Have you ever watched Korean drama “Shining inheritance”?


In the show, Go Eun-sung’s father died from a gas explosion. However, her stepmother took the life insurance money and moved out with her daughter, leaving Eun-Sung and her autistic brother, Eun-Joo.

What is more devastating was that later Eun-sung learned that her father had bought life insurance before his death, he had contemplated suicide just so his family could benefit from the money.

What is the point to have a life insurance yet leave your own children without money or shelter? How can you make sure your loved ones to receive what they deserve? What if you can achieve this by just taking a simple step, an insurance nomination?

Under the Insurance Act in Singapore, you can decide who are the beneficiaries of your insurance policy.

Under new insurance nomination of beneficiaries framework introduced from Sep 1, 2009, you can make insurance nomination either at the time of buying a policy or at any time after the policy is issued. There are two types of nominations:

  • a trust nomination under Section 49L or
  • a revocable nomination under Section 49M of the Insurance Act.

You can find more details about these two types of nominations here.

Insurance policies that can be nominated

All of the following criteria must be met before a policy owner can consider making a nomination:

  1. The policy must be a life policy or an accident and health policy that provide death benefits, and
  2. The policy must be effected by the policy owner on his or her own life. The policy owner must be at least age 18 years to be eligible to make a nomination.

Insurance policies that cannot be nominated

If the insurance policy falls under any of the following categories, the nomination of the beneficiary under the Insurance Act is not allowed.

  • The policy is purchased under the Minimum Sum Scheme (MSS)
  • The policy is effected by the policy owner to insure another life assured
  • The policy is placed on trust
  • The policy does not have a death benefit. eg. All private integrated shield plans

Your Guide to Insurance Nomination

your-guide-to-nob-2013If you want to make a nomination, there is a guide published by Life Insurance Association (LIA) of Singapore. It is called “Your Guide to the Nomination of Insurance Nominees”. It is better for you to read and understand the implications before making any nomination.

This guide outlines how the Insurance Nomination Law, which came into effect on 1 September 2009, applies to various types of policies and the steps in making a trust or revocable nomination.


  1. Application of insurance nomination law to various types of policies
  2. Trust Nomination
  3. Revocable Nomination
  4. Application to other types of policies

Download the Guide

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About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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