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Teman Anda Sepanjang HayatYour Friend For Life

Memahami Bonus TunaiPolisi Insurans Hayat Anda

Understanding Cash BonusesOf Your Life Insurance Policies

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LIFE INSURANCE ASSOCIATIONOF MALAYSIANo. 4, Lorong Medan Tuanku SatuMedan Tuanku, 50300 Kuala LumpurTel: 2691 6168, 2691 6628, 2691 8068Fax: 2691 7978E-mail: [email protected]: //

Memahami Bonus Tunai Polisi Insurans Hayat Anda

Understanding Cash Bonuses of

Your Life Insurance Policies

Teman Anda Sepanjang Hayat

Your Friend For Life

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Selama ini, pemegang polisi mengharapkan janji kontrak polisi mereka akandipenuhi oleh syarikat insurans hayat. Mereka mengharapkan kadar bonus yangtercatat di dalam polisi mereka akan dibayar oleh syarikat insurans tanpa mengambilkira perubahan dalam kitaran ekonomi.

Sememangnya, syarikat insurans hayat telah dan sedang menunaikan amanahtersebut. Namun begitu, perubahan dalam kitaran ekonomi di sepanjang tempohsepuluh tahun ini telah memaksa syarikat insurans untuk menyemak semulakadar bayaran bonus.

Matlamat buku kecil ini adalah untuk menjelaskan sebab-sebab kadar bayaranbonus atau dividen tunai berubah mengikut faktor ekonomi.

Buku ini adalah sebahagian daripada projek yang telah dilaksanakan oleh PersatuanInsurans Hayat Malaysia (LIAM) untuk mendidik orang ramai tentang berbagaiaspek insurans hayat. Ia merupakan kompilasi rencana-rencana yang telahditerbitkan bersama Utusan Malaysia, New Sunday Times dan Nanyang SiangPau.

L. MeyyappanPresidenPersatuan Insurans Hayat MalaysiaKuala Lumpur

Februari 2002


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For a long time, policyholders expect what the promises that they have signed forwith their respective life insurance company be honoured. They would expect thatthe bonus rate stipulated in their policies would be paid regardless of thefluctuations in the economic cycles.

True, life insurance companies have honoured, and still are honouring this trust.However, fluctuations in the economic cycles in the last 10 years require thesecompanies to readjust their bonus rate payouts.

This booklet sets out to explain the reasons why bonus payouts or cash dividendsmay vary due to economic factors.

This booklet is part of an ongoing programme undertaken by the Life InsuranceAssociation of Malaysia (LIAM) to educate Malaysians in various aspects of lifeinsurance. It is a compilation of articles that first appeared in the Utusan Malaysia,New Sunday Times and Nanyang Siang Pau newspapers.

L. MeyyappanPresidentLife Insurance Association of MalaysiaKuala Lumpur

February 2002


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Kandungan/ Contents/

Diterbitkan di Utusan Malaysia:

1. Bonus: Faedah Daripada Perlindungan Tambahan 1

2. Bonus: Memahami Kadar Pembayarannya 5

3. Bonus: Ke Arah Keseimbangan Ekonomi 9

4. Bonus: Melabur Ikut Undang-Undang 14

Published in the New Sunday Times:

1. Adjusting Bonus Rate or Cash Dividend for Smoother Return 17

2. Time To Get Real About Payout Rates 21

3. Bonus Payment Projections Cannot Be Optimistic All The Time 23

4. Fine-Tuning Bonus Payouts To Meet Changing Economic Times 25

5. Equity Between Different Generations of Policies 27

6. Difficult Balancing Act With Lower Returns 29

7. Insurance Just Another Investment Tool 31

1. 33

2. 34

3. 36

4. 38

5. 40

6. 42

7. 44

8. 46

9. 48

• Contents of the articles in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin may differ due toupdating of information or editing by the respective media at the point of publishing.

• Whilst every endeavor has been made to ensure the information provided is correct,the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) is not responsible for anymisstatement expressed in the booklet.

• LIAM welcome the reproduction of any section of the booklet without prior permission.

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17Y O U R F R I E N D F O R L I F E

Policyholder Ms Wendy Ng bought awhole-life participating insurance policyof RM300,000 in 1980.

At the time of the purchase, her agenttold her that she would receive a yearlycompound reversionary bonus of RM30for every RM1,000 insured till thepolicy matured, or till she surrenderedher policy upon death. She was happywith the terms and so she signed onthe dotted line.

Early this year she read in thenewspapers that her insurance companyannounced that it would be cuttingbonus to RM25 for every RM1,000insured for all “participating” policiesfrom January 2001 onwards.

She was rather upset, as for the past 20years she received a yearly bonus ofRM30 for every RM1,000 insured. Andnow the company is cutting RM5 orabout 17 per cent off the bonus.

The company explained that bonuspayments depended on several factorsmainly the return on investments. Acontinuing poor investment market may



necessitate a cut in the bonus rates.

Having not being educated in theprinciples of economics, Ms Ng couldmake no sense of what her insurancecompany was talking about.

She could not understand why herbonus had to be cut, when she hadtrusted her agent who had told her thatshe would get the amount of bonusthat she had signed up for as stipulatedin the policy.

Over the next six to 12 months,hundreds of thousands of people likeMs Ng who have taken a life insurancepolicy may have their bonus in theirpolicies cut.

And there are many policyholders likeMs Ng who do not understand whytheir bonus should be cut. Invariably,most policyholders get angry with theirrespective insurance companies, blamingthem for short-changing and betrayingtheir trust.

What are these bonuses? Why arebonuses paid at all? Why do insurance

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18 Y O U R F R I E N D F O R L I F E

companies decide to cut bonuses now,after years of paying out high rates ofbonus?

The bonus that you get when you buyan insurance policy is the extra amountof money that is paid with the finalbenefit. It is really a form of coveragein addition to the sum that you havebeen insured for.

However, the insurance policy that youbuy, which could be an endowment(meaning up to a certain age) or awhole life (meaning till your death),must be “participating” (meaning youshare in the company’s surpluses). Andsuch a policy usually carries a slightlyhigher premium.

The bonus rate is usually expressed asan amount in ringgit for everyRM1,000 insured. The RM1,000 figureis used for easy calculation and forcommunicating to the policyholders.

To get the actual amount of bonus paid,first you divide the sum you have beeninsured for by RM1,000 and thenmultiply the result by the rate of thebonus.

In Ms Ng’s case, with the RM30 forevery RM1,000 insured, her RM300,000policy would have an annual bonus ofRM9,000 (RM300,000 divided byRM1,000 multiply by RM30).

And since Ms Ng’s bonus is acompound reversionary, then herRM9,000 will be “reverted” back toher policy, to earn interest as well.

Insurance companies declare bonusesfrom surpluses, which technically isdefined as “the difference between thelife insurance fund and the policyliabilities”.

In simple language, how fat the surplusis will depend on the returns onthe investments as well as theinsurance company’s liabilities and otherfactors.

Past good performances have enabledinsurance companies to build upsurpluses, but these have been erodedby the very poor investments in thepast several years.

Whatever remaining surpluses there arewill be depleted if the bonuses continueto be paid at the current levels. Hence,a cut is needed to rebuild and strengthensurpluses.

This surplus is not calculated for eachindividual policyholder but for allpolicyholders, and is arrived at by usinga basis of valuation in each year.

To calculate how much to pay out inbonuses in future, companies makecertain assumptions:

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1) The mortality rate, which is thenumber of policyholders who diefrom year to year in the future.

2) The interest rate, which is thereturns the company gets from itsfuture investments of its funds.

3) The expenses, or the amount ofmoney spent in future on suchitems as management andadministrative expenses, and agents’commissions.

