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OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2015

image of OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2015

This new Outlook on finance and investment presents unique data, analysis and instruments, looking at what might affect and change, both favourably and unfavourably, tomorrow's world of business, finance and investment.  Investment (including foreign direct investment), SME financing, pensions, insurance, corporate governance and competition are among the threads creating the narrative of today's environment and future expectations.

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Can pension funds and life insurance companies keep their promises?

This chapter examines the potential impact of an environment of protracted low interest rates on pension systems and life insurance companies. It describes the mechanisms through which prolonged low interest rates can affect the solvency position of these institutions and uses available data to assess potential impacts.The outlook for the solvency position of pension funds and life insurance companies is of concern. Insofar as their promises are linked to evolving parameters or can be adjusted to the new environment of low interest rates, low inflation and low growth, these institutions may be able to weather the situation. However, there is a very serious concern for the financial outlook should these institutions become heavily involved in an excessive ‘search for yield’ in order to fulfil any fixed guarantee promises they may have made when interest rates were higher. Regulators and policy makers should remain vigilant.

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