The information on this page is only relevant to policyholders with a with profits policy invested in the United Friendly Ordinary Branch (UFOB) Fund. If you're a United Friendly Industrial Branch (UFIB) policyholder, please visit our UFIB page.
This page tells you about our offer to distribute more of the Estate of the UFOB Fund sooner than would otherwise be the case. This is part of our goal to simplify and modernise the way we do things for our long-standing policyholders.
During March and April 2021, we wrote to policyholders with policies invested in the UFOB Fund asking for their feedback on our proposal. Many of those who responded told us they were supportive of us making a formal offer. At the Convening Hearing held on 15-16 July 2021, the Court gave us its approval to make a formal offer to policyholders. We're now asking you to vote on our offer. We'll be writing to policyholders from July through to September. If you haven't received your Voting Pack yet, you will do shortly.
The Policyholder Meeting is where votes will be formally cast by Eligible Policyholders. You or your Proxy can vote in person or virtually at the Policyholder Meeting. You don’t need to attend the Policyholder Meeting in order to vote if you’ve voted online or by post beforehand. The Policyholder Meeting will take place on 4 November 2021. If enough Eligible Policyholders vote for the Scheme, the Court will decide whether to approve the Scheme at the Sanction Hearing. The Sanction Hearing is expected to take place on 25 – 26 November 2021.
Our offer can only go ahead if enough policyholders like you vote in favour of it and the Court approves it. If our offer doesn’t go ahead, we won’t make the changes set out in your Voting Pack.
You can download a copy of the information we’ve mailed to policyholders by clicking on the links in the Voting Pack section.
If you need any help after reading the information on this page, you can use our online chat service here. Alternatively, you can contact us by telephone, using our online form or writing to the address given. You can find our contact details here.
Update on 16 July 2021
The Court gave us its approval to make a formal offer to policyholders at the Convening Hearing held on 15-16 July 2021.
This is the information we have sent to policyholders affected by the offer.
The pack includes:
- A letter summarising our offer, how to vote and what happens next. Here are some examples of the letters:
- Part A of your Explanatory Booklet [PDF, 1.126MB] - This booklet gives you key information about our offer and what it could mean for you.
- Part B of your Explanatory Booklet [PDF, 1.4KB] - This booklet gives more detailed information about our offer. This includes the changes we’re making to the Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM).
- Personalised Illustration - Your Personalised Illustration shows how your policy might be impacted depending on whether or not the Scheme goes ahead. We’ve not included an example of the Personalised Illustration as the values shown are unique to each policyholder. However, we’ve produced a Guide to your Personalised Illustration. Note, this guide is based on the illustrations for a Pension policy, but is relevant for all for all types of policy.
- Voting Form [PDF, 0.9MB] - This form is for information only. Please complete the Voting Form provided in the Voting Pack we sent you. Alternatively, you can vote online here.
Here we’ve gathered some key documents that we refer to in the pack that you may find helpful if you need more information.
- Independent Expert Report [PDF, 998KB]
- With-Profits Actuary Report [PDF, 589 KB]
- Chief Actuary Report [PDF, 768 KB]
- UFOB Scheme Document [Word, 705KB]
- Royal London’s latest audited accounts and financial statements
- Royal London maintains a Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM) document for each of its With Profit Funds. The PFFM is a document that outlines how we manage a With Profits Fund. With profits policies invested in the UFOB Fund are managed as part of the Royal London Long Term Fund PPFM. This will be updated if and when our offer goes ahead. This is the current PPFM that covers your policy.
This is the PPFM with the proposed changes that will take effect at the end of 2021. It also allows for our plans to merge three of our other With Profits Funds into the Royal London Open Fund this year. We won’t know until close to the end of 2021 whether all of these changes will go ahead. This is because some of the changes are dependent on a vote by some directly impacted customers, which is due later in 2021, as part of a series of ‘Schemes of Arrangement’ as they are known.
