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Matthews says personal accounts should provide automatic life cover

Friends Provident chief executive Trevor Matthews says the introduction of personal accounts offers a good opportunity to provide automatic life cover for savers.

Speaking at a Future of Life Assurance conference organised by Marketforce, Matthews said: “I think personal accounts would be a great opportunity for the industry to provide a useful amount of life cover to people. In Australia it has made a real difference.

“Virtually 95 per cent of the population are in the personal accounts equivalent system and have AUS$50,000 to $60,000 worth of life cover automatically. When they are auto-enrolled, they automatically get life cover. There’s a very competitive group life market in Australia but there are profits to be made.”

Matthews also criticised the Government’s stance on means-testing saying it could lead to a scandal.

He said: “I also believe the Government’s current stance on means-testing must mellow. It would truly be a scandal if thousands of savers found out at retirement that they would have been better off if they’d kept their contributions in their pockets.”

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