There are two types of bonuses —reversionary and cash (the latter is alsocalled cash dividends).

A reversionary bonus is one where thesum is not paid out immediately ascash but is “reverted” back to the policyto enhance its coverage and maturityvalue.

There are two types of reversionarybonuses — simple and compounded.

A simple reversionary bonus is a flatbonus with no interest compounded, andit is declared as a proportion inpercentage terms of the sum insured only.

A compound reversionary bonus is onewhere the bonus earned in the pastcould also earn interest in the currentyear, and is declared as a percentage ofthe total of the sum insured plus existingbonuses.

As a matter of marketing strategy, somecompanies may declare several levels ofreversionary bonus, varying with theclass of policy or with the date such apolicy is effected or the age of the personinsured. Other companies may justdeclare a uniform rate for allparticipating policies.

The second type of bonus — cashbonus — comes in the form of cashpayment or dividends, with nocompounding of interest.

For this form of bonus, most insurancecompanies provide their policyholderswith two options — either you takeout the cash yearly or leave the moneywith the company to accumulate andenjoy the interest as well.

There is also a third type of bonuscalled the “terminal or final” bonus,where the policyholder gets to enjoythe benefits of capital appreciation ofthe company’s equity and real estateinvestments.

Such a bonus is paid upon maturity ofan endowment policy or upon the deathof the person insured or when a whole-life policy is surrendered. Usually thelonger a policy has been in force, thegreater will be the amount of “terminal”bonus allotted to it.

A reversionary bonus can be cashed outby the policyholder surrendering his

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policy, while a cash bonus or dividendcan also be cashed out but without thepolicyholder giving up his policy.However, there are some companies thatallow policyholders to cash out theirreversionary bonus without surrenderingtheir policies.

Like Ms Ng, many policyholders maybe wondering whether their respectiveinsurance companies can cut thebonuses at will.

Yes, any insurance company, usingproper valuation methods carried outby an actuary that it has appointed,can lower or raise the bonus rate orcash dividend payout.

Why are insurance companies doingthis? To provide a smoother return.

In good times, the companies declare abonus lower than the actual return, with

the excess credited to surplus. In badtimes, they declare a bonus higher thanthe actual return by taking the shortfallfrom the surplus.

The cut in bonus during a continuousperiod of poor investment performanceis needed to rebuild surpluses and tostrengthen the solvency or financialstrength of the company so that thecompanies can fulfill all policyholders’liabilities.

The insurance company can make theannouncement either in majornewspapers or in the notice it sent topolicyholders regarding their bonuspayout.

• New Sunday Times, 23 September2001.

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When our policyholder Ms Wendy Ngsigned on the dotted line for herRM300,000 insurance policy (see earlierarticles), her agent told her to havecomplete trust in the company indelivering what had been spelt out inthe document.

So when the company cut her bonusshe wondered whether she could trustthe company to keep to its word aboutpaying the future rate of bonus asprojected.

It is said that trust is a feel-goodintangible thing. When you trustsomeone, you believe that whatever hasbeen projected will be carried out.

Undoubtedly to many policyholders likeMs Ng, the cut in bonus rates hasdented, though not shattered, theirconfidence.

And to some accepting the cut, whichmay have come suddenly, is a bitter pillthat is hard to swallow.

As an insurance agent once said: “Itgives no pleasure to tell clients of the



cuts. People have sleepless nights overhow to address the problem of tellingpolicyholders.”

Some insurance companies see thewhole issue as a business philosophy.As far as they are concerned, they takethe position that life insurance is a long-term business.

They want to establish an element oftrust that they deliver what they haveprojected. To them the issue is reallywhere they can afford to pay, they willcontinue to pay. They want the publicto continue trusting them.

Be it as it may, those buying a lifeinsurance policy must be fully awarethat bonuses are NOT guaranteed.

Bonuses are paid out only if there aresurpluses from the life funds, whicharise from good investment returns andafter accounting for liabilities and otherfactors.

Even if there are strong surpluses inany single year, insurance companiesmay choose to retain some of these in

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the interest of maintaining a steadybonus payout in future.

The situation is similar to that of apublic-listed company paying dividends.There is no guarantee that the companywill pay a dividend each year; nor isthere a guarantee it will pay the samerate of dividend each year.

It is also the same with anypublic-listed company where in anyone year when it makes exceptionallygood profits, it does not mean thatthe company will pay out the entireamount of its earnings. It would

still pay part of it and yet retain therest for future expansion of thecompany.

It must be remembered that decisionsto cut the bonus rates do not reflect aweakness of the financial strength of aninsurance company.

In fact a good or bad rating that aninsurance company gets from a creditrating agency has nothing to do withhow consistent the company paysbonuses.

• New Sunday Times, 30 September 2001.

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When policyholders take up aparticipating life insurance policy, theyhave the belief that the bonus to bedeclared by the life insurance companyconcerned would bear a semblance ofwhat had been declared in the past.

However, to be fair no policyholdershould hold the insurance company towhat have been projected by them 10or 20 years ago when the documentwas signed then.

In simple economics the real returns,net of costs and expenses, can fall tovery low levels in a poor investmentclimate.

Ultimately, the argument that thegreater good must always prevail musttake precedence. Products that insurancecompanies sell are priced at levels thatdo not threaten the solvency of theinsurance company in the long run. Itis to no one’s benefit if an insurancecompany goes bust.

The onus therefore lies with theinsurance companies to refrain fromusing far too optimistic projections for

the benefit of illustrating the long-termworth of their products when marketingthem to potential policyholders.

If the projections are far too optimisticcompared to past trends or evencompared to competitors, then the stageis set for bonus revisions down the road.

The real cap to such optimisticprojections is the interest rate that theinsurance companies can reasonably beexpected to deliver to their clients inthe long term.

There are a number of factors whichmay throw the insurance companies’projections and assumptions askew.These are mortality rates, interest ratesand expenses.

A prolonged unforeseen downturn inthe stock market could knock theinterest rates assumptions askew.Insurance companies will always tryto avoid a negative yield spread,meaning the gap between a guaranteedreturn on the policy to the policyholderand the actual return from theirinvestments.

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Thus it boils down to insurancecompanies consistently generating alevel of return on investments of theirinsurance funds that is comfortableenough for them to pay theirpolicyholders the promised rate ofbonuses over the long term.

In the 1970s and 1980s when interestrates and returns on investments werehigh, insurance companies had noproblem delivering what they hadpromised their policyholders.

But from the mid-1990s, especially afterthe Asian financial crisis which was anunforeseen and unexpected economicand financial event, the Malaysian stockmarket and local interest rates went allthe way downhill, and had yet to recoverto pre-crisis levels.

The possible reduction in bonus ratesby Malaysian insurance companies isvery much in line with currentinternational practices.

Though this is the first time bonusrates are reduced in Malaysia, it hasbeen a common practice in manydeveloped countries for many years.

In the United Kingdom, for example,bonuses tended to increase as interestrates and returns on investmentsincreased from 1950 onwards.

But when investment returns declinedsince 1990, the life insurance industryin the United Kingdom as a wholeeventually has had to reduce the bonusrates.

A similar situation exists in othercountries such as the United States andJapan, where the bonus rates payableon life insurance policies are revisedperiodically to reflect the actual returnson investments.

In Singapore, some insurance companieshave cut their bonus rates, as thecircumstances in the island republic arevery similar to Malaysia’s, where theinvestment returns are driven byprolonged low interest rates.

• New Sunday Times, 7 October 2001.

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When our policyholder Ms Wendy Ngbought her life insurance policy in1980, the country was in the midst ofa growing prosperity.

