Encouraging results for the year in the group life business; clear commitment to comprehensive BVG insurance contracts

Basel, Against a backdrop of low volatility in equity markets, Baloise Life Ltd generated a net return of 2.1 per cent in occupational pension provision business in 2017. This enabled a healthy 1.0 per cent yield for policyholders’ plan assets. It was also used to strengthen reserves by CHF 82 million in order to secure current and future annuities. Perspectiva, the partially autonomous collective foundation, continues to be successful, with more than 1,000 companies having signed up in the four years of its existence. Baloise has also emphasised its commitment to the comprehensive BVG insurance contract model.

Broad-based growth and the support from the continued expansionary monetary policy of many central banks provided fertile conditions for a good year in the capital markets, with equity markets experiencing historically low levels of volatility. In an environment still characterised by low interest rates, Baloise Life Ltd achieved sound results in the group life business. At 2.1 per cent, the net return was slightly below the prior-year figure of 2.2 per cent. However, political developments relating to occupational pensions are a cause for concern. “A financially sustainable solution needs to be found in order to restore the future viability and thus the acceptance of occupational pensions in Switzerland,” states Patric Olivier Zbinden, Head of Corporate Clients at Basler. A selective underwriting policy and healthy growth should protect existing policyholders and enable a profitable performance going forward. Premiums increased by 1.5 per cent to more than CHF 2.5 billion in 2017.

Attractive yield for insured employees

Reserves for current and future pension obligations were increased by a further CHF 82 million. Baloise Life Ltd allocated CHF 65 million to the surplus fund. It now amounts to CHF 122 million and will therefore continue to enable an attractive yield for active policyholders’ plan assets. The yield on the plan assets was a healthy 1.0 per cent for 2017, including for the portion above the income threshold (Überobligatorium), which meant Basler passed on 91.4 per cent of the total return to policyholders in the financial year. The payout rate for the portion subject to the minimum quota was 93.3 per cent, which was once again significantly above the quota stipulated by law of 90 per cent.

Perspectiva pension solution performs very well

Perspectiva, the partially autonomous collective foundation, is going from strength to strength. It is generating robust growth at a rate significantly above that of the market as a whole. More than 1,000 companies have now signed up to the foundation, underlining the attractive range of partially autonomous pension solutions for companies of all sizes and the very good upside potential.

Baloise remains committed to the comprehensive BVG insurance contract model

Baloise offers its customers the best of both worlds when it comes to pensions: comprehensive BVG insurance contracts and the partially autonomous foundation. “Regardless of our competitors’ strategic decisions, we will be maintaining the comprehensive BVG insurance contract model. Combined with our long-standing expertise, it enables us to offer the right product to every customer,” says Thomas Schöb, Head of Product Management Group Life.

The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,300 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, with Baloise Bank SoBa, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.