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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Financial education is particularly important for retirement savings and in particular pensions due to the unique nature of these financial products. These are exceptionally long-term contracts with a wide social coverage – involving those with low education and income levels who may display a low risk-tolerance. At the same time private pensions are particularly complex products (involving tax issues, assumptions over future salaries, longevity and interest rates, etc.) and are increasingly important as a source of retirement income, which enlarges their potential impact on financial markets worldwide. In addition, various demographic and social factors – including increasing life-expectancy and the rise of defined contribution pensions involving individual choice – are making the risks individuals face in relation to private pensions increasingly severe.

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