This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies

close

Glossary

A

Annual Exchange Rates (AER)

Actual Exchange Rates are actual historical exchange rates for the specific accounting period, being the average rates over the period for the income statement and the closing rates for the balance sheet at the balance sheet date.

Annual premium equivalent or APE

A measure of new business activity that is calculated as the sum of annualised regular premiums from new business plus 10 per cent of single premiums on new business written during the period.

Asset backed security

A security whose value and income payments are derived from and collateralised (or ‘backed’) by a specified pool of underlying assets. The pool of assets is typically a group of small and illiquid assets that are unable to be sold individually.

Available for sale (AFS)

Securities that have been acquired neither for short-term sale nor to be held to maturity. AFS securities are measured at fair value on the statement of financial position with unrealised gains and losses being booked in Other Comprehensive Income instead of the income statement.

B

Back book of business

The insurance policies sold in past periods that are still in force and hence are still recorded on the insurer’s balance sheet.

Bonuses

Bonuses refer to the non-guaranteed benefit added to participating life insurance policies and are the way in which policyholders receive their share of the profits of the policies. There are normally two types of bonus:

  • Regular bonus – expected to be added every year during the term of the policy. It is not guaranteed that a regular bonus will be added each year, but once it is added, it cannot be reversed, also known as annual or reversionary bonus; and
  • Final bonus – an additional bonus expected to be paid when policyholders take money from the policies. If investment return has been low over the lifetime of the policy, a final bonus may not be paid. Final bonuses may vary and are not guaranteed.
Bulk annuity

A bulk annuity, sometimes referred to as a bulk purchase annuity, is a contract between a defined benefit pension scheme and an insurance company, whereby an insurance company insures some or all of the liabilities of the pension scheme.

C

Cash surrender value

The amount of cash available to a policyholder on the surrender of or withdrawal from a life insurance policy or annuity contract.

Constant Exchange Rates (CER)

Constant Exchange Rates – Prudential plc reports its results at both actual exchange rates (AER) to reflect actual results and also constant exchange rates (CER) so as to eliminate the impact from exchange translation. CER results are calculated by translating prior period results using current period foreign currency exchange rates, ie, current period average rates for the income statements and current period closing rate for the balance sheet.

Closed-book life insurance business

A ‘closed book’ is essentially a group of insurance policies that are no longer sold, but are still featured on the books of a life insurer as a premium-paying policy. The insurance company has ‘closed the books’ on new sales of these products which will remain in run-off until the policies expire and all claims are settled.

Core structural borrowings

Borrowings which Prudential considers to form part of its core capital structure and exclude operational borrowings.

Credit risk

The risk of loss if another party fails to meet its obligations, or fails to do so in a timely fashion.

Currency risk

The risk that asset or liability values, cash flows, income or expenses will be affected by changes in exchange rates. Also referred to as foreign exchange risk.

D

Deferred acquisition costs or DAC

Acquisition costs are expenses of an insurer which are incurred in connection with the acquisition of new insurance contracts or the renewal of existing insurance policies. They include commissions and other variable sales inducements and the direct costs of issuing the policy, such as underwriting and other policy issue expenses. Typically, under IFRS, an element of acquisition costs are deferred, ie not expensed in the year incurred, and instead amortised in the income statement in line with the emergence of surpluses on the related contracts.

Deferred annuities

Annuities or pensions due to be paid from a future date or when the policyholder reaches a specified age.

Discretionary participation features or DPF

A contractual right to receive, as a supplement to guaranteed benefits, additional benefits:

  • That are likely to be a significant portion of the total contractual benefits;
  • Whose amount or timing is contractually at the discretion of the issuer; and
  • That are contractually based on asset, fund, company or other entity performance.
Dividend cover

Dividend cover is calculated as operating profit after tax on an IFRS basis, divided by the current period interim dividend plus the proposed second interim dividend.

E

Endowment product

An ordinary individual life insurance product that provides the insured party with various guaranteed benefits if it survives specific maturity dates or periods stated in the policy. Upon the death of the insured party within the coverage period, a designated beneficiary receives the face value of the policy.

