Improving Financial Education and Awareness on Insurance and Private Pensions

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Individuals face an increasing variety of financial risks, including those linked to their retirement. At the same time, public funding has been reduced or is strictly limited in most countries. Private insurance and pensions products therefore play an essential role in social and financial protection. Yet the public might have a low level of awareness of the risks they are exposed to, and lack literacy, knowledge and skills in insurance and private pensions questions and products.

This volume addresses these topical and unexplored issues as part of the ongoing OECD project on financial education. After a comprehensive analysis of the main challenges and presentation of practical solutions, the book highlights good practices, endorsed by OECD governments, to enhance awareness and education on risk, insurance and private pensions issues.



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Annex I.1

Some National Programmes Aimed at Strengthening Financial Education

The UK Financial Services Authority1 (FSA) initiative entitled “Treating Consumers Fairly”2 should first be mentioned. At the address of the insurance industry, this project includes a strategy for assessing problems of the market arising from information asymmetry and introduces processes including selfassessment by companies, with the extensive involvement of the various stakeholders. Furthermore, within a more global and long-term approach, the FSA has also launched in November 2003, a programme called “Building Financial Capability”,3 headed by a steering committee – comprised of the government, the financial services industry, corporate representatives, trade unions, media, consumers associations as well as the associative sector. This project is designed to improve overall financial education including making individuals aware of the role of insurance in protecting against sudden and unforeseeable accidents. The programme has started with a survey of 5 300 adults across the UK to create a comprehensive picture of UK citizens’ financial literacy level.

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