Article date: 13 December 2007
Aviva welcomes today's publication of the FSA's clarification of the rules governing with-profits funds.
Policyholder eligibility confirmed
Following this clarification by the FSA, Aviva is able to confirm the eligibility criteria agreed with the Policyholder Advocate for the proposed potential reattribution.
In summary, it has been agreed that, should the reattribution proceed, a policy will be eligible if:
- It was an in-force policy in CGNU Life Assurance Limited (CGNU) or Commercial Union Life Assurance Company Limited (CULAC) with-profits funds on 21 November 2006, the day on which the Policyholder Advocate was appointed; and
- It is still in force on the day any potential reattribution takes place.
Mark Hodges, chief executive of Norwich Union Life, said: "I am pleased that today we have been able to announce the reattribution eligibility criteria agreed with Clare Spottiswoode, the Policyholder Advocate.
"We have been working with the Policyholder Advocate over the last year or so towards agreement of an offer that is fair to both our policyholders and shareholders. I believe today's clarification from the FSA clears the way for us to conclude negotiations in the near future and see if we can make a fair offer to eligible policyholders."
David Ross, Norwich Union 07800 699665
Ed Simpkins, Finsbury 07947 740551
Matthew Newton, Finsbury 07909 545503
Sue Winston, Aviva 020 7662 8221
Office of the Policyholder Advocate
Jonathan Haslam 07969 001769
Notes to editors:
Further detail on eligibility
Norwich Union and the Policyholder Advocate have also agreed the rules governing policies that change or are amended between the initial qualification date of 21 November 2006 and any future potential reattribution date. In summary, these are:
- Policies that have matured or terminated according to their contractual terms (eg normal retirement date on a pension policy, the maturity date on an endowment policy, or death) will remain eligible policies
- Policies that end or are amended as a result of the policyholder choosing an early termination of the policy or a move out of the eligible with-profit funds will lose their eligibility (eg taking retirement proceeds before the normal retirement date, except where a flexible retirement date option exists, or surrendering an endowment policy prior to the maturity date of the policy)
- With-profits bond holders who cash-in their policies in full prior to the reattribution date will become ineligible
- If the policy value decreases (eg by partial surrender, partial switch out of the withprofit funds or part of the investment is withdrawn) then the policy remains eligible but the incentive payment may decrease
- If the policy value increases due to additional payments being made in to the policy, the policy remains eligible, but the incentive payment does not increase.
Outline timetable for potential reattribution:
- Winter 2007/early 2008 - on-going negotiations with the Policyholder Advocate on potential reattribution.
Subject to the successful completion of negotiations:
- Early 2008 onwards - policyholders invited to vote on whether to accept the reattribution offer
- Not earlier than summer 2008 - incentive payments made to eligible policyholders who accept the offer.
Further detail on Norwich Union's potential reattribution can be found at: www.norwichunion.com/fundtransfer.
Further information about the Office of the Policyholder Advocate can be found at: www.policyholderadvocate.org.
Policyholders do not need to take any action at the moment. In the event that negotiations conclude then full details will be made available to all eligible policyholders.
Any reattribution is subject to final agreement by the Aviva plc board and to High Court approval. Today's announcement on eligibility does not confirm that the potential reattribution will proceed.
Aviva is the leading provider of life and pensions to Europe with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world's fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2006.
Aviva's principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £41.5 billion and assets under management of £364 billion at 31 December 2006.
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