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We will update the content of this page to reflect any developments. Please see below for the updates made. 

24 April - Further detail about the possible loss of the UK Financial  Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS") added to this page
Further detail about this aspect of the transfer has been added to the FSCS section below. This information was included in the letters sent to affected policyholders.

22 April - The Court hearing may be held remotely rather than at the original address given
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Court hearings are currently arranged as remote hearings wherever possible. If this situation continues, it is currently anticipated that the hearing to consider the proposed transfer may need to be held remotely rather than as a physical hearing at the Fetter Lane, London address. We will be providing more updates as we get closer to the Court hearing date, which is still expected to be 22 July 2020. Please see the "What if I want to object?" section below for more details.

Introduction

As part of Rothesay Life’s preparations for the UK’s exit from the European Union (the “EU”), commonly known as “Brexit”, we identified that we may not be able to lawfully make all payments due to policyholders in respect of a small portion of our annuity business as a result of Brexit following the end of the implementation period agreed with the EU and any additional period provided for by the Irish government.

Before the UK’s exit from the EU, Rothesay Life had rights to conduct business in the EU, including the Republic of Ireland, under EU rules which allow EU insurance companies to ‘passport’ into other EU countries. As a result of the UK leaving the EU, UK insurers including Rothesay Life are expected to lose their ‘passporting’ rights at the end of the implementation period (currently expected to be 31 December 2020). The loss of ‘passporting’ rights may prevent Rothesay Life from being able to lawfully make all payments due under a small number of affected policies.

Following discussions with the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”), the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and the Central Bank of Ireland (“CBI”), we decided to transfer the affected policies to an Irish insurance company in order ensure that payments under the affected policies can continue to be lawfully paid following Brexit. As a result we have agreed to transfer the affected policies to Monument Life Insurance DAC (“Monument Life”), an Irish insurance company authorised and regulated by the CBI.

You have the right to object to the proposed transfer if you have any concerns or feel the proposals will have an adverse effect on you.

Please note: Monument Life Insurance DAC was formerly named Laguna Life DAC. The change of name took effect on 2 April 2020.

Who is affected?

The affected policies were originally written by Rothesay Assurance Limited (formerly MetLife Assurance Limited).

After Rothesay Life’s purchase of the entire issued share capital of Rothesay Assurance Limited (formerly MetLife Assurance Limited), Rothesay Life acquired these policies from Rothesay Assurance Limited in November 2015 following a Court order sanctioning an insurance business transfer under Part VII of the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Before being issued with individual policies, the affected policyholders were members of one of the following pension schemes:

  • The Clondalkin Group Executive Pension Scheme
  • The Fujitsu Services (Ireland) Pension Plan
  • The Scottish Legal Life Pension Scheme – ROI Section
  • Element Six Contributory Pension Plan
  • The Georgia Pacific Ireland Retirement Benefits Scheme

Please note that former members of the UK Section of The Scottish Legal Life Pension Scheme are not affected by this proposed transfer.

These policies have been selected for transfer because they were originally written by Rothesay Assurance Limited (formerly MetLife Assurance Limited) in the Republic of Ireland on the basis of its ‘passporting’ rights.

If you are a Rothesay Life policyholder who currently lives in an EU country (including the Republic of Ireland) and you were not a member of one of the pension schemes listed above, your policy is not one of the approximately 400 affected policies included in the proposed transfer and you do not need to take any action. Based on regulatory guidance, we are confident that we can continue to service the policies of all of our other policyholders.

What is happening?

In order to ensure that payments under the affected policies can continue to be lawfully paid, we decided to transfer the affected policies to another insurer, authorised and regulated in the Republic of Ireland.

As a result, in March 2019 Rothesay Life entered into an agreement with Monument Re under which Monument Re agreed to acquire a portfolio of approximately 400 Irish annuity policies. The acquisition was structured initially as reinsurance to Monument Re and is expected to be followed by a transfer of the portfolio to its subsidiary, Monument Life (formerly Laguna Life DAC), subject to Court approval. Monument Life is an Irish insurance company, authorised and regulated in the Republic of Ireland by the CBI.

