Unless your query relates specifically to your policy, please review these questions before contacting us.
(click on the links below to be shown the answers to these FAQs)
How should I notify you of a change of address? How long does it take to respond to correspondence and email?How do I switch the fund(s) that my units are invested in? If I have a unit-linked policy, what price will I receive if I cash in the policy or it reaches the final payout date? I have lost my policy document – what do I do? The policy belongs to my parent, but they are now in a Nursing Home, what should I do? How do I make a claim on a policy when someone has died? I have an annuity, when can I expect to receive my P60 for my tax return? When will the bonus updates be issued?
What is a With Profits policy?What are the aims that influence the management of a with-profits fund? What is a bonus? Is there any difference between bonuses on life and pensions policies? How much bonus will I receive? How does this year's bonus compare with last year's?Where is my money invested? What are the expenses charged for administering the business in my with-profits fund?Can I cash in my policy? Why have I never received an annual notification of bonuses?What happens if a with-profits fund goes below a certain size? What has happened to WPSF3 and WPSF5?
How should I notify you of a change of address?
You may telephone us to change your address, our details are as follows:
Life TeamTelephone on 01892 773396
Pensions TeamTelephone on 01892 773280
If you have a change of details form, please return this to us at the address below.
Alternatively, you can write to us:
Reliance House6 Vale AvenueTunbridge WellsKentTN1 1RG
Please note, we cannot accept a change of address via email.
How long does it take to respond to correspondence and email?
We endeavour to ensure that all payments and unit-linked valuations are promptly dealt with. We aim to respond to your request/enquiry within 10 working days.
How do I switch the fund(s) that my units are invested in?
You can print a fund switch form here, then complete and return it to us at the address below. Units will be switched on the next working day after we receive your request
You can fix the fund switch date to the next working day by emailing your completed form to us. To do this, your email will need to reach us by 5pm on a normal working day. If it’s received outside our normal office hours, your email will be deemed to have been received on the next working day. We will still need you to send the original completed form to us by post to complete the process.
If you are unsure which funds your units can be invested in please contact our Client Services department on 01892 510033.
firstname.lastname@example.org(Please note that this link enables youto contact us via unencrypted email.Please do not enter data you considerto be sensitive to your identity)
If I have a unit-linked policy, what price will I receive if I cash in the policy or it reaches the final payout date?
For a cash in value we will use the price on the day we receive your valid instruction.For a final payout, we will use the price on the date the final payout is due. Some individual policy conditions may vary from this.
I have lost my policy document – what do I do?
The reason we request policy documents is so that they are no longer available for use as security for loans. If you are making a claim and sign the discharge form that you cannot find the policy document this will not hold up your claim. If you require a copy for information purposes then we can provide this.
The policy belongs to my parent, but they are now in a Nursing Home, what should I do?
You should seek legal advice as to the best way to protect their interests. This may include considering a Trust, Power of Attorney or assignment of the benefits.
How do I make a claim on a policy when someone has died?
To make a claim under a policy when someone has died you will need to send us the policy document (if available), the Grant of Probate and the Death Certificate. We will then contact you with any further requirements.
I have an annuity, when can I expect to receive my P60 for my tax return?
P60s are typically sent to clients about 6 weeks after the end of the Tax year
When will the bonus updates be issued?
Bonus updates are usually sent out in May each year.
What is a With Profits policy?
A with profits policy is designed to provide a benefit at some future time. This might be at the end of a fixed period - for example 25 years after the policy started. It might provide the benefit when you reach a certain age - perhaps 60 or 65. It might only provide the benefit when the life assured dies. There are two types of with-profits policies conventional with-profits policies and unitised with-profits policies.
Some policies provide a lump sum in cash when the policy benefit is due. If you would like to know exactly what benefit your policy provides, you can use one of the methods set out in the contact us page.
In order to pay for the benefit, you pay us premiums. Most policies have regular premiums paid every month, but some have other ways of paying premiums. Some policies originally had regular premiums, which have now ceased.
In exchange for paying the premiums a conventional with-profits policy promises a minimum guaranteed benefit - called the 'sum assured' or 'guaranteed benefit'. The unique feature of a 'with profits' policy is that bonuses can be added to this minimum guarantee as the policy progresses.
With a unitised with profits policy, your premiums purchase units in the fund at the unit price. Some policies guarantee that the unit price will increase at a minimum rate. Bonuses are added to unitised policies by increasing the unit price, and thus the value of your units.
What are the aims that influence the management of a with-profits fund?
a. To meet contractual obligations to policyholders in all reasonably foreseeable circumstances;
b. To treat policyholders fairly;
c. To manage the business in a sound financial manner and, in particular, to meet the tests of solvency and capital adequacy required by regulatory bodies.
What is a bonus?
They are additions to the benefits that are paid under the policy and are the way in which your policy shares in the profits of your Reliance Life with profits sub fund.
They can either be annual (reversionary) bonuses or final (terminal) bonuses.A reversionary bonus may be added to the policy annually. Once added it cannot be reduced or taken away. However future bonus rates are not guaranteed and can be changed or removed at any time.
The annual bonuses will be paid in full on the maturity or normal retirement date of your policy or on earlier death, provided you have paid all premiums due and have not altered your policy.
A final bonus is an additional bonus which may be paid on termination of the policy due to death or maturity. This bonus is not guaranteed and can be changed or removed at any time.
