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Tourism crisis and coup attempt hit unemployment
Government's plans for our sector in 2017
Demir Hayat now owned by EMF New Europe Insurance Fund
Government rethinking their plans for mandatory private pensions
Nothing's certain except death and taxes
Staggered start to Automatic Enrollment
BES pension funds now as popular an investment as term bank deposits
Takaful insurance trade association formed
Treasury reminds employers of their responsibilities under Automatic Enrollment
Circulatory system disease and cancer the biggest killers in Turkey
Untitled Document population premium waiver Aegon 2012 death 2023 Katılım Hayat ve Emeklilik health Islamic finance Asya Emeklilik
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Search Tag : statistics
Only one in ten Turks saves for the future

A survey commissioned by ING Bank could lead you to conclude that there is no point in launching a savings or pension product in Turkey. Alternatively, you could say that there is such a huge potential market which is currently untapped.

According to the report entitled “Research on Savings Trends in Turkey, the great majority of Turks have absolutely no savings at all.

Professor Alpay Filiztekin of Sabancı University in Istanbul conducted the research. He performed monthly surveys of 800 people from 26 provinces across Turkey.

His results show that in the second quarter of 2012, only 11.3% of Turkey’s urban population possessed some form of savings – yes, only some form of savings, let alone a savings or pension policy with a life insurance company.

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Credit card usage up 25% in a year!

As a major product of all bancassurers in Turkey is life insurance linked to a credit card balance, increased usage of credit cards automatically flows through to increased life insurance premium.

The interbank card centre has just published figures that show that between April 2011 and April 2012, both usage of credit cards, debit cards, and withdrawals from ATM machines using these cards rose significantly.

The statistics show that the preferred payment method in the country is credit card – by a clear margin!

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Allianz in Alliance: A Reverse Takeover

The recent deal announced where Allianz is buying Yapı Kredi Emeklilik for some 684 million euro, if approved as expected by the Treasury and the Monopolies Commission, will lead to a merger between the two companies in Turkey.

The new company created will be a major giant in the life, pensions and health sectors in Turkey, catapulting Allianz from a low ranking to top 3 in all of these sectors. While Allianz is buying YKE, the lion’s share of the merged company will come from YKE.

Not only that, the deal gives Allianz access to Yapı Kredi bank’s 6.5 million customers, spread between 928 branches.

Let’s look at the likely market-rankings for Allianz-Yapı Kredi:

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Over 2m Turks have a Personal Pension: Success?

Statistics issued by the Pensions Monitoring Centre show the number of participants in the BES pension system in Turkey has risen to 2.003.695 at 29 January 2010.  With the number of participants passing 2 million, I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. But even if we exclude the vast number of under 25s in Turkey’s population of nearly 70 million, this is a very low penetration rate. There is clearly a lot of work still to be done by the insurance sector to roll out the benefits of owning a pension plan to a wider audience.  

A striking graph in the Pensions Monitoring Centre’s Annual Report for 2008, demonstrates the penetration rates by age. There is no clear difference between rates for men and women – the graph is fairly symmetrical. The dark blue and dark pink lines (representing those who have a BES plan) are clearly a “drop in the ocean” when compared with the vast light blue and light pink areas (those who do not).

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Incidence rates for illness and disease

Tables published as part of Turkey’s Health Survey 2012 issued by Turkey Statistical Institute (TÜİK) this month contain information about incidence rates of certain illnesses and diseases, of relevance in pricing for life, disability, critical illness and health products.

The analysis in this article is based on table 4 which covers the percentage of diseases/health problems diagnosed in the over 15 population by a medical doctor. A similar table, table 3, contains data on the incidence rates of the same illnesses and diseases, but based on self-declaration. As expected, rates in table 3 are some 1-3 percentage points above those in table 4.

The number one medical condition listed in the table is hypertension, with a diagnosed incidence rate of 12.8% (8.5% for males and 17.1% for females).

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Obesity, hypertension and related health issues in Turkey

The results of Turkey’s Health Survey 2012 just published by Turkey Statistical Institute (TÜİK) make fascinating reading for actuaries involved in mortality projections and pricing life, critical illness and health products.

The headline figures relate to the BMI and obesity statistics. 17.2% of over 15s in Turkey are classed as obese – with a BMI over 30. 34.8% are counted as overweight (BMI: 25-30), 44.2% as normal (BMI: 18.5-30) and 3.9% as underweight (BMI under 18.5).

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Turkish unemployment is falling in general, but rising in the ages where we insure

Unemployment benefit (PPI) is a popular rider for bancassurance life products sold to back loans or credit card balances.

When the products were first launched a number of years ago, actuaries in Turkey had limited data on which to base pricing and reserving. Now we are beginning to build up a portfolio of experience, but unemployment rates are notoriously hard to project into the future as they depend on a wide number of variables linked to the economic cycle.

The good news for insurers is that the unemployment rate is falling.

But this is just the headline rate. Figures given by the head of Turkey’s Union of Chambers of Commerce at a recent economic summit show a more concerning picture for the nation in general and for those writing PPI riders in banassurance in particular.

