David Fike

General Manager, Finans Emeklilik ve Hayat AŞ

I applaud what the government is doing with social security and to make individuals more accountable for planning for their future. They are first addressing changes to private pensions. The changes that have been made with the new pension laws for 2013 are a huge step forward in getting people to understand that pensions are not about short-term savings, but long-term planning and accountability. From an opportunity standpoint, life and pension companies have the ability to do more than just sell a pension contract; they are able to acquire a customer and provide not only security, but education and planning for the future. The focus is making sure customers are aware of the risks that can take place between now and retirement. However, insurers should not stop there. They also have to be prepared for what happens after retirement. Developing and offering products such as fixed and variable income plans will become more important in planning for our customers' post-retirement stage. This is the opportunity for life and pension companies today. The ones who win will be those who focus on the customer's long term opportunity and provide the necessary advice and products to ensure a secure future for their existing and new customers. I have no doubt that Finans Emeklilik will be one of the biggest winners.

Nurullah Okur

General Manager, Halk Hayat ve Emeklilik

The market is fairly disciplined right now. The main effect of the legislation is going to be more discipline. In 2010, the expense ratio increased to 10% of GDP. In 2001, the savings ratio was 20%, and it now has dropped to 10%. That means people are spending more and more, and what we want is contradictory to what the banks want in a sense. The banks want people to use their credit cards, while we want people to use their credit cards to also pay their pensions and savings. I believe we will be in a much better position in the next three or four years. Due to this new legislation, more people will participate in the system. Previously, only certain people were able to participate because of the tax advantage. Now, people who were not able to afford it will be able to, and this will create growth in our sector. Mid- and high-income groups will also participate because of the support of the government. Like other developing countries, we have a more than 20% growth rate, whereas Europe has a 5% growth rate.

Şeref Aksaç

General Manager, Ziraat Hayat ve Emeklilik

With the new law that includes a 25% state contribution to pension accounts, we expect serious and inevitable growth. We should consider private pensions from a long-term perspective of at least 10 years, because it is only then that you start seeing a real growth effect. Nevertheless, we already saw a two fold increase in 1Q2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Growth will continue, because Turkey's population is aging in line with the world population. The social security system is becoming unsustainable, with two working people now supporting one pensioner, which is why private pensions will become more and more prominent. Whereas in the past only those on payroll who earned taxable income could apply for pensions, now everybody can benefit from private pensions with a 25% state contribution. We are expecting major growth in the private pension sector.