A proportion of the annual and final bonus is also paid on the early termination of any life or pension policy when taking the proceeds or, for pension policies, when transferring them to another provider. The amount is determined when the event occurs.
Final bonus is also allocated to unitised with profits policies by an increase in the unit price. As final bonuses are not guaranteed to remain unchanged, this means that part of the unit price is not guaranteed, and thus the unit price may be reduced in future.
At the time the business was transferred from Hearts of Oak to Reliance Mutual, with profits benefits under conventional policies in WPSF 6 were re-structured. A portion of the guaranteed benefits was replaced by a special final bonus. This special final bonus is not guaranteed. The purpose of the benefit restructure was to improve the security and financial prospects of the fund, for the benefit of all policyholders.
Is there any difference between bonuses on life and pensions policies?
Annual and final bonuses attaching to pensions policies are paid in the same manner as the basic benefit; that is as an addition to the basic guaranteed pension, open market option, cash payment or transfer value.
Life assurance policies receive the guaranteed sum assured together with any annual and final bonuses in cash when a claim arises or on the policy maturity date (if any).
How much bonus will I receive?
The amount declared depends on the progress of the underlying fund in which premiums are invested. This depends mainly on the returns earned from the assets in which the fund is invested. Profits from all the business written in the fund are available to be distributed as bonuses.
In setting bonus rates, returns are smoothed so that part of the short-term fluctuations in investment values are not reflected in payments. The aim is that policy benefits will be broadly similar year on year. Smoothing reduces the risk of you receiving a low payout if investment markets are low when your benefit is due to be paid. In exchange you won't receive the full benefit if investment markets are high.
The amount of total annual bonuses accumulated so far is shown on your Bonus Update. Bonus Updates are usually issued in May each year for most policies.
How does this year's bonus compare with last years?
For all sub funds annual bonus rates are the same as last year. Annual bonuses had been set to zero for with profit policies in WPSF6 before these policies were acquired by Reliance Mutual. Unless there are significant changes in the investment returns available from fixed interest securities, it is unlikely that the annual bonus will change in future years except for annuities in payment.
Final bonuses are used to determine the overall level of policy payouts. Final bonus rates changed on 1 April 2018. The following figures compare the payouts from 1 April 2018 with those payable on 1 October 2017.
In WPSF1, Final Bonus rates decreased by 15% giving a decrease in payouts of between 1.8% and 15% depending on the entry year and type of policy. In WPSF2 payouts have increased by between 0.8% and 1.5%. In WPSF4 payouts have increased by between 8.1% and 9.2%. In WPSF6 the proportion of special bonus payable on life policies and pension policies has remained at 100%. The additional final bonus has decreased from 244% to 252% of special bonus on Life policies and from 199% to 205% on pension policies. The proportion of non-guaranteed bonus remains at 100%. There are no changes to bonuses on annuities in payment or on the bonuses for UWP linked policies. Future annual bonuses and all final bonuses are not guaranteed and the rates may be changed without notice.
Annual bonus rates do not change often. When there is a need to change rates we introduce changes gradually, so that the change from year to year is small.
We change final bonus rates at least once a year. The method used generally leads to stable rates unless there are large movements in investment markets, so reviews at other times should not normally be necessary. We may also review final bonus rates if there are significant changes in investment markets during the year.
Past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future.
Where is my money invested?
Your premiums are combined with those from all the other policyholders in your sub fund and are invested in a wide range of securities including:
What are the expenses charged for administering the business in my with-profits fund?
The expenses charged to your with-profits fund are on a basis that was established at the time the fund was transferred to the Company (or to Reliance Mutual) and are subject to inflationary increases.
Can I cash in my policy?
If you are unable or do not wish to continue paying premiums to your policy, it is normally possible for a cash value to be paid on a life assurance policy. Under a pension contract, it is not normally possible, under current tax rules, for a cash value to be paid if you are aged under 55, although you can transfer the value of your policy to another pension provider. If you are aged 55 or above then it is possible to access your pension fund benefits.
When we calculate early termination values, we try to treat policyholders terminating on a basis that is consistent with and fair to those policyholders who remain in the fund.
For unitised with profits policies the early termination value is the value of units allocated to the policy. This value may be reduced by a market value reduction factor ("MVR"). MVRs are designed to ensure that policyholders leaving the with profits fund receive a fair share of the fund, and neither advantage nor disadvantage the remaining policyholders. At times it is not necessary to apply an MVR.
Why have I never received an annual notification of bonuses?
What happens if a with profits fund goes below a certain size?
What has happened to WPSF3 and WPSF5?
When WPSF3 and WPSF5 were established in 2004 and 2007 respectively, the High Court agreed to arrangements that enabled the sub funds to be wound up once they had declined to less than a certain size. We decided to wind up WPSF3 and WPSF5 with effect from 1 October 2013, as the trigger points for wind up had been passed. We felt that the risk of a small fund having significant and frequent revisions to bonus rates was high and that it would be advantageous to policyholders to have certainty as to the amount their policies would pay out.
We therefore replaced the non-guaranteed and uncertain future bonuses on the with profits policies in these sub-funds with a guaranteed policy value. Having done this there is no need to keep a separate fund of assets and liabilities as all policy payouts are guaranteed by Reliance Life as a whole. WPSF3 and WPSF5 were therefore merged with our main non-profit sub fund, the Ordinary Sub Fund (OSF).
With profits policyholders in WPSF3 and WPSF5 have been advised of the guaranteed benefits now attaching to their policies.