Development was everywhere.The 1970s and the 1980s, and eventill the middle of the 1990s, theMalaysian economy was growing at animpressive average of seven to nine percent a year.

Everywhere and everything werebooming. Primary commodities werehaving their run of prices. Exports roseto record levels, and external foreignreserves were rising. It was certainlyeconomic party time.

Prosperity was written on the faces ofalmost everyone. Standards of livingimproved tremendously, even for thoseliving in the rural areas. Jobs wereaplenty.

Money flowed in by the billions ofringgit. Interest rates rose, and despitethis borrowings for business and forbuying houses were still consideredcheap.

Of course in between periods ofprosperity there were the slowdowns anda recession, but these were just viewedas part of the long economic cycle ofprosperity that needed to get rid of theexcesses once a while. Then came theAsian crisis of 1997, which almostwiped out the nation’s wealth, and thepeople’s prosperity almost vanished intothin air.

Unemployment swelled, incomes fell,and private consumption shrank. Shopswere empty, and the ringgit spun intospace out of control until a string ofcapital control measures brought it backto earth.

Interest rates fell, and today theyreached record low levels. Banks areflushed with cash, as no one wants tospend; neither are there manyborrowers. Foreign investmentsdwindled as the capital controlsinsulated the affected economy.

Companies plunged into the abyss ofbad loans, with some committed to thecorporate graveyard. Till today, theeconomic outlook remains uncertain.

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The last 25 to 30 years of the economyhave been a roller-coaster ride for manypeople.

Those who went through it canunderstand the agony of those tryingto predict what’s in store in the future,even for as short as the immediatefuture.

For many years, the prosperity hasgenerated very good investment returnsfor insurance companies. Even the highinterest rate regime has been more thana blessing.

So when Ms Ng took out her lifeinsurance policy, her insurance companywas able to deliver consistently the highrate of bonus that had been projected.

After all, with returns from investingthe insurance funds so good, and gettinghigh interest income a breeze, insurancecompanies did not mind sharing thegains with their policyholders.

Indeed, many other insurancecompanies were offering even betterbonus rates too as the race to competefor a bigger market share of the retaillife insurance business picked up,reaching its peak in boom times.

But the last five years or so have seenan economic maelstrom with a visionahead so blur that many insurancecompanies are getting more cautiousthan ever.

It would be suicidal for insurancecompanies to keep on giving high bonusrates, while at the same time gettingmeagre below the line returns from theirinvestments, and with interest ratesstaying near the floor.

Cutting bonus rates is not an easy taskfor life insurance companies to do. Notthat they could not face theirpolicyholders, but more that some ofthe policies may mature in the nextfew years. And to cut the bonus ofsuch policies now would seem to manyas a “cruel” act.

But to insurance companies the choiceis a matter of survival. As it has beensaid, it does no one any good if theinsurance company folds up on accountof maintaining high bonus rates.Everyone loses.

• New Sunday Times, 14 October 2001.

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The fast changing economicenvironment, from one of prosperity toone of gloom but not doom, has createdwhat the insurance industry would call“inequity” between different generationsof policies.

In the 1970s and 1980s when interestrates were higher, and investment returnsbetter, life insurance policies were soldwith attractive bonus rates. But newerpolicies in the mid- and late 1990s weresold with lower-yield benefits.

The revisions of the bonus rates ismerely an attempt on the part ofinsurance companies to achieve an“equity” between different generationof policies.

Under what is commonly known as theconcept of “inter-generational support”,in all participating life insurance plans,the premium of policyholders go into alife fund.

In a wider perspective, by buying aninsurance policy, people are in factinvesting in a managed fund, whererisks and rewards are shared. The only

difference is that there is no volatilitybecause “different generations supportone another”, which is really a conceptof ‘smoothened’ returns topolicyholders.

Adjustments to bonuses paid out arethen a way to fine-tune the life fund tothe changing economic environment.

Thus, as the interest rates and rates ofreturn on investments go lower,insurance companies must adjust theirbonus rates downwards, andpolicyholders’ expectations must also bechanged accordingly.

In this context, the annual bonus, inthe form of reversionary or cash bonus,can be said to be the stable portion ofreturns in the form of dividend andinterest income.

The terminal bonus then reflects therealised and unrealised capital gains onthe life fund.

Logically, if there is volatility in thereturns on investment and interest rates,then the terminal bonus is the one tobe adjusted.

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But looking into the future, if rates ofreturn are expected to trend lower, theneither the reversionary, cash or terminalbonus would have to be adjusted,depending on the product.

On the other side of the coin, there isa counter-argument that to use“maintaining the equity betweendifferent generation” as a reason for thecut could be a lame excuse.

This argument goes that this “inequity”starts in the year a life insurancecompany knows of the likelihood ofthe projected bonuses not being met.

Instead, the insurance companies keepmaintaining the bonus rate in the faceof competition or other businessconsiderations.

The argument says that theenvironment of low interest rates hasbeen around since the 1990s, and thatthere is no denying that insurancecompanies are not aware of this.

It has been said that life insurancecompanies, through their actuaries, aresupposed to monitor the likelihood ofmeeting their bonus commitments ona yearly basis.

They are required to perform tests toensure bonuses declared can be

sustained for at least the comingyears.

In Malaysia, the low interest rate regimestarted in mid-1999. According toBank Negara , the average discount ratesfor Treasury Bills fell from around 5.5per cent a the beginning of 1999 to 2.7per cent after June 1999 (for three-month), from around 5.6 per cent toaround two to three per cent (for six-month), and from 5.6 per cent toaround 3.3 per cent (for 12-month).

In the 20-odd years before 1999, theinterest rates for Treasury Bills stayedvery much in the five to seven per centrange.

Similarly, the market indicative yieldsfor Malaysian Government securitieshave fallen from around seven to eightper cent to about three to four per centin the last 10 years.

As a comparison, the dividends thatthe Employees Provident Fund pays itscontributors have also fallen in the last20 years from 8.5 per cent to the presentsix-odd per cent.

• New Sunday Times, 21 October 2001.

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What policyholder Ms Wendy Ngwants when she signed up for her lifeinsurance policy is that the insurancecompany deliver to her what it has beenprojected.

In a generally stable economicenvironment, which existed in the1970s and 1980s, delivering what hasbeen projected is easy.

But with the ever-changing economicand financial environment whereuncertainty is the only known stablefactor, delivering what has beenprojected has become a challenge formany life insurance companies.

With a poorer investment climate verymuch upon Malaysia (the stock marketis substantially down from its peak andinterest rates are hitting the floor),insurance companies are finding it evenmore difficult to avoid what financialanalysts could call a “negative yieldspread”.

In simple terms this means the returnsthat an insurance company getsfrom investing its life insurance funds

(which are essentially the premiums ofthe policyholders) are lower than thebonus rates projected to thepolicyholders.

Insurance companies have always triedto avoid such a situation.

But with the trend for lower interestrates and lower returns on investmentsmoving increasingly lower and lower,doing the balancing act has becomemore than a challenge.

In Malaysia investments of life insurancefunds by insurance companies areregulated by the main regulatory body,Bank Negara.

Under the Insurance Act 1996, whichgoverns all those doing insurancebusinesses in the country, there is aschedule that spells out how the fundsare to be invested.

For low-risk assets, the life insurancefund can invest in the aggregate aminimum of 20 per cent with nomaximum limit, while for cash anddeposits there is no limit.

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For shares there is a maximum limit of30 per cent in the aggregate, and foreach individual investment there is amaximum limit of five per cent of theinvestee company’s equity.

For immovable properties, themaximum limit in the aggregate is 20per cent, and for equity and propertytrusts 10 per cent in aggregate but forindividual investment, it is five per centof the total issue of the trust fund.