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Old at 65?

Last month, as part of Turkey’s “Respect for the Elderly Week”, the State’s Turkey Statistical Institute published a news bulletin containing a number of interesting tables of information relating to the structure, education level, marital status, and income levels of Turkey’s elderly population. These statistics are of interest to any insurance company offering insurance products to seniors, in particular they are relevant to the debate about annuity products.

 In 2012, the percentage of Turkey’s population aged over 65 was 7.5%. This is astonishingly low when compared with the European average of 17.5% in 2011. The UK’s figure in 2011 was 16.7%. In Japan, one of the world’s most elderly populations, some 23% of the population were over 65.

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Campaigns to quit smoking show positive results

A new survey shows that tobacco use in Turkey has decreased to 27% of the adult population.

Foreign visitors to Turkey often comment on the high smoking rates; particularly now a lot of people in Europe and America have quit. In recent years the government has introduced a number of bans on smoking, most noticeably in restaurants and in the workplace. Gone are the days when a ride on an inter-city bus in Turkey meant finding your seat through a haze of cigarette smoke.

With the health ministry spending over 7 billion Turkish Lira each year on the treatment of diseases related to tobacco and smoking, there is clearly a need to improve public health. But it is not only the Social Security system that stands to gain from a reduction in smoking. Life insurance companies do not use smokers and non-smokers rates, so any reduction in smoking in the short-term can be expected in the medium-term to feed through to higher profits in life insurance and private health insurance.

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Increase in household debt fuels growth of life insurance

We all know that the main driver of insurance sales in Turkey is bancassurance, and the main life product sold is mandatory loan insurance.


Figures for 2011 issued by the Banking Regulation and Supervisory Agency (BDDK) show the massive increase in household debt over the last 10 years in Turkey; the growth in life branch premium reflects this increase in the banks’ loan books.


Although when compared with more developed economies the average household debt in Turkey is small (for example, the mortgage market is not well developed here), the ratio of household debt to household assets in Turkey has increased tenfold over the last ten years. In 2002 debt was 4.3% of financial assets; by the end of 2011 this had risen to 40.5%.


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Personal pension system: 2011 year end rankings

Year end 2011 statistics from the Pensions Monitoring Centre show that the total size of the personal pension system in Turkey (BES) has grown to:

* 2,650,128 participants                   and

* 14,308.7 million funds under management

Most companies have experienced very little change in rankings over the last few years. This means that the clear demarcation in the sector into four groupings based on size is pretty much unchanged. But there have been a few switching of places: the most notable being that Anadolu Hayat has overtaken Aviva SA.

The top 2 companies make up 42% of the market by FUM; the top 4 a mighty 74%!

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Turkey's rate of population increase slowed in 2011

Population statistics for 2011 show that the Turkish population increased by 13.5 per mille in 2011, reaching 74.7 million people. 

This is lower than 2010, when the population increased by 15.9 per mille, and 2009 when the population increase was 14.5 per mille. 

Turkey used to count population in periodic censuses. Now, with the computerisation of population records, it can be calculated annually. Every citizen is required to register with their local population office, and notify them of a change of address, and the offices are connected to a major database. Mining of this database in 2011 showed that in 2011 76.8% of Turkey's population lived in urban areas, with 23.2% in the countryside. 

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New statistics no surprise to actuaries!

The Turkish Statistics Institute (Turk-Sat) has just started to issue annual statistics concerning deaths in Turkey. None of the headline figures will come as any surprise to actuaries, although newspapers are busy reporting them. The really interesting information will be in the details, which soon will be on their website. The publication covers death figures, broken down into sex, age and region.

According to the report, 367,971 people died in Turkey in 2009.

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Life Insurance Statistics - Haymer Guidelines for Completion of Tables
	Translation © Marion James, www.turkeyinsurance.info  

The relevant tables will be sent by insurance companies to haymer@sbm.org.tr  each month by the 20th (or the next working day if the 20th is a statutory holiday).The tables sent by companies will be used to calculate sectoral statistics that will be publisher on the http://www.haymer.org.tr/ website.

Rider premiums: Premiums for riders will be included in the premium for the relevant product.

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Population: 75 million; # credit cards: 60 million

The driver of growth in Turkey's life insurance market is the bank distribution system. One of the drivers of growth in retail banking is the explosion in the number of credit cards over the last decade.

Figures published by the Banking Supervision and Regulation Agency show that at the end of October 56.7 million credit cards were in circulation in Turkey.  This compares with just under 20 million 10 years ago, an increase of a whopping 190%, or 11% p.a..

In the first 10 months of 2103 customers loaded 360 billion TL of purchases and cash withdrawals on to their cards; prediciions for the total figure to year end are in the 425-430 billion TL range.

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Half Year Scorecard for BES system

Statistics published by the Pensions Monitoring Centre for 30 June 2016 show that the BES Pensions system has grown to nearly six and a half million participants and covers nearly 55 billion TL of assets:

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