in this big world is truly admirable. 

5. Tell us about a little-known fact about yourself.

I am a great procrastinator. I would leave what needs to be done till the last minute, even when I had time in my hand to do it earlier and in a less stressful environment. I am most efficient when I have little time and that is when my brain works fastest! 

6. Describe your proudest moment.

This would definitely be when I am conferred the IBF Fellow award. It is a recognition of my years in the industry, and I hope that the many hours I spent every day in my job has influenced and benefited the insurance industry in some small ways.

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

I love my job because there is never a dull or boring day. Being an international reinsurer gives me the opportunity to not only constantly increase the depth and breadth of my knowledge on medical, actuarial, products and all aspects of the life insurance business through exposures to the international markets, but also the opportunity to meet people from a broad spectrum from the industry and from different markets. With opportunities to be involved in different projects throughout the years, working in Gen Re is definitely more than any job can offer.

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