Swiss Life’s strength and values formed the basis for the Swiss Life Network over 50 years ago and still characterise it today, making Swiss Life and the Swiss Life Network a trusted partner and leading provider of global employee benefits for companies around the world.

Reliability - flexibility - simplicity: we offer more than just insurance

Could one say that these words are used too often? We think not. Indeed, at Swiss Life these words are repeated frequently, because they are the values we live by, firmly embedded in the employee benefit solutions we deliver to our clients and business partners around the world.

As actions always speak louder than words, this edition of the newsletter uses various examples to show how we live these values within Swiss Life and across the network.

Reliability 

Reliability is part of Swiss Life’s DNA, inherited from its Swiss roots. It is also the result of long-term experience and expertise as an employee benefit provider in Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and at the international level.

As a leading provider of occupational pension plans, Swiss Life in Germany excels in staying up to date on changes in regulations, case law, and client priorities. This makes Swiss Life a partner that clients can rely on to keep their plans fully optimized and to ensure that implementation and any adjustments are performed efficiently and in a timely manner.

A good illustration of this is the way that employee benefit plans for managing directors (MDs) are handled.

Nowadays, pension plans for MDs have to meet criteria that were not a priority in the past. As a result of recent case law regarding the taxation of pension commitments made to MDs, some older pension plans may be at risk of not being recognised by the tax authorities.

Swiss Life in Germany offers in-depth advice and support to MDs for the review of their pension plans. Using a particular analysis tool, the occupational pension specialists examine whether the elements of the pension plan are correct and up to date, including its security in the event of insolvency. The results of the analysis are delivered in a structured report using a “traffic light” system. This lets the client see instantly where adjustments are necessary, advisable, or not required. The report also includes a detailed description of pension commitment funding. It is an ideal tool for advisers to provide comprehensive pension advice to MDs.

Advice often leads to a proposal to contract out the pension plan to an external pension provider. One of the most important considerations here is to strike a balance between performance guarantees that are as far-reaching as possible, and reasonable financial costs for the employer.

For cases like this, Swiss Life Pensionsfonds AG, which is Swiss Life Germany’s pension fund service subsidiary, offers its Yield-orientated Compact Plan. The level of contributions contracted out can be regulated according to the client’s wishes. The plan also provides further valuable benefits in that the employer is reimbursed for any unused capital, and the accumulation of capital is tax free.

Such thoroughly thought-out and well-designed solutions ensure that Swiss Life in Germany continues to earn the trust of many companies in all sectors of the economy. 

Flexibility 

Swiss Life embodies flexibility as comprehensive, adjustable, and legislation-compliant solutions and services across the board.

An example of flexibility is the way in which Swiss Life in France offers employee benefit plans that supplement the coverages available under the French social security system. As a leader in supplementary health solutions for companies, Swiss Life stands out from the crowd with its offering of comprehensive and modular coverages, and special healthcare services including direct payments to health providers and prevention schemes.

The process starts with a team of specialists who use in-depth technical and commercial analysis to create customized plans and policies for each corporation’s needs and employee profile. Customization of the solution also includes the implementation of the plan.

Follow-up services after the contract is signed are an integral part of the offering. Risks are regularly monitored, and statistical results presented every year. When desired, a dedicated Swiss Life specialist can also provide input to social commissions and works councils. In addition, the legal environment is closely watched to ensure that plans remain compliant at all times.

It doesn’t stop here. In order to provide even more flexibility and added value for clients, Swiss Life in France offers a wide range of additional services, such as:

  • A dashboard for corporate employees, which describes all the coverages included in their contract, with access to an easy reimbursement system
  • Direct payments to providers, advice on navigating the health system, discounts at opticians, and customized health information packs through partnership with the Carte Blanche health hub

Prevention packs that include screening and preventative actions prescribed by a doctor but not reimbursed by social security, within an annual budget 

Simplicity 

One of Swiss Life’s key promises is to make life easier for clients and business partners through clear processes, transpar-ent information, and the adoption of appropriate technology.

An example here is how Swiss Life in Switzerland leads innovation on the internet in the Swiss insurance industry, which translates into convenience and simplicity for companies and their employees when setting up and managing their benefit plans.

Swiss Life Business Direct is the only fully online platform available, which allows entrepreneurs in Switzerland to set up occupational benefit plans without getting entangled in complicated processes.

Entirely online, start-up entrepreneurs can “tinker” with different benefit definitions and immediately see their impact on prices.

After concluding the contract in an online process lasting just a few minutes, companies can also manage communication and administration online.