For policy loans there is a maximumlimit of 20 per cent in aggregate, andfor secured and unsecured creditfacilities, the limit is 40 per cent in

aggregate and five per cent for any oneborrower or group of borrowers. Thereis no limit for zero coupon bonds.

The argument that the regulations aretoo restrictive with regards to how lifeinsurance funds are to be invested isequally as valid as the argument thatregulations have to be strictly enforcedto ensure credible investment principlesare applied since the money investedcome from policyholders.

• New Sunday Times, 28 October 2001.

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Restrictions on how the life insurancefunds are to be invested work well inan era of prosperity where the stockand money markets are enjoying goodreturns.

But in a downturn where returns aregetting to be less than the costs ofinvesting the funds, the restrictions canconstrict the earnings potential of thefund.

The restriction on how the life fund isto be managed is one contributingfactor to the declining returns oninvestments.

The rate of return on investments,which is also dropping over the last 10years, is the other contributing factor.

According to figures compiled, the netrate of interest earned, or the rate ofreturn on investments, was around 7.2per cent (excluding capital gains) andaround 10 per cent (if capitals wereincluded) in 1990.

By 1999, this figure dropped to 6.5 percent (excluding capital gains) and 8.9

per cent (including capital gains). Andthe expectation is that the rate of returnwill trend even lower in the coming years.

At the same time, expenses, which arealso considered when calculating thebonus rate for policyholders, have beenmaintained at their relatively high levelswithin the same 10-year period.

Total expenses for the period weremaintained at 30 to 45 per cent ofannual premium income, with agencyrenumerations accounting for 20 to 35per cent, insurance companies’ staffrenumeration three to four per cent,and other expenses five to 12 per cent.

Despite what policyholders may thinkof the cut in the bonus rates, and despitethe insurance industry’s concern withdeclining investment returns andinterest rates, policyholders should berest assured that life insurancecompanies are seeking to optimise theirinvestment returns.

And this is done within the constraintsof safety and all available investmentinstruments for life insurance funds.

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More importantly, the industry willcontinue to manage its businessprudently so as to ensure that futureexpectations of policyholders are met.

As a financial adviser once put it:“At the end of the day, insurancepolicies are just another investment tool.Their attractiveness, like shares orbonds, depend largely on their level ofreturns.”

For our policyholder Ms Wendy Ng,her life insurance policy is another formof investment with a steady income.

In good times, the income is higher; inbad times there is less income.

But so long as the original sum assuredremains intact and can be redeemedupon her policy maturing or on herdeath, there is no reason why Ms Ngcannot sleep soundly at night.

And so should all other policyholders.

• New Sunday Times, 4 November 2001.


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1T E M A N A N D A S E P A N J A N G H A Y A T



Cik Aminah, seorang pemegang polisitelah membeli polisi penyertaan seumurhidup sebanyak RM300,000 padatahun 1980.

Ketika pembelian, ajennya telahmemberitahu bahawa beliau akanmenerima bonus berbalik majmuktahunan sebanyak RM30 bagi setiapRM1,000 yang diinsuranskan sehinggapolisi matang, atau sehingga penyerahanpolisi selepas kematian. Cik Aminahamat gembira dengan perjanjiantersebut dan terus menandatanganinyadengan segera.

Pada awal tahun ini, Cik Aminahterbaca di dalam akhbar bahawa syarikatinsurans beliau telah mengumumkanpemotongan bonus kepada RM25 bagisetiap RM1,000 yang diinsuranskanbagi kesemua polisi penyertaan bermulaJanuari 2001.

Beliau berasa kurang puas hati keranatelah menerima bonus tahunansebanyak RM30 bagi setiap RM1,000yang telah beliau insuranskan selama20 tahun yang lalu. Sekarang, syarikat

itu pula akan memotong RM5 ataulebih kurang 17% daripada bonustersebut.

Syarikat insurans pula menjelaskandisebabkan hala pulangan pelaburanyang rendah dan juga bagi memperbaikiketidakadilan di antara generasi polisiyang berbeza, pemotongan sebegitutidak dapat dielakkan.

Oleh kerana kurang arif di dalamprinsipal ekonomi, Cik Aminah tidakdapat menerima apa yang telahdijelaskan oleh syarikat insuransnya.

Dia tidak faham mengapa bonustersebut mesti dipotong, sedangkan diamempercayai apa yang telah diberitahuoleh ejennya yang beliau akan menerimajumlah bonus ternyata di dalam polisiyang telah ditandatanganinya.

Bagi tempoh enam sehingga 12 bulanyang akan datang, beratus ribu orangseperti Cik Aminah yang telahmengambil polisi insurans hayat akanmengalami pemotongan ke atas polisimereka.

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Dan juga terdapat ramai pemegang-pemegang polisi seperti Cik Aminahyang tidak faham mengapa bonusmereka perlu dipotong. Dan sepertinyajuga, kebanyakan pemegang polisi akanberasa marah dengan syarikat insuransmasing-masing, dan menyalahkanmereka kerana mengkhianatikepercayaan mereka.

Apakah sebenarnya bonus-bonus tersebut?Mengapakan bonus-bonus dibayar?Mengapakah syarikat-syraikat insuransmemutuskan untuk pemotongan bonus-bonus pada masa sekarang setelahbertahun-tahun membayar dengan kadarbonus yang tinggi?

Bonus yang telah anda terima apabilaanda membeli polisi insurans adalahjumlah wang tambahan yang dibayardengan faedah yang terakhir. Ianyamerupakan satu bentuk perlindungantambahan kepada jumlah yang telahdiinsuranskan.

Bagaimanapun, polisi insurans yangtelah anda beli, yang mungkinnya satuendowmen (bermaksud sehinggasesuatu tahap umur) ataupun seumurhidup (bermaksud sehingga kematian),mestilah bersifat “penyertaan”(bermaksud anda berkongsi dengankeuntungan syarikat). Dan polisi-polisitersebut biasanya mengenakan premiumyang lebih tinggi.

Kadar bonus biasanya dinyatakansebagai jumlah di dalam ringgit bagisetiap RM1,000 yang diinsuranskan.Angka RM1,000 digunakan bagimemudahkan pengiraan danberkomunikasi dengan pemegang -pemegang polisi.

Bagi mendapatkan jumlah sebenarbonus yang dibayar, anda mestilahmembahagikan jumlah yang telah andainsuranskan kepada RM1,000 dankemudiannya menggandakan dengankadar bonus.

Di dalam kes Cik Aminah, denganRM30 bagi setiap RM1,000 yangdiinsuranskan, polisinya sebanyakRM300,000 sepatutnya mendapatbonus tahunan sebanyak RM9,000(RM300,000 dibahagikan kepadaRM1,000 dan digandakan denganRM30).

Dan oleh kerana bonus Cik Aminahadalah bonus berbalik majmuk,jumlah RM9,000 akan “dikembalikan”semula kepada polisi beliau di manaianya juga layak untuk menerimafaedah.


Syarikat insurans mengisytiharkanbonus daripada perolehan keuntungan,yang secara teknikal didefinisikan

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sebagai “perbezaan di antara danainsurans hayat dan liabiliti polisi.”

Secara mudah, besarnya keuntunganadalah bergantung ke atas pulanganpelaburan dan juga liabiliti sesebuahsyarikat insurans dan juga faktor-faktorlain.

Keuntungan ini tidak dikira ke ataspemegang polisi secara individu, tetapiuntuk kesemua pemegang-pemegangpolisi dan ianya diperolehi denganmenggunakan asas penilaian setiaptahun.

