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Can AI led conversational commerce change insurance forever

If you’re still following the minutiae of Brexit, if you know exactly what the Backstop entails, and if you understand how the UK’s proposed departure from the EU will affect your consumer rights – congratulations! You’re in a pretty small minority. For most of us, finding out how Brexit will affect us will require us to access expert advice from service providers who have taken the time to understand the impact on ordinary citizens.

Posted on Wednesday Jun 26

The diversification trap and how to avoid it

Pension schemes often focus on maximising diversification within a scheme’s governance constraints. However, if this pursuit of diversification goes too far this can lead to risk levels being significantly greater than planned. It is important that schemes correctly gauge the extent to which each of the assets and exposures in the portfolio contribute to overall risk.
Posted on Monday Jun 24

Signs of demand pressures in the bulk annuity market

Another record breaking year in bulk annuity market is on the cards, but what does this mean for schemes and sponsors eyeing future transactions as part of their endgame?The surge in activity in the bulk annuity market seen in 2018 looks set to repeat this year as more defined benefit (DB) schemes find that they are able to insure their liabilities. We are expecting insurers to report record half year volumes with around £15bn of total transactions completed. This compares to just under £8bn in H1 of 2018.
Posted on Friday Jun 21

Bundled vs Unbundled doing the sums

There’s a lot of technical jargon when it comes to pensions. Which is why the use of ‘bundled’ and ‘unbundled’ always amuses me slightly. Amongst harsh sounding terminology like ‘uncrystallised funds pension lump sum’ and ‘trivial commutation’, ‘bundled’ and ‘unbundled’ sound kind of fluffy.An unbundled pension scheme is one in which investments are handled on a dedicated investment platform and administration is carried out by a third-party administrator, paid for by the employer.
Posted on Thursday Jun 20

Two of the proposed amendments to IFRS 17

In this video Deloitte outlines two of the proposed amendments to IFRS 17, the separate presentation of groups of assets and groups of liabilities on the SOFP and the measurement of acquisition cash flows for renewals outside the contract boundary.
Posted on Thursday Jun 20

Data Scientists taming Artificial Intelligence

Outside of tech and data driven companies the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) divides people. On the one hand you have companies like AvatarMind creating robots for children’s education and Elder care, which are fantastic concepts and who wouldn’t want to get behind that?On the other hand, you have overly-dramatic sci-fi films continue to portray AI as a potential catalyst for mankind’s annihilation only to be averted by last-minute superhero-intervention.
Posted on Tuesday Jun 18

The Pension Transfer Gold Standard

The Personal Finance Society (PFS) has seen more than 600 advice firms sign up to its Pension Transfer Gold Standard (PTGS) since it was announced in April, of which we are one. While this affords great satisfaction to each of the advice firms whose application has been accepted, the important point is what it offers to our clients.
Posted on Friday Jun 14

Your insight into cost transparency

The benefits of widespread cost transparency implementation by pension schemes has been made clear in the Netherlands, where KAS BANK has been collecting, processing and reporting on cost data for over 7 years. We have developed deep insight and understanding into the collection and reporting of costs. Access to cost transparency information can help trustees make more informed decisions, analysing their cost data in the context of their pension scheme strategy, assist with value for money assessments, potentially improve member outcomes and in turn, will boost trust and engagement across the pensions industry. We have cost transparency covered.
Posted on Thursday Jun 13

Mobile Video Technology changes the game for home insurance

A couple I know were burgled before Easter. It was a professional job - the burglars left the bleach and cloths they used to wipe away their fingerprints. It was blatant, in broad daylight, smashing through a locked bi-fold door. Like most home insurance claimants this couple had insured their home contents year after year without really giving thought to the value of what they owned. Now they have begun the long and painful process of working out what was lost and reaching settlement with their insurer.
Posted on Tuesday Jun 11

The Good Life beckons

A popular 1970s BBC sitcom, the Good Life, was based on the idea of self-sufficiency, where a suburban couple, the eponymous Tom and Barbara Good, decided to become completely independent by turning their garden into an allotment and living off whatever they could produce on it. The concept was slightly fantastical, as one would expect in a good sitcom, but self-sufficiency is back in a big way.
Posted on Monday Jun 10

Time to go back to basics with IFRS17

People are surely getting regulatory fatigue by now. Solvency II has barely churned into business as usual and here comes IFRS what? It is complex, convoluted and many times worse than Solvency II, that we have just been through in the last few years. With my actuarial thinking cap on, whenever I look at a complex problem, I always ask myself "let’s go back to basics and understand what are we trying to achieve here.
Posted on Thursday Jun 6

What do digital ecosystems mean for insurers

Will your insurance company thrive, or merely survive, in the future of digital ecosystems? How can you join one? And what happens if you are not part of one at all? Leading experts on digital ecosystems debate the issues from an insurance perspective in this panel discussion from the Swiss Re Institute conference Shaping modern underwriting
Posted on Wednesday Jun 5

