Surplus Distribution

The term "surplus distribution" is synonymous with the term "life insurance dividend". It denotes the distribution of surplus money earned by a mutual life insurance company to its whole life insurance policyholders.

In Switzerland, a number of life insurance companies make allowance for possible surplus distributions in their life insurance policies.

Swiss life insurance providers may reimburse policyholders for a certain portion of premiums paid – if investment and interest rate conditions enable them to make above-average profits.

This is possible when a life insurance company estimates investment growth too conservatively at the beginning of an investment cycle, and ends the cycle with higher profits than it had anticipated.

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Benjamin Manz is CEO of moneyland.ch and an independent expert on banking and finance.