The premium income and the number of insured persons are far below market expectations——

Why tax extension pension insurance is good or not

  Economic Daily · China Economic Net reporter Jiang Fan

  As of the end of April of this year, the tax deferred commercial pension insurance pilot realized a cumulative premium income of 300 million yuan and 47,600 insured persons, which is far from the scale previously expected by the market. Experts believe that the incomplete policy effects, narrow coverage of policy preferences, and low tax credits are the reasons why tax-extension pension insurance is "cold." In the next step, the tax-deferred insurance pilot policy will continue to be improved, and insurance companies should serve well-stocked customers and maintain a first-mover advantage to win subsequent competition.

  The personal tax deferred commercial pension insurance is mainly for the public who pays personal income tax. The public insures the commercial pension insurance. The insurance premiums paid are allowed to be paid before tax, and the tax is exempted during the accumulation of pensions. It is also the mode of preferential taxation currently adopted internationally.

  The latest data shows that as of the end of April this year, a total of 23 insurance companies have participated in the pilot of personal tax deferred commercial pension insurance, of which 19 companies have issued orders, with a cumulative premium income of 300 million yuan, and 47,600 people. Despite the popularity of tax-deferred old-age insurance, it has encountered "agreeables or not."

  Relatively speaking, in the first quarter of this year, commercial pension insurance premium income was 32.5 billion yuan, and the number of effective insurers at the end of the period was 67.58 million, accumulating more than 532 billion yuan in insurance liability reserves, an increase of 11.7% over the beginning of the year.

  The gap between the two is not small. Why is the pilot tax extension pension insurance "cold"? What should I do next?

  Actual scale is far from estimated

  On May 1, 2018, the tax-extension pension insurance officially opened a one-year pilot in Shanghai, Fujian Province (including Xiamen) and Suzhou Industrial Park. Even if this is the case, it is the result of a whole decade of research and a thousand calls. It can be seen that the extension of tax extension of old-age insurance is very difficult.

  At that time, the market was very optimistic about the follow-up trend of the personal tax deferred commercial pension insurance pilot. Some professional organizations have estimated that this business can bring about 800 billion yuan in premium income for the insurance market each year. This number is undoubtedly very attractive. According to public data, the national premium income for life insurance in 2019 is 3.0995 trillion yuan, and the incremental premium of 800 billion yuan is considerable.

  In fact, the introduction of tax-deferred pension insurance is indeed very popular in the market. "From our perspective on the market, the market has responded very enthusiastically to the tax-deferred old-age insurance policy. During the pilot period, we received a large number of customers who took the initiative to call and consulted about the tax-deferred old-age insurance policy." China Pacific Life Insurance Senior Insiders told reporters.

  The preparation for insurance companies is also quite complete. Taking the example of China Pacific Insurance, a leading sales company in the pilot region, it not only pioneered the development of a tax-deferred pension insurance calculator in the industry, allowing customers to independently calculate tax credits for tax-deferred pension insurance; it also provides ten scenarios and diversification Insurance model for customers to choose freely.

  But two years later, not only has the policy of the pilot region fallen into a one-year "window period", but the pilot effect has also been unsatisfactory. It seems difficult to expand the pilot for the time being.

  Why is a development direction that everyone is optimistic about, but has fallen into such an awkward situation? Somewhat similar to the once-sponsored "endowment by housing" insurance pension model, tax extended pension insurance sounds very lively and has a market texture, but it is difficult to operate.

  Nonetheless, in the end the results were lower than expected. The survey data one year after the pilot shows that the insurance coverage rate of the three pilot sites is relatively low, and only 13,000 people are insured compared with the promising Shanghai market, and some companies even have single-digit employees.

  Huang Zhiqiang, secretary general of the China Insurance Association, can very well represent the mood of industry practitioners. He said: "Before the tax-deferred old-age insurance policy came out, the entire industry had great expectations, but from the actual implementation, it may be It’s not a big tree that the industry can rely on."

