Membership grows as Royal London continues to champion mutuality

Published  04 August 2023
   5 min read

Barry O’Dwyer, Group Chief Executive, commented:

"In the first half of 2023 we delivered good growth in Workplace Pensions new business and our net inflows increased 25% to over £3.2 billion. This growth, alongside our continued cost discipline, has helped to deliver a 16% increase in operating profit.

"As many of our customers continue to come to terms with the increased cost of living and higher interest rates, our priority has been to help them navigate these challenges, while building their long-term financial resilience. In April, we shared £155 million in ProfitShare with over 2 million members, and the 120,000 new Workplace Pensions customers we have welcomed since the start of the year all became members and are eligible for future ProfitShare allocations.

"Our success in Workplace Pensions is driven by employers increasingly valuing the benefit as a key way of supporting their employees’ financial wellbeing. As a result, they are choosing to partner with digital first providers with a strong sense of purpose. As more and more employers adopt this view, mutuals, like Royal London, will be a natural choice. Our mutual mindset of continually focusing on delivering positive enduring change for our customers and wider society ensures they, and employers and advisers, continue to place their trust in us."

Highlights

  • Welcomed 479 new workplace pension scheme employers and over 120,000 new workplace pension customers, supporting them in planning and saving for the future.
  • Our financial wellbeing health check was launched at the end of 2022, and we introduced a new state benefits calculator to the service this year, enabling customers to identify potential eligibility for c.£3.75m per annum in benefits, entitlements and grants.
  • Our flagship Governed Range attracted net inflows of £1.7bn (H1 2022: £1.5bn), with assets under management (AUM) reaching £56bn.
  • Paid 99.1% (FY22: 99.4%) of protection claims in the first half of year, paying £343m (H1 2022: £304m) supporting over 39,000 customers and their families through life shocks.
  • Reached an agreement with Aegon UK to acquire its closed individual protection book of over 400,000 policies, increasing the number of protection policies we will look after to over 1.5 million, further strengthening our position in the UK protection market.
  • Supported financial advisers in meeting their Consumer Duty requirements through a dedicated online hub, interactive webinars and account support.
  • Royal London Asset Management continued to focus on diversifying investment strategies and driving international growth, successfully securing its first client mandates in Japan.
  • Investment performance of actively managed funds over three years remains strong despite difficult market conditions, with 95% of funds outperforming their three-year benchmark (H1 2022: 80%)3.
  • Through our social impact strategy, announced a new £1.2m partnership with Cancer Research UK focused on tackling cancer inequalities.

Financials

   

Six months ended
30 June 2023

Six months ended
30 June 2022
UK GAAP Operating profit before tax4 £127m £109m
Transfer to/(from) the fund for future appropriations5 £161m £(49)m
New business Life and pensions new business sales6 £4,865m £5,494m
Inflows Gross inflows7 £14,977m £12,772m
Net inflows7 £3,214m £2,578m
    30 June 2023 31 December 2022
Funds Assets under management8 £153bn £147bn

Capital9
(Solvency II)

Regulatory View solvency surplus £2.6bn £2.5bn
Regulatory View capital cover ratio 200% 206%
Investor View solvency surplus £2.6bn £2.5bn
Investor View capital cover ratio 212% 213%
  • Operating profit before tax4 increased by 16% to £127m (H1 2022: £109m) driven by growth in Workplace Pensions new business contribution and higher risk free rates which increased the expected returns on our assets.
  • Transfer to the fund for future appropriations (FFA)5 of £161m (H1 2022: transfer from FFA (£49m)) reflects the improvement in operating profit and overall investment returns in line with our long-term expectations.
  • Life and pensions new business sales6 of £4,865m (H1 2022: £5,494m) reduced in value as higher interest rates decreased the present value of new business premiums. Workplace Pensions new business sales grew 7% after adjusting for the increase in the discount rate whilst Individual Pensions sales fell as higher interest rates impacted defined benefit transfer volumes.
  • Net inflows7 increased to £3,214m (H1 2022: £2,578m) driven by higher external net flows into our Global Equity strategies.
  • Assets under management8 increased to £153bn (31 December 2022: £147bn).
  • Capital position remains robust with the Investor View and Regulatory View capital cover ratios9 stable at 212% (31 December 2022: 213%) and 200% (31 December 2022: 206%), both after taking into account the impact of the acquisition of the Aegon UK protection book.
  • Successfully issued a £350m Restricted Tier 1 contingent convertible debt instrument in May, the first of its kind for a UK insurance mutual, diversifying our overall subordinated debt profile and increasing the Group’s financial flexibility.

