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To this very moderate success and to the influence of the results attained in Germany in the efforts there made to provide for compulsory insurance may be traced the renewal of the consideration of government insurance in Great Britain in 1882. A committee was appointed at that time to inquire into the reasons why the act of 1864 had been of so little effect. The main reason was said to be the absence of personal motive, though in the law itself the provision fixing £20 ($97.33) as the minimum amount of life insurance was held to debar many from securing burial money, for which this sum was unnecessarily large and often beyond the abilities of those desiring to insure; another principal defect was found in the minimum age of 16 years, since the working classes in England are to a large extent insurers of the lives of their children early in life. The new law (45 and 46 Vict., chap. 51), which followed the report of this committee, incorporated a number of the changes recommended, though not all, and removed the minimum limit on both annuities and life insurance. It also made the minimum age for taking out insurance five years, simplified procedure in a marked degree, largely increased the facilities for the payment of premiums, provided for the alteration of the original contract, etc., and made provision for a guaranteed benefit after two annual payments instead of after five as in the law of 1864.
The changes introduced were of some effect, though the increase was not of such volume as to suggest any great popularity of the scheme. For the five years preceding the act of 1882, the average annual number of annuities issued was 942, amounting to £15,864 ($77,202), while for the first year of the operation of the new law 1,011 annuities were issued, of a total value of £20,140 ($98,011). The number of life insurances issued through a period of five years under the old law averaged 255 per year, of a value of £20,439 ($99,461), while under the new law the number issued during the first year was 528, the total amount being £35,390 ($172,225).
The total number of deferred annuity contracts in force at the end of 1907 was 2,930, amounting to £61,092 12s. 10d. ($297,307). Of these 169 were newly formed during the year, their value being £3,593 9s. ($17,848). The number of life policies taken out was 492, amounting to £24,912 3s. 5d. ($121,235). The total number of insurances at the end of the year was 13,261, of a value of £765,861 8s. 8d. ($3,727,065).
PRESENT PURPOSE AND SCOPE.
With the end in view of extending information on the subject, circulars are prepared by the Government for distribution at the postoffices showing the principal rules relating to the issuing of annuities and insurances, and also abridged tables of premiums. The purpose and scope of this form of undertaking can not be better summarized than is done in these circulars, copies of which follow:
ANNUITIES AND LIFE INSURANCE.
Limits.- Immediate or deferred annuities from £1 [$4.87] up to £100 [$486.65) may be purchased through the post-office savings bank on the life of any person over 5 years
These annuities are payable by equal half-yearly installments on the 5th January and the 5th July, or on the 5th April and the 10th October, according to the date of purchase. On the death of an annuitant a single payment equal to one-fourth part of the annuity is payable to the representatives, if claimed within two years.
The lives of persons of either sex between 14 and 65 years of age may be insured for any amount from £5 ($24.33] up to £100 [$486.65]. The lives of children between 8 and 14 years of age may be insured for £5 ($24.33].
Further annuities and insurances.-If the amount of the annuity or insurance purchased is less than £100 [$486.65] further annuities and insurances may be purchased from time to time until the total amount of annuities depending on the life is £100 [$486.65] and the total sum insured is £100 [$486.65).
Security.—The persons to whom annuities are granted, or whose lives are insured by the postmaster-general, have direct government security for the payment of the money at the proper time.
Proposals.- Forms of proposal for annuities and insurances may be obtained at any post-oflice savings bank.
Evidence of age. -Persons proposing to purchase annuities must furnish a certificate of birth or baptism as evidence of their age.
Proposers for life insurance furnish a statement, giving full particulars of their age, upon a form which will be supplied by the postmaster with the form of proposal. If such statement, after receipt in the savings-bank department, can be verified by the registrar general, London, no further evidence of age will be required, but if not, the proposer must provide, at his own cost, such certificate of birth or baptism, or other evidence of age, as shall be required of him.
When the age has once been proved, further contracts are granted without requiring any further evidence of age.
Husband and wifë.--Husband and wife may each purchase an annuity of £100 [$486.65), or they may purchase such an annuity on their joint lives, and may each be insured to the full amount of £100 [$486.65].
Issue of contract. The contract for an annuity or an insurance is issued on payment of the purchase money if a single payment, or of the first annual premium in full.
Premiums, how payable.—Annuity and insurance premiums are payable through the medium of a savings bank deposit account, and are accepted in addition to ordinary deposits and deposits for immediate investment in government stock. Provision can be made from time to time for the payment of premiums by depositing not less than 1s. [24 cents) at any post-office savings bank, and by the use of the
penny-stamp slips the provision can be made in sums of 1d. [2 cents) at a time.
So long as there is a sufficient sum standing to the credit of the deposit account each premium will be transferred therefrom, as it becomes due, to the account of sums received in respect of annuities and insurances, without the depositor being troubled in the matter, and notice will be sent as evidence that the premium has been paid. If the balance in the account is insufficient to cover any premium due, the depositor will be informed accordingly in time to make a deposit, which may be done at any post-office savings bank. If desired, the premiums can be transferred from the account of any person other than the annuitant or insurant with the consent in writing of the depositor.
Friendly societies.- Members of friendly or provident societies may pay their premiums through such societies by arrangement with the postmaster-general and the societies.
