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The Longer Self-Determined Life

A longer life is an opportunity to keep growing, to learn and to enjoy self-determination. However, the public perception of longevity tends to be more negative. Swiss Life strongly advocates a positive perspective on ageing and aims to establish itself as a thought leader in this area.

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Since November 2015, a “longer self-determined life” has been the guiding theme of Swiss Life and part of its corporate strategy. The social and economic consequences of the fact that we are living longer are insufficiently accounted for in almost all areas of life. In response, Swiss Life is contributing to the public debate by showing what needs to be done and outlining the opportunities and challenges of living longer. The aim is to raise awareness of the issue across the generations. After all, we owe it to posterity to respond to the challenges of growing life expectancy and initiate change.

People want to retain their independence and self-determination in old age. Swiss Life thus wants to help its customers to envisage, prepare for and enjoy a longer self-determined life by developing targeted products and solutions and providing the right advice to enhance customer value. However, more needs to be done. Everyone needs to contribute: both society as a whole and every individual. If people are to enjoy a self-determined old age, they need to take more individual responsibility for their pension provision. A fulfilled and independent life in retirement depends on thorough planning and the early implementation of those plans. Swiss Life wants to help shape this debate.

Live longer, work longer

One consequence of growing life expectancy is that people in some professions are retiring later. This has repercussions for employers, who must become more flexible, develop new perspectives for the various stages of a career and offer new working models. Swiss Life is already involved in this process and is currently working on measures and offers, which contribute to helping their own staff to perform and stay motivated. That applies to employees at all stages of their career – including beyond the normal retirement age.

Facts on growing life expectancy

In 1900 life expectancy in Switzerland was 46 years. Now a 65-year-old man can expect to live for another 19 years, and a woman of the same age for another 22. It’s the same throughout Europe. According to forecasts by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), life expectancy in Europe is increasing by three months every year. That comes to 2.5 years per decade. By 2040, average life expectancy in Europe will be 90 years. Researchers are talking about a longevity revolution.

Communication Campaigns

The guiding theme of a “longer self-determined life” provides the basis for Swiss Life›s marketing and communication activities. Advertising and online campaigns in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France aim to motivate people to meet the opportunities and challenges that result from a longer life.


Studies and Surveys

In March 2016, Swiss Life published the results of an independent study on a “longer self-determined life”. The survey results, based on a questionnaire issued to over 1200 people in Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland, show that most people have a negative perception of longevity. However, on a personal level the respondents did acknowledge the positive aspects of living for longer. 91% see independence as a central aspect of ageing.

Further information on the survey results about a “longer self-determined life” is available under this link: www.swisslife.com/selfdetermined.


In October 2016, Swiss Life published the results of a representative survey on intergenerational solidarity, which covered over 3000 people in Switzerland, Germany and France. One of the main findings: almost 90% of respondents want more intergenerational solidarity. However, the younger generations are not very optimistic about solidarity improving, with almost two thirds assuming that redistribution from young to old will lead to conflict. The younger the respondent, the more likely he or she is to detect potential for conflict.

Information on the survey results on intergenerational solidarity are available here: www.swisslife.com/generations.

“The redistribution from young to old will cause conflict”


Content Hub

The Swiss Life Group maintains a content platform with its digital content hub swisslife.com, which hosts a differentiated and varied analysis of longevity, demographic change and self-determination. Every week there is new content, articles and interviews as well as blogs and charts. Statements by international experts, studies and surveys ensure that the topics are approached from different angles. The hub can be accessed at: www.swisslife.com/hub.


“What matters in life”

Swiss Life has produced an emotional and original film to mark the launch of the guiding theme. The three-minute film shows people, from a three-year-old toddler to a 103-year-old senior citizen, providing touching accounts of what they think matters in life. What does self-determination mean to them? What do they wish for now and in the future? Swiss Life shows through this film how everyone has their own ideas of what a longer self-determined life means. The film received many international awards in 2016.

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