European Embedded Value or EEV

Financial results that are prepared on a supplementary basis to the Group’s consolidated IFRS results and which are prepared in accordance with a set of principles issued by the Chief Financial Officers Forum of European Insurance Companies in May 2004 and expanded by the Additional Guidance of EEV Disclosures published in October 2005. The principles are designed to capture the value of the new business sold in the period and of the business in force.

F

Fixed annuities

Fixed annuity contracts written in the US which allow for tax-deferred accumulation of funds, are used for asset accumulation in retirement planning and for providing income in retirement and offer flexible pay-out options. The contract holder pays the insurer a premium, which is credited to the contract holders’ account. Periodically, interest is credited to the contract holders’ account and administrative charges are deducted, as appropriate.

Fixed indexed annuities

These are similar to fixed annuities in that the contract holder pays the insurer a premium, which is credited to the contract holder’s account and, periodically, interest is credited to the contract holder’s account and administrative charges are deducted, as appropriate. An annual minimum interest rate may be guaranteed, although actual interest credited may be higher and is linked to an equity index over its indexed option period.

Funds under management

These comprise funds of the Group held in the statement of financial position and external funds that are managed by Prudential asset management operations.

G

Group free surplus

Group free surplus at the end of the period comprises free surplus for the insurance businesses, representing the excess of the net worth over the required capital included in the EEV results, and IFRS net assets for the asset management businesses excluding goodwill. The free surplus generated during the period comprises the movement in this balance excluding foreign exchange, capital and other reserve movements. Specifically, it includes amounts maturing from the in-force operations during the period less the investment in new business, the effect of market movements and other one-off items.

Guaranteed annuities

Policies that pay out a fixed amount of benefit for a defined period.

Guaranteed investment contract (GIC) (US)

An investment contract between an insurance company and an institutional investor, which provides a stated rate of return on deposits over a specified period of time. They typically provide for partial or total withdrawals at book value if needed for certain liquidity needs of the plan.

Guaranteed minimum accumulation benefit (GMAB) (US)

A guarantee that ensures that the contract value of a variable annuity contract will be at least equal to a certain minimum amount after a specified number of years.

Guaranteed minimum death benefit (GMDB) (US)

The basic death benefit offered under variable annuity contracts, which specifies that if the owner dies before annuity income payments begin, the beneficiary will receive a payment equal to the greater of the contract value or purchase payments less withdrawals.

Guaranteed minimum income benefit (GMIB) (US)

A guarantee that ensures, under certain conditions, that the owner may annuitise the variable annuity contract based on the greater of (a) the actual account value or (b) a pay-out base equal to premiums credited with some interest rate, or the maximum anniversary value of the account prior to annuitisation.

Guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit (GMWB) (US)

A guarantee in a variable annuity that promises that the owner may make annual withdrawals of a defined amount for the life of the owner or until the total guaranteed amount is recovered, regardless of market performance or the actual account balance.

H

Health and protection

These comprise health and personal accident insurance products, which provide morbidity or sickness benefits and include health, disability, critical illness and accident coverage. Health and protection products are sold both as standalone policies and as riders that can be attached to life insurance products. Health and protection riders are presented together with ordinary individual life insurance products for purposes of disclosure of financial information.

I

Immediate annuity

An annuity in which payments to the annuitant or beneficiary start at once upon establishment of the annuity plan or scheme. Such annuities are almost always purchased with a single (lump sum) payment.

In-force

An insurance policy or contract reflected on records that has not expired, matured or otherwise been surrendered or terminated.

Inherited estate

For life insurance proprietary companies, surplus capital available on top of what is necessary to cover policyholders reasonable expectations. An inherited (orphan) estate is effectively surplus capital on a realistic basis built over time and not allocated to policyholders or shareholders.

Internal rate of return (IRR)

The IRR is equivalent to the discount rate at which the present EEV value of the post-tax cash flows expected to be earned over the lifetime of the business written in shareholder-backed life funds is equal to the total invested capital to support the writing of the business. The capital included in the calculation of the IRR is equal to the amount required to pay acquisition costs and set up reserves less premiums received, plus encumbered capital. The impact of the time value of options and guarantees is included in the calculation.

