Abbreviations

Glossary and abbreviations

Here is a glossary of terms and a list of abbreviations and definitions used in Aegon's Integrated Annual Report.

Here is a list of abbreviations and definitions used in Aegon's Integrated Annual Report.

AFM Authority for the Financial Markets

ALCO Asset & Liability Management Committee

ALM Asset Liability Management

BCR Basic Capital Requirement

CEE Central & Eastern Europe

DNB Dutch Central Bank

DOL Department of Labor

EFRAG European Financial Reporting Advisory Group

FSB Financial Stability Board

GICs Guaranteed Investment Contracts

GMDB Guaranteed Minimum Death Benefits

GMIB Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefits

GMWB Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefits

G-SII Global Systematically Important Insurer

HLA Higher Loss Absorbing Capacity

IAIS International Association of Insurance Supervisors

ICS Insurance Capital Standard

ORSA Own Risk and Solvency Assessment

PPI Premium Pension Institution

SEC United States Securities and Exchange Commission

Accounting Consolidation is the default method for calculating the Group solvency position. With this consolidation method, diversification benefits in the calculation of capital requirements are allowed.

Acquisition date is the date on which the acquirer effectively obtains control of the acquiree. In most cases this includes at least the transfer of risks and rewards related to the acquired business or assets/liabilities.

Actuarial funding enables a life insurance company to reduce the size of the unit reserves it holds for unit-linked business to reflect some or all of the unit-linked charges it expects to receive in the future from the units nominally allocated. Actuarial funding is used on those contracts that have surrender penalties and the Company will hold a minimum of the surrender value at all times.

Actuarial gains and losses relate to the accounting for post-employment benefit plans. They comprise the effects of experience adjustments and changes in assumptions used to determine the cost of a plan.

Alt-A mortgages relates to a type of US residential mortgage which are securitized home equity loans. Typical Alt-A borrower has a credit score high enough to obtain an: 'A' standing. Alt-A mortgages are primarily backed by loans with fixed interest rates for the entire term of the loan.

Aggregation is the methodology by which capital requirements are calculated across different risk groupings, allowing for diversification benefit between the groupings.

Amortized cost is the amount at which the financial asset or liability is measured at initial recognition minus principal repayments, plus or minus the cumulative amortization using the effective interest rate method of any difference between that initial amount and the maturity amount and minus any reduction (directly or through the use of an allowance account) for impairment or uncollectability. Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) are securities whose value and income payments are derived from and collateralized (or 'backed') by a specified pool of underlying assets.

Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) are securities whose value and income payments are derived from and collateralized (or 'backed') by a specified pool of underlying assets

Authorized Control Level (ACL) is the level regulators are permitted to seize control of a company

Assets held by long-term employee benefit funds are part of plan assets. These are assets (other than non-transferable financial instruments issued by the reporting entity) that:

  • Are held by an entity that is legally separate from the reporting entity and exists solely to pay or fund employee benefits; and
  • Are available to be used only to pay or fund employee benefits and are not available to the reporting entity's own creditors.

Bifurcation is the measurement and presentation of embedded derivatives separate from the host contracts, as if they were stand-alone derivative financial instruments.

Binomial option pricing model uses a binomial lattice that represents possible paths that might be followed by the underlying asset's price over the life of the option, for a given number of time steps between valuation date and option expiration. Each node in the lattice represents a possible price of the underlying asset, at a particular point in time. The valuation process is iterative; it starts at each final node and then works backwards through the lattice to the first node, which is the valuation date, where the calculated result is the value of the option.

Business combination is the bringing together of separate entities or operations of entities into one reporting entity. This  can be realized through a purchase transaction or by means of a merger. A business combination involving entities (or operations of entities) under common control is a business combination in which all of the combining entities (or operations of entities) ultimately are controlled by the same party or parties both before and after the combination, and that control is not transitory.

Company Action Level (CAL) is the regulatory intervention level at which a company has to submit a plan to its state regulators for the Aegon Americas segment. It is 200% of the Authorized Control Level (ACL) – the level regulators are permitted to seize control of a company. It is a requirement and the most pertinent for measuring risk-based capital (RBC).

Capital funding includes debt securities that are issued for general corporate purposes and for capitalizing our business units. Capital funding is part of the Company's total capitalization that is used for financing our subsidiaries and the cash held  at the holding company.

