We've put together a list of some of the most common questions that policyholders ask us. If you have a question about your policy, take a look here to see if we've answered it.
If you can't find an answer then give us a call on 0800 953 1777 and one of our staff will be pleased to help you.
Getting your money
Will I receive the money when my policy matures?
Generally, we pay you as the original policyholder, except when:
- the policy is assigned to another person or company, in which case we will pay the money to them
- the policy is held under trust, in which case we will pay the trustees
- you have asked us to pay the money to a solicitor where they are accepting money or acting on behalf of the policyholder. If it's a joint policy and the policy holders are no longer together then a percentage to each may be paid.
When will you pay out the money?
We will pay out your maturity money when your policy matures, assuming we have received all the documentation and proof of identity we have asked to see. In some instances, it may take three to five working days for a direct credit payment to your bank account to clear.
If your policy is held under trust, you should contact the trustees and ask them to sign the declaration in section 3 of the payment release form and also the high risk identification form.
Can I receive my money by direct credit payment?
If your policy was previously Friends Life, then the below information will not apply. For further information please refer to your policy documents or contact us.
Yes, you can. This is the standard way of paying you. We will need to see bank identification for the account we are paying the maturity value to. This can be in the form of a bank statement (original or certified) dated within the last three months, a paying in slip or a cancelled cheque. Please call us on 0800 953 1777 if you need to arrange an alternative payment method.
I live outside the UK; what do I need to do to get my money?
If you live outside the UK, we will ask you to prove your identity by sending us one of the following:
- your passport
- your driving licence (if new style, we need to see both the printed licence and the photo card)
- a current benefit book
- an HMRC notice of coding
We will also ask you to provide proof of residency through a recent bank statement, utility bill or tax bill.
We can only pay the proceeds of the policy into foreign bank accounts if that bank accepts payments in pounds sterling.
Why are you providing me with an estimated value when there are only six to eight weeks to go before my policy matures?
We don't know the final maturity value of your endowment until the day your policy matures. We'll calculate the value of your policy on that day. Until then, we can only give you an estimated maturity value.
Will you tell me how you calculate the final amount I receive?
We'll give you details of how we've calculated the final value of your policy in the settlement letter we send you, confirming that we've paid out your money. We can't give you a full breakdown of the final figures until your policy matures.
What is the mortgage endowment promise?
This question will only apply to you if you're a mortgage endowment policyholder invested in the With–Profit Fund and had a shortfall projected in December 1999 when we calculated the maximum amount that might be payable under our promise. If your policy was previously Friends Life, then the below information will also not apply. For further information please refer to your policy documents or contact us.
In 2000, we provided illustrations for all with-profits mortgage endowment policyholders, showing what they might get back at the end of the policy term. These illustrations used actual investment returns to 31 December 1999 and assumed returns from then on of 4%, 6% and 8%. If the projected payment from your policy at the 6% assumed rate was below the target amount to repay the mortgage, your policy may benefit from our promise.
Our promise was to cover any actual shortfall at the maturity of these policies up to a maximum of the 31 December 1999 projected shortfall at the 6% assumed return. Even with this payment, you may still have a shortfall at the end of the policy term.
If your policy qualifies for a promise payment, your maturity letter will show the maximum amount we will add to your policy.
Our promise was subject to certain conditions, including:
- You have paid all the premiums on your policy at the time of maturity
- You haven't materially changed your policy since we announced the promise (examples of a material change are decreasing your premium and cashing in bonuses in full or part)
- Your policy has not been sold through the second hand endowment market
- Your policy has been continually invested 100% in the With-Profit Fund since we announced our promise
Here are two examples of how the promise might apply at the maturity of your policy:
Example 1: Your maturity value is lower than projected in December 1999 - we'll pay the maximum amount under the promise, which will reduce the shortfall from the target figure.
Example 2: Your maturity value is higher than projected in December 1999 - we'll still make a payment under the promise to increase your maturity payment up to the target amount, but this is lower than the maximum promise amount.
|Example 1||Example 2|
|A||Target amount of policy||£50,000||£50,000|
|B||Maximum amount payable under
|C||Actual value at maturity||£42,000||£48,000|
|D||Payment under our promise||£5,000||£2,000|
|E||Total maturity payout (C+D)||£47,000||£50,000|
* The maximum promise payment applicable to your policy will be shown in your maturity letter
I didn't take out my policy with Aviva. How can I be sure that the mergers, takeovers and size of Aviva haven't affected my return?