Internal vesting

Internal vestings are proceeds from a Prudential policy which the policyholder has decided to reinvest in a Prudential annuity product.

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

Accounting standards that all publicly listed groups in the European Union are required to apply in preparing consolidated financial statements.

Investment grade

Investments rated BBB- or above for S&P, Baa3 or above for Moody’s. Generally they are bonds that are judged by the rating agency as likely enough to meet payment obligations that banks are allowed to invest in them.

Investment-linked products or contracts

Insurance products where the surrender value of the policy is linked to the value of underlying investments (such as collective investment schemes, internal investment pools or other property) or fluctuations in the value of underlying investment or indices. Investment risk associated with the product is usually borne by the policyholder. Insurance coverage, investment and administration services are provided for which the charges are deducted from the investment fund assets. Benefits payable will depend on the price of the units prevailing at the time of surrender, death or the maturity of the product, subject to surrender charges. These are also referred to as unit-linked products or unit-linked contracts.

L

Liquidity coverage ratio

Prudential calculates this as assets and resources available to us that are readily convertible to cash to cover corporate obligations in a prescribed stress scenario. We calculate this ratio over a range of time horizons extending to 12 months.

Liquidity premium

This comprises the premium that is required to compensate for the lower liquidity of corporate bonds relative to swaps and the mark to market risk premium that is required to compensate for the potential volatility in corporate bond spreads (and hence market values) at the time of sale.

M

Market value reduction (MVR)

A reduction applied to the payment on with-profits bonds when policyholders surrender in adverse market conditions.

Money Market Fund (MMF)

An MMF is an open-ended mutual fund that invests in short-term debt securities such as US treasury bills and commercial paper. The purpose of an MMF is to provide investors with a safe place to invest easily accessible cash-equivalent assets characterised as a low-risk, low-return investment.

Mortality rate

Rate of death, varying by such parameters as age, gender and health, used in pricing and computing liabilities for future policyholders of life and annuity products, which contain mortality risks.

N

Net premiums

Life insurance premiums, net of reinsurance ceded to third-party reinsurers.

Net worth

Net assets for EEV reporting purposes that reflect the regulatory basis position, sometimes with adjustments to achieve consistency with the IFRS treatment of certain items.

New business margin

The value of new business on an EEV basis expressed as a percentage of the present value of new business premiums expected to be received from the new business.

New business profit

The profits, calculated in accordance with European Embedded Value Principles, from business sold in the financial reporting period under consideration.

Non-participating business

A life insurance policy where the policyholder is not entitled to a share of the company’s profits and surplus, but receives certain guaranteed benefits. Also known as non-profit in the UK. Examples include pure risk policies (eg fixed annuities, term insurance, critical illness) and unit-linked insurance contracts.

O

Open-ended investment company (OEIC)

A collective investment fund structured as a limited company in which investors can buy and sell shares.

Operational borrowings

Borrowings which arise in the normal course of the business.

P

Participating funds

Distinct portfolios where the policyholders have a contractual right to receive at the discretion of the insurer additional benefits based on factors such as the performance of a pool of assets held within the fund, as a supplement to any guaranteed benefits. The insurer may either have discretion as to the timing of the allocation of those benefits to participating policyholders or may have discretion as to the timing and the amount of the additional benefits. For Prudential the most significant participating funds are with-profits funds for business written in the UK, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Participating policies or participating business

Contracts of insurance where the policyholders have a contractual right to receive, at the discretion of the insurer, additional benefits based on factors such as investment performance, as a supplement to any guaranteed benefits. This is also referred to as with-profits business.

Payback period

Payback period is the time in which the initial ‘cash’ outflow of investment is expected to be recovered from the ‘cash’ inflows generated by the investment. We measure cash outflow by our investment of free surplus in new business sales. The payback period equals the time taken for this business to generate free surplus to cover this investment. Payback periods are measured on an undiscounted basis.