Untuk mengira berapa banyak bonusyang perlu dibayar pada masa akandatang, syarikat akan membuatbeberapa andaian tertentu :

1. Kadar kemortalan, apakah angkapemegang polisi yang meninggaldunia tahun ke tahun pada masahadapan.

2. Kadar faedah, iaitu pulangan yangdiperolehi daripada pelaburandananya pada masa hadapan

3. Kos perbelanjaan, atau jumlahwang yang akan dibelanjakan keatas perkara-perkara sepertiperbelanjaan pengurusan danpentadbiran serta komisen ejen.

Terdapat dua jenis bonus, bonusberbalik dan tunai (tunai juga dikenali

sebagai dividen tunai).

Bonus berbalik adalah di mana jumlahitu dibayar terus secara tunai tetapi“dikembalikan” kepada polisi untukmempertingkatkan perlindungan dannilai matangnya.

Terdapat dua jenis bonus berbalik, iaitumudah dan majmuk.

Bonus berbalik mudah adalah bonussetara di mana faedahnya tidakdigandakan dan ianya diisytiharkansebagai berkadar mengikut peratusanjumlah yang diinsuranskan sahaja.

Bonus berbalik majmuk adalah di manabonus yang diperolehi pada masa yanglalu akan juga memperolehi faedahmengikut tahun semasa dan ianyadisytiharkan sebagai peratusankeseluruhan jumlah yang diinsuranskandicampur dengan bonus yang sediaada.

Sebagai satu strategi pemasaran,sesetengah syarikat mungkinmengisytiharkan beberapa tahap bonusberbalik, berubah mengikut kelas polisiatau mengikut tarikh sesuatu polisidikuatkuasakan ataupun mengikutumur orang yang diinsuranskan.Syarikat-syarikat insurans lain pulamungkin akan mengumumkan kadarseragam bagi kesemua polisi-polisipenyertaan.

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Jenis bonus yang kedua –– bonus tunai,ianya adalah di dalam bentuk bayarantunai atau dividen tanpa faedahberganda.

Bagi bonus bentuk ini, kebanyakansyarikat insurans memberi pemegang-pemegang polisinya dua pilihan, samaada mengambil wang tunai setiap tahunatau membiarkan wang itu di dalamsyarikat dan mengumpulkannya untukmenikmati faedahnya sekali.

Terdapat juga jenis bonus ketiga yangdikenali sebagai bonus “terminal ataufinal”, di mana pemegang polisi bolehmenikmati faedah-faedah pengiktirafankapital ekuiti syarikat dan pelaburanhartanah.

Bonus sedemikian dibayar semasa polisiendowmen matang atau semasakematian orang yang diinsuranskanataupun semasa penyerahan polisiseumur hidup. Biasanya semakin lamapolisi berkuatkuasa, lebih besar jumlah“terminal” bonus yang akandiperuntukkan.

Di antara bonus berbalik dan bonustunai atau dividen, ada terdapat satuperbezaan. Bonus berbalik boleh ditunaikan oleh pemegang polisi semasapenyerahan polisi, manakala bonus

tunai atau dividen boleh juga ditunaikantanpa perlu menyerahkan polisi.

Seperti juga Cik Aminah, ramaipemegang polisi yang mungkintertanya-tanya sama ada syarikatinsurans masing-masing boleh membuatpemotongan bonus sesuka hati.

Ya; mana-mana syarikat insurans,dengan menggunakan kaedah-kaedahpenilaian yang bersesuaian dandikendalikan oleh aktuari yang dilantik,boleh menurunkan atau menaikkankadar pembayaran bonus atau dividentunai.

Dan syarikat insurans bolehmengisytiharkan kadar baru tanpa perlumendapatkan kelulusan daripada BankNegara, iaitu badan pengawal yangmenyelia industri insurans tempatan.

Syarikat insurans juga bolehmengumumkan sama ada di dalamakhbar-akhbar tempatan atau di dalamnotis yang dihantar kepada pemegang-pemegang polisi tentang pembayaranbonus mereka.

• Utusan Malaysia, 16 Julai 2001.

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Tatkala Cik Aminah menandatanganipolisi insurans bernilai RM300,000,ejennya telah meyakinkan Cik Aminahsupaya memberi kepercayaan penuhbahawa syarikat insurans tersebut akanmenunaikan kesemua perjanjian yangterkandung di dalam kontrak polisiinsurans.

Oleh itu apabila syarikat tersebutmembuat pemotongan kadar bonus,beliau berasa sangsi sama ada dia harusmempercayai yang syarikat tersebutakan terus menunaikan janji tentangpembayaran bonus-bonus akan datangseperti yang telah diusulkan.

Kepercayaan tiada nilai dan ukuran,apabila anda mempercayai seseoranganda yakin bahawa setiap cadanganakan dilaksanakan seperti yang telahdirancang.

Tidak dinafikan, keyakinan Cik Aminahdan juga pemegang-pemegang polisi laintelah terjejas teruk walaupun tidakmusnah dengan pemotongan kadarbonus itu. Dan bagi kebanyakan merekapemotongan yang mendadak itu, adalahseperti pil pahit yang harus ditelan.



Seorang ejen pernah berkata, “Adalahsesuatu yang sukar untukmenyampaikan berita pemotongankadar bonus kepada pelanggan.Mereka tidak dapat tidur lenamemikirkan cara yang terbaik untukmenyampaikan berita tersebut”.

Sebilangan syarikat insuransmenyifatkan isu tersebut sebagai satufalsafah perniagaan. Bagi mereka,insurans hayat adalah satu perniagaanjangka panjang. Mereka mahumewujudkan elemen keyakinan bahawamereka akan menunaikan apa sajaseperti yang telah dirancang. Bagimereka juga, isu sebenarnya ialahmereka akan terus membuatpembayaran selagi mereka mampuuntuk berbuat demikian. Mereka mahuorang ramai supaya terus meyakinimereka. Walau apapun, bagi merekayang membeli polisi insurans hayatmestilah sedar bahawa bonus-bonus itutidak dijamin sepenuhnya.

Bonus-bonus hanya akan dibayar jikasekiranya terdapat keuntungandaripada tabungan hayat yangdiperolehi hasil daripada pulangan

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pelaburan yang cekap dan setelahdiambil kira liabiliti dan faktor-faktorlain.

Jika ada sebarang keuntungan besarpada sesuatu tahun yang tertentu,syarikat insurans mungkin akanmemilih untuk menyimpansebahagiannya supaya dapat membuatperuntukkan bagi pembayaran bonusyang konsisten pada masa yang akandatang.

Situasi ini adalah serupa dengansyarikat awam tersenarai yangmembayar dividen. Tiada jaminanbahawa syarikat akan membayar dividenataupun memberi dividen dengan kadarsetara setiap tahun. Ianya juga tidakberbeza dengan mana-mana syarikatawam tersenarai yang pada sesuatutahun itu menerima keuntunganberlipat ganda, ianya tidak bermaknabahawa syarikat itu akan membahagikankeseluruhan keuntungannya. Merekamungkin mengagihkan sebahagiannyasebagai bonus dan menyimpansebahagian yang lain untukmemperkembangkan syarikat padamasa yang akan datang.

Haruslah diingat bahawa keputusanpemotongan kadar bonus tidakbermakna sistem kewangan sesebuahsyarikat insurans itu lemah. Sebenarnyakadar penarafan (rating) yang dinilaioleh agensi kredit penarafan terhadapsyarikat insurans sama ada mendapat

penarafan baik ataupun tidak, tiadakaitan dengan ketekalan syarikatmembayar bonus-bonus.

