Changing regulation is forcing life assurers to find new ways of making money. Pension reforms implemented in April 2015 removed the effective obligation on retirees to purchase an annuity at retirement, denting sales of annuities in the immediate aftermath. Low interest rates were already pushing up the value of companies' long-term liabilities by making the present value of government paper used to back annuities more expensive. That's not to mention the burden on life assurers in preparing for the enactment of the Solvency II regime at the beginning of last year, which increased the capital requirements particularly for insurers writing new annuity business.
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