With these measures, Aegon commits to the 'best of class' principles of the Dutch Ministry of Finance. These principles are the result of an industry-wide review by the Ministry of the various agreements reached between individual insurance companies and customer interest groups in relation to unit-linked insurance policies. The Ministry has made a strong appeal to all industry participants to apply its principles.
Aegon had previously made substantial product improvements to the unit-linked insurance policies which its Dutch business sold before January 1, 2008. Aegon's approach was to settle compensation with clients when the policy expires. However, to comply with the Ministry's principles, Aegon will now settle compensation immediately by making direct additions to policy values before year-end 2012. As a result of this acceleration of previously announced measures, Aegon will take a one-off charge of EUR 265 million before tax that will be recognized in the second quarter of 2012.
In addition, Aegon will reduce future policy costs beginning in 2013 onward for the large majority of its unit-linked portfolio. This will impact underlying earnings before tax over the remaining duration of the policies by approximately EUR 125 million on aggregate. The quarterly impact in 2013 is expected to be EUR 7 million before tax, to be mitigated by the cost savings program in the Netherlands.
Marco Keim, member of Aegon's Management Board, stated: "It is our ambition to rebuild the trust that is so essential to Aegon and the success of our business. We are committed to further developing and providing simpler, more transparent products and services that meet the needs and expectations of our customers. We believe that adopting the principles as identified by the Ministry of Finance is the best solution in the interest of policyholders as well as Aegon's other stakeholders."