NU Online News Service, Jan. 3, 2:39 p.m. – The New York office of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, an accounting and consulting firm, says retirement planning will be the top global insurance industry trend in the coming year.

“Much of the world still looks to the state to fund the majority of the income for those individuals that have reached retirement,” the firm says in a report on what its insurance experts believe will be the top industry trends. “But this will change.”

Executives at many life insurance companies and life insurance divisions may have been pleased with the slow-but-steady performance of their organizations in 2001, but Deloitte says life insurers will continue to shift into the more volatile asset accumulation market.

Insurers will still have to improve their computers, software and networks, but they will also have to do a better job of appealing to the agents, brokers and other human beings who sell most of their products, the firm says.