SYDNEY - AMP says market conditions are tough and the insurer and wealth manager is working on the assumption those conditions will continue into 2010.

Chairman Peter Mason has told shareholders at the group's annual general meeting today that even though stock markets had picked up in the past couple of months, the downturn still had a way to go.

"Market conditions in 2009 are tough and we are working on the basis that this will remain the case into 2010, and perhaps beyond," he said.

"Even though stock markets have picked up over the past couple of months, the economic recession has a long way to go."

Mason said AMP was also preparing for significant changes in the superannuation industry in the next few years due to new policies and regulation and consumer demand.

"As we work to preserve capital and control costs, we are also preparing the company for some significant changes that are likely to lie ahead," he said.

"There are a number of government reviews underway, or flagged to begin soon, that are likely to result in recommendations for changes in the financial services industry, and particularly in the superannuation."

Australia has one of the largest private pensions markets in the world, worth over US$1 trillion and is projected to grow by 12 per cent a year for the next 10 years.

"The size and liquidity of our superannuation market has enabled Australia to lead the world in the amount of new equity raised from global share markets over the past six months, to recapitalise financial and industrial companies," Mason said.

"So, as you would expect, we have been in constant dialogue with the federal government since its election, to understand its views on superannuation and investment policy, and how it would like the industry to evolve."

- AAP