Defender of savers, the president of the French Savings and Retirement Association, Gérard Bekerman, will be in Niort this Tuesday, June 7.
It has some 760,000 members, including several thousand in Deux-Sèvres. The president of Afer (French Association for savings and retirement), Gérard Bekerman, will be in Niort this Tuesday, June 7 for an assembly-conference at the Macif Campus (1). Afer, which is dedicated to defending savers, has as its partner Abeille Assurances, insurer of the Aéma group, an alliance of Macif and Aésio. Life insurance in France is 1,900 billion euros placed, or 80% of gross domestic product.
“Neither a product
nor a product
of class »
With the return of inflation, is life insurance still an attractive investment?
Gérard Bekerman, president of Afer. “We are returning to price increases that had disappeared for fifteen years and one would think that life insurance will lose its appeal. But it retains several advantages. Unlike the Livret A, it is a savings whose neither the rates nor the amounts are capped. It also makes it possible to cope with the vagaries of life: this liquid savings can be mobilized in 48 hours. It can also be used to prepare for retirement. And its main advantage is that to date it is not supposed to enter the inheritance database. »
But what can an ordinary investor, without special expertise, do to protect their life insurance against inflation?
“You have to distinguish between two components. First the general fund, which is guaranteed: it is obvious that the era of good performances, with a ratio of 7, 8, 9 or 10%, is over for the moment. But there are also investments in units of account: they involve a share of risk, but over time, the performance is much higher than that of the general fund. It all depends on the saver’s profile. Someone still young can go on the units of account in the long term, and in this case, after the turbulence, he will be a winner. Over a long period, life insurance has proven its usefulness for savers. Over the past thirty years, it has helped preserve their purchasing power. »
You are talking about usefulness for savers, but for the economy of the country? Life insurance holders are criticized for preferring this quiet investment to others that are riskier but more useful for investment.
“Let’s stop making life insurance feel guilty!” It represents years of lifetime savings. It is not a luxury product or a classy product. Unless you imagine that the twenty-two million French people with a contract are all millionaires! It is a mainstream and popular product. For the community, it brings in more than it costs: it is used to buy corporate bonds and to pay the State debt by buying OATs (2). The 400 billion invested in units of account finance the investments of SMEs, companies not listed on the stock market, start-ups. I know that elected officials, including in the majority, have tried to attack its tax status. Afer will fight any initiative that would destabilize life insurance: to tax it is to attack the middle classes. »
Do the return of inflation and the rise in interest rates predict better returns on savings?
“Yes, definitely. A year ago, when buying government bonds, the return was zero. In the United States, we are at 3.6-3.7%. In France, it will come. The rise in rates should be accompanied by a better return on savings, if it is smoothed out and amortized over time. This is what is happening and it is rather good news. »
(1) The evening, which starts at 5.30 p.m., with a concert by pianist Marc Laforêt on the program, is open to the general public upon registration (www.afer.fr)
(2) Bonds assimilated to the Treasury, issued by the State to borrow.