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Welcome to Athora

Athora is the new name for Aegon Ireland. You are now being redirected to www.athora.com/ie

Here you will find answers to the most common questions we get from Athora Ireland policyholders and advisers. To use our FAQs, simply click on the relevant heading below to reveal a selection of questions. Then simply click on the relevant question to reveal the answer. If you can't find the answer you're looking for here, just get in touch with our Client Relations team. 

Yes, you can add one as long as the adviser/manager has permission from the relevant regulatory authority to act on that basis. There is an Investment Services Appointment Form that should be completed if you do want to appoint one.

We don't allow assignment of individual policies on our guaranteed products.

For our other products, we only allow individual policies to be assigned where they’re to be immediately cashed in by the new assignee.

If you’d like to assign individual policies and the new assignee is going to cash those policies in immediately, in all circumstances the assignee should complete our Policyholder Details Form. You should also complete an appropriate deed of assignment. You can use our Deed of Assignment if you wish or your own bespoke deed of assignment.

Not all products can be assigned and some can only be assigned with our agreement.

If you are assigning the policy for gift purposes, you can use our generic Deed of Assignment which you’ll find here. We will also require a completed Policyholders Details Form which you’ll find here.

We need a bespoke deed of assignment from your current SIPP provider instructing the transfer to your new SIPP provider and confirming the SIPP's new name.

The new SIPP provider (trustees) will also need to complete our Policyholder Details Form.

It is important to note that we do not comment on the validity of instructions. It is the responsibility of the trustees to ensure their instructions are in line with the trust provisions.

You’ll find our acceptable funds criteria here. If you want to invest in a specific fund, please email the Fund Prospectus to businessdevelopment@aegon.ie.

You can instruct us to change your address on online services - click here for more information about our online services. Alternatively you can call or write to us.

Please ensure the instruction is signed by all policyholder(s) and/or all trustees. We might ask you to send us evidence of your new address.

If moving jurisdiction, please also complete our self-certification declaration which you can download by clicking here.

You can find our Internal Funds Switch Instruction Form here. You should use this form if you wish to switch some, or all, of your investment in our internal funds. It can be used for any of the following products:

  • 5 for Life
  • Aegon Secure Lifetime Income
  • Aegon Secure Income
  • Aegon Secure Capital
  • Aegon Secure Trustee Investment
  • Estate Planning Portfolio
  • Flexible Investment Plan
  • Investment Portfolio (Bond phase only)
  • Wealth Management Portfolio (where you don’t have a portfolio cash account and are investing solely in our internal funds)

We will need you to post us a letter of instruction confirming that you have changed your name. We will need specimen signatures for both your maiden and married names on this letter. We will also need a photocopy of your marriage certificate which has been certified, that is stamped to verify that it is a true copy of the original and dated within the last six months, by one of the below professionals.

  • Authorised Independent Financial Adviser
  • Solicitor
  • Chartered Accountant & Certified Public Accountants
  • Bank Manager or Director of a regulated financial or credit institution
  • Notary Public
  • Member of the Judiciary
  • Commissioner for oath
  • Police Officer
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Embassy/Consular Staff

Please write to us (click here to find our postal address) and instruct us to pay your income to your new bank account details. Please ensure the instruction is signed by all policyholder(s) and / or all trustees. We may also ask you to send in evidence of the new bank account.

No. If one of the banks who we place cash account holdings with becomes insolvent then we may not be able to recover all of the money invested with them. In this situation the value of your cash account holding will reduce accordingly.

For the latest information about deposits, contact our Client Relations team.

Cash account – interest rates

If you select funds other than our internal fund range, we'll set up a cash account - please note this isn't a cash fund. This allows us to deduct charges and withdrawals, collect income and settle deals without the need to liquidate non-cash assets. Here are the interest rates - as at 28 February 2018 - that we'll apply to the cash account, if needed:

 

British pounds

Euros

US dollars

Credit balance

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Debit balance

3.50%

3.25%

4.25%

Please note that the interest rates are linked to the bank base rate applicable to the currency of the account and may change.

We send your yearly statement in the first quarter after your policy anniversary. You can view and download your yearly and quarterly statements via our Policyholder Online Services.

If you haven't used our Policyholder Online Services before, we will first need to post you an authorisation code. Click here to request your authorisation code.

The current value of your policy is available via our on Policyholder Online Services.

If you haven't used our Policyholder Online Services before, we will first need to post you an authorisation code. Click here to request your authorisation code.

You can get a breakdown of the value of your policy via our Policyholder Online Services

If you haven't used our Policyholder Online Services before, we will first need to post you an authorisation code. Click here to request your authorisation code.

The cash-in value of your policy is available on our Policyholder Online Services .

If you haven't used our Policyholder Online Services before, we will first need to post you an authorisation code. Click here to request your authorisation code.

You may have to pay tax on the withdrawal depending on the withdrawal amount, the withdrawal method and your personal tax circumstances. We highly recommend you discuss taking a withdrawal from your policy with your financial adviser. We can’t give you tax advice. The tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in future. All references to taxation are based on our understanding of current taxation law and practice in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which may change.

No. Where you are switching between our internal fund range, we do not currently charge for this but reserve the right to do so in the future.