- How your with profits policy works [PDF, 0.3MB] - This provides a helpful reminder about how your with profits policy works.
If you have any questions or would like a copy of any of these documents in a different format, such as large print, please call us on the number provided at the bottom of the page.
Change of details
To let us know about a change of name or address, please complete the update your details form.
Tell us about a bereavement
To make things easier at what is a difficult time, you can notify us about the person who has died by completing our notification of death form.
Frequently asked questions
What is the mailing you recently sent me all about?
We wrote to you earlier this year about a proposal that affects your With Profits policy, which you originally took out with United Friendly and asked you to provide feedback on the proposal.
The majority of the policyholders who responded to this letter told us they were supportive of us going ahead. As a result, we have now finalised our offer and we are writing to you again to ask you to vote on it. Within the information we have sent you, there is a Personalised Illustration which should help you understand what the offer could mean for you.
If enough policyholders vote in favour of our offer and the High Court approves it, we expect to implement the Scheme on the 31st December 2021.
What is the offer?
We manage United Friendly policies like yours in their own fund called the United Friendly Ordinary Branch Fund (UFOB Fund). Within this fund we hold a pot of money called the Estate which helps to protect your policies against future risks and to meet rules set by our regulators.
We’re currently able to distribute some of the Estate by increasing your policy value each year and by potentially adding an extra amount when your policy is claimed. However, the amount we’ll be able to distribute to you is uncertain because it depends on the size of the Estate when your policy is claimed.
Our offer is to distribute more of the Estate to policyholders like you sooner than would otherwise be the case. This would increase the current value of your policy and give you more certainty over the amount we’ll pay to you or your family when your policy is claimed.
What is the Estate?
When we refer to the Estate, we are referring to a pot of money which is held back within the UFOB Fund. We are not referring to your personal Estate.
The Estate is there to protect your policy against future risks, it’s in addition to the money we use to pay out policy values when policies are claimed. You can think of the Estate as a ‘rainy day fund’. If these risks don’t happen, then we aim to share out some of this Estate by increasing your Policy Value each year. We may also add an extra amount from the Estate to your pay out when your policy is claimed.
What should I do if I need help understanding the offer?
We understand that some of this information is technical. Please read your Voting Pack carefully, and consider discussing it with a trusted friend or family member.
If you still need help, please feel free to call us on 0345 646 1014 (or +44 1625 718587 if you’re calling from outside the UK) between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
We can’t give you advice, but we can explain our offer and answer any questions as best as we can.
If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can find a professional in your area. Advisers may charge for their services, but they should agree any costs with you up front.
Why is Royal London doing this?
Our offer would allow us to give policyholders like you a known distribution from the Estate. This means you’ll have more certainty over the amount we’ll pay you or your family when your policy is claimed. We’re making our offer now so as many policyholders like you as possible can benefit from it.
Our offer is also part of our plan to simplify and modernise the way we do things for the benefit of our longstanding customers. Our offer will help us become a more efficient business. This will reduce our costs. We’d be able to share any savings with our policyholders through lower charges and higher payouts.
When would this offer take effect?
If enough policyholders vote in favour of the formal offer, we’ll go back to the High Court and ask for its final approval.If the Court approves, we expect to implement the changes on 31 December 2021.
How do I know what you're doing is fair?
We're using a court approved process called a Scheme of Arrangement to make our formal offer to you. As part of that process, we’re taking the following steps to make sure our offer is fair:
- An Independent Expert has reviewed the scheme very carefully and provided a report to the Court on the fairness of the Scheme
- Our With Profits Actuary and Chief Actuary have prepared reports on the fairness of the Scheme which have been provided to the Court
- We’ll keep our Regulators informed
- Eligible Policyholders will consider and vote on the Scheme
Is my policy safe?
Yes, please don’t worry. Nothing is going to change to how your policy is looked after and we will still pay out your policy to you or your family when it’s claimed.
The Royal London Open Fund, just like the UFOB Fund, is in a healthy financial position and is well-equipped to protect the Eligible Policies against future risks
How do I know this isn't a scam?
