By Shaun Ho
GENTING HIGHLANDS - Figures show that 65 per cent of insurance agents earn below RM20,000 (S$8,031) per year.
"We often think that insurance agents make big money.
"But their remuneration is below the average wage of a Malaysians which is RM33,000 per year," said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai, quoting figures from the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia.
Lim described the figure as "surprisingly low".
"We are now receiving feedback from all stakeholders, insurance companies and also agents.
"We want to ensure the best practices from developed nations are implemented here," he added after launching the 34th Namlifa Mega Conference here yesterday.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Malaysian Life Insurance Fieldforce and Advisers (Namlifa) called on Bank Negara to review outdated cost guidelines regulating life insurance agents.
Its president Sethu Karuppan pointed out commission rates have been capped since 1996.
"The Operating Cost Control (OCC) guidelines which were introduced in 1996 for the benefit of policy holders, does not match inflation rates," he said.
He also called for a review of the replacement of policy (ROP).
"When policy holders want to exchange their old policies for new ones, agents will incur a penalty if there are too many requests for ROP.
"The reasoning behind this was to prevent bad agents from tricking clients into buying new policies," said Sethu.
He said Namlifa wanted the ROP to be reviewed so that agents were not penalised when a client wanted to change to a new policy.
Sethu said there 83,174 insurance agents in Malaysia.