Henri de Castries
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of AXA (2000-2016)

The world is getting older. Our social welfare systems, designed for a past demographic situation, will no longer be able to provide financial independence for the majority of people. The situation will generate either human drama for the elderly or social tensions due to the risk of an inter-generational economic imbalance. Today, AXA has therefore deliberately chosen to focus its life insurance and savings activities on critical retirement issues.

Set against the aging of the population in developed countries, growth today without endangering the resources available to future generations involves among other things the sustainable financing of pensions. This means helping ensure that costs are split fairly between workers and pensioners over the long term, while raising awareness of this issue both individually and collectively well before people reach retirement age.

AXA believes that it has an important role to play in terms of both educating people and providing products and services, in order to limit this inter-generational financial imbalance that will be brought about by social protection systems being out of sync with demographic trends.

This is what the Group's awareness-building campaigns are working towards, looking beyond the accepted and necessary commercial grounds. In order to fuel debate at national level, these campaigns are notably drawing on the global research carried out each year into the behaviors and cultures of various populations in relation to retirement issues. In addition, the Group is developing a range of innovative solutions on this segment, combining savings, advisory and healthcare services as well as assistance.

The Global Forum for Longevity opens new perspectives on longevity

In addition to financial impacts, increased life expectancy is having an impact on intergenerational solidarity and profoundly modifying the different phases of life. In spite of advances in research, we poorly understand the causes of this trend and its consequences, which tend to bring a multitude of often-interdependent factors into play. Hence, the perspectives in terms of increasing life expectancy can only be analysed through overlapping approaches, demographic, societal and biomedical. This observation is the rationale behind the first Global Forum for Longevity initiated by AXA and organized in March 2011.
This special occasion for exchanges between policy-makers and world experts is part of the Group's efforts to support research and initiatives in favour of improved understanding and prevention of risks, in particular through the AXA Research Fund.