Sebilangan syarikat insurans mendapatpenarafan (rating) “triple A” yangberterusan walaupun mereka telahmembuat pemotongan kepada kadarbonus mereka. Dan sesetengahnya pulamasih mendapat penarafan (rating)“triple B” walaupun mereka tidakmembuat sebarang pemotongan kepadakadar bonus mereka.

Memang benar pemegang polisimengambil polisi penyertaan denganharapan bahawa bonus yang akandiumumkan adalah serupa dengan apayang telah diterima pada masa-masalepas.

Tidak adil

Tetapi adalah tidak adil untukpemegang polisi menuntut syarikatinsurans supaya mematuhi kesemuaperancangan yang telah dimeteraiselama 10 tahun atau 20 tahun yanglalu sewaktu dokumen ditandatangani.

Dari segi ekonomi mudah, pulangansebenar, kos dan perbelanjaan bersihboleh merosot mengikut suasanapelaburan yang lemah.

Pada dasarnya, pertikaian adalahtentang amalan supaya sentiasa

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memberikan sesuatu yang terbaikkepada pemegang-pemegang polisi.Produk-produk yang ditawarkan olehsyarikat insurans mestilah pada tahapharga yang berpatutan yang tidakmengancam kesolvenan sesebuahsyarikat insurans pada masa akandatang. Tiada sesiapa yang akanberuntung sekiranya sesebuah syarikatinsurans diisytiharkan muflis.

Tanggungjawab sebenarnya adalahterletak di tangan syarikat insuranssupaya tidak mengunjurkan huraianfaedah jangka panjang yang terlampauoptimis semasa mempromosikan produkkepada pelanggan yang berpotensi.

Jika unjuran terlampau optimisberbanding dengan arah aliran yanglepas ataupun apabila dibandingkandengan pesaing-pesaing yang lain, iniakan mengakibatkan syarikat insuransterpaksa membuat kajian semula untukmenurunkan kadar bonus yangditetapkan.

Terdapat berbagai-bagai faktor yangboleh menyebabkan unjuran danandaian syarikat insurans tidak dapatditepati. Ini adalah kadar kematian,kadar faedah yang dikenakan dan jugaperbelanjaan sesebuah syarikat. Syarikatinsurans sedaya upaya mengelakkankadar hasil negatif di antara pulanganjangkaan terhadap polisi kepadapemegang polisi dan pulangan sebenarhasil daripada pelaburan mereka.

Untuk berbuat demikian, syarikatinsurans terpaksa menjana tahappulangan pelaburan dana insuransmereka secara konsisten sehinggamereka mampu untuk membayarpemegang-pemegang polisi merekakadar bonus mengikut apa yang telahdijangkakan.

Pada sekitar tahun 1970an dan 1980an,semasa kadar faedah dan pulanganpelaburan adalah tinggi, syarikatinsurans tidak menghadapi sebarangmasalah menunaikan apa yang telahdijanjikan kepada pemegang-pemegangpolisi.

Tetapi bermula pertengahan 1990an,terutama selepas krisis kewangan Asianyang merupakan satu peristiwa ekonomidan kewangan yang diluar jangkaan,pasaran saham dan kadar faedah didalam negara Malaysia menjunam danmasih belum pulih seperti ke tahapsebelum krisis.

Pemotongan bonus oleh syarikat-syarikat insurans yang mungkin berlakudi Malaysia adalah sejajar denganamalan semasa antarabangsa. Walaupunini merupakan kali pertama kadarbonus dipotong di Malaysia, ianyaadalah satu perkara biasa di kalangannegara-negara membangun sejakbertahun-tahun yang lalu.

Di United Kingdom, contohnya, bonusterus meningkat semenjak tahun 1950

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kerana kadar faedah dan pulanganpelaburan yang tinggi. Tetapi apabilapulangan pelaburan merosot sejak tahun1990, industri insurans hayat di UnitedKingdom secara keseluruhannyaterpaksa mengurangkan pembayarankadar bonus.

Situasi yang sama wujud di negara-negaralain seperti Amerika Syarikat dan Jepun,di mana kadar bonus yang dibayar keatas polisi insurans hayat telah dikaji darimasa ke semasa bagi menggambarkanpulangan sebenar pelaburan.

Di Singapura, sebilangan syarikatinsurans telah membuat pemotongankadar bonus mereka, kerana situasi dankeadaan di pulau tersebut hampirserupa dengan keadaan Malaysia,di mana pulangan pelaburannyaditentukan oleh kadar faedah yangrendah dan berlanjutan.

• Utusan Malaysia, 23 Julai 2001.

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Sewaktu Cik Aminah seorang pemegangpolisi, membeli polisi insuran hayatnyadalam tahun 1980, ekonomi negara kitaMalaysia sedang berkembang denganpesatnya.

Pembangunan kelihatan di mana-mana.Di dalam tahun 70an dan 80an, danjuga sehingga pertengahan tahun90an, ekonomi Malaysia begitumemberangsangkan dan tumbuh padakadar purata di antara 7 ke 9 peratussetahun.

Di mana-mana dan apa sahajasemuanya begitu menggalakkan. Hargakomoditi utama melambung tinggi.Ekspot mencapai ke tahap tertinggi danrizab luar negara semakin meningkat.Ianya memang merupakan masa untukekonomi berpesta.

Kemewahan dikecapi oleh hampirkesemua orang. Tahap sara hiduppenduduk bertambah baik termasukbagi mereka yang tinggal di kawasanluar bandar. Peluang pekerjaan terbukaluas. Wang ringgit masuk berbilion-bilion ringgit. Kadar faedah pula turutmeningkat. Sungguhpun begitu,

pinjaman untuk perniagaan danpembelian rumah dikira masih rendah.

Sudah tentunya di antara tempohperkembangan dan pertumbuhan akanadanya masa lembap dan kemelesetan.Tetapi semuanya dianggap sebagaisebahagian daripada kitaran ekonomijangka panjang yang sekali-sekaladiperlukan untuk menghapuskanlebihan.

Kemudian krisis Asia 1997 menjelma,di mana ianya hampir memusnahkankekayaan negara. Kemewahan yangdikecapi orang ramai selama ini hampirhilang dalam sekelip mata. Kadarpengangguran meningkat, pendapatanmerosot dan perbelanjaan persendirian(private consumption) susut. Premis-premis perniagaan kosong dan nilaiRinggit jatuh merundum tidak terkawalsehinggalah rangkaian kaedah kawalanmodal berjaya memulihkannya semula.

Kadar faedah jatuh, dan kini ianyamencapai tahap rekod terendah. Bank-bank dibanjiri dengan wang tunaikerana orang ramai tidak mahuberbelanja dan tiada peminjam. Pelabur

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asing semakin berkurangan keranakaedah kawalan modal telah melindungikeadaan ekonomi yang terjejas.

Banyak syarikat jatuh ke dalam juranghutang lapuk dan sebahagiannya pulaterpaksa tutup kedai. Sehingga kini,keadaan ekonomi masih tidak menentu.

Di dalam masa 25 hingga 30 tahunyang lalu, ekonomi telah membentukpusingan ‘roller-coaster’ bagi ramaiorang. Sesiapa yang telah melaluinyaakan faham betapa seksanya bagi merekayang cuba membuat ramalan apakahyang akan berlaku seterusnya, tidak kirawalau sesingkat mana jangkamasaramalan itu.

Bertahun-tahun lamanya, kemewahanitu telah menghasilkan pulanganpelaburan yang begitu menguntungkankepada syarikat-syarikat insurans.Malahan rejim kadar faedah yang tinggiitu pula lebih merupakan restu kepadamereka.