We're a financially strong company, which is reassuring in these difficult economic times.
We're fully committed to treating customers, as a group, fairly at all times. If you are invested in with-profits you may be already aware of our With-Profits Committee, which brings independent expertise and oversight, to make sure fairness is fully considered in our with-profits decision making.
I have other polices, which I have for the same purpose as this policy, but they have different maturity dates. Can I cash in those policies now?
You can cash in your policies whenever you want to. However, an endowment is designed to run for a full term. This means if you cash in your endowment policies early, you may lose out on any final bonus that may form part of your policy. You should always check whether there are any penalty charges before you cash in your policies early. We recommend that you talk to a financial adviser before you make your final decision about cashing in your policies.
What happens if I don't return my form on time or documents are missing?
We can't release your money until we receive your instructions plus all the supporting evidence we ask for.
What documentation do I need to send you?
Your original policy document
We ask you for the policy document as it helps us verify your claim to the money from the endowment. If you have lost the policy document, please read the indemnity wording in section 3 of the Payment Release form and sign the form.
Proof of your bank account
As we can only pay into an account belonging to the policyholder, we must see evidence of this even if we've been taking premiums from this account. We'll accept:
- A recent bank or building society statement
- A blank cancelled cheque, (blank cheque with the word void written across it and a line diagonally across the width of the cheque)
- A paying-in slip
- A certificate of verification of identity from your financial adviser
Proof of your identity
If you live abroad, we will ask you for proof of your identity. We can only accept either the original or a certified copy of one of the following:
- A current passport
- A current driving licence
- A current national ID card
- A current benefit book
- A current tax year HMRC coding document
We'll also ask for:
- A recent bank or building society statement
- A recent utility bill
Proving your identity
Why do you need to see proof of my identity?
Under current legislation, we must verify your identity before we pay out any money. This helps to protect against fraud and also makes sure that we only pay the person who is entitled to the money.
What is a certificate of verification of identity from an independent financial adviser?
If you have a financial adviser, they can provide you with a certificate to say that they have checked your identity as required under the UK anti-money laundering regulations. If you send us this certificate, you won't have to provide further proof of your identity to us.
Why do you need to see bank identification when you're paying the money into the account you've been taking the premiums from?
We have to be sure that we pay the policy proceeds to the right person. To do this and to protect against fraud, we must check the bank identity even if we're paying the money into an account from which we've collected premiums. This is because it's possible the account doesn't belong to the person who is entitled to the money from the policy.
We also need to check that your personal identity and your bank identity match. We do this by matching the addresses.
Will you accept an internet bank statement?
We can only accept internet bank statements if they have been stamped by a member of staff at the bank or building society who issued the statement. We will also need the bank employee's name, staff number, telephone number and job title. An internet statement is much easier to forge than a statement on letter-headed paper, so we need to be sure that it is genuine.
What is a certified document and why do you need to see it?
A certified copy is a copy (often a photocopy) of a legal or other type of document which has been certified by an appropriate individual or institution. Certification of documents guards against the risk that fake documentation is used. By certifying a document, that individual is confirming that it is a true, complete and up-to-date copy of the original at a given date.
Who is an appropriate individual or institution?
Photocopies of evidence provided must be certified by one of the following:
- Solicitor or notary
- An official from a bank or building society
- A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants
- A person or institution authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
What wording should be used by the certifier?
Those certifying should date and sign the copy, marking it with text 'original seen'. They should also provide their full name, professional position and contact details.
Who can certify a copy document outside of the UK for client verification purposes?
Photocopies of evidence provided must be certified or authenticated (and translated where applicable) by:
- A person or institution who is authorised by a Financial Services firm within the EU or equivalent jurisdiction
- An officer of an embassy, consulate or high commission within the relevant jurisdiction. (You can find contact details for these offices at www.fco.gov.uk by clicking on the 'find an embassy' link.)
Will I need to prove my identity for each of my policies?
You must complete and sign the forms for each separate policy because you must confirm payment details and the declaration for each one. However, if you have a number of policies maturing on or near the same date, you only need to provide evidence of your identity once. If the bank information is the same for each policy, you also only need to supply evidence for your bank identity once too. If the bank information is different, you must supply evidence for each account.
If you have already supplied evidence of your personal and bank identity within the last three months, you don't have to send it again.
