Your decision is important and will help the court decide if the Scheme should be approved. Please tell us what you think by 12pm on 19 October 2018.
Our offer to Planholders
We recently wrote to you with our formal offer, asking you to make a choice:
- Keep the GAR so that when you retire, you’ll receive the substantial benefit of the GAR if you buy an annuity through us, or
- Give up the GAR in return for an immediate and substantial increase to your retirement savings.
Full details of our offer can be found in the documents we sent you.
The pack includes key information on the offer, why we‘re making it, the process we’re following and how you can tell us your decision. You can find sample copies of some of the documents we enclosed in the pack below. Your covering letter may be different depending on your circumstances. Please read your pack carefully.
Your covering letter will confirm if you must get advice on the Scheme.
(for planholders who must get advice)
What do I need to do?
We understand this is a really important decision. You should take the time to read your documents carefully and take any guidance or financial advice you need to help you with your choice.
You’ll need to tell us your decision online or by post by 12pm 19 October 2018, or in person at the planholder meeting which will be held at 11am on Tuesday 23 October 2018 at Amba Hotel Charing Cross, Strand, London, WC2N 5HX.
If your letter indicates that you must get advice, you’ll also need to make sure your financial adviser returns the advice confirmation slip to us by 12pm 19 October 2018, or you can deliver it to the planholder meeting.
What happens next?
If the necessary majority of planholders vote for the Scheme, we’ll ask the court to approve it at a sanction hearing on 12 November 2018. If the court gives its approval we expect to increase the retirement savings of planholders to whom the Scheme applies in return for the removal of the GAR at 11.59pm on 7 December 2018.
If you have any questions see our FAQs below or call us on 0345 521 0046.
You can find more detail about the terms of the proposed Scheme from the following documents.
- Independent Actuary Report
- With Profits Actuary Report
- Chief Actuary Report
- The Scheme document
- Legal Notice of the Planholder meeting
- Royal London's latest audited accounts and financial statements
- Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM)
About our offer
You can expect to receive your formal offer pack by early August. If you haven't received this by mid-August you should contact us on 0345 521 0046.
We want you to have more flexibility to take your retirement benefits in a way that suits you, without losing all of the value of the GAR.
We appointed an Independent Actuary to review the scheme and report to the court on whether he thought the offer was fair to planholders. The Independent Actuary concluded that the offer is fair and the High Court gave us permission to make the offer.
The offer is not necessarily right for all planholders as it will depend on each individual’s personal circumstances. It's important you consider whether the offer is right for you or not.
The following types of plans are covered by the Scheme:
- Personal Pension Plans branded as Talisman and taken out with Scottish Life between 1 June 1985 and 30 June 1988 (these are sometimes referred to as retirement annuity contacts and we refer to them as ‘Talisman Retirement Annuity Contracts’)
- Personal Pension Plans branded as Talisman and taken out with Scottish Life between 1 July 1988 and 1 February 1992 (we refer to these as ‘Talisman Personal Pension Plans’)
- Group Personal Pension Plans branded as Talisman and taken out with Scottish Life by employees between 1 July 1988 and 1 February 1992 as part of the benefits provided by their employer (we refer to these as ‘Talisman Group Personal Pension Plans’)
- Executive Pension Plans branded as Talisman or Hallmark and originally taken out with Scottish Life by the trustees of an occupational pension scheme between 1 June 1985 and 1 November 1989 (we refer to these as ‘Talisman Executive Pension Plans’)
We strongly recommend you get financial advice.
The only way to be sure that you'll not be affected by the terms of the Scheme, and therefore avoid the potential, negative impact on your lifetime allowance is to opt-out by post, or online by 12pm on 19 October 2018, or in person at the planholder meeting on 23 October 2018.
The illustration provided in your pack, shows the retirement savings value held under the plan at the illustration date quoted, and what this could increase to if the uplift were to be applied immediately. Where applicable, we've also shown a comparison of the projected plan value at retirement if you keep the GAR vs. if you accept our offer.
Although your retirement savings could be increased by the uplift, the GAR typically offers a greater rate of income than you would otherwise get by purchasing a standard annuity. We’ve shown different combinations of cash and income that might be available at retirement if you were to use the GAR or accept our offer. We’ve also shown combinations of cash and income that might be available at retirement if you don’t accept our offer and don’t use the GAR.
We've used some assumptions to produce the figures in the illustration. More detail about these assumptions is given in the personalised illustration. This means your retirement benefits at the point of retirement could be higher or lower than what we've shown in the illustration.
Please also be aware that the actual annuity rates offered when you reach retirement may be higher or lower than illustrated, and will depend on interest rates and assumptions around how long people are expected to live in retirement.
Things to do and think about
Yes. Whether you’re close to retirement or years away from it, we’re asking you to make a choice now.
You have these options:
- If you want to be be sure you keep the GAR, you should opt-out of the Scheme.
- If you want to give up the GAR in exchange for an increase to your retirement savings, you should vote for the Scheme.
You may also vote against the Scheme. However, if you do so and the Scheme goes ahead anyway, the GAR will be removed and we will enhance your retirement savings.
You need to tell us your decision by post or online by 19 October 2018 or in person at the planholder meeting which will be held at Amba Hotel Charing Cross, Strand, London WC2N 5HX at 11am on 23 October 2018.
If your covering letter states that you are a planholder who must get advice, then if you want to exchange your GAR for an increase to your retirement savings, we must receive the advice confirmation slip from your adviser by 12pm on 19 October 2018, or you can bring it with you to the planholder meeting, if you want your vote to count. However, if we receive it by 30 November 2018, we will include you in the Scheme unless you have opted out.
