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.4

Regulation and Self-regulation of Intermediaries' Roles and Responsibilities in Selected OECD Countries

In several countries, intermediaries and distributors of insurance products alike are subject to obligations relating to competence, professionalism and continuous training. Under the Insurance Mediation Directive (Directive 2002/92/EC), which should have been transposed into the domestic legislation of the 25 EU Member States by 2005, only qualified staff may have direct contact with potential consumers and customers. Before the Directive was transposed, in Italy, for example, national circulars containing similar obligations were issued. The distribution agreements also stated that operators in other sectors should ensure that practices complied with the obligations imposed by the ISVAP (and now the directive). In addition, such operators may sell only basic insurance policies. The Swedish law on financial advice and the Dutch law on financial services also state that financial advisors must have the necessary skills and experience.

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