In the reporting year, Swiss Life managed an impressive 10% improvement in its segment result in its home market of Switzerland, to CHF 734 million (2014: CHF 669 million). The main driver of this pleasing outcome was the improved savings result and the risk result, which remained stable despite considerable margin pressure. Direct investment income was 1% lower than in 2014 at CHF 3.0 billion.
Long-term initiatives also contributed to this result, such as the proven distribution strategy with the sales force channels, Swiss Life Select plus brokers and partners, the expansion of the service and product offering, increased customer orientation and a renewed reduction in operating costs.
According to the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA), premiums in the Swiss Life insurance market remained steady relative to the previous year at CHF 32.5 billion. In Group life business, the market on the whole posted premium growth of 0.7% and a 2.2% reduction in individual life business. Swiss Life increased its premium volume by 4.9% to CHF 10.5 billion, thus again significantly outperforming the market as a whole. Group life business accounted for 85% of this result. Swiss Life increased its market share of group life business to 34.9% (2014: 33.2%) and of individual life business to 20.9% (2014: 20.1%), enabling the company to further consolidate its leadership position in the Swiss market.
Operating expenses rose by 10% to CHF 972 million due to higher acquisition costs from a lot of new business, higher writedowns and activated acquisition costs. Operational administrative costs, on the other hand, were reduced again.
Insurance benefits, including changes in insurance reserves, rose by 8% to CHF 12.3 billion. This mainly stemmed from higher savings premiums and the associated higher need for provisions.
The renewed optimisation of the product offering, which dovetails with the provider’s strategy of comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions, provided a strong foundation for premium growth. In individual life business, the successful product family Swiss Life FlexSave again proved very popular, despite necessary guarantee adjustments. The sale was also concluded of a further tranche of the Swiss Life Premium Immo product, which is a unit-linked life insurance policy whereby the customer’s single premium is invested in a Swiss Life real estate fund comprising Swiss commercial real estate. The development and launch of the product innovation Swiss Life Calmo IncomePlan brought to market a new solution for leading a longer self-determined life. Swiss Life Calmo Income Plan provides older customers with a comprehensive package comprising a guaranteed payout plan, flexible investment, a component for longevity protection and digital services.
As a full-range provider, Swiss Life offers its corporate customers solutions to all their occupational pension requirements. The product offering was optimised further during the reporting year and aligned more closely with customers’ needs, for example through the Swiss Life Business Premium product launched in 2015, which gives insured persons a say in the investment strategy based on their willingness and ability to assume risk. This executive solution is designed for companies which want to give their key employees more involvement in determining their own pension arrangements. The online portal Swiss Life myWorld, launched in 2015 for private clients’ and insured persons’ 2nd pillar pension provision, provides customers with a round-the-clock overview of their individual pension situation and allows them to make independent simulations.
Swiss Life aims to position itself as a leading provider of comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions in Switzerland, supporting and accompanying its customers as they live a longer self-determined life. In this respect, the expansion of its service and product offering and a complete, fully synchronised customer experience via analogue and digital channels is a fundamental part of Swiss Life in Switzerland’s strategy. The distribution successes – both in the core business and in the additional product categories of comprehensive life and pension provision – testify to Swiss Life’s increased customer orientation. One example of this is Swiss Life Immopulse. Launched in 2012, the offering has established itself within three years as a leading Swiss real estate broker for private residential property.
For 2016, Swiss Life in Switzerland will focus on its long-term initiatives to strengthen its core business as part of the “Swiss Life 2018” strategy, to strengthen its product, service and advisory offering and expand the scope for customer access. Digital transformation initiatives including the use of analogue and digital channels play a key role in this strategy.
Key figures for Switzerland
|Amounts in CHF million|
|GROSS WRITTEN PREMIUMS, POLICY FEES AND DEPOSITS RECEIVED||10 534||10 038||5%|
|Net earned premiums||10 217||9 654||6%|
|Fee and commission income||199||182||10%|
|Financial result||3 819||3 503||9%|
|TOTAL INCOME||14 452||13 370||8%|
|Net insurance benefits and claims||-12 251||-11 333||8%|
|TOTAL EXPENSE||-13 718||-12 702||8%|
|Assets under control||108 731||108 182||1%|
|Insurance reserves||89 906||86 365||4%|
|Number of employees (full-time equivalents)||2 016||1 972||2%|
|1 adjusted for the Group’s internal trademark fees, both levied and received (Swiss Life brand)|
(Swiss Life brand)