While occupational benefits are rather complex in nature, Swiss Life Business Direct reduces the complexity to a minimum and makes occupational pensions simple to understand and contracts easy to conclude. This enables entrepreneurs to benefit from the comprehensive protection of full insurance with minimum hassle and at an attractive price.

In addition to the BVG1, there are other insurances which are important for the employees of a start-up, such as the compulsory accident insurance and sickness insurance. Swiss Life Business Direct also allows the online setup of such insurances.

1 BVG: Occupational Old Age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Pension Provision  

 

 
 

What will be the biggest challenges and changes for you and your clients in 2015? 

AON 

For Aon, the biggest challenge will be to implement consistent processes and products while meeting our clients’ needs for customized solutions.
For our clients, the biggest challenge will be to delegate some of their decision-making and control to us (or another third party).

KESSLER 

We see our challenge as keeping up to date with all the changes going on, and filtering the essential information to our clients along with our advice on possible actions to take. We also see that Swiss companies are beginning to manage Employee Benefits across borders, and here it’s our challenge to give advice so they can benefit from our experience and also from our worldwide network.

MERCER

For us it is to be able to develop and deliver cost-effective, innovative solutions to our clients at an acceptable profit margin. We see that margins are getting slimmer.
Our clients face different challenges depending on their industry. The energy sector, for example, will be especially challenged to achieve cost savings, while many other industries will put greater focus on attracting and retaining the right talent. Selecting and developing the right leadership team in a changing world will also be important this year and in future.

TOWERS WATSON

Towers Watson continues to expand its Global Benefits Management business, which involves a variety of potential solutions to match our clients’ individual needs. It’s incumbent on us to challenge our clients who are comfortable with traditional approaches to governance and benefits financing to explore all their alternatives and actively consider whether the status quo fully addresses their corporate objectives.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1410528197291

Swiss Life myLife is another example of simplicity in Switzerland. This comprehensive online service provides corporate clients with instant access to their employee benefit plans, including contract details, account information, and the personal details of insured employees. Designed to work on different platforms, the basic functions for Swiss Life myLife can be accessed from an iPad, iPhone or other mobile device. Wherever the location, whenever the time, as long as there is an internet connection, myLife is available. Moreover, speed and simplicity are also compatible with security. Swiss Life myLife deploys a two-level user log-in with a one-time SMS-PIN to ensure that data is properly protected.

Setting up data for individuals or entire insured groups can be done with just a few clicks. The new documents and data are ready for viewing as soon as they have been entered. Furthermore, the system allows simulations of the effects of personnel changes, early retirement, drawing out retirement capital to purchase a home, etc. and shows how this would affect benefi ts and contributions. 

 

Global Consolidation 

Reliability – flexibility – simplicity. Swiss Life lives by these values at the global level, and excels in consolidating solutions and services for multinational companies around the world to match their changing employee benefit needs.

As a global consolidator, Swiss Life ensures worldwide coordination and facilitation via a single, global point of contact. A dedicated customer relationship manager is assigned to support the headquarters of each multinational company by helping to advise, structure, implement, steer and monitor solutions for local and mobile employee populations.

Solutions for mobile employees: One of the key ways that Swiss Life stands out from the crowd is how mobile employees are dealt with. Scattered around the world, expatriates are usually highly skilled and demand tailor-made benefit packages that reflect their expertise and status. While every company handles expat employee benefits differently, they all require comprehensive geographic coverage, a good balance between the level of benefits insured and their costs, tailored solutions to match corporate priorities, simplified underwriting procedures, and efficient and easy-to-manage administration. This is what Swiss Life delivers by leveraging its market-leader experience of life and pension coverages in Luxembourg, and health solutions in France.

Swiss Life Preferred expat solutions are comprehensive and fully compliant. These unique 360° modular solutions include retirement savings, risk protection, health coverage and assistance. The modular setup lets clients select and tailor the coverages and schemes that best match their needs, risk-retention abilities, and budget. 

 

What will be the biggest challenges and changes for you and your clients in 2015? 

AON 

For Aon, the biggest challenge will be to implement consistent processes and products while meeting our clients’ needs for customized solutions.
For our clients, the biggest challenge will be to delegate some of their decision-making and control to us (or another third party).

KESSLER 

We see our challenge as keeping up to date with all the changes going on, and filtering the essential information to our clients along with our advice on possible actions to take. We also see that Swiss companies are beginning to manage Employee Benefits across borders, and here it’s our challenge to give advice so they can benefit from our experience and also from our worldwide network.