How should Insurance firms be preparing for SMCR

The Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR) is coming into effect on the 9th December for FCA solo-regulated firms and will significantly change how all financial services employees are regulated. The FCA sees this as a catalyst for change - an opportunity to establish healthy cultures and effective governance by encouraging greater individual accountability and setting a new standard of personal conduct.
Posted on Wednesday Jun 5

The revised Actuaries Code

The revised Actuaries’ Code came into force on 18 May 2019, introducing a new, distinct principle of 'Speaking Up.'All actuaries are familiar with the Code, the ethical principles that we must follow when carrying out actuarial work, and in any other circumstances where our conduct could reflect on the actuarial profession. The original principles of the Code still stand, namely: integrity, competence and care, impartiality, compliance and communication.
Posted on Monday Jun 3

Shifting gears in motor insurance

There’s been a change over the past six months or so in the way telematics insurance is talked about in the media. Currently a niche proposition for the younger driver market, there is growing evidence of its efficacy in reducing road risk. As such, awareness is increasing of the benefits for other groups of motorists, including older drivers. Our own analysis identified a 35% reduction in road casualties over the past seven years amongst 17-19-year olds as telematics adoption amongst young drivers increased.
Posted on Thursday May 30

A practical guide for Trustees on Fiduciary Management

Sarah Leslie of Russell Investments summarises the recent PLSA teach-in on fiduciary management.
Posted on Thursday May 30

Dogs in the office do not compare to pensions

There’s been some pretty big changes to the office environment in recent years. The arrival of the big tech companies and reports of employees sitting on bean bags and playing table football has changed the physical working landscape. We used to have ‘dress down Friday’, now, turning up in a tie any day of the week is met with comments questioning whether I have a job interview or a court appearance!
Posted on Tuesday May 28

First Panel at Nest Insight is the state of the nation

This panel discussion, from the 2018 NEST Insight conference, takes stock of the state of UK retirement policy at the end of staging and explores the policy challenges that might be coming down the road. Data is also presented from the inaugural edition of How the UK Saves: member experience from NEST, a joint publication by NEST Insight and Vanguard that sets out a comprehensive picture of what the administration data from NEST tells us 5+ years in.
Posted on Thursday May 23

Going hybrid in the fight against insurance fraud

The insurance industry is undergoing an exciting metamorphosis. Facing heightened competition from digital disrupters and payments providers, insurers are digitising rapidly. They are adopting new technologies, channels and services in the name of transforming the customer experience. Yet, the parasite grows alongside the host.
Posted on Thursday May 23

Exciting times for actuaries predicted

Pensions are supposed to be boring – public sector pensions even more so. Actuaries are only supposed to get excited very occasionally and when they do, it’s often hard to tell that they are excited. 2019 will no doubt go down in history for many reasons – probably mainly for what didn’t happen rather than what did. It is also of course valuation year in the LGPS in England and Wales, and for lots of reasons the 2019 valuation year has the potential to be one of the most exciting valuation years yet.
Posted on Monday May 20

Harnessing big data to understand members

J.P. Morgan has, in recent years, been increasingly innovative in its use of big data to shape both their customer offer and the broader policy debate. In the second keynote from NEST Insight 2018, Anne Lester discusses some of the work they’ve done, including around understanding better the spending patterns savers exhibit immediately pre- and post-retirement.
Posted on Friday May 17

FCA Business Plan and regulatory priorities and their impact

It is worth remembering that the modern pension market is not just bound by legislation and tax relief. Last week the FCA published its 2019/20 business plan which introduces some fundamental changes to the way in which financial services firms will be run.The regulator’s priorities are laid out in the context of addressing the biggest risks to consumers and split into the big picture issues that affect the industry as a whole, and those which affect specific sectors such as retirement planning.
Posted on Friday May 17

Privacy the biggest issue for tech in 2019

Over the last few months, many of the largest tech platforms have been wrestling with the problems of safe storage and ethical usage of the vast amounts of personal data they hold. Amid rising public concern about the sheer scale of the information these platforms have gathered about us, the tech giants have struggled to prove that they are worthy custodians of such levels of information about us as individuals – how we live our lives, our preferences and goals, and what we think about the big issues of the day.
Posted on Tuesday May 14

Digital opportunities in behavioural econonomics

The first keynote from NEST Insight 2018 was from Shlomo Benartzi. Shlomo has been a leading figure in the application of behavioural insight to retirement savings behaviours over the last 15 years. In this session he focuses on how digital channels and platforms can help us to address future challenges in retirement income adequacy and the research opportunity they present.
Posted on Monday May 13

The Need for Flexicure Retirement Solutions

A major global pension crisis is threatening the sustainability of pension systems across the globe. The first pillar of pension systems, which is made of public social security benefits and aims at providing a universal core of pension coverage to address basic consumption needs in retirement, is strongly impacted by rising demographic imbalances. Pillar 1 pension arrangements are seriously weakening, as most so-called ‘funded systems’ are severely underfunded.
Posted on Thursday May 9

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