You’ll need to think about your own personal circumstances and financial needs in retirement. We summarise some of the things we think you should consider in Part A of your planholder circular, but these are only indicative.
If you vote for or against the Scheme, and the Scheme goes ahead, the minimum percentage increase stated in your illustration is the minimum percentage increase that we would apply to the GAR-eligible savings in your plan at the illustration date.
If you must get advice and you do nothing, you'll be treated as having opted-out. This means your plan will remain as is, regardless of the outcome of the vote. However, if we receive an advice confirmation slip, we will exchange the GAR for the uplift should the majority of planholder voting, vote for the Scheme.
Yes, if you are age 55 or over.
If you don't vote or opt out of the scheme, the outcome of the vote will be applied to your plan, unless you're a planholder who must get advice.If you must get advice and you do nothing, you'll be treated as having opted-out. This means your plan will remain as is, regardless of the outcome of the vote. However, if we receive an advice confirmation slip, we will exchange the GAR for the uplift should the majority of planholders voting, vote for the Scheme.
There are a number of ways you can opt out or vote on the Scheme:
- by post;
- online; or
- in person at the planholder meeting.
If you're voting by post or online, please return your decision form or go online to tell us your decision by 12pm on 19 October 2018.If you're attending the planholder meeting, you can hand the Decision form (and the advice confirmation slip if you are a planholder who must get advice) to the Chairman of the planholder meeting before it starts at 11am on 23 October 2018.Voting by post or online involves appointing a proxy to attend the planholder meeting and vote on your behalf. The chairman of the planholder meeting can act as your proxy if you don’t want to appoint anyone else.To vote by post, please complete and sign section B and C in your Decision form and return it to us.To vote online, visit ersvotes.com/GAR and log in using the online voting ID and security code on the front page of your covering letter.If you do come to the planholder meeting, we’ll count the vote you submit there, rather than any vote made before it.
We're asking you to make a very important decision and you should take the guidance and advice that you need before confirming that decision to us. If you find that you've made a mistake in the choice that you've made you should contact us on our free telephone-based guidance service on 0345 521 0046.
Financial advice and guidance
When providing guidance, JLT will give you factual information and help you understand the risks you face; the key areas you need to consider; and the decisions you need to make.
When providing advice, JLT will look at, and take you through, your individual and personal circumstances. They'll then recommend the decision you should make.
Some planholders are required by law to get financial advice before they can exchange the GAR for an increase in their retirement savings. This depends on the type of pension plan held.
We'll tell you in your covering letter if this applies to you, however even if you’re not a planholder who must get advice, we recommend you get any guidance or advice required to help you make your decision.
If you are resident in the UK, you can find an adviser in your area by visiting unbiased.co.uk. You can also contact JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd (JLT) for guidance or independent financial advice on 0345 521 0046.
If you are not resident in the UK, JLT cannot provide you with independent financial advice, although they can provide you with guidance. If you need an adviser, please contact us on 0345 521 0046 and we will provide you with a list of independent advisers who may be able to help.
If you are resident in the UK, you can find an adviser in your area by visiting unbiased.co.uk. You can also contact JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd (JLT) for independent financial advice on 0345 521 0046.
If you are not resident in the UK, JLT can’t provide you with independent financial advice. If you contact us on 0345 521 0046 we’ll provide you with a list of independent financial advisers who may be able to help.
Your financial adviser should return the advice confirmation slip to us by 12pm on 19 October 2018, or you can bring it with you to the planholder meeting on 23 October 2018, if you want your vote to count. (However if we receive it by 30 November 2018 we will include you in the Scheme unless you have opted out).
Advice payment contribution
If you’re a planholder who must get advice, and the financial advice is provided by JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd (JLT), there's no cost to you.
If advice is provided by a financial adviser who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and who is able to advise on the conversion and transfer of pension benefits, we'll contribute up to £960 (including VAT) if you must get advice, and up to £860 (including VAT) if you want it but don't legally need it. If you reside overseas, this amount may differ and will be highlighted in your letter.
We'll pay your financial adviser direct. They can request payment by completing the advice confirmation slip enclosed in your pack or they can download a copy of the relevant advice confirmation slip at adviser.royallondon.com/GARchoice. You will need to make up the difference if your adviser’s fee is more than the contribution we will make.
If your retirement savings are subject to a pension attachment order (sometimes called an earmarking order), we recommend you review the terms of the order when deciding whether you wish to opt out of the Scheme, and, if you do not opt out, how you wish to vote, as your ex-spouse may be entitled, either solely or jointly, to vote on the Scheme and to decide whether or not to opt out.
If you think this may be the case, please draw your ex-spouse’s attention to the content of the pack or get in touch with us on 0345 521 0046 so that we can send them their own copy.
The choice to delay retirement is dependent on your individual circumstances.
You may want to delay retirement if you're planning to take some or all of your retirement savings as cash, or transfer it to another provider. We recommend you get financial advice before making your decision. You can contact us on our free telephone-based guidance service on 0345 521 0046.
If you’re in ill-health you may be eligible for an enhanced annuity, which provides a higher level of income than standard terms. If you're eligible for this, the uplift to your retirement savings could increase the income you receive in retirement.
Your health status is just one factor you should consider when making your decision and should be considered alongside the other factors listed in the planholder circular.
We recommend you get financial advice before making your decision. You can contact us on our free telephone-based guidance service on 0345 521 0046.
You can contact our customer care team on 0345 521 0046 if you have any further questions.