This system is currently 25 years old and has been imitated in 16 other countries to date. However, certain changes have become necessary and a reform bill is now before Congress for final approval.
Principally, the bill maintains the essential elements of the individual capitalization model while proposing several changes regarding insurance as follows:
- The introduction of a system paying a Pensión Básica Universal (Universal Basic Pension or PBU) to people who have been unable to save towards their retirement
- The gradual introduction of mandatory payments by self-employed workers
- The promotion of gender equality (an increase in the female retirement age to 65; the entitlement of working women to child care; a special one-year contribution bonus for each living son or daughter; the division of the accumulated balance into individual accounts for each spouse in the event of divorce or annulment)
- The establishment of a voluntary group retirement savings plan (APVC) under which workers can agree to voluntary shared savings with their employers
- The achievement of increased transparency and economies of scale by writing compulsory death and disability insurance for the members of all AFPs at the same time (today each AFP offers death and disability cover only for its own members).
In order to remain in the vanguard regarding the provision of information on these significant changes, Swiss Life Network Partner Seguros Cruz del Sur has organized several seminars throughout the country directed at their most important insurance brokers.
Insurance companies presently offer several different types of pensions:
- Immediate lifetime annuity: the insurer promises to make monthly payments to the insured for the remainder of his/her life, and pay pensions to legal beneficiaries after the insured’s death
- Deferred lifetime annuity: the insurer is obliged to pay a monthly pension starting on a future date
- Scheduled lifetime annuity withdrawal: a client can use part of his/her individual account with the AFP for an immediate lifetime annuity. The balance is simultaneously paid out in a scheduled withdrawal.
Seguros Cruz del Sur holds an important market share in these products, with managed assets exceeding USD 650 million. Growth in 2006 was 192%, making Seguros Cruz del Sur a major player in the Chilean market.