Trading firms, etc.—The premiums in connection with contracts granted to the employees of firms and public bodies can be paid in installments, by arrangement with the postmaster-general. A circular containing full information on the subject can be obtained from the controller of the savings-bank department.
Payment of annuities and insurances.—All amounts that may become due to a depositor or his representatives in respect of annuities or insurances will be credited to his deposit account, and will be paid at any post-office savings bank in the United Kingdom by means of warrants drawn on that account.
Tables of premiums.-The immediate annuity table is given in full in the accompanying leaflet. Some of the deferred annuity and insurance tables are also given, and any further information as to cost can be obtained from the savings-bank department. The deferred annuity tables are framed for the grant of such annuities either with or without the return of the purchase money. These annuities can be deferred for any period from 10 to 50 years. Under the purchase money returnable system, in the event of a desire to discontinue paying the premiums, or of death before the annuity commences, the whole of the premiums are returned, without interest. The premiums for deferred annuities are lower under the not-returnable system, but, as in the case of immediate annuities, the purchase money is not returnable in any event.
Nominations.-Any person, not under the age of 16 years, to whom an insurance is granted, may nominate a person or persons to whom the money due at death is to be paid, and a form of nomination, with full instructions as to filling it up, can be obtained upon application to the controller of the savings-bank department.
Premiums with examples.—The following are examples of various classes of annuities and the cost:
A male aged 65 can purchase an immediate annuity of £1 [$4.87] payable half-yearly, for £9 13s. 4d. [$47.04).
A female aged 70 can purchase an immediate annuity of £1 [$4.87] payable half-yearly, for £8 14s. 2d. [$42.38).
When the condition of a deferred annuity contract is that the purchase money shall be returned either upon the death of the person on whose life the annuity is to depend, or at the option of the purchaser, provided that payment of the annuity has not, in either case, commenced:
A female aged 24 may purchase a deferred annuity of £1 [$4.87] to commence on her reaching the age of 60, and to be payable halfyearly, either by an annual payment until she reaches the age of 60, of 4s. 4d. [$1.05]; or by an immediate payment of £5 4s. 11d. [$25.53].
When the condition of a deferred annuity contract is that no part of the purchase money shall, in any event, be returned:
A male aged 24 may purchase a deferred annuity of £1 ($4.87] to commence on his reaching the age of 54, and to be payable halfyearly, either by an annual payment until he reaches the age of 54, of 4s. 4d. ($1.05); or by an immediate payment of £3 19s. 10d. [$19.43].
Although in the case of annuities granted under the nonreturnable scale no part of the purchase money paid can be returned, yet if the annuity is being purchased by annual installments and the purchaser is unable to keep up the payments to the end of the period for which the annuity is deferred, the money paid is not lost, as an exchange contract can be granted for such an amount of annuity, to commence at the time fixed in the original contract as the payments made may justify:
Joint annuities.-Any two persons may purchase an immediate annuity on their joint lives, with or without continuance of the annuity to the survivor. The cost of any joint annuity will be furnished on application to the controller of the savings-bank department, giving the age and sex of each of the persons on whose lives the annuity is to depend.
Life certificates.—Before any half-yearly installment of an annuity can be paid, the person on whose life the annuity depends must be proved to be alive on the date the installment becomes due. A form of life certificate for this purpose is provided by the department.
Premiums with examples.—The premiums charged for the insurance of lives vary with the ages of the persons whose lives are insured and with the mode in which they are payable.
The following examples show various ways in which insurances may be effected:
"I'he life of a male or female between 21 and 22 years of age may be insured for £10 ($48.66] payable at death
By an annual payment throughout life of 4s. [97 cents).
ou-age insurances. The payment of a sum of money may be insured on the attainment of the age of 55, 60, or 65 years, or sooner in the event of death, by the payment of a single or annual premium, and the payment of a sum of money may be insured at the expiration of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40 years, or sooner in the event of death, by the payment of a single premium.
Insurance without medical examination. Insurances from £5 [$24.33] to £25 ($121.66), inclusive, may be effected without a medical examination upon production of satisfactory evidence as to health, but in such cases, if the insurant should die before the second annual premium becomes payable, the amount of the first premium, and no more, will be paid to his representatives, and if he should die after the payment of the second annual premium, and before the third premium becomes payable, half the amount insured, and no more, will be paid to his representatives. In either of these cases, however, if it shall be proved to the satisfaction of the postmaster-general that the death of the insured person was caused by accident, the full amount insured will be paid. In any case, immediately after the payment of the third annual premium, the insured person is, of course, entitled to the full benefit of insurance.
Insurance with medical examination.—Persons proposing to insure for more than £25 ($121.66) must undergo a medical examination by a medical practitioner appointed by the postmaster-general, and the fee is paid by the department. Persons proposing to insure for sums not exceeding £25 ($121.66] may undergo a medical examination, if they so desire, by payment of a fee of half a crown [61 cents] to the medical examiner. In all cases of insurances granted after medical examination, the insured person is entitled to the full benefit of insurance immediately the policy is issued.
The postmaster-general reserves to himself the right of declining to insure any life that may be presented.
Surrender value paid.- If, after having paid not less than two annual premiums, an insurant should be unable to continue, or should desire to discontinue, the payments, such sum of money will be returned as the national debt commissioners shall determine to be the surrender value of the contract.
Residence abroad.-Permission is granted to persons over 30 years of age who have been insured 5 years to reside in any part of the world without the payment of any extra premium.