An iceberg gounded near an old fishing stage

The insurance industry is calling on the federal government to improve access to annuities, take action of climate change, and curb taxes on financial institutions.

In a submission to the government ahead of the next federal budget, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) asked the government to go beyond the measures in the last budget that aim to facilitate the use of advanced life deferred annuities (ADLAs), by expanding the availability of variable payment life annuities (VPLAs) to all registered retirement plans.

“We believe that standalone VPLAs should be permitted to pool participants from all registered retirement plans to provide the broadest possible access for Canadians,” the organization stated in its submission.

Additionally, the CLHIA recommends waiving the liquidity requirements under the TFSA rules to enable investors to hold life annuities within TFSAs.

“Many Canadians are using TFSAs to supplement retirement savings. These individuals should have the flexibility to secure their retirement through a guaranteed lifetime income from that plan,” it said.

The CLHIA also called on the government to combat climate change, which, it said, poses a unique risk to insurers.

“While managing climate change is of interest to many, it is of particular interest to the life and health insurance industry,” it said. “We support the government’s continued investment in mitigating climate change and look forward to continuing to work with the government on this issue.”

Finally, the group said that the government should eliminate the capital tax on Canadian financial institutions to enhance the sector’s competitiveness.

“Such clear government action would send an unequivocal message that encourages and supports capital accumulation by financial institutions to protect consumers,” the CLHIA stated.