Click here to see the press release regarding this announcement

Rothesay Life and Monument Life have begun the legal process of transferring the affected policies to Monument Life. The proposed transfer is to be carried out by way of a legal process in the UK known as a “Part VII transfer” under the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 which allows the transfer of insurance business from one insurer to another. This process requires the High Court of Justice of England and Wales (the “Court”) to approve the proposed transfer and an independent expert (the “Independent Expert”) to give his opinion on the likely impact of the proposed transfer on policyholders. The proposed transfer will also be reviewed by the UK industry regulators (the PRA and the FCA) who will consult with the CBI as Monument Life’s regulator and will provide reports on the proposed transfer to the Court. If the proposed transfer is approved, we expect the transfer to take place on 7 September 2020.

We have sent a policyholder pack comprising a letter and booklet containing further information about the proposed transfer to all policyholders whose policy is expected to transfer to Monument Life.

Whether or not you have received a policyholder pack, there will be no change to the terms and conditions of your policy as a result of the proposed transfer.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”)

Currently, in the unlikely event that Rothesay Life is unable to meet its commitments to you, you may be able to claim compensation from the FSCS in the UK. There is no equivalent compensation scheme in the Republic of Ireland. However, Monument Life is currently a “Relevant Person” for the purposes of the FSCS rules and its policyholders who are eligible to claim compensation from the FSCS are expected to remain eligible for so long as Monument Life remains a Relevant Person in the UK. Monument Life will automatically be a “Relevant Person” for a period of time after the UK’s exit from the EU, and if Monument Life successfully establishes a third country branch in the UK, then that status will continue indefinitely. You can find out more about Monument Life’s status as a Relevant Person in the answer to question 10 of the policyholder booklet and section 8.5 of the Independent Expert’s report.

The availability of FSCS over the long term is not certain and is subject to a number of contingencies. If your policy transfers to Monument Life and at some future date, Monument Life is unable to pay your benefits in full and at the time is not a Relevant Person, it is possible that you may not be able to claim from the FSCS in the UK. For further information, please refer to the answer to question 10 in the enclosed booklet, section 2.4 of the summary of the Independent Expert’s report and paragraphs 2.4.23 to 2.4.33 and section 8.5 of the full report produced by the Independent Expert.

The possible loss of FSCS protection has been considered by the Independent Expert, who has stated in his report that he considers that the possible loss of FSCS protection has no material adverse impact on the transferring policyholders. For further details, please see section 2.4 of the summary of the Independent’s Expert’s report.

Financial Ombudsman Service (the “FOS”)

If your policy transfers to Monument Life, you will no longer have access to the FOS in the UK. You will, however, continue to have access to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (the “FSPO”) in the Republic of Ireland. The level of policyholder protection provided by the FSPO is similar to that provided by the FOS and the maximum award the FSPO can make is higher than the maximum that the FOS can award. Additionally, Monument Life has agreed to continue to comply with the relevant UK regulations concerning complaints handling and resolution by firms in relation to their policyholders, to the extent those provisions applied to the Transferring Policies prior to the Transfer Date. For more information, please refer to the answers to questions 25 to 27 in the policyholder booklet and section 4.6 and paragraph 8.3.61 to 8.3.63 of the Independent Expert’s report, both of which can be accessed from the Documents Library (see below).

Payment of benefits

The implementation period agreed with the EU is currently expected to end on 31 December 2020 which is after the date on which it is expected that the proposed transfer will take place (being 7 September 2020). During the implementation period, we will continue to pay benefits to policyholders whose policy is expected to transfer to Monument Life as usual until the proposed transfer takes place.

More information on the proposed transfer

If you would like to find out more about the proposed transfer you can read the documents in our Document Library.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE DOCUMENT LIBRARY

You can also access the information regarding the proposed transfer that Monument Life has provided to its policyholders at: www.monumentregroup.com

What action should policyholders take?

a) If your policy is not expected to transfer to Monument Life

You do not have to take any action.