  Low tax incentives

  Tax extension of old-age insurance is a "imported product", not the first in my country. As we all know, the preferential tax pension system in the United States, Britain, Canada and other countries is well developed. In particular, the United States is a country that has used tax incentives to promote the development of the third pillar of pension insurance. According to statistics, every 1% increase in the tax incentive ratio can increase the number of people participating in insurance by 3.52%. Driven by tax incentives, the "DC Plan" in the United States has become the main source of continued growth in US pension assets for more than 40 years.

  Tax extended pension insurance has successful international experience first, why can't substantial progress be made in my country? At present, the industry generally believes that there are three major problems. First, the pilot area is narrow and the time is short, and the policy effect has not been fully presented. The tax extension pension insurance policy pilot is only implemented in Shanghai, Fujian (including Xiamen), and Suzhou Industrial Park, and the coverage of the population is limited; second, the tax rate for receiving the period is high, and the policy coverage is narrow, especially the tax starting point in October 2018 After the adjustment, the number of people covered by the policy has further reduced; third, the amount of tax incentives is low. The tax deferred pension insurance premium preferential limit is determined according to the 6% of monthly salary and continuous labor compensation income and the lower of 1,000 yuan. Even if an individual has the willingness and ability to overpay, the overpaid part cannot enjoy the preferential tax delay policy. Facing the double taxation problem of payment period and collection period.

  Some experts also suggested that the deferred tax supplementary endowment insurance (EET) model, which represents the international mainstream development trend, has been transplanted into China, which is in conflict with my country's current classified income tax system. Zheng Bingwen, director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes that such conflicts will cause any EET model to have “difficult delivery” in China, including personal commercial insurance and corporate annuities. He suggested conducting a transitional trial, and when the time is ripe, then turn to "pure EET".

  Where should we go for the next tax extension of old-age insurance? Wang Guojun, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics, said: "At the macro level, continuing to promote the development of individual tax deferred pension insurance is an inevitable choice for China to cope with the "white hair wave". We can learn from the practical experience of developed countries and establish tax deferral preferences and direct The system model of combining subsidies." He proposed to reform the tax-deferred old-age products, increase the level of payment for the insured, simplify the tax deduction business process, and strive to maximize the release of policy dividends.

  How much opportunity does the insurance company have

  Although tax deferred pension insurance faces many problems, it is still an area of ​​opportunity that deserves special attention for insurance companies. The consensus that has been formed at the moment is that the basic pension insurance for urban employees as the first pillar has assumed almost all of the old-age pension responsibilities. It is facing serious pressure for sustainable development, and it is urgent to develop the second and third pension pillars with the support of national policies to balance . This year's "Government Work Report" proposes to continue to implement the policy of lowering the value-added tax rate and enterprise pension insurance rate introduced last year. This is conducive to the insurance industry gaining more space in the construction of the third pillar of old-age pension. If tax-deferred old-age insurance can be further developed, the opportunities are even more obvious.

  According to previous calculations by professional institutions, assuming that tax-extension pension insurance is implemented nationwide, even if the monthly payment amount is 1,000 yuan, the number of payers is 30 million, and the participation rate is 50%, 180 billion yuan will be added every year. Premium. This incremental development space will provide insurance institutions with a sustained and stable opportunity for new business value growth.

  From various signs, the current regulatory level is still very concerned about the promotion of tax extension of old-age insurance. For example, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has made a clear statement recently. The next step will be to actively coordinate with the Ministry of Finance, the State Administration of Taxation and other relevant departments to improve the tax delay insurance pilot policy and expand the scope of the pilot area. However, there is no clear timetable for further actions.

  According to the previous "Notice on Conducting Pilot Deferred Commercial Pension Insurance Pilots", after the end of the one-year pilot period, the financial institutions and products involved will be "orderly expanded to include public funds and other products into the investment scope of personal commercial pension accounts. ". Some people worry that in the follow-up tax deferred old-age insurance new policy, insurance companies will no longer be able to enjoy the cake alone, but need to split the tax deferred old-age insurance market with financial industries such as banks, funds, and trusts. Despite these doubts, the most important thing is how insurance companies can serve their existing customers during the "window period" of policies, maintain their first-mover advantage, and accumulate energy so that they can win strongly in subsequent competition.

  Jiang Fan