News Life and Health14 May 2019

Global insurance body supports G20 focus on ageing society

With more countries experiencing increased life expectancy and a rising elderly population, the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA) has announced its strong support for the Japanese Group of 20 (G20) Presidency's focus on the ageing society. The support reflects the important role insurers play in helping people adequately prepare for their old age and assist in reducing the government's pressure on already stretched public finances by providing a wide range of private insurance pension products, with or without life risk coverage.

Japan is slated to host the 2019 G20 Osaka summit on 28 to 29 June 2019 which will be the first G20 summit to be hosted in Japan. According to Japanese government officials, Japan will touch on issues such as the global trade imbalances and impact of ageing populations in the agenda.

“We are experiencing dramatic increases in the ratio of retirees to workers in many countries and this trend is expected to continue for years to come. This puts pay-as-you-go pension systems under severe pressure. Private pensions have a huge potential to alleviate a lot of this pressure, while helping people to take control of their retirement provision,” said GFIA president Recaredo Arias.

GFIA therefore calls for the G20 to recognise the need for further analysis of increasing longevity and ageing populations. The G20 is also urged to examine ways for government programmes and incentivised self-funded private sector products to be used to offset funding gaps related to longevity and morbidity risk. According to GFIA, the G20 Finance Track should also instruct the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to consider the availability and affordability of insurance pension savings products when developing future international standards.

GFIA was founded in 2012 by 32 life and health, property and casualty, and reinsurance associations. It now includes 42 member associations, representing the interests of insurers and reinsurers in 61 countries. These companies account for more than $4tn of total insurance premiums, which represents about 87% of total insurance premiums worldwide. The GFIA is incorporated in Switzerland and its secretariat is based in Brussels.

In Asia, GFIA represents the General Insurance Association of Japan, General Insurance Association of Korea, Korea Life Insurance Association, Life Insurance Association of Japan and Non-Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

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