[The Wrap] Death and disease - and the jab

Two seemingly unrelated stories form the base for this week's Wrap.

Saturday, November 27th 2021, 11:17AM

by Philip Macalister

One is whether insurers should be treating unvaccinated policyholders differently to those who have had two jabs.

The second is the Society of Actuaries latest paper on how to handle decumulation.

They are related as they deal with mortality.

Partners Life managing director Naomi Ballantyne recently suggested that life insurers may have to underwrite unvaxxed customers differently to those who have had the jab. Essentially their premiums would be higher.

As usual her comments get people thinking.

What has been a surprise is how many people in the financial services sector don't want to get the jab. This first surfaced when Financial Advice NZ ran a webinar No jab, No job. During the webinar the comments section lit up with a number of advisers expressing quite strong anti-vax messages.

We have had lots of feedback surprised that some advisers are taking this stance. But we are finding it too as we promoted a mortgage advisers Roadshow, and suggested that advisers could only attend if they were vaccinated. (We choose not to go down that route).

Another surprise has been how a number of advisers have taken their anti-vax/conspiracy theories online in their Linkedin profiles.

Don't get me wrong, people are fully entitled to their views, but when, say a mortgage adviser, starts adding these comments to their profiles it's easy to start questioning their professionalism.

If my advisers started doing that I would seriously question whether I wanted to use their services in the future. Considering more than 90% of New Zealanders have had at least one jab such comment arguably alienate the majority for their clients.

For those who want to live a full life then dealing with their financial affairs in their latter years has been a theme. First up Massey released its annual report on the cost of retirement - it's little surprise that it keeps increasing.

Which then comes with how to manage finances.

The Society of Actuaries Retirement Income Group (RIIG) released a paper, How to make drawdown a success this week. Some of the key takeouts are that managing savings in retirement is very difficult and not enough focus has been put on this stage of life. Rather the focus has been on accumulation.

Other countries are finding their way, but there is no obvious best example available, it says.

This is one area where there is significant opportunity for financial advisers. It is an area we will explore more in future issues of ASSET Magazine.

 

 

Tags: Opinion

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