Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 21 October 2017

Product Updates

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CommInsure kicks off new annuities strategy
CommInsure's new annuities strategy, Staggered Annuitisation, was developed in conjunction with US academic Professor Emeritus David F Babbel from Warton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The strategy attempts to address inflation and changing interest rates, while maintaining liquidity for unexpected events. The strategy addresses longevity by putting savings into three 'buckets': lifetime income annuities for early retirement, future annuities purchases if needed, and an emergency bucket. An additional bucket can be added for endowments to children. 

MLC Life adjusts health and wellbeing program
MLC Life Insurance will be offering discounted premiums (five per cent) to new life insurance customers participating in the MLC On Track program who take at least 37,500 steps each week. The deal applies for one year. 

ANZ Wealth continuing to invest in insurance
ANZ Wealth will continue to invest in its life insurance business, but it may begin to sell insurance separately from its investments, aligned advice businesses, and pensions, which have been sold to IOOF.

New claims advocacy service launched by AFRM
Australian Financial Risk Management (AFRM) has launched a new claims advocacy service for group and retail insurance holders. The final costs for super fund clients are still being decided upon.

Company Updates

Charitable option launched by AIA Vitality
AIA members will have the option to donate rewards earned to one of three charities under AIA Vitality Active Benefits incentive. These charities are The Black Dog Institute, Cancer Council Australia, and Diabetes Australia. Active Benefits will reward members with a $5 voucher every week a physical activity target is met.

BTFG reorganises advice business
BT Financial Group (BTFG) will be separating its advice staff who provide general, online, or phone based advice from those who provide face to face advice. BTFG’s current client advice facing business will be moved to a newly-created Advice and Private Wealth division. All other advice staff will be moved to another customer service team.

Regulatory Updates

Westpac faces Class Action over premiums
Westpac customers who received life insurance advice from aligned financial advisers and purchased a policy based on the advice are being encouraged to join a class action that claims the bank overcharged clients for life insurance premiums. The action has been filed by Shine Lawyers to the Federal Court of Australia and may result in a total claim of $100 million.

ASIC enforceable undertaking from Sentinel
ASIC is accepting an enforceable undertaking from Sentinel Private Wealth (SPW) after ASIC found them to be giving poor financial advice, with client file audits inadequate. Under the enforceable undertaking, SPW will engage an independent expert to assess, make recommendations, and report on their audit framework.