We understand that everyone needs to be cautious these days. If the name Royal London doesn’t ring any bells, we’re the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK. We’ve been looking after your policy since it transferred to us from the United Assurance Group in 2001. So you feel safe that we’re not trying to scam you, you can find us registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
I still pay into my policy, what will happen to the amount I pay?
The amount or frequency of the premiums you pay won’t be affected by our offer.
What Uplift will be applied to my Policy Value?
If the Scheme goes ahead, we'll increase your Policy Value by 6.4% (the Uplift). We will also top up your Policy Value by applying the same Uplift for any premiums you pay into your policy after the Implementation Date as and when you pay them. The amount or the frequency of the premiums you pay won’t be affected by our offer.
Will there be any change to how my policy is administered if the offer goes ahead?
No. We’ll continue to administer your policy in the same way as we currently do.
How do I vote?
There are different ways you can vote:
Online: you can vote here , no later than 12 noon on 1 November 2021, you’ll need your security codes shown on the letter that came with your Voting Pack.
By post: complete the Voting Form which you can find in your Voting Pack and return it in the postage paid envelope provided so that it reaches us no later than 12 noon on 1 November 2021.
At the Policyholder Meeting in person: use your Attendance Card at the Policyholder Meeting at The Edwardian Manchester, Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5GP starting at 10:30am on 4 November 2021.
At the Policyholder Meeting virtually: visit attend.cesjoinin.com/login and use the Meeting ID 30049 and security codes shown on the first page of the letter that came with your Voting Pack.
Even if you plan to attend the Policyholder Meeting (either in person or virtually), we suggest that you also vote either online or by post beforehand. This is to ensure that your vote counts, just in case your plans change and you can no longer attend the Policyholder Meeting.
You can appoint a proxy to attend the meeting in person on your behalf. Please read your Voting Pack for more information.
When and where is the Policyholder Meeting?
The Policyholder Meeting will be held on 4 November 2021 starting at 10:30am at The Edwardian Manchester, Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5GP.
If you or your Proxy are planning to attend the Policyholder Meeting in person, please let us know before 28 October 2021 by calling us on 0345 646 1014 (or +441625 718587 if you are calling from outside the UK) between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
Alternatively, you can attend and vote at the Policyholder Meeting virtually at attend.cesjoinin.com/login. To join the meeting, please enter the Meeting ID 30049 and security codes shown on the first page of the letter that came with your Voting Pack.
What do I do if I can't find my Voting Pack?
Don't worry if you can't find your Voting Pack, we can send you a new one. You can call our dedicated customer services team on 0345 646 1014 (or +44 1625 718 587 if you're calling from outside the UK) between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
What happens if I don't vote?
We encourage you to vote on our offer. The result will apply to all policyholders eligible to vote on the Scheme, regardless of how they voted or if they didn’t vote at all. So, it’s very important you vote online or by post by 12 noon 1 November 2021 or at the Policyholder Meeting on 4 November 2021.
I provided feedback on the proposal earlier this year. Do I still need to vote?
Earlier this year we asked policyholders in the United Friendly Ordinary Branch Fund for feedback on our proposal. Many of those who responded told us they were supportive of us making a formal offer. So, we’re writing to you again to ask you to vote on our formal offer. Our offer can only go ahead if enough policyholders vote in favour of it and the Court approves it.
If the vote passes and the Court approves it, the Scheme will be binding on all the Included Policyholders, regardless of how they voted or if they didn’t vote at all.
When would your offer no longer apply to me?
The Scheme won’t apply to you if you are not an Included Policyholder for the purposes of the Scheme. This might happen, for example, because of one of the following occurring before 11.59pm on 31 December 2021:
- You take your retirement savings
- Your retirement savings can be paid out as a death benefit to your beneficiaries
- You transfer to another Pension Policy
Endowment of Whole of Life Policy
- The Life Covered dies
- You cash in your policy early
- Your Endowment Policy reaches the end of its term
What will happen if the offer doesn't go ahead?
