Sales of life insurance products up by 3pc
SALES of life insurance products rose 3pc in the first half of the year, but the continued fall in sales of 'regular' premium pensions and saving products casts a long shadow over the sector's recovery.
The half-year results were revealed in data compiled by consultants Milliman and circulated to life insurers and came amid increased scrutiny around the sale of market leader Irish Life.
The data said life insurers wrote €500.7m of new business in the first half of the year, based on the annual premium equivalent (APE) measure that smooths out the impact of 'single premium' sales by spreading them over 10 years.
The 3pc rise in new business comes after three years of decline in the life insurance industry -- including a 30pc contraction in 2009 and a 6pc fall in 2010 -- as the recession crippled people's ability to save or provide for their retirement.
The latest figures chart a continued reluctance to commit to so-called 'regular premium' products that involve a monthly pension or savings contribution.
Sales in that area were down 19pc for savings and 14pc for pensions, Milliman said.
The Government has already applied a levy on all pension funds and is now engaging with industry on further measures that will be unveiled in the upcoming Budget.