During my undergraduate days in SMU, I recalled taking a compulsory module in BGS – Business, Government and Society. It opened up my eyes to how the actions of these 3 key stakeholders interact with each other because their fates are intertwined. More than a decade later, those concepts remain more relevant than ever. ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance, measures elements related to sustainability and societal impact of a company. It is a concept widely adopted in the financial industry and which in turn popularized the phenomenon of ESG Investing.
What is ESG Investing?
ESG Investing is an investment approach that considers both financial and ESG factors and often times used interchangeably with sustainable investing. Investors are already increasingly becoming more conscious of the broader impact of companies that they invest in. However, this phenomenon gathered even stronger momentum ever since the world was plunged into the pandemic in 2020. It has also spawned a group of retail investors who want to achieve financial returns while incorporating ESG objectives into their investment portfolios. Thankfully, this is now made possible with the launch of the first ever green endowment insurance plan- an easy-to-understand and accessible financial product that allows everyday Singaporeans to support ESG investing.
How do you achieve ESG Investing with GREAT Green SP?
The GREAT Green SP launched by Great Eastern is Singapore’s first GREEN endowment product and forms part of their initiative to move towards responsible and sustainable investments. Its investment strategy focuses on its contribution to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and are categorized into 2 broad factors: Environmental and Social.
Broadly, GREAT Green SP’s underlying asset will contain Green bonds and loans which are intended to encourage sustainability and to support climate-related or other types of special environmental projects. These projects seek to produce positive environmental benefits and facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon economy. Note that Green bonds are typically asset-linked and backed by the issuing entity’s balance sheet, so they usually carry the same credit rating as their issuers’ other debt obligations. In other words, there is almost little or no compromise on the quality and safety when investing in Green bonds.
In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the GREAT Green SP will be donated to local sustainability-focused charity ZERO Waste SG. Specifically, Great Eastern will donate $1,000 for every $1,000,000 of single premiums received, ensuring that Singapore’s local ESG efforts get a boost as well.
Other Features of GREAT Green SP
Having said all these, let’s not forget that GREAT Green SP is an endowment plan afterall. The following are its other features:
GREAT Green SP is a single premium policy and the minimum premium amount starts from $5,000. The low quantum is ideal as it puts it within reach of more mass retail investors who want to do good while investing.
As a 3-year endowment plan, the lock-in period is relatively short. This offers reasonable liquidity to the policyholder. For instance, parents who foresee that they would require to utilise funds for their children’s education in only 3 to 4 years’ time may find GREAT Green SP’s short-term commitment suitable to their financial needs.
While returns are guaranteed at 1.55% per annum upon maturity, it is possible to juice it up slightly by reinvesting the annual guaranteed payouts. Policyholder can do so by selecting the Accumulation Option, which is 1 of 2 types of payout options as shown in Diagram 1.
*The figures used above are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to rounding. Please refer to the Policy Illustration for exact figures.
§Based on the prevailing accumulation interest rate of 2.50% p.a. on cash payout. At accumulation interest rate of 1.00% p.a. on cash payout, the total illustrated payout at maturity is S$52,348 with an illustrated yield at maturity of up to 1.54% p.a.. These rates are not guaranteed and can be changed from time to time. ǁ This figure is subject to rounding and is based on the prevailing accumulation interest rate of 2.50% p.a.. This accumulation interest rate is not guaranteed and can be changed from time to time.
If policyholder selects the (i)Paid-out option, policyholder will receive a guaranteed payout of 1.55% of the single premium on survival of the life assured at the end of each of policy years 1 to 3. If policyholder selects the (ii) Accumulation option, the annual guaranteed payouts will be reinvested to generate additional non-guaranteed interest.
There is a plethora of options such as cash and SRS to fund the one-time premium of GREAT Green SP. Application can be made online securely on this url from the comfort of your couch. Payment is conveniently processed via online: eNETs, AXS, bank transfer.
Regardless, these payment options make GREAT Green SP easily accessible to the retail investors. Moreover, it is a fuss-free application with no medical check-up required.
The capital of your GREAT Green SP is 100% capital guaranteed at maturity. Plus, your policy is protected up to the specified limit under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC).
Other insurance benefits
GREAT Green SP provides protection against Death and Total and Permanent Disability during the policy term. GE will pay 105% of the single premium, or the surrender value of the policy, whichever is higher, less any indebtedness under the policy. Please refer to the product summary for the full details of these benefits.
GREAT Green SP is an easily accessible financial product which allows retail investors to make a difference for the environment at the same time. At 1.55% p.a. upon maturity, which puts it on par with its previous limited tranche product, this proves that it is wholly possible to support green initiatives without compromising on one’s financial returns.
Make an impact with your investment! Apply online now
*Disclosure: This article is for information only and reflects my opinion, and not that of Great Eastern. It is not financial advice and has no regards to any person’s investment and financial needs. Please seek advice from a qualified advisor for a suitable product. Past performance of a product is not indicative of its future performance. Great Eastern is not responsible to any person for this article including any unauthorised use of information. This is not an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any products.
Precise terms, conditions and exclusions of products are in the policy contracts.
Protected up to specified limits by SDIC
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Information is correct as at 19 July 2021