If our offer doesn’t go ahead, we won't make these changes. The amount that we’ll be able to increase your policy value by from the Estate will remain exposed to future risks and could be higher or lower than under our offer.
Will the offer change the UK tax treatment of my policy?
You should read Section 8 of Part B of your Explanatory Booklet for further details on tax implications of the Scheme. A paper copy is available on request. If you are unsure how this impacts you, you may wish to talk to a financial adviser.
I’ve changed my contact details. How can I notify Royal London?
Please complete the update your details form or give us a call on 0345 646 1014 (or 01625 718587 if you're calling from outside the UK) between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). There may be certain documents we need to update your details.
When will we know the results of the vote?
After the Policyholder Meeting, all votes that were made by post, online and at the Policyholder Meeting will be counted. The results will be announced shortly after the Policyholder Meeting on this website.
What happens after the vote?
If enough policyholders vote in favour of the Scheme, we’ll go to the Court and ask for its approval at a Sanction Hearing scheduled for 25-26 November 2021.
If the Court approves the Scheme, we expect to implement the changes for all policyholders in the UFOB Fund on 31 December 2021. We’d write to you shortly after implementing the changes to confirm that they’ve been made.
What happens if the Court doesn’t approve the Scheme?
If the Scheme is not approved by the Court, we’ll continue to manage the UFOB Fund and your policy as we do now.
I’ve appointed a person under a power of attorney to look after my affairs. Do I need to tell them about this?
If you’ve told us about the person that you’ve appointed under your power of attorney previously, this Voting Pack has been sent to them to act on your behalf. The person appointed under a power of attorney will be able to vote on the Scheme on your behalf.
If you’ve appointed a person under a power of attorney, but haven’t told us yet, please contact us by post at FAO Life Servicing Team, Royal London House, Alderley Park, Congleton Road, Nether Alderley, Macclesfield, SK10 4EL or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ensure they include the full power of attorney document, their date of birth and their contact number. You should then tell that person about the Scheme and discuss this Voting Pack with them.
If your power of attorney has any questions about registering the power of attorney with us contact us on 0345 646 1014 (or +441625 718587 if you’re calling from outside the UK) between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
I’m bankrupt or about to be declared bankrupt. Do I need to tell anyone about this?
If you've been declared bankrupt, ownership of your relevant eligible policies may have automatically transferred to the trustee in bankruptcy. This may mean that the trustee in bankruptcy will be entitled to vote in your place. This is because they have been appointed to administer your affairs by the court. If this applies to you, you should share the voting pack with them.
If you’ve been declared bankrupt recently or you think we may not be aware of your bankruptcy, please contact us on 0345 646 1014 (or +441625 718587 if you’re calling from outside the UK) between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
The policyholder or Life Covered has died. What should I do?
We’re sorry to learn that the policyholder or Life Covered has passed away. Their next of kin should complete the notification of death form or call us on 0345 646 1014 (or +441625 718587 if you're calling from outside the UK) as soon as possible and we’ll talk them through what they need to do. Please make sure they have the policyholder or Life Covered's death certificate when they phone.
Can I receive my Voting Pack in an alternative format?
We’re happy to provide your documents in a different format, such as Braille, large print or audio. Just call us on 0345 646 1014 (or +441625 718587 if you’re calling from outside the UK).
If the FAQs above haven't answered your query, you can get in touch with us via chat, phone, online form or post using the details below. Please note, we're unable to answer questions about your specific policy via the chat.
Chat to us!
If you can’t find the information or help you are looking for, you can call our dedicated customer services team on:
If you're calling from outside the UK you can phone us on +44 1625 718 587.
Our customer services team are available between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
Alternatively you can write to us at:
Royal London House
Giving you personal support
Have you experienced a change in your circumstances that impacts the way you manage your money? If you explain how we can help, we'll use that information to give you more personal support.