320 DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE—INSURANCE BRANCH. BRITISH EMPIRE—Continued.
DEATH CLAIMS AND EXPENDITURE.
The mortality among the lives assured was again much below the estimate, and resulted in a considerable profit. 372 deaths occurred, and claims thus arose under 418 policies, assuring £140,745, inclusive of reversionary bonus.
Four annuitants in receipt of £335 4s. id. per annum also died during the year. The disbursements on account of commission and management expenses show a reduced percentage on the premium receipts.
In addition to the above charges, there was an exceptional item of expenditure on account of the purchase of the business of the Positive and the liquidation of that company.
TOTAL FUNDS AND POLICIES IN FORCE.
At the close of the year the total funds amounted to £2,549,942, showing an increase of £154,829 as a result of the operations of the year. The policies in force were 25,456 in number, assuring £8,581,248, including bonus additions (after deduction of reassurances) ; and 146 securing annuities of £12,175 per annum.
The basis of valuation adopted is as follows :
English policies.—Hm. mortality table, interest 34 per cent net premium valuation.
Canadian policies.—Hm. mortality table, interest 31 per cent net premium valuation.
"Western counties" policies.—Hm. mortality table, interest 31 per cent. Reserve for expenses and profits, 15 per cent of the future premiums (no negative values).
Annuities.—Government annuity table (1883), interest 31 and 31 per cent, as above.
The valuation brings out a surplus of £102,924, apart from the reserve fund of £47,945, and the directors have resolved that a sum of £98,430 be divided among the participating policy-holders, and the balance be carried to reserve, making that fund £52,439. The divisible surplus of £98,430 will be sufficient to provide a uniform reversionary bonus at the rate of £1 7s. 6d. per cent per annum in the temperance section, and £1 5s. per cent per annum in the general section, and four-fifths of these reversionary bonuses respectively in the case of Canadian participating policies.
The bonus now declared is appreciably higher than the average bonus allotted at the last distribution of profits, and the members will be gratified to observe that the company's prosperity during the triennium just ended has enabled the directors to make a large distribution of surplus, to add considerably to the reserve fund, and to reduce the rate of interest assumed in the valuation of the home policies—the great majority of the entire contracts—from 31 to 34 per cent. It is evident that the profits of the triennium would have permitted the distribution of a much larger bonus than that now declared, but the directors confidently believe that the adoption of a consistent policy of applying a portion of the surplus to strengthening the valuation and other reserves will be cordially approved by the members, more particularly at a time like the present, when the difficulty of investing capital safely and remuneratively, and a restricted yield of profit from other sources, have led several life offices of high repute to reduce their rate of bonus.
The members are reminded that the next valuation will be made at the end of 1899, the succeeding one at the end of 1901, after which last named date the valuations will take place at the end of every five years.