Providing peace of mind in an environment of major demographic change
The Longevity Solutions product line helps clients to manage their solvency and cash needs.
The team works closely with SCOR’s local market teams, leveraging the Group’s deep market understanding and client franchise.
Longevity products cover the risk of negative deviation from expected results due to the insured or annuitant living longer than assumed in the pricing of the cover provided by insurers or pension funds.
Longevity: Insurers’ biggest growth opportunity?
By 2050, medical advances and access to healthcare mean the time lived in retirement will be nearly double that expected when state provisions were originally designed in the 1950s. It therefore comes as no surprise that keeping pace with this phenomenon will require difficult decisions to avoid placing an unsustainable burden on future tax-payers and employers.
Providing a sustainable framework that manages this huge demographic change is a key opportunity for the insurance sector as the onus of securing retirement income shifts towards individual savings to complement state provision.
Employer-funded plans are also being increasingly moved to the insurance sector, where they benefit from professional management and strong solvency protections. These employers are looking to insurers to ‘buy-out’ liabilities and provide security to pension scheme members. This has meant a very active risk transfer market, with year-on-year increases in the amount of longevity risk being hedged.
The relatively new nature of this market, combined with the global importance of securing financial security in old age, mean that managing longevity risk (the loss caused by policyholders living longer than expected) is going to play an increasingly important role in society.
SCOR: a leader in the Longevity reinsurance market
SCOR benefits from a prominent status as longevity experts amongst our peers and clients. Longevity is a key focus of our strategic plan, ‘Quantum Leap’, highlighting the importance SCOR places on being an active member of this market and its evolution. Our collaborative and pragmatic approach has led to long lasting partnerships with our clients and has played a key role in our achievements.
We have developed expertise in the UK de-risking market where we write longevity protection for bulk annuity providers as well as standalone longevity protection for occupational schemes. In addition, we have developed expertise in the individual annuity market with a focus on the use of medical underwriting to provide better annuity terms for individuals who provide health information when buying an annuity.
Our success has not been limited to the UK market as we have also played a pioneering role in international territories.
- In 2013, SCOR announced an innovative longevity transaction with the Netherlands-based insurer Aegon in one of the first longevity transactions in continental Europe. Learn more
- In 2015 we went on to support Sun Life Financial of Canada by providing reinsurance for the first longevity insurance transaction in Canada. Learn more
We continue to build on this success today with a very busy pipeline of opportunities from many clients.
Why is Longevity reinsurance valuable?
The transfer of Longevity Risk has significant benefits for insurers, as:
- Many already holding significant longevity risk from earlier transactions and individual annuity portfolios need to ensure this is balanced within their overall business
- It removes the need to hold capital to cover longevity risk (and replaces it with low counter party risk to highly rated balance sheets) and alleviates some of the Risk Margin strain.
- Ultimately it increases security for policyholders and shareholders.
Aside from the financial advantage of transferring longevity risk, there are numerous other reasons for hedging the risk:
- We have built up significant intellectual capital which enables us to accurately assess the risk ensuring our clients receive a fair price for the longevity hedged (for example using medical underwriting).
- As asset risk remains with the insurer, offloading the longevity risk enables clients to focus their expertise on the asset risk area, rather than building their own longevity knowledge. It also enables them to fix the liability duration, thereby easing asset-liability management.
- Bulk annuity transactions are often large, and an insurer can quickly build up a concentration of longevity risk within their wider business - especially for a specific transaction. Reinsuring all or part of this risk therefore limits their exposure and enables them to compete on larger deal sizes.
Most reinsurers are governed by the same regulatory regime as insurers so it might seem surprising that taking longevity risk is attractive to them.
The key difference for reinsurers is they can hold longevity risk alongside other risks written in domestic and overseas markets from both Life and Non-Life reinsurance. This diversification provides a more capital efficient home for longevity risk.
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