New ways of protecting people from the kind of economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may be found in mandatory schemes that would provide support when hardship hits, research from Zurich Insurance Group and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford reveals.
Among the recommendations in the report, “Shaping A Brighter Future of Work”, are calls to consider mandatory provision of some types of income protection insurance, such as coverage for disabilities and unemployment. Auto-enrollment of employees in plans such as those that offer basic income protection and participation in pension schemes is also recommended.
“While some countries were hit harder by COVID-19 than others, people in every corner of the globe found themselves facing financial hardship and drained their savings, and, in some cases, retirement funds, as a way to stay afloat,” said Alison Martin, Zurich’s CEO EMEA and Bank Distribution. “Our findings highlight the demand for solutions that will make it easier for people to prepare for and make it through these kinds of crises.”
The report is the latest in research that began in 2015 when Zurich and the Smith School partnered in an initiative that focused on income protection gaps and agile workforce protection, i.e. flexible insurance and associated worker protection which is provided by multiple stakeholders and tailored to individual career trajectories, addressing various transition points in working lives. The earlier work, which includes a report published in October 2020, established the need for decisionmakers to update social protection frameworks. The impact of COVID-19 reinforced those findings.
FREE UBI FROM POLITICIANS MAY PROVE MORE POPULAR
Calls for mandatory and compulsory protections are being raised in some countries, the report notes. In Spain, for example, discussions are being held regarding a UK-style model of auto-enrollment into pension plans and the introduction of compulsory savings programs. In the UK, there is discussion around making employer-funded sick pay compulsory.
However the recent decision by the Welsh Assembly on Universal Basic Income, and previous experiments in Canada (as far back as the 1970s) and Finland (2019) may win support from a large minority of the public who prefer not to work at all, and therefore survive on a relatively low income provided by the State and not means-tested.
The 2019 trial in Finland found that people were happier, even though job prospects were not improved, according to the BBC report.
The UK furlough scheme has also provided a generous 60-80% of salary for thousands of people during the pandemic, which has reinforced the general notion that the government – regardless of previous party policy – can suddenly magic up some money, if it deems the move politically necessary.
Politicial ideologies centred around getting money for nothing, as a basic human right, are far more likely to win support than the notion of compulsory income protection insurance or savings schemes. The idea that capitalism has a positive value in itself is being dismantled by globalists and being replaced by social credit scoring. Those who do work are increasingly being employed by the State, NGOs or large State contractor companies, not in the private sector.
This is the reality the insurance industry must deal with; taking personal responsibility for your own economic wellbeing is deeply unfashionable. To correct past crimes, the State will provide and should provide. That is the woke mindset. You cannot fight it.