Present value of new business premiums or PVNBP

The present value of new business premiums is calculated as equalling single premiums plus the present value of expected premiums of new regular premium business, allowing for lapses and other assumptions made in determining the EEV new business contribution.

Prudential Regulation Authority or PRA

The PRA is a UK regulatory body responsible for prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms.

R

Regular premium product

A life insurance product with regular periodic premium payments.

Rider

A supplemental plan that can be attached to a basic insurance policy, with payment of additional premium.

Risk margin reserve (RMR) charge

An RMR charge is included within operating profit based on longer-term investment returns and represents a charge for long-term expected defaults of debt securities, determined by reference to the credit quality of the portfolio.

S

Scottish Amicable Insurance Fund (SAIF)

SAIF is a ring-fenced sub-fund of the Prudential Assurance Company’s long-term fund following the acquisition of the mutually owned Scottish Amicable Life Assurance Society in 1997. The fund is solely for the benefit of policyholders of SAIF. Shareholders of Prudential plc have no interest in the profits of this fund although they are entitled to asset management fees on this business.

Separate account

A separate account is a pool of investments held by an insurance company not in or ‘separate’ from its general account. They generally accrue to the policyholder. A separate account allows an investor to choose an investment category according to his individual risk tolerance, and desire for performance.

Single premiums

Single premium policies of insurance are those that require only a single lump sum payment from the policyholder.

Stochastic techniques

Stochastic techniques incorporate results from repeated simulations using key financial parameters which are subject to random variations and are projected into the future.

Subordinated debt

A fixed interest issue or debt that ranks below other debt in order of priority for repayment if the issuer is liquidated. Holders are compensated for the added risk through higher rates of interest. Under EU insurance regulation, subordinated debt is not treated as a liability and counts towards the coverage of the required minimum margin of solvency, with limitations.

Surrender

The termination of a life insurance policy or annuity contract at the request of the policyholder after which the policyholder receives the cash surrender value, if any, of the contract.

Surrender charge or surrender fee

The fee charged to a policyholder when a life insurance policy or annuity contract is surrendered for its cash surrender value prior to the end of the surrender charge period.

T

Takaful

Insurance that is compliant with Islamic principles.

Time value of options and guarantees

The value of financial options and guarantees comprises two parts, the intrinsic value and the time value. The intrinsic value is given by a deterministic valuation on best estimate assumptions. The time value is the additional value arising from the variability of economic outcomes in the future.

Total shareholder return (TSR)

TSR represents the growth in the value of a share plus the value of dividends paid, assuming that the dividends are reinvested in the Company’s shares on the ex-dividend date.

U

Unallocated surplus

Unallocated surplus is recorded wholly as a liability and represents the excess of assets over policyholder liabilities for Prudential’s with-profits funds. The balance retained in the unallocated surplus represents cumulative income arising on the with-profits business that has not been allocated to policyholders or shareholders.

Unit-linked products or unit-linked contracts

See 'investment-linked products or contracts' above.

Universal life

An insurance product where the customer pays flexible premiums, subject to specified limits, which are accumulated in an account and are credited with interest (at a rate either set by the insurer or reflecting returns on a pool of matching assets). The customer may vary the death benefit and the contract may permit the customer to withdraw the account balance, typically subject to a surrender charge.

V

Variable annuity (VA) (US)

An annuity whose value is determined by the performance of underlying investment options that frequently includes securities. A variable annuity’s value is not guaranteed and will fluctuate, depending on the value of its underlying investments. The holder of a variable annuity assumes the investment risk and the funds backing a variable annuity are held in the insurance company’s separate account. VAs are similar to unit-linked annuities in the UK.

W

Whole of life

A type of life insurance policy that provides lifetime protection; premiums must usually be paid for life. The sum assured is paid out whenever death occurs. Commonly used for estate planning purposes.

With-profits funds

See ‘participating funds’ above.

Y

Yield

A measure of the income received from an investment compared to the price paid for the investment. Normally expressed as a percentage.

Next page:

Reporting tools

Save pages of the report
to download, print or email

View your pages

Feedback

Your comments and ideas
help us to shape future reports
to suit your needs

Tell us your views