Questions & Answers
What does the proposed transfer mean to me?
Apart from changing the provider of your policy to Friends First Life Assurance Company dac, there won’t be any change to the operation of your policy as a result of the transfer. Friends First Life Assurance Company dac will be renamed as Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland dac on or about 29 March 2019.
In particular, the transfer won’t have any effect on:
- the way we invest the funds backing your policy;
- any payments you make or receive under the terms of your policy;
- the way you contact us; or
- the level of service you receive.
The transfer will, however, mean that your policy will no longer qualify for protection under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You can find more information in the following question.
Will the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) still apply to my policy?
The FSCS provides protection for policies provided by UK companies in the event of them becoming insolvent. If the transfer goes ahead, your policy will be provided by Friends First Life Assurance Company dac which is a company incorporated in Ireland and so will no longer qualify for protection under the FSCS.
There’s no equivalent protection scheme in Ireland but the Independent Expert says, in his report, that Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited and Friends First Life Assurance Company dac are well capitalised entities and so the risk of insolvency is remote. His view is that the continued administration of your policy is essential and significantly more material than the FSCS protection that you will lose.
Is my policy safe? Will I lose any benefits?
Can I still refer a complaint to the Ombudsman?
If the transfer goes ahead, you’ll still be able to refer any future complaints to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman in Ireland.
In addition, you’ll still be able to refer any complaints that relate to Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited’s conduct in the UK prior to the proposed transfer to the UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service.
Will the proposed transfer change the tax status of my policy?
The tax status of your policy should be unaffected by the proposal if you are resident in Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Sweden or France. We would not expect there to be negative impacts for policyholders residing in other countries but if you are resident outside of Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Iceland, Sweden or France or if you have changed your country of residence since you purchased your policy, you may wish to seek advice from a tax adviser on the implications of the proposal on the tax status of policies in your country.
Will I receive any payment as a result of the transfer?
Will I have the right to end my policy as a result of the transfer?
The rules and regulations of the country in which you live may allow you to cancel your policy as a result of the transfer. We’ll let you know after the transfer if this is the case.
If this isn’t going to affect me, why are you writing to me?
We are writing to customers to tell them about our proposal and to outline the process we are following. This is a statutory requirement under laws affecting the proposed transfer. Please read all the information we’ve sent you and which is also available on our website.
What effect will this have on how you handle my policy?
- You’ll still have the same type of policy and it will keep the same policy number
- If your policy contains investment funds (such as equities or bonds) these won’t change as a result of the transfer
- The administrative arrangements for your policies won’t change as a result of the transfer
- How you contact us by phone or in writing won’t change
- The company providing your policy will change to Friends First Life Assurance Company dac
- Any options on your policy such as the ability to switch investment fund or increase the level of cover are not changing
Will my payments change?
Any payments made to or from us won’t change as a result of our proposal and you don't need to do anything. The transfer won’t affect your direct debit arrangements although the name appearing on your bank statement may be slightly different to what it is today.
Will your contact details change?
No. If you need to contact us, please contact us in the usual way.
If I’m worried about my policy or want to speak to someone, who can I contact?
If you have any questions about your policy please call your usual number or contact your adviser.
Who will provide my annuity, if I choose one?
Your policy may have future benefits such as an annuity. If the transfer goes ahead Friends First Life Assurance Company dac will provide this.
Will the proposed transfer impact my with-profits policy?
As part of the transfer, we’ll make some small changes to the name of your with-profits fund and the way we manage it. We don’t expect these changes to have a material negative impact.
What are the Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM)?
The Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM) is a document produced for each with-profits fund to explain how we manage that fund, as required by our industry regulators in the UK. We’ll update these if the transfer goes ahead.
Can I expect a better return on my with-profits policy?
The proposed transfer will have no direct effect on your investment returns or with-profits bonuses. These will continue to be driven by how the market performs and the investment strategy of your chosen funds.
Will I continue to get my special bonus?
The transfer will not change the frequency or timing of any bonus or special bonus payments we may make for with-profits policies.
I have a claim in progress. Will that be affected by the proposed transfer?
If the proposed transfer receives court approval any claims on policies which transfer as set out above and which are paid after the transfer date will be paid by Friends First Life Assurance Company dac. The way in which your claim is managed by Aviva will not change as a result of the transfer.
Will I get a demutualisation bonus from this transfer?
This is not a demutualisation so there is no bonus or voting process.
(Demutualisation is the process by which a mutual organisation owned by its members, converts to a public limited company that is owned by its shareholders.)
Will there be a windfall payment?
No. That term is normally used when an insurance company or building society floats on the stock market and makes shares available to its existing customers.
Someone else has an interest in my policy. Do I need to do anything?
If someone else has an interest in your policy, please make sure they also have the chance to read the information we’ve sent you and direct them to this website for further information.
Is my personal information safe?
If the transfer takes place, Friends First Life Assurance Company dac will become the data controller for personal information that is held for those policies that are transferring. Friends First Life Assurance Company dac will have the same duty to respect the confidentiality and privacy of that information as we had before the transfer and the way Friends First Life Assurance Company dac protects and uses that personal information won’t change. Friends First Life Assurance Company dac is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in terms of its rights and responsibilities in relation to data protection.
You can find more information about how Friends First Life Assurance Company dac uses personal information including the legal basis for processing and how you can exercise your rights here.
I want to speak to an adviser about this. What should I do?
If you don’t have an adviser to talk to, please contact your local regulator for advice on finding a suitably qualified adviser.
Will you cover my expenses for independent advice if I want it?
We’re unable to cover any costs for personal legal or financial advice.