(Singapore, 6 February 2020) Singapore’s life insurance industry recorded a total of S$4.3 billion in weighted new business premiums in 2019, a 0.4% increase from the corresponding period in 2018, according to today’s co-announcement by the Life Insurance Association and Singapore (LIA Singapore).

The total sum assured for new business continued to increase, recording a seven per cent growth year-on-year, amounting to S$149.5 billion, the announcement says.

The industry’s continued growth is set against the backdrop of the nation’s muted economic growth for the year which was the slowest in a decade.

The announcement says the industry continued to make headway in narrowing the protection gap in Singapore with an increase in uptake of annual premium policies which recorded a seven per cent increase from the same period last year. This amounted to S$3.0 billion in total weighted annual premiums.

However, primarily due to global market volatility, there was an overall 12% decline in single premium business with weighted single premiums amounting to S$1.2 billion for the year.

There is increasing recognition and actions taken by consumers, encouraged by the industry and government, to take more pro-active efforts in planning for retirement.

The industry recorded a 34% increase in the uptake of retirement policies in YTD 4Q2019 compared to a year ago based on policy count. A total of 51,040 policies were purchased as at 31 December 2019, a significant 12,920 more policies compared to the same period in 2018.

Making up about 11% of total weighted premiums for YTD 4Q2019, retirement policies totalled S$469 million in weighted premiums for the year.

Employment in the life industry rose by 6% as a result of 441 new hires, compared to the corresponding period in 2018, to reach a workforce of 8,448 employees, as of 31 December 2019.

Among new types of jobs being created in the industry, expertise in digitalisation transformation remains highly sought after.