Changing the custodian of your bond from or to Athora Ireland can only be carried out as a cash transfer. This means that your current assets will be sold and the proceeds transferred to your new custodian. A charge will apply. We call this charge a 'Change in custodian charge' in your policy conditions booklet. Please see the question regarding the change of custodianship charges as all charges are outlined there. These charges apply to Wealth Management Portfolio, Wealth Planning Account and Private Client Portfolio policies. We may vary these charges in the future.

Wealth Management Portfolio and Wealth Planning Account

If you transfer 100% of your bond value from our custodianship to another custodian, we charge:

  • a one off charge of £750 or 1% of the total value you transfer, whichever is lower, and
  • an increase of 0.1% a year to your portfolio charge.

If you transfer 98% of your bond value from our custodianship to another custodian, we charge:

  • a one off charge of £750 or 1% of the total value you transfer, whichever is lower, and
  • an increase of 0.06% a year to your portfolio charge.

It's important to note that the 2% balance must remain in your bond's cash account.

If you transfer 95% or less of your bond value from our custodianship to another custodian, we charge:

  • a one off charge of £750 or 1% of the total value you transfer, whichever is lower.

It’s important to note that at least 5% of your balance must remain in your bond's cash account.

Private Client Portfolio

If you transfer 100% of your bond value from our custodianship to another custodian, we charge:

  • a one off charge of £1,500 or 1% of the total value you transfer, whichever is lower.

Important notes:

  • If we have to convert the charges into your bond denomination currency, currency conversion charges will apply.
  • It’s not possible to cover all types of transfers in the above information, so please contact us for full details of the fees that apply to your transfer.
  • For more information, please speak to a regulated financial adviser.

You can find out about the charges that apply to your Aegon Secure Capital policy here. How much we charge depends on the guarantee(s) you’ve selected, your choice of funds and when the bond was taken out. Your 'Policy schedule' will clearly show what guarantee options you chose. Please note that our policy conditions allow us to change our charges in certain conditions. To find out the charges that apply to your bond, you should first check the number that appears on  'Your policy conditions' booklet and then view the details below corresponding to the number.

Aegon Secure Capital (Policy Conditions 1.0)

Aegon Secure Capital (Policy Conditions 2.2)

Aegon Secure Capital (Policy Conditions 3.0 & 4.0)

 

How much we charge depends on the guarantee(s) you’ve selected, your choice of funds and when your bond was taken out. Your policy schedule will clearly show what guarantee options you chose. Please note that our policy conditions allow us to change our charges in certain conditions.

To find out the charges that apply to your bond, you should first check the number that appears on 'Your policy conditions' booklet and then view the details below corresponding to the number.

Aegon Secure Income (Policy Conditions 1)

Aegon Secure Income (Policy Conditions 2)

Aegon Secure Income (Policy Conditions 3.0 & 4.0)

 

You can find out about the charges that apply to your Aegon Secure Lifetime Income (ASLI) plan here. How much we charge depends on the guarantee(s) you’ve selected, your choice of funds and also when your plan was taken out. Your 'Policy schedule' will clearly show what guarantee options you chose. Please note that our policy conditions allow us to change our charges in certain conditions. To find out the charges that apply to your plan, you should first check the number that appears on 'Your policy conditions' booklet and then view the details below corresponding to the number.

Aegon Secure Lifetime Income (Policy Conditions 1.0 - 4.0)

Aegon Secure Lifetime Income (Policy Conditions 5)

Aegon Secure Lifetime Income (Policy Conditions 6)

Aegon Secure Lifetime Income (Policy Conditions 7)

Aegon Secure Lifetime Income (Policy Conditions 8)

 

You can find out the charges that apply to your Aegon Secure Trustee Investment plan here. How much we charge depends on the guarantee(s) you’ve selected, your choice of funds and when your plan was taken out. Your ‘Policy schedule’ will clearly show what guarantee options you chose. Please note that our policy conditions allow us to change our charges in certain conditions. To find out the charges that apply to your plan, you should first check the number that appears on 'Your policy conditions' booklet and then view the details below corresponding to the number.

Aegon Secure Trustee Investment (Policy Conditions 1)

Aegon Secure Trustee Investment (Policy Conditions 2)

Aegon Secure Trustee Investment (Policy Conditions 3)

Aegon Secure Trustee Investment (Policy Conditions 4)

 

The Wealth Management Portfolio was built with flexibility in mind so we set things up so you and your adviser could decide on the pricing structure that suited you both. Because of this, charges differ from policyholder to policyholder, and you’ll be able to find out your own specific charges by looking at your ‘Charges schedule’ that we sent you when you took out the bond. We set out details below of some of the charges that apply to all of our Wealth Management Portfolio policyholders. We may vary these charges in the future.

Annual management charge

The annual management charge is specific to the fund(s) you invest in. See our Fund prices and performance page for details of the charge that applies to our internal fund range. For other funds please speak to your financial adviser.

Change in custodian charge

You can only change the custodian of your bond from, or to Aegon Ireland, by carrying out a cash transfer. This means that we'll sell your current assets and transfer the proceeds to your new custodian. We call this charge a 'Change in custodian charge' in your policy conditions booklet. Please see the question: What are the change in custodian charges? for