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New Life Insurance Publications

On 12 November 2008 the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released for comment a new quarterly statistical publication on the life insurance industry.
The Quarterly Life Insurance Performance Statistics publication provides industry aggregate summaries of financial performance, financial position, solvency, capital adequacy and management capital, as well as details of the performance of individual product groups. It is more detailed than the previously published Life Insurance Trends it replaces.
Comments from interested parties are invited by 10 December 2008 and should be addressed to
Download the publication in PDF format.
On 6 December 2007, APRA released new reporting standards, forms and instructions for life companies (including friendly societies). APRA’s previous data collection for life companies was more than 10 years old.
Both the life insurance and the friendly society industry have changed significantly since the previous data collection was designed particularly in the types of products managed by life companies. Traditional life insurance policies (whole of life and endowment) are far less prevalent than 10 years ago and superannuation business has grown significantly. Changes to accounting and actuarial standards (notably due toIFRS) have also had an effect on reporting. In light of these changes, APRA considered that a new data collection was appropriate.
The new data collection was developed in close consultation with the industry and is now relevant, up to date, internally consistent and able to be analysed more easily.
The new forms were developed with the general aim of simplifying presentation, reducing some of the levels of detail collected, and achieving greater consistency and comparability across the collection. Product groupings have also been rationalised, and the new groupings are now consistent across the collection. Quarterly forms are now consistent with annual forms.
New quarterly publication
The first proposed publication is based on the quarterly data collection and will provide aggregate quarterly data on life insurers. This Quarterly Life Insurance Performance publication is more detailed than the previously published Life Insurance Trends that it replaces.
In compiling this proposed publication APRA considered what information collected quarterly from life insurers would be useful and relevant to policy makers, industry and the public. It is proposed that the publication present summaries of financial performance, financial position,solvency, capital adequacy and management capital, as well as details on the performance of individual product groups.
Where available and appropriate, aggregates are provided at the following levels: 
  • total industry;
  • shareholders' fund;
  • total statutory fund;
  • investment linked and non-investment linked fund; and
  • class of business (i.e. superannuation and ordinary business). 
Data over the past five quarters and the past two twelve month periods will be included in a PDF version of the publication when data becomes available.As more data are collected, a complete time series will be available via an Excel workbook.
Future publications
APRA is also in the process of designing a Half Yearly Life Insurance Bulletin.
The purpose of the Half Yearly Life Insurance Bulletin is to provide a detailed snapshot for a 12 month reference period. It will be sourced from audited annual returns and will provide aggregate information twice a year across a wider range of topics than the quarterly publication. In addition to the topics covered in the quarterly publication detailed aggregate tables in relation to policy liabilities and assets backing policy liabilities will be presented. It is proposed that high level information from individual life insurers at an entity level will also be included.
This proposed publication will be derived from the annual data collection that is based on the financial year of each individual life company. Since life companies have different balance dates, aggregated data within the life insurance half yearly publication will cover a mixture of different twelve month periods. It is anticipated the Half Yearly Life Insurance Bulletin will take a similar form to the Half Yearly General Insurance Bulletin.
APRA is also considering new publications for the friendly society industry. Friendly societies now report on almost identical forms to life insurers however the format and frequency of the friendly society publications are yet to be determined.
We expect to commence consultation on the Half-yearly Life Insurance Bulletin and the friendly society publications early in 2009.
Publication details
Data for the Quarterly Life Insurance Performance Statistics publication are sourced from regulatory returns submitted to APRA on a quarterly basis under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 by authorised Life Insurers.
Each quarter the publication will be released on the APRA website in two formats. The first will be a PDF document suitable for printing. As more data are collected a complete time series will be available via an Excel workbook.
Subject to changes arising from consultation submissions and confidentiality analysis, we aim to release the first issue for the September 2008 reference period in early 2009. Subsequent editions will then be released on a quarterly basis in line with the timetable to be published with the first issue.
If you have feedback or questions on the proposed publications before 10 December 2008:
Or write to:
Manager, Insurance Statistics
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
GPO Box 9836
NSW 2001