How we approach public policy

When approaching public policy work, we have a set of principles by which we engage government and policy makers.

We think it's important that people know what we do and what we stand for.

Our public policy principles

  1. We make no political donations.
  2. We are politically neutral, working with all parties, officials, regulators and other policy organisations in the jurisdictions we operate in.
  3. We will work both collaboratively through a range of industry and trade bodies, and independently.
  4. We aim to deliver evidence-based, practical proposals for consideration by policy-makers.
  5. We aim to be experts and thought-leaders: we are an organisation rich in expertise that we’re willing to share with those responsible for formulating public policy.
  6. We are focused on delivering positive outcomes for customers, shareholders, investment markets, the broader economy and society.

2015 highlights on delivering public policy

We have commented on issues such as:

  • supporting jobs and growth through urban regeneration
  • changes to the pensions and ‘at retirement’ market
  • financial regulation
  • corporate governance
  • risk sharing

Our engagement with government 

As part of our dialogue, in 2015, we responded to over 50 Government and regulatory consultations, as well as shaping responses from trade and industry bodies.  This is approximately 40% more than last year reflecting the continued public policy reforms impacting our business.

We took part in Transparency International UK’s 'Corporate political engagement index 2015'.

Our main areas of discussion with Government in 2015 have included:

  • Pensions and at retirement market reform

We are closely engaged with HM Treasury following proposals to reform the incentives for long-term saving.  We have been strong advocates of ensuring that legislation promotes good value, well-governed pension schemes in the UK where there is a strong incentive to save for the future. That is why we have called on the UK Government to create a meaningful cap of 0.5% on auto-enrolled pensions and to reform the current pensions tax relief system.

  • Financial regulation – UK and EU

We are closely engaged with the relevant EU and UK authorities on reforms to both prudential and conduct regulation.

  • Urban regeneration

As a long-term investor, we need to invest both our shareholder and customer funds in long-term assets such as infrastructure – from university accommodation, hospitals, social housing and the care sector to commercial and residential property. We have continued to engage with policy makers to help ensure that the legislative framework allows insurers and investment firms to play their full part in delivering jobs and growth. This has included engagement with both policy stakeholders at EU, UK, National and local level.

  • Risk sharing

As the UK Government seeks to rebalance the economy, we have continued to discuss with policy makers the opportunities for insurers, both as long-term investors and managers of risk, what more can be done to support the UK and the financial resilience of its citizens.

Political background

The next five years will be a time of likely change. Elections are due in the UK, Europe and the US shortly. Further devolution of powers away from Westminster is likely. We’re also aware of the business risk of deterioration of geo-political stability, especially in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.