I'm no longer with the other named policyholder. What do I need to do to get my money?
If a policy is in joint names, both policyholders must sign the payment release form.
If you want to claim all the money, you must provide us with evidence that you are now the sole owner of the policy. If you have a Deed of Assignment dated before the maturity date confirming that you are the sole policyholder, please send us the original document or a certified copy.
If there is no Deed of Assignment, we will treat the policy as still under joint ownership. This means we need signed confirmation from both of the policyholders agreeing how the payment should be made. In these cases, we normally pay 50% of the proceeds to each policyholder, but we can vary the split if both policyholders agree, or based on the agreement received.
Unless we're dividing the money equally, we need to see one item from each of these lists for each policyholder in addition to the bank identification we ask for:
Proof of your identity
- Your passport
- Your driving licence (if new style, we need to see both the printed licence and the photo card)
- A current benefit book
- An HMRC notice of coding
Proof of your address
- A bank statement dated within the last three months (can be the same statement used for bank identification if it confirms your address)
- A utility bill dated within the last three months
- A council tax bill for the current year
Why do you need to see the original policy document?
The original policy document helps validate your claim to the policy proceeds. If the policy is assigned to a bank or building society, they will normally keep the original policy document as part of their safeguards.
We won't accept copies of the policy document.
Policies held under trust or assigned to another person or company
What happens if my policy is held under trust?
If the policy is held under trust, we need all the trustees to sign the Endowment maturity, payment release and high risk identification forms. We might also need further identification. If this is the case, we'll contact you. We will then pay one or more of the trustees or a solicitor acting on behalf of the trustees. The trustees or the solicitor will distribute the money as stipulated by the trust.
What happens if my policy is assigned to another person or company?
If your policy is assigned to another person or company, we will pay the money to the assignee. If your policy is no longer assigned to another person or company, you should prove that by sending us one of these items:
- The Deed of Assignment, which must:
- Be reassigned to you
- Quote the policy number being reassigned
- Be dated
- Be signed by an authorised company signatory and carry their company stamp
- Be either an original or a certified copy
- A Deed of Reassignment
- An original letter of no further interest from the company concerned with an inked signature. We can't accept copies or faxes of the letter.
Why do I need to get a letter of no further interest from my bank or building society?
If our records show that your policy is assigned to your bank or building society, then we must assume that the money belongs to that company. We can't pay you until we have confirmation from them that they are no longer entitled to the proceeds of the policy. It is your responsibility to ask for a letter of no further interest because the Data Protection Act prevents banks and building societies disclosing any information about you directly to us.
What is an acceptable form of letter of no further interest?
A letter of no further interest must:
- Be on company-headed paper
- Include the policy number and the policyholder's name
- Clearly state that the company no longer has any interest in the policy
- Be signed and dated by an authorised signatory of that company
- Be an original document
What happens if my policy is assigned to a lender (bank or building society) and they want to claim the money?
If this is the case, the lender normally contacts us before the policy matures. We will then send any correspondence directly to them. We will also send a copy to you as the policyholder, or to the lender if the policy is assigned to one. If you receive the original documentation rather than a copy, you should liaise with the lender and pass the correspondence to them. You won't need to sign any of the forms if the lender is claiming the policy proceeds.
The lender will complete all forms and return them directly to us, along with an original deed of assignment.
What happens if there is a loan on my policy or an unpaid premium arrangement (known as non-forfeiture) in relation to my policy?
If there is a loan on your policy or an unpaid premium arrangement (known as non-forfeiture) in relation to your policy, we will deduct the outstanding amount (plus interest) from the final settlement before paying out the money. The estimated maturity value shown in your letter includes any deductions for an outstanding loan or unpaid premium arrangement.
What happens to the policy proceeds if I have been declared bankrupt?
We can pay the money from the policy to a Trustee in Bankruptcy. However, before we do this, we would need to see the original or certified copy of the Bankruptcy Order (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the original Deed of Appointment of Trustee. If you have been declared bankrupt in Scotland, we will need to see the original Award of Sequestration and the document that shows who has been elected or appointed as the permanent trustee. We can also accept certified copies of these documents.
When we are happy that the bankruptcy trustee has a valid claim on the policy, we will accept that trustee's signature on your behalf on any discharge forms or the payment release form. If you jointly owned the policy with another person before your bankruptcy, that joint policyholder must also sign our forms with the trustee.