MERCER

For us it is to be able to develop and deliver cost-effective, innovative solutions to our clients at an acceptable profit margin. We see that margins are getting slimmer.
Our clients face different challenges depending on their industry. The energy sector, for example, will be especially challenged to achieve cost savings, while many other industries will put greater focus on attracting and retaining the right talent. Selecting and developing the right leadership team in a changing world will also be important this year and in future.

TOWERS WATSON

Towers Watson continues to expand its Global Benefits Management business, which involves a variety of potential solutions to match our clients’ individual needs. It’s incumbent on us to challenge our clients who are comfortable with traditional approaches to governance and benefits financing to explore all their alternatives and actively consider whether the status quo fully addresses their corporate objectives.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1410526120465

Here are some of the features and benefi ts that set Swiss Life Preferred expat solutions apart:

  • Modular plans, with further customisation for employers with over 25 expatriates
  • A large, open-architecture selection of investment choices ranging from low-risk guaranteed interest and return products, to life-cycle and unit-linked equity funds
  • Attractive free cover and member policy limits to ensure maximum cover and convenience. If benefits increase for members during the year, flexible underwriting conditions are available at renewal
  • One underwriting process for groups of over five people is applied when both death and health coverages are selected. Additional underwriting flexibility is also available if the scheme is pooled.

A web-based platform provides 24/7 access to plan details for both the employer and employees. Enrolment and renewal, information viewing and sharing, and daily administration and management can all be done online, making it fast, convenient and secure. Employees can view, change their retirement saving plans, and download all relevant documents directly from this platform.

Solutions for local employees: As a global consolidator, Swiss Life also makes sure that all its solutions are best-in-market and fully compliant. In addition, cost-optimisation techniques such as multinational risk pooling can be employed to spread risk and save costs. Companies receive advice from specialists for different coverages, but still enjoy a single point of contact in the Swiss Life Corporate Clients team. This consolidation of solutions and services ensures smooth communication, transparent information-sharing, and simplified implementation, adding to the value of the comprehensive solutions provided.

Insurance solutions are only one facet of employee benefi ts for multinationals. To further enhance its solutions, Swiss Life and the Swiss Life Network offer additional services that go beyond pure insurance, based on the knowledge and understanding of multi-nationals’ needs.

Reporting: Because multinational companies have employees spread around the world, it is essential for headquarters to have an overview of their employee benefit plans worldwide. As a value-added service, Swiss Life Network clients and their business partners receive regular, comprehensive reports that help them to monitor and steer their employee benefit plans worldwide. Furthermore, they get 24/7 access to aggregated relevant data and reports on their benefit plans in all locations through Swiss Life’s online collaboration platform CorSol.

Market intelligence: As a leader in global employee benefit solutions, Swiss Life and the Swiss Life Network have vast in-depth knowledge of employee benefit matters. To share this knowledge with multinational companies and business partners, the Network publishes analyses of global employee benefit trends, plus the popular annual Employee Benefits Reference Manual (EBRM). The EBRM is recognised as an expert guide to the world of employee benefits, and provides information on social security, private employee benefit plans and taxation in over 40 countries around the globe. It will be enhanced with information on a typical employee benefit plan for each country at the end of this year.

Wellbeing: Wellbeing solutions are the newest addition into the Swiss Life Network offering. Swiss Life Network Partners around the world actively provide wellbeing solutions such as prevention and back-to-work programmes, and claims management for companies, with the aim of improving employees’ health and thus corporate performance.

When Swiss Life founded the Swiss Life Network over 50 years ago, the pioneering spirit was deeply embedded in its mindset. Risk optimisation techniques such as multinational pooling were pioneered by the Swiss Life Network at that time, and 50 years down the road, Swiss Life and the Swiss Life Network continue to seek out innovative and effective ways to improve the solutions and services delivered to clients and their business partners. With this approach, and our dedication to providing reliability, flexibility and simplicity, Swiss Life is a strong backbone of employee benefit solutions for multinational companies, and is committed to growing with clients and meeting their ever-changing needs.

 

Swiss Life offerings

  • France: life, pension and health plans; asset management
  • Germany: life and pension plans; pension fund services; asset management
  • Luxembourg: life and pension plans; IORP life and pension solutions
  • Switzerland: life and pension plans; asset management; pension fund services

Global (through the Swiss Life Network): multinational pooling; expat plans (life, pension and health); international plans (life and pension) for local employees; wellbeing solutions; market intelligence services