Funding longer lives

Global ageing is going to change socio-economic structures and expectations as people work longer, face greater risks of disease and require more care. How we identify and address the very diverse needs of the elderly is a key concern for citizens, governments and the financial sector. This is especially true as the share of the working population continues to shrink in proportion to the ageing population and more of the financial responsibility shifts from public to private balance sheets.

For re/insurers, ageing still bears substantial uncertainties connected to underwriting the right risks, pricing them adequately or managing claims effectively. Reducing these uncertainties could give Swiss Re access to new risk pools and provide new ways to set apart the solutions we can bring to clients. Advanced technology is also opening new ways to improve the health and lives of seniors. Insurers who can successfully tap into this will have more opportunities to develop creative, successful solutions.

Today, the financial services industry has many products that help people address risk in the “accumulation” phase of life, but better solutions are needed to help smooth uncertainties in the “decumulation” phase – this is the space where we want to help create new opportunities.

Our notable achievements in 2017:

  • As part of a major campaign launched in 2017, we first published “Who pays for ageing?”, a report that looks at the ageing wallet to identify where the money comes from today and where the opportunities are for insurers to help (see special section Funding the needs of ageing consumers);
  • We followed this with a second report, “Who are the ageing?”. Based on interviews with more than 9 000 consumers, it analyses what consumers really want, thus laying the groundwork for solutions that are more relevant and more likely to be purchased;
  • We shared this research and advanced the topic around the globe via social media, keynote presentations at client events, participation in regional campaigns and numerous media interviews, for example in The Economist.