Agefi: Why are you publishing a white paper to “strengthen life insurance”?
Florence Last Man : The presidential election is a privileged opportunity to express yourself about major social debates. The French guarantor, who regularly asks French people, has set up a presidential platform to foster discussions on three themes: economic recovery and sovereignty, ecosystem migration and social protection. Whichever candidate is elected, we face the reality characterized by an increase in specific risks such as cyber risk, natural disaster risk, and addiction risk. Faced with these risks, insurers have, of course, established themselves as privileged partners. In this regard, we are publishing this white paper today to challenge candidates on life insurance issues that are essential to French people.
Do you reject the idea of increasing life insurance taxation in the context of communication proposed by some economists and candidates?
Life insurance is a French favorite savings product that understands that it is a genuine Swiss Army knife. It not only allows you to protect yourself, for example by preparing for retirement or transmission, but also funding various life projects such as buying a home or studying your child. I can do it. This product is very popular with 38 million beneficiaries and 18 million subscribers, three-quarters of whom are workers, employees, intermediates, or retirees. It is also an investment in the real economy, with 61% of € 1,876 million in assets at the end of 2021 invested in businesses. Life insurance is already a reliable product, and this is one of its strengths. Candidates who listen to French and want to develop a growth, employment and more generally productive economy support life insurance.
Is the evolution of the life insurance framework really important when January inflows prove its dynamism?
The inactive amount accumulated during the Covid crisis on current accounts and regulated passbooks must be directed to the real economy for the French and recovery. To that end, we propose two types of measures. First, we believe we need to improve our retirement savings plan (PER) incentives by raising the deduction limits for these investments from 10% to 20% of professional income. Next, you need to update certain parameters for life insurance. Therefore, in light of the increase in life expectancy, we propose to raise the pivot age from 70 to 75 and the allowances from € 30,500 and € 152,500 to € 46,000. 204,000 euros to take into account changes in living expenses.
Can insurance companies do more than that?
We have signed a contract with the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Mer to facilitate the clarification of the fees charged on life insurance contracts. The insurance company has promised to standardize the cost display. This makes it easy to compare costs. We are also considering a new pre-contract information document (“PRIIPS”) for life insurance policyholders. If such documents are required by European regulations, care must be taken that the density of information does not complicate it too much. It is also important to adapt the information to each market, especially the French market, which is distinguished by a distribution model based on mentoring.
At the European level, are you happy with your plans to reform the Solvency 2 Directive?
I did not agree with the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions (Eiopa) proposal. Members of the European Commission are fairly correct as they recognize that European insurers already have very sufficient capital and may be able to release € 90 billion in capital. I’m heading in the direction. It is important to remember that internationally active European insurers are facing global competition where players on other continents are not subject to restricted regulations like us. It is also important that Solvency 2 does not penalize its investment in infrastructure or its European priority, economic greening. Therefore, this subject is not only technical, but also political and essential, especially for the ecological transition of Europe. Therefore, it is imperative that the candidate grab it!