The proposed transfer will not change the way that your Rothesay Life policy is operated. The same dedicated pensions team will continue to look after the administration of your policy.

If having read the information provided on this page and the Document Library you have any queries or concerns or wish to object to the proposed transfer please contact us using the usual contact details for the team administering your policy.

To search for the contact details for the team administering your policy: please click here

b) If your policy is expected to transfer to Monument Life

Please read the information in the policyholder pack you have received carefully. We also encourage you to read the materials provided in the Document Library (see above).

If having read the information provided on this page and the Document Library you have any queries regarding the proposed transfer please contact us using the contact details below.

Please consider whether you feel that you are concerned about the proposed transfer or feel that you may be adversely affected. If you feel that you may be adversely affected by the proposed transfer, you have the right to raise any concerns or objections to the proposed transfer with us or the Court. Please see “What if I want to object?” below for more details.

The contact details for you to use for any queries, concerns or if you wish to object are:

Telephone:         1800 303377 if calling from the Republic of Ireland (ROI)
                              Free to call within ROI on both landlines and mobiles

                             +353 (0) 1202 6095 if calling from outside of ROI
                             Normal call rates on both landlines and mobiles

                             Lines are open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays in ROI)

Write to:            Rothesay Life
                             Customer Service Team
                             Friends First House
                             Cherrywood Business Park
                             Loughlinstown
                             Dublin 18

Email:                 rothesaylife@mercer.com

What if I want to object?

You have the right to object to the proposed transfer if you feel the proposals will have an adverse effect on you. The Court will consider all objections received in deciding whether it is appropriate to approve the proposed transfer.

You can either present your views to Rothesay Life or make representations to the Court (in person, in writing or by legal representation). Please note that if you wish to be represented by a legal representative at the Court hearing then he or she would need to have appropriate rights of audience to appear at Court. We recommend that you call or write to us with any concerns or objections you may have about the proposed transfer even if you intend to appear in Court in person as we will provide details of any objections we receive the Independent Expert and our regulators as well as to the Court.

The final Court hearing to consider the proposed transfer was expected to take place on 22 July 2020 at:

Rolls Building
Royal Courts of Justice
7 Rolls Building
Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1NL

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Court hearings are currently arranged as remote hearings wherever possible. If this situation continues, it is currently anticipated that the hearing to consider the proposed transfer may need to be held remotely rather than as a physical hearing at the above address. We are monitoring this situation closely and liaising with the Court on the arrangements for the hearing. We will be providing more updates as we get closer to the Court hearing date, which is still expected to be 22 July 2020. If the Court hearing is confirmed to be held remotely, prior to the hearing we will ensure that details of the hearing arrangements are made available on this page, so that policyholders (and their representatives) who wish to make representations to the Court in person will be able to participate in the hearing.

We recommend that you call or write to us with any concerns or objections you may have about the proposed transfer, or if you intend to make representations to the Court, using your usual contact details for the team administering your policy as soon as possible and preferably at least five business days before the Court hearing on 22 July 2020.

We will acknowledge and reply in writing to all objections we receive. We will also submit details of all objections that we receive to the Court, our regulators and the Independent Expert. This means that any correspondence that forms part of your objection will be part of the Court process which will be accessible to the public. By submitting an objection to the proposed transfer, you consent to your objection and any personal data you provide with your objection being shared with the Court, our regulators and the Independent Expert.

To search for the contact details for the team administering your policy: please click here

If you wish to make representations to the Court directly, you can do so by writing to:

The High Court of Justice, Chancery List Office, Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL

If you write to the Court directly you should clearly refer to the “transfer of annuity policies between Rothesay Life Plc and Monument Life Insurance DAC (formerly Laguna Life DAC)” and the Court’s reference number (CR-2019-006061) in your letter.

Information for Monument Life’s policyholders

If you have a policy with Monument Life, we recommend that you refer to the information regarding this proposed transfer that Monument Life has provided to its policyholders at: www.monumentregroup.com

Please contact Monument Life should you have any queries or concerns regarding the proposed transfer.

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