Jadi apabila Cik Aminah mengambilpolisi insurans hayatnya, syarikat insuransbeliau mampu menunaikan danmemberi kadar bonus yang tinggi secarakonsisten seperti yang telah diusulkan.


Lebih-lebih lagi dengan pulangan

pelaburan yang besar dan kadar faedahsimpanan yang tinggi, syarikat insuranstidak keberatan berkongsi keuntungandengan pemegang-pemegang polisimereka.

Malah banyak lagi syarikat-syarikatinsurans lain yang menawarkan kadarbonus yang lebih baik sebagai satupersaingan untuk mendapatkanbahagian yang lebih besar di dalamperniagaan insurans hayat yang beradadi puncak sewaktu ekonomimelambung tinggi.

Tetapi dalam jangka waktu lima tahunyang lalu kita dapat melihat kitaranekonomi yang begitu kabur dan tidakmenentu menyebabkan syarikatinsurans menjadi lebih berhati-hati.

Adalah tidak bijak sama sekali untuksyarikat insurans hayat tetapmeneruskan pemberian bonus dengankadar yang tinggi, sedangkan pada masayang sama menerima pulangan yangsangat kecil dan di bawah tahap minimadengan kadar faedah simpanan yangsangat rendah.

Memotong kadar bonus bukanlah satuperkara yang mudah untuk dilakukanbagi syarikat-syarikat insurans.Bukannya mereka tidak mahubersemuka dengan pemegang-pemegangpolisi, tetapi memandangkan bahawabanyak polisi-polisi yang akan matang

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dalam jangkamasa beberapa tahun inidan dengan memotong bonus polisi-polisi tersebut sekarang, akan kelihatanseperti suatu perbuatan yang tidak adilpada pandangan orang.

Tetapi syarikat-syarikat insurans tiadapilihan lain, kerana perkara itudilakukan adalah semata-mata supayamereka dapat bertahan. Seperti apa yangtelah diperkatakan, ia tidak akanmembawa sebarang kebaikan jikasyarikat insurans meneruskanpembayaran kadar bonus yang tinggi.Semua orang akan mengalami kerugian.Ini pernah berlaku di negara Jepun dimana kadar faedah menjunam sehinggake tahap sifar selama beberapa tahun.

Malah dengan perubahan suasanaekonomi yang begitu pantas, daripadakemewahan kepada kelembapan, telahmengakibatkan apa yang dikatakan olehindustri insurans sebagai“ketidakstabilan ekuiti” di antara duagenerasi pemegang polisi yang berbeza.

Di waktu 70an dan 80an apabila kadarfaedah simpanan adalah tinggi danpulangan pelaburan lebih baik, polisiinsurans hayat telah ditawarkan dengankadar bonus yang sungguh menarik.Tetapi bagi polisi-polisi terkemudianiaitu pada pertengahan dan lewat 90ansyarikat-syarikat insurans telah mulamenawarkan polisi dengan kadar hasildan faedah yang lebih rendah.

Semakan kadar bonus itu adalahmerupakan sebagai salah satu cubaanbagi pihak syarikat insurans untukmengembalikan keseimbangan “ekuiti”di antara perbezaan dua generasi polisi-polisi ini.

Mengikut konsep yang lebih dikenalisebagai “inter-generational support”,kesemua premium polisi insurans hayatpenyertaan akan dimasukkan ke dalamdana hayat syarikat insurans. Di dalamperspektif yang lebih luas, apabilaseseorang membeli polisi insurans, diasebenarnya telah melabur di dalam danaterurus, di mana risiko dan ganjarandikongsi bersama. Apa yang berbezacuma tidak wujudnya ketidakstabilankerana polisi-polisi dua generasi yangberbeza ini sebenarnya menyokong diantara satu sama lain, di mana kesemuapemegang polisi akan menerimaganjaran yang sama.

Penyelarasan terhadap bonus-bonusyang dibayar adalah sebenarnya untukmengemaskinikan dana hayat supayaselaras dengan perubahan suasanaekonomi.


Oleh itu, apabila kadar faedah simpanandan kadar pulangan pelaburan menurun,syarikat insurans mesti menyelaras kadarbonus ke tahap yang lebih rendah.

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Dengan itu juga harapan dan jangkaanpemegang-pemegang polisi haruslahberubah dengan sewajarnya.

Di dalam konteks ini, bonus tahunansama ada di dalam bentuk tunaiataupun bonus berbalik, bolehdikatakan sebagai pulangan yang stabildi dalam bentuk dividen dan faedah.Bonus terminal akan mencerminkankeuntungan modal dana hayat yangsebenar.

Secara lojik, jika berlaku ketidakstabilandi dalam pulangan pelaburan dan kadarfaedah simpanan, terminal bonuslahyang perlu diselaraskan. Tetapi dengankeadaan sekarang, dan jangkaan masadepan, jika kadar pulangan dijangkaakan lebih menurun, sama ada bonusberbalik, tunai atau bonus terminalperlu diselaraskan kesemuanya,bergantung kepada sesuatu produkinsurans hayat itu.

Di samping itu terdapat pertentanganpertelingkahan bahawa pemotonganbonus dilakukan demi untukmengekalkan ‘ekuiti’ di antara duagenerasi yang berbeza adalah merupakansatu alasan yang tidak kukuh. Syarikatinsurans sebenarnya telah dapatmenjangkakan dengan lebih awaltentang kemungkinan bonus-bonustersebut tidak dapat ditunaikan.Sebaliknya mereka berkata bahawasyarikat insurans mengekalkan kadarbonus semata-mata untuk bersaing dan

juga disebabkan oleh faktor-faktorperniagaan yang lain.

Pertelingkahan itu juga berkata bahawakadar faedah simpanan yang rendahtelah dihadapi semenjak tahun 90an lagidan tidak dapat dinafikan yang syarikatinsurans sememangnya sedar akanperkara ini.

Syarikat-syarikat insurans hayat bersamaaktuari-aktuari mereka sepatutnyamengawasi dan mengawal sebarangkemungkinan dan berusaha untukmenunaikan komitmen bonus setiaptahun. Mereka dikehendakimenjalankan ujian-ujian untukmemastikan bonus-bonus yang akandiumumkan dapat dikekalkan untukbeberapa tahun yang akan datang.

Di Malaysia, rejim kadar faedah yangrendah telah bermula di dalampertengahan 1999 dan ianya masihbelum dapat dipulihkan.

Mengikut laporan tahunan BankNegara, purata kadar diskaun untuk BillKhazanah jatuh daripada 5.5 peratuspada permulaan 1999 kepada 2.7peratus selepas Jun 1999 (untuk tempohtiga bulan), daripada 5.6 peratus kepada2-3 peratus (untuk tempoh 6 bulan),dan daripada 5.6 peratus ke 3.3 peratus(untuk tempoh 12 bulan).

Dalam jangkamasa 20 tahun yanglampau, iaitu sebelum tahun 1999,

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kadar faedah untuk Bill Khazanah tetapberada di lingkungan tahap 5 ke 7peratus.

Begitu juga, petunjuk kadar hasilpasaran untuk sekuriti KerajaanMalaysia telah jatuh daripada sekitar 7ke 8 peratus, ke sekitar 3 ke 4 peratusbagi tempoh 10 tahun yang lalu.

Sebagai perbandingan, dividen yangtelah dibayar oleh Kumpulan Wang

Simpanan Pekerja kepada pencarumnyabagi tempoh 20 tahun yang lalu jugatelah jatuh daripada 8.5 peratus kekadar yang sekarang iaitu cuma setakat6 peratus sahaja.

• Utusan Malaysia, 30 Julai 2001.

