What is Branch 21? - AG Employee Benefits
branch 21

Published on 11/09/2019

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What is Branch 21?

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Group insurances in Branch 21 enjoy a guaranteed return. AG enters into a long-term obligation of result, regardless of actual investment performance.

The premiums paid by employers and/or affiliates are capitalised at a guaranteed interest rate.

 

Branch 21 at AG Employee Benefits


Branch 21 group insurance with a guaranteed return continues to be by far the most popular way
to save towards a supplementary pension in Belgium. As the market leader, we continue to stand behind an attractive Branch 21 product in response to employer demand for safe-haven investments. Between Branch 21 and our extensive Branch 23 offering, AG has positioned itself as your go-to source for all kinds of supplementary pension solutions on the insurance market.

 
   

How can we be sure to deliver your guaranteed return in Branch 21?


On the one hand, we mainly invest in fixed income assets and, in particular, government bonds with a high credit quality. These investments make up the core of the AG Employee Benefits General Fund portfolio, where Branch 21 products with a guaranteed return are held.​

We then ensure that the income from our investments covers our pension expenses for the next 30 to 40 years. This is commonly known as the cashflow matching strategy. All our return obligations (4.75%, 3.25%, etc.) from the past are fully hedged thanks to this method.

In order to remain consistent with the cashflow matching principle, we need to continuously adjust the guaranteed interest rate for our new pension commitments to reflect the reality on the financial markets.




 


 

  

We currently offer the following guaranteed interest rate:

  • 1.75% for plans with guaranteed reserves
  • 0.50% for plans with guaranteed reserves and premiums


 

How do you earn an additional return in Branch 21?


Our portfolio is primarily invested in bonds, but also in other asset classes such as equities and real estate as well as loans and infrastructure projects (for example, the renovation of over 250 school buildings via the Schools of Tomorrow project). With these more dynamic investments, we seek out opportunities to invest in a more sustainable way as well as to add social value to the Belgian economy.
On 31st December 2023, the asset mix in our investment portfolio was as follows:

 Investment portfolio.jpg


By diversifying our portfolio, we are able to generate an additional return for you in the form of potential annual profit sharing​, on top of the guaranteed return.

Since 2013, we have announced the average total minimum net returns for the coming year and the following year at the beginning of the year, per plan participant and per pension plan. These average net total returns are as follows (subject to approval by the General Meeting of Shareholders on April 19, 2024):​

2024:

  • 1.75% on plans with guaranteed reserves
  • 1.75% on plans with guaranteed reserves and premiums

2025:

  • 1.75% on plans with guaranteed reserves
  • For the plans with guaranteed reserves and premiums, the average net total return will be determined later

     

Sustainability initiatives at AG


At AG, we are convinced that sustainable and responsible investing is critical to a successful long-term investment strategy. Environmental, social and governance factors (known as ESG factors) can also have a real impact on investment risk and performance. 

F
or this reason, AG's general investment policy (FR - NL) always takes ESG risk scores into account in its analysis before investing in certain companies, and also ensures that controversial sectors are excluded. 

F
or interested investors, AG has developed Branch 21 (FR NL) products that take the approach to sustainable and responsible investing even further.

 

Want to find out more about Branch 21?


Feel free to contact our sales managers. They will be happy to answer your questions. You will find more articles about Branch 21 and Branch 23 below. You can also check the AG EB Invest dashboard to get a clear and detailed overview of each of our funds.​


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