In the United Kingdom, AEGON is positioning itself to capture the opportunities presented by pension reform and the introduction of automatic enrolment into pension schemes. In March 2012, AEGON announced it would be working with the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) Corporation in the United Kingdom to provide integrated auto-enrolment support for employers who want to run an AEGON pension scheme alongside a NEST scheme. Auto-enrolment is expected to increase employer and employee engagement in workplace pension arrangements and AEGON is well placed to offer complementary pension solutions. AEGON is on track to launch a dedicated workplace savings platform solution in mid-2012, as part of its recently launched AEGON Retirement Choices (ARC) platform.
AEGON is also focused on securing strategic distribution agreements in the United Kingdom ahead of the market changes as a result of the Retail Distribution Review and has recently confirmed it has been selected for the restricted advice panel of leading adviser group Sesame Bankhall.
Asia represents a key long-term growth market for AEGON. To fully optimize the prospects for AEGON's businesses throughout the region, all of AEGON's Asian operations are now managed from the company's regional head office in Hong Kong. This allows AEGON to better leverage product and distribution expertise, capture efficiencies, and pursue organic growth of AEGON's franchise in Asia. As of the first quarter of 2012, AEGON has revised its financial reporting to reflect these changes in its organization. Businesses that were previously managed by AEGON Americas are included in the Asia line of business within the "New Markets" segment going forward. The change does not have any impact on consolidated total underlying earnings or net income reported by AEGON.
In Spain, AEGON has reached an agreement with Liberbank to expand its long-term life insurance and pension partnership with the acquisition of 50% of Liberbank Vida. In addition to the network of Caja Cantabria, the agreement now also includes the branch networks of Cajastur and Caja Extremadura. The agreement allows AEGON and Liberbank to provide life insurance and pension products to over one million clients through a network of over 700 branch offices.In India, AEGON Religare has relaunched iTerm, an innovative term life insurance product combining it with a number of optional new riders. The company once again demonstrates its leading position in online sales and expects to sell at least 15 to 20 percent of its policies through online distribution within two years as millions of Indian consumers go online. Since the introduction of iTerm in 2009, over 19,000 policies have been sold online. AEGON received approval from the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) to set up a second premiepensioeninstelling (PPI), a low-cost carrier for individual retirement savings accounts. AEGON's second PPI will provide defined contribution pension solutions for small- and medium-sized enterprises and is complimentary to AEGON's first PPI which specifically targets larger corporations. Deliver operational excellence