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Apa yang diinginkan oleh pemegangpolisi Cik Aminah apabila diamenandatangani polisi insuranshayatnya ialah supaya syarikat insuransmenunaikan usulan-usulan mereka.

Semasa ekonomi di dalam keadaan yangstabil iaitu di sekitar tahun 1970an dan1980an syarikat insurans tiada masalahuntuk menunaikan kesemua usulan.Tetapi dengan keadaan ekonomi dankedudukan kewangan yang sentiasaberubah sekarang, menunaikan usulandan ramalan adalah merupakan satucabaran kepada semua syarikat insuranshayat.

Dalam suasana pelaburan yang begitulemah di Malaysia (pasaran saham telahjatuh merosot dan kadar faedahmencecah ke paras terendah), syarikatinsurans mendapati begitu sukar untukmengelakkan apa yang dikatakan olehpenganalisa kewangan sebagai “kadarhasil negatif” (negative yield spread).

Secara mudah, ia bermakna pulanganpelaburan yang diperolehi oleh syarikatinsurans daripada pelaburan danainsurans hayat (premium terkumpul

pemegang-pemegang polisi) adalah lebihrendah daripada kadar bonus yang telahdiusulkan kepada pemegang-pemegangpolisi.

Syarikat insurans sentiasa berusahauntuk mengelakkan keadaan yangsedemikian. Tetapi dengan arah alirankadar faedah dan pulangan pelaburanyang terus merosot, membuatperseimbangan adalah begitumencabarkan bagi syarikat insurans.

Di Malaysia, pelaburan dana insuranshayat oleh syarikat insurans dikawalseliaoleh Bank Negara Malaysia dan dibawah Akta Insurans 1996. Aktatersebut telah menyediakan jadual-jadual pelaburan yang perlu dipatuhioleh syarikat-syarikat insurans. Bagiaset berisiko rendah, dana insuranshayat boleh dilaburkan dengan agregatminimum 20 peratus dan tiada limitmaksimum, sementara bagi wang tunaidan deposit tidak dihadkan.


Bagi saham-saham pula, dihadkan

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kepada limit maksimum dengan agregat30 peratus dan bagi setiap pelaburanpersendirian limit maksimumnya adalah5 peratus daripada ekuiti syarikat yangmelabur.

Bagi harta tidak alih, limit maksimumadalah 20 peratus secara agregat danbagi ekuiti dan harta amanah denganagregat 10 peratus, tetapi untukpelaburan persendirian adalah sebanyak5 peratus daripada keseluruhan terbitandana amanah.

Bagi pinjaman polisi, ianya dihadkankepada limit maksimum sebanyak 20peratus dan untuk kemudahan kreditbercagar dan kredit tanpa cagaran,hadnya adalah secara agregat 40 peratusdan 5 peratus untuk mana-manapeminjam atau peminjamberkumpulan. Untuk bon kupon sifartiada sebarang limit yang dikenakan.

Pertikaian tentang peraturan danundang-undang pelaburan yangterlampau ketat adalah bersamaandengan pertikaian bahawa peraturandan undang-undang yang ketat haruslahditerapkan bagi memastikan sistempelaburan yang teratur kerana wangyang dilaburkan itu adalah milikpemegang-pemegang polisi.

Sekatan-sekatan yang dikenakan ke atascara dana hayat harus dilaburkan adalahsesuai sewaktu ekonomi melambung

tinggi di mana pasaran saham danpasaran wang menerima pulangan yangtinggi. Tetapi semasa ekonomi merosotdi mana pulangan yang diperolehiadalah kurang daripada kos pelaburan,sekatan-sekatan tersebut hanya akanmenghalang potensi untukmendapatkan lebih pulangan.

Selain daripada kadar pulangan ke ataspelaburan yang telah jatuh selama 10tahun yang lalu, sekatan-sekatan yangdikenakan ke atas pelaburan adalahmerupakan antara faktor yangmenyebabkan pulangan pelaburanmerosot.

Mengikut statistik yang telahdikumpulkan, pada tahun 1990, kadarfaedah bersih yang diperolehi, ataukadar pulangan pelaburan adalah disekitar 7.2 peratus (tidak termasukuntung modal) dan di sekitar 10 peratus(jika termasuk modal). Sehingga 1999,angka ini telah jatuh ke paras 6.5peratus ( tidak termasuk untung modal)dan 8.9 peratus (termasuk untungmodal). Dan kadar pulangan inidijangka akan terus merosot di masa-masa yang akan datang.

Pada masa yang sama, kos perbelanjaanyang diambil kira apabila menghitungkadar bonus pemegang polisi masihberada di tahap yang tinggi di sepanjang10 tahun tersebut.

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Jumlah perbelanjaan dalam jangkamasatersebut adalah merangkumi 30 ke 45peratus daripada pendapatan premiumtahunan, di mana 20 ke 35 peratusuntuk ganjaran ejen, 3 ke 4 peratusuntuk ganjaran kakitangan syarikatinsurans dan 5 ke 12 peratus untuklain-lain perbelanjaan.

Walaupun dengan apa yang difikirkanoleh pemegang polisi akan pemotongankadar bonus dan juga kebimbanganseluruh industri insurans hayat tentangkemerosotan pulangan pelaburan dankadar faedah, pemegang-pemegangpolisi boleh tetap yakin bahawasyarikat insurans hayat akan terusberusaha mengoptimumkan pulanganpelaburannya.

Dan ini semuanya dilakukan mengikutsekatan-sekatan keselamatan daninstrumen-instrumen pelaburan danainsurans hayat yang sedia ada. Dan yanglebih pentingnya ialah industri insuransakan terus mengendalikan perniagaanmereka dengan lebih berhati-hati untukmemastikan bahawa jangkaan dan

harapan masa depan pemegang-pemegang polisi dapat dipenuhi.

Seperti yang pernah dikatakan olehpenasihat kewangan, “Di suatu ketikananti, polisi-polisi insurans akanmenjadi sebahagian instrumenpelaburan. Dengan kesemua dayatarikan yang ada, seperti juga sahamdan bon, ianya banyak bergantungkepada tahap pulangannya.”

Bagi Cik Aminah sipemegang polisi,polisi insurans hayatnya adalahmerupakan satu bentuk pelaburandengan pendapatan yang tetap.

Pada masa ekonomi kukuh, pendapatanyang diterima tentulah tinggi, dansewaktu ekonomi lembap, sudahtentunya pendapatan menurun. Tetapiselagi jumlah asal yang diinsuranskantidak terjejas dan boleh ditebus apabilapolisi matang ataupun semasa kematian,tidak ada sebab untuk Cik Aminah danpemegang-pemegang polisi yang laintidak dapat tidur lena.

• Utusan Malaysia, 6 Ogos 2001.

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Ahli-Ahli Persatuan Insurans Hayat Malaysia

Member Companies of the LifeInsurance Association of Malaysia

1. Aetna Universal I nsurance Berhad

2. AMAL Assurance B hd

3. American I nternational A ssurance Company Limited

4. Arab-Malaysian A ssurance Berhad

5. Asia Life (M) Berhad

6. EON CMG Life Assurance Berhad

7. Great Easter n Life A ssurance (M alaysia) Berhad

8. Hannover Life R e, Malaysian B ranch

9. Hong Leong A ssurance Berhad

10. John Hancock Life I nsurance (M alaysia) Berhad

11. Malaysia N ational I nsurance Berhad

12. Malaysian A ssurance Alliance Berhad

13. Malaysian Life R einsurance G roup Berhad

14. Mayban Life A ssurance Berhad

15. MBA Life A ssurance Berhad

16. MCIS Insurance Berhad

17. Prudential A ssurance M alaysia Berhad

18. Talasco I nsurance Berhad

February 2002