Insurers, their directors, senior management and appointed actuaries should note the significant changes proposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to the MAS Notice 320 on the management of participating life insurance business.
The following proposed changes are intended to safeguard policy owners' interests, and to avoid reductions in distributable bonuses and other ways which policy owners may be disadvantaged:
- a new "fair and reasonable" requirement for charges allocated to a Participating Fund (Par Fund), covering:
- the new non-exhaustive list of expenses which must not be charged to a Par Fund;
- agency schemes and arrangements with Financial Advisers;
- frequency and scope of expense studies;
- loading of expenses for pricing of participating products; and
- enhanced responsibilities on the insurer, its board of directors, senior management and appointed actuary.
We summarise in this article the proposed changes and examples of disallowed allocations provided by MAS, and questions posed by MAS for public comment.