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’ve written to policyholders throughout July, August and September asking them to vote on our formal offer. Postal and online voting closed at 12 noon on 1 November 2021. You can still vote at the Policyholder Meeting on 4 November 2021. Further information about how to attend the meeting is here.

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 help after reading the information on this page, you can contact us by telephone, using our online form or writing to the address given. You can find our contact details here.

Latest update

From time to time we may need to update you on our offer - if there's a change to the date of a Court hearing or to confirm the outcome of a Court hearing if our offer goes ahead for example. We'll post all updates in this section of the website.

The uplift was applied to your policy values at 11.59pm on 31 December 2021. We’ll write to you throughout February to April 2022 to confirm that the changes have been made.

The Scheme was approved at the Sanction Hearing held on 25-26 November 2021 at the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.   We intend to implement the Scheme on 31 December 2021, and we’ll then write to you early in 2022 to confirm the effect of the Scheme on your policy.

The Policyholder Meeting was held on 4 November 2021. 92.4% of Eligible Policyholders who voted on the Scheme, voted in favour of the Scheme. Those Eligible Policyholders who voted in favour of the Scheme held 92.3% of the total voting value of all those that voted. As a result both the number test and the value test have been passed. The next step is to ask the High Court to approve the Scheme at the Sanction Hearing. You can find more information about how to attend the Sanction Hearing here.

The Sanction Hearing is scheduled for 25 and 26 November 2021, starting at 10:30am on 25 November 2021. It will take place in Court number 2 at the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, 7 Rolls Buildings, Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1NL. You can attend the Sanction Hearing virtually via Microsoft Teams or in person, subject to the capacity of the Court. If you plan to attend the Sanction Hearing virtually or in person, please let us know on 0345 646 1014 at least 2 business days prior to the Sanction Hearing so that we can let the Court know who will be attending in person or arrange for the Court to provide you with the Microsoft Teams link to the Sanction Hearing, as appropriate.

Postal and online voting closed at 12 noon on 1 November 2021. You can still vote at the Policyholder Meeting on 4 November 2021. Further information about how to attend the meeting is here.

The Court gave us its approval to make a formal offer to policyholders at the Convening Hearing held on 15-16 July 2021.

Voting Pack

This is the information we have sent to policyholders affected by the offer.

The pack includes:

Things to read

Here we’ve gathered some key documents that we refer to in the pack that you may find helpful if you need more information. 

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.

Need to make a change?

If your personal details or circumstances have changed, you can keep us up to date by completing one of the following forms.

Change of details

To let us know about a change of name or address, please complete the update your details form.

Update your details

 

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.

Notification of death form

Need help?

If you have any questions about our offer, check the frequently asked questions in the following section. They may have the answers you are looking for.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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, please let us know as soon as possible 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).

You can attend in person or 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

The amount or frequency of the premiums you pay won’t be affected by our offer.

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.

No. We’ll continue to administer your policy in the same way as we currently do.

Postal and online voting closed at 12 noon on 1 November 2021. You can still vote at the Policyholder Meeting on 4 November 2021. Further information about how to attend the meeting is here.

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).

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.

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.

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:

Pension Policy

  • 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

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.

Since the coronavirus outbreak we’ve all experienced major changes to our daily lives. Royal London and each of its With Profits Funds remains in a strong financial position despite the uncertainty we’ve seen.

In recent months, economic conditions have become more stable and we’ve adapted to a new way of working. We believe now is the right time to put forward our offer as we want eligible policyholders to benefit as soon as possible.

If we believe that factors outside of our control (such as changes to the coronavirus situation in the UK) mean it’s no longer appropriate for us to continue with our offer, we’ll pause our offer, and write to tell you.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Sanction Hearing is scheduled for 25 and 26 November 2021, starting at 10:30am on 25 November 2021. It will take place in Court number 2 at the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, 7 Rolls Buildings, Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1NL. You can attend the Sanction Hearing virtually via Microsoft Teams or in person, subject to the capacity of the Court. If you plan to attend the Sanction Hearing virtually or in person, please let us know on 0345 646 1014 at least 2 business days prior to the Sanction Hearing so that we can let the Court know who will be attending in person or arrange for the Court to provide you with the Microsoft Teams link to the Sanction Hearing, as appropriate.

If the Scheme is not approved by the Court, we’ll continue to manage the UFOB Fund and your policy as we do now.

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 rlservicinglife@royallondon.com

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).

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).

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.

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).

Need further help?

If the FAQs above haven't answered your query, you can get in touch with us via phone, online form or post using the details below.

Call us

If you can’t find the information or help you are looking for, you can call our dedicated customer services team on: 

0345 646 1014

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).

Contact us online

You can use our online contact form to get in touch with us about your queries.

Alternatively you can write to us at:

Royal London
Royal London House
Alderley Park
Congleton Road
Nether Alderley
Macclesfield
SK10 4EL