Capitalization is the recognition of a cost as part of the cost of an asset on the statement of financial position.

Cash-generating unit is the smallest identifiable group of assets that generates cash inflows that are largely independent of the cash inflows from other assets or groups of assets. 

Cedant is the policyholder under a reinsurance contract.

Claims settlement expenses are costs incurred in settling a claim. These costs include internal administration and payout costs, but also such items as attorney´s fees and investigation expenses.

Collateral is an asset pledged by a borrower to secure a loan and is subject to seizure in the case of default.

Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) is a type of asset-backed security which provides investors exposure to the credit risk of a pool of fixed income assets.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS) is a type of mortgage-backed security that is secured by the loan on a commercial property.

Compound financial instruments are financial instruments that, from the issuer´s perspective, contain both a liability and an equity element.

Constructive obligation is an obligation that derives from an entity´s actions whereby an established pattern of past practice, published policies or a sufficiently specific current statement, the entity has indicated to other parties that it will accept certain responsibilities, and as a result, the entity has created a valid expectation on the part of those other parties that it will discharge those responsibilities.

Contingent liability is a possible obligation dependent on the occurrence of an uncertain future event or a present obligation for which payment is not probable or the amount cannot be measured reliably.

Credit risk is the risk that one party to a financial instrument will fail to discharge an obligation and cause the other party to incur a financial loss.

Currency exchange rate risk is a market risk, namely the risk that the value of a financial instrument will fluctuate due to changes in foreign exchange rates.

Debt securities are interest-paying bonds, debentures, notes, or money market instruments that are issued by governments or corporations. Debt securities are issued with a promise of repayment on a certain date at a specified rate of interest.

Deduction & Aggregation is the alternate method for calculating group solvency that aggregates an entity without allowing for diversification between the entity that is aggregated using D&A and those that are aggregated using Accounting Consolidation.

Deferred tax assets are amounts of income taxes recoverable in future periods in respect of deductible temporary differences; the carry forward of unused tax losses; and the carry forward of unused tax credits.

Deferred tax liabilities are amounts of income taxes payable in future periods in respect of taxable temporary differences.

Defined benefit obligation is the present value, without deducting any plan assets, of expected future payments required to settle the obligation resulting from employee service in the current and prior periods.

Defined benefit plans are post-employment benefit plans other than defined contribution plans.

Defined contribution plans are post-employment benefit plans under which an entity pays fixed contributions into a separate entity (a fund) and will have no legal or constructive obligation to pay further contributions if the fund does not hold sufficient assets to pay all employee benefits relating to employee service in the current and prior periods.

Deferred Policy Acquisition Cost (DPAC) – are the variable costs related to the acquisition or renewal of insurance contracts and investment contracts with discretionary participation features.

Deposit accounting method includes amounts charged and paid to customers directly into the financial liability and not through the income statement as premium income and claims.

Derecognition is the removal of a previously recognized asset or financial liability from an entity´s statement of financial position.

Derivatives are financial instruments whose value changes in response to an underlying variable, that require little or no net initial investment and are settled at a future date.

Discretionary participation feature is 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:

  • The performance of a specified pool of contracts or a specified type of contract;
  • Realized and/or unrealized investment returns on a specified pool of assets held by the issuer; or
  • The profit or loss of the Company, fund or other entity that issues the contract.

Diversification is the general concept of reducing the total risk of a portfolio of assets and/or liabilities by spreading it across a mix of different risk exposures. Risk reduction occurs due to the less than perfect correlation among the individual risk exposures in the portfolio, meaning risks will not materialize all at the same time.

Effective interest rate method is a method of calculating the amortized cost of a financial asset or liability and of allocating the interest income or expense over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash payments or receipts through the expected life of the financial instrument or, when appropriate, a shorter period to the net carrying amount of the financial asset  liability.

Embedded derivative is a component of a hybrid instrument that also includes a non-derivative host contract, with the effect that some of the cash flows of the combined instrument vary in a way similar to a derivative. 

Equity instruments are financial instruments issued by the Group that are classified as equity if they evidence a residual interest in the assets of the Group after deducting all of its liabilities.

Equity method is a method of accounting whereby the investment is initially recognized at cost and adjusted thereafter for the post-acquisition change in the investor´s share of net assets of the investee. The profit or loss of the investor includes the investor´s share of the profit or loss of the investee.