copy of the full release can be found here.

copy of the investor presentation can be found here.

For further information please contact:

Lora Coventry, Senior PR Strategy Manager

Notes to editor

  1. The information in this announcement relates to The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited (‘RLMIS’ or ‘the Company’), and its subsidiary undertakings, together referred to as ‘Royal London’ or ‘the Group’.
  2. The Group assesses its financial performance based on a number of measures, some of which are not defined or specified in accordance with relevant financial reporting frameworks such as UK GAAP or Solvency II. These measures are known as alternative performance measures (APMs). APMs are disclosed to provide further information on the performance of the Group and should be viewed as complementary to, rather than a substitute for, the measures determined according to UK GAAP and Solvency II requirements. Accordingly, these APMs may not be comparable with similarly titled measures and disclosures by other companies.
  3. Investment performance has been calculated using a weighted average of active assets under management for funds with a defined external benchmark. Benchmarks differ by fund and reflect their mix of assets to ensure direct comparison. Passive funds are excluded from this calculation as, whilst they have a place as part of a balanced portfolio, Royal London believes in the long-term value added by active management.
  4. Operating profit before tax represents profit/(loss) before transfer to/(from) the fund for future appropriations excluding: short-term investment return variances and economic assumption changes; amortisation of goodwill and other intangibles arising from mergers and acquisitions; ProfitShare; ValueShare; tax; and one-off items of an unusual nature that are not related to the underlying trading of the Group. Profits or losses arising within the closed funds are held within the respective closed fund surplus; therefore operating profit represents the result of the Royal London Main Fund (RL Main Fund).
  5. Transfer to/(from) the fund for future appropriations represents the statutory UK GAAP measure ‘Transfer to/(deduction from) the fund for future appropriations’ in the technical account within the consolidated statement of comprehensive income. 
  6. Life and pensions new business sales represent life and pensions business only and excludes Asset Management and other lines of business. New business sales are presented as the Present Value of New Business Premiums (PVNBP), which is the total of new single premium sales received in the period plus the discounted value, at the point of sale, of the regular premiums the Group expects to receive over the term of the new contracts sold in the period. The rate used to discount the cash flows in the reported results has been derived from the opening swap curve at the start of the financial period for all new business except annuities, where instead the swap rate at the end of each prior month is used to discount the next month’s new business cashflows.
  7. Gross and net inflows incorporate flows into Royal London Asset Management (‘RLAM’) from external clients (external flows) and those generated from RLMIS (internal flows). External client net inflows represent external inflows less external outflows, including cash mandates. Internal net inflows from RLMIS represent the combined premiums and deposits received (net of reinsurance) less claims and redemptions paid (net of reinsurance). Given its nature, non-linked Protection business is not included.
  8. Assets under management (AUM) represent the total of assets actively managed by the Group, including funds managed on behalf of third parties. 
  9. The capital cover ratio is calculated as the Group’s Own Funds, being the regulatory capital under Solvency II, divided by the Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR). The ‘Regulatory View’ solvency surplus and capital cover ratio restricts each closed fund’s surplus to the value of the SCR of that fund. The ‘Investor View’ equals the RL Main Fund capital position (excluding ring-fenced funds, which are run on a standalone basis). All capital figures are stated on a Group Partial Internal Model basis.
  10. Figures presented throughout are rounded. The capital cover ratios and new business margins are calculated based on exact figures.

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, and in the top 30 mutuals globally, with assets under management of £162 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and over 4,200 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2023. Learn more at royallondon.com.