Retirement savings plans and booklets A and sustainable development and solidarity are also on the rise.
The French life insurance market is in great shape: it recorded positive net inflows of 8.4 billion euros in the first quarter, an amount more seen since 2011 for this period of the year, according to figures published on Wednesday by France Insurers. “Life insurance maintains positive momentum“, greeted the director general of the professional federation Franck Le Vallois during a conference call.
Net inflows in March alone reached 2.2 billion euros, again a record since 2011 for a third month of the year. In detail, life insurance contributions, or deposits, amounted to 14.3 billion euros last month, i.e. 1.1 billion more than in March 2021. Benefits, or withdrawals, also show a increase but less rapid compared to the same period, to 12.1 billion euros.
Savers have also opted more for riskier investments, or units of account (UA), which offer a potentially higher return than funds in euros. They represent 40% of contributions since the beginning of the year. In total at the end of March, outstanding life insurance contracts reached 1.857 billion euros, up 2% over one year.
Passbook and savings plans also popular
The federation also returned to retirement savings plans (PER), a product launched in 2019 by the government as part of its Pact law encouraging the French to invest in the economy in order to supplement their retirement pensions. In March 2022, the symbolic threshold of 3 million insured by a PER was crossed, notes France Assureurs.
Life insurance had suffered in 2020 from the pandemic, the French preferring to have savings immediately available on a Livret A. But they have largely returned to this savings product in 2021, depositing 150 billion euros in it on the year, a record. “In a still uncertain macroeconomic and international context, the French consider life insurance to be the benchmark savings product“says Franck Le Vallois.
Regulated savings products, Livret A and sustainable and solidarity development (LDDS) in the lead, have not been outdone since the start of the year. They both reached 483.6 billion euros in assets at the end of March, according to data from the Caisse des dépôts et consignations published last Thursday.