Equity volatility is the relative rate at which the price of equity changes.

Excess cash in the holding, which is rather a measure of Holdings liquidity, can be defined as the sum of the Holding company assets, less capital investments, less matched short term assets, less other adjustments. Aegon's internal policy for the management of excess cash in the holding is based on a similar approach as the management of the Group and Local Unit capitalization, using a range approach and a ladder of intervention to trigger timely conversations and escalating management actions.

Exchange differences are differences resulting from translating a given number of units of one currency into another currency at different exchange rates.

Fee-based earnings refers to the excess of fees earned over expenses. This is typically associated with pensions business, asset management business, distribution business, variable annuities and unit linked products.

Finance lease is a lease that transfers substantially all the risks and rewards incident to ownership of an asset.

Financial asset is any asset that is:

  • Cash;
  • An equity instrument of another entity;
  • A contractual right to receive cash or another financial asset from another entity or to exchange financial instruments with another party under conditions that are potentially favorable; or
  • A contract that will or may be settled in the entity's own equity instruments; and is 
  • A non-derivative for which the entity is or may be obliged to receive a variable number of the entity's own equity instruments; or
  • A derivative that will or may be settled other than by the exchange of a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of the entity's own equity instruments.

Financial instrument is any contract that gives rise to both a financial asset of one entity and a financial liability or equity instrument of another entity.

Financial liability is any liability that is: 

  • A contractual obligation to deliver cash or another financial asset to another entity or to exchange financial assets or financial liabilities with another entity under conditions that are potentially unfavorable to the entity; or
  • A contract that will or may be settled in the entity's own equity instruments; and is
  • A non-derivative for which the entity is or may be obliged to deliver a variable number of the entity's own equity instruments; or
  • A derivative that will or may be settled other than by the exchange of a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of the entity's own equity instruments.

Financial risks are risks of a possible future change in one or more of the following variables: a specified interest rate, financial instrument price, commodity price, foreign exchange rate, index or prices or rates, credit rating or credit index or other variable, provided in the case of a non-financial variable, that the variable is not specific to a party to the contract. 

Firm commitment is a binding agreement for the exchange of a specified quantity of resources at a specified price on a specified future date or dates.

Fixed charge coverage is a measure of the Aegon's ability to service its financial leverage. It is calculated as the sum of underlying earnings before tax and interest expenses on financial leverage divided by interest payments on financial leverage. The fixed charge coverage includes the impact of interest rate hedging.

Foreign currency is a currency other than the functional currency of an entity within the Group.

Foreign currency translation reserve (FCTR) is part of shareholders' equity, and is the reserve for the exchange differences recognized from the financial statements of the group entities. On the consolidation, the financial statements of group entities with a foreign functional currency are translated to euro, the currency in which the consolidated financial statements are presented. Assets and liabilities are translated at the closing rates on the reporting date. Income, expenses and capital transactions (such as dividends) are translated at average exchange rates or at the prevailing rates on the transaction date, if more appropriate. The resulting exchange differences are recognized in the FCTR.

Foreign operation is an entity that is a subsidiary, associate, joint venture or branch of a reporting entity within the Group, the activities of which are based or conducted in a country or currency other than those of the reporting entity. 

Functional currency is the currency of the primary economic environment in which an entity within the Group operates. 

Fungibility & Transferability is the ability to up-stream and transfer capital between jurisdictions. This ability differs between jurisdictions as it depends on the legal framework of each jurisdiction.

General account investments are investments of which the financial risks are not borne by the policyholder.

Goodwill is the amount of future economic benefits arising from assets that are not capable of being individually identified and separately recognized as an asset in a business combination.

Government exposures relates to government issued securities including Dutch Government bonds and US Treasury, agency and state bonds.

Guaranteed benefits are payments or other benefits to which a particular policyholder or investor has an unconditional right  that is not subject to the contractual discretion of the issuer.

Guaranteed minimum death benefits are benefits that guarantee that the beneficiary, as named in the contract, will receive a death benefit if the annuitant dies. The benefit received differs among contracts and may be greater than the current account value.

Guaranteed minimum income benefits are a type of option that annuitants can purchase for their retirement annuities. When the annuity is annuitized, this specific option guarantees that the annuitant will receive a minimum value's worth of payments, regardless of the current level of the account value.

Guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits are a type of option that annuitants can purchase for their retirement annuities. This specific option gives annuitants the ability to protect their retirement investments against downside market risk by allowing the annuitant the right to withdraw a percentage of their withdrawal base each year, regardless of how markets have performed.

Hedge effectiveness is the degree to which changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedged item that are attributable to a hedged risk are offset by changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedging instrument.

Incremental cost is one that would not have been incurred if the entity had not acquired, issued or disposed of a financial instrument.

Insurance asset is an insurer´s contractual right under an insurance contract.

Insurance contract is a contract under which one party (the insurer) accepts significant insurance risk from another party (the policyholder) by agreeing to compensate the policyholder if a specified uncertain future event (the insured event) adversely affects the policyholder.

Insurance liability is an insurer´s contractual obligation under an insurance contract.

Insurance risk is a risk, other than financial risk, transferred from the holder of a contract to the issuer.

Interest rate risk is a market risk, namely the risk that the value of a financial instrument will fluctuate due to changes in market interest rates.

Joint control is the contractually agreed sharing of control over an economic activity, which exists when the strategic and operating decisions relating to the activity require the unanimous consent of the parties sharing control.

Liability adequacy testing is an assessment of whether the carrying amount of an insurance liability needs to be increased (or the carrying amount of related deferred policy acquisition costs or related intangible assets decreased) based on a review of future cash flows.

Liquidity risk is the risk that an entity will encounter difficulty in raising funds to meet commitments associated with financial instruments.

Loss absorbing capacity of deferred taxes is a loss compensating effect of taxes taken into account in the solvency capital requirement.

Master netting agreement is an agreement providing for an entity that undertakes a number of financial instrument transactions with a single counterparty to make a single net settlement of all financial instruments covered by the agreement in the event of default on, or termination of, any contract.

Matching adjustment will adjust the discount rate applied in the valuation of predictable liabilities which are cash flow matched using fixed income assets. The predictability of the portfolio means that matching assets can be held to maturity and that the insurer is consequently not exposed to price movements, only to the risk of default.

Minimum capital requirement is the absolute minimum level of capital an insurance company must hold in excess of its  Technical Provisions under Solvency II.

Monetary items are units of currency held and assets and liabilities to be received or paid in a fixed or determinable number of units of currency.

Monoline insurer is an insurance company which issues types of insurance for securities and bonds to cover the interest and principal when an issuer defaults.

Negative amortization mortgages are loans whereby the payment made by the borrower may be less than the accrued interest due and the difference is added to the loan balance. When the accrued balance of the loan reaches the negative amortization limit (typically 110% to 125% of the original loan amount), the loan recalibrates to a fully amortizing level and a new minimum payment amount is determined. 

Non-controlling interests are that portion of the profit or loss and net assets of a subsidiary attributable to equity interests that are not owned, directly or indirectly through subsidiaries, by the parent. 

Onerous contracts are contracts in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the obligations under the contract exceed the economic benefits expected to be received under it. 

Operational funding includes debt securities that are issued for the financing of dedicated pools of assets. These assets are either legally segregated or tracked as separate portfolios. 

Operating expenses are all expenses associated with selling and administrative activities (excluding commissions) after reallocation of claim handling expenses to benefits paid.

Partial Internal Model is a combination of a Standard Formula and Internal Model, used to calculate the Solvency II capital requirement.

Past service cost is the increase in the present value of the defined benefit obligation for employee service in prior periods, resulting in the current period from the introduction of, or changes to, post-employment benefits.

Plan assets are assets held by a long-term employee benefit fund and qualifying insurance policies.

Policy acquisition costs are the expenses incurred in soliciting and placing new business as well as renewal of existing business. It includes agent's commissions, underwriting expenses, medical and credit report fees, marketing expenses and all other direct and indirect expenses of the departments involved in such activities.

Policyholder is a party that has a right to compensation under an insurance contract if an insured event occurs. 

Presentation currency is the currency in which the financial statements are presented.

Price risk is a market risk, namely the risk that the value of a financial instrument will fluctuate as a result of changes in market prices.

Private loan is a non-derivative financial asset with a fixed interest rate and a maturity date, which is not bought in an active market but negotiated between the two parties involved. Private loans are not embodied in securities. When a private loan takes the form of a private placement of bonds or other investments directly to an institutional investor like an insurance company, it has more the character of a bond loan and such financial instruments are classified as available-for-sale investments rather than as loans and receivables.

Projected unit credit method is an actuarial valuation method that sees each period of service as giving rise to an additional unit of benefit entitlement and measures each unit separately  to build up the final obligation.

Qualifying insurance policies are a component of plan assets. These are insurance policies issued by an insurer that is not a related party of the reporting entity, if the proceeds of the policies:

  • Can be used only to pay or fund employee benefits under a defined benefit plan; and
  • Are not available to the reporting entity's own creditors.

Real estate investments foreclosed are real estate investments purchased through foreclosure on the mortgage. Such purchases are not accounted for as mortgages, but as real estate investments until they can be sold at a better price than at the foreclosure. Meanwhile they yield a rental income. 

Realizable value is the amount of cash or cash equivalents that could currently be obtained by selling an asset in an orderly disposal.

Recognition is the process of incorporating in the statement of financial position or income statement an item that meets the definition of an element and satisfies the following criteria for recognition:

  • It is probable that any future economic benefit associated with the item will flow to or from the entity; and
  • The item has a cost or value that can be measured with reliability.

Reinsurance assets are a cedant´s net contractual rights under a reinsurance contract.

Reinsurance contract is an insurance contract issued by one insurer to compensate another insurer for losses on one or more contracts issued by the cedant.

Renewal of a contract is when a policyholder takes whatever action is required, typically payment of a premium, in order to maintain benefits under the contract.

Repurchase agreement is a sale of securities with an agreement to buy back the securities at a specified time and price.

Residential Mortgage Backed Security (RMBS) is an assetbacked security that is secured by a mortgage or collection of mortgages.

Return on plan assets is the investment income derived from plan assets, together with realized and unrealized gains and losses on the plan assets less any costs of administering the plan and less any tax payable by the plan itself.

Reverse repurchase agreement is a purchase of securities with the agreement to resell them at a later specified date and price.

Risk Based Capital Company Action Level is designed primarily for US regulators to identify poorly capitalized companies whose continued operations may be hazardous to policyholders. The insurer's RBC solvency ratio is determined as its "total adjusted capital" divided by "authorized control level risk based capital. (ACL)" However, it is industry and rating agency convention to complete and communicate the RBC solvency ratio relative to the "Company Action Level Risk Based Capital", which is twice the authorized control level. 

Security lending involves a loan of a security from one party to another.

Settlement date is the date that a financial asset is delivered to the entity that purchased it. 

Solvency II is the fundamental reform of European insurance legislation. 

Solvency capital requirement is the level of capital an insurance company must hold in excess of its Technical Provisions under Solvency II.

Spot exchange rate is the exchange rate for immediate delivery. 

Spread is the difference between the current bid and the current ask or offered price of a given security.

Spread earnings is the difference between the interest earned on investments and the interest credited to policyholders. This is typically associated with traditional type business.

Standard Formula is a risk-based approach to the calculation of an insurer's solvency capital requirement, prescribed by the regulator.

Stochastic modeling is a statistical process that uses probability and random variables to predict a range of probable investment performances.

Temporary differences are differences between the carrying amount of an asset or liability in the statement of financial position and its tax base that will reverse over time.

Trade date is the date that an entity commits itself to purchase or sell an asset.

Transaction costs are incremental costs that are directly attributable to the acquisition, issue or disposal of a financial asset or liability.

Transitional measures allow EEA entities to gradually move to a full implementation of Solvency II over a period of time. 

Trust Pass-Through securities (TRUPS) are securities through which the holders participate in a trust. The assets of these trusts consist of debentures issued by an Aegon Group company.

Unlocking of DPAC and VOBA refers to the process of updating the DPAC or the VOBA amortization schedule to reflect changes between the past and current expectations of key assumptions used in the projection of future gross profits. 

Value of Business Acquired (VOBA) the difference between the fair value and the carrying amount of the insurance liabilities recognized when a portfolio of insurance contracts is acquired (directly from another insurance company or as part of a business  combination).

Volatility adjustment is a volatility adjustment to the discount rates for calculating technical provisions aims at avoiding pro-cyclical investment behavior of insurers when bond prices deteriorate owing to low liquidity of bond markets or exceptional expansion of credit spreads. The adjustment has the effect of stabilizing the capital resources of insurers and will be calculated by EIOPA.