What this means for our customers

Standard Life Assurance Limited (SLAL), part of Phoenix Group, is planning to transfer its business to Phoenix Life Limited (PLL), which is also part of Phoenix Group.

Some Standard Life International (SLIntl) customers have a policy which is reinsured to one of SLAL’s with-profits funds; the Heritage With-Profits Fund, the German With-Profits Fund and the German Smoothed Managed With-Profits Fund. If SLAL’s plans to transfer its business to PLL are approved, the business in these SLAL funds will transfer to new with-profits funds in PLL which are identical to the SLAL funds that they replace.

What do Standard Life International customers need to know?

Your policy is staying with SL Intl.
The planned transfer from SLAL to PLL will not make any change to who your policy is with, your terms and conditions, the value of your policy, your future policy benefits or the way your policy is managed. You will continue to be a SL Intl customer and SL Intl will still be your policy provider. You will continue to see the same Standard Life brand you know us for and contact us in the same way.

Protecting customers’ interests
Making sure customers’ interests are protected is a key priority for us and the regulators (the Central Bank of Ireland, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority). A rigorous process is being followed, which includes a detailed explanation of what is happening, appointing an Independent Expert to produce a report, consulting with the regulators and asking the High Court in London on the 5 October and the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 3 October 2023 for approval. This process is designed to ensure that customers are treated fairly and not materially adversely affected by the transfer.

Why does this impact Standard Life International customers?

In 2019, to manage the consequences of UK’s withdrawal from the EU (‘Brexit’), SLAL, a UK registered company, transferred its European business to SL Intl. This is referred to as the 2019 Scheme, also known as the Brexit Scheme. To ensure that customer interests were protected a rigorous process was followed, which included approval from the Court of Session in Edinburgh. 

The 2019 Scheme included the immediate reinsurance back to SLAL of the transferred business written or invested in the Heritage With-Profits Fund, the German With-Profits Fund and the German Smoothed Managed With-Profits Fund. This was done to make sure European customers could continue to participate in these funds. 

SLAL now plans to transfer all its business to PLL, which will involve transferring SLAL’s rights and obligations under the 2019 Scheme to PLL. This means that SLAL and SL Intl are going to apply to the Court of Session for its approval to amend the 2019 Scheme.

What will change?

For SL Intl customers, policies will remain with SL Intl and will not transfer to PLL. Your policy and your rights and obligations will not be affected by the transfer. What will transfer are the reinsurance arrangements that are currently between SL Intl and SLAL. These will be transferred, along with the other business in SLAL, and will be between SLIntl and PLL after the transfer. All the business in SLAL’s with-profits funds will transfer into newly established with-profits funds in PLL which will be identical to, and managed in the same way as, the SLAL with-profits funds that they replace. 

To reflect these changes, we will also be updating the With-Profits Operating Principles which govern how Standard Life International’s with-profits business is managed.

Where can I find more information?

To answer questions SL Intl customers may ask, all the information relating to these plans is brought together here. The links below provide access to lots of detailed documents, including:

  • A document explaining what the changes mean, a helpful Q&A and how you can raise an objection to the Court of Session if you believe you may be adversely affected,*
  • The technical and legal documents, and the actuarial documents and reports, used to support the Standard Life UK business transfer
  • Copies of the proposed amended With-Profits Operating Principles, which will be made to reflect the UK business transfer plans.

    *If you have concerns about the changes to the 2019 Scheme, also known as the Brexit Scheme, and believe you may be adversely affected you have the right to raise an objection. The process for objections is detailed in the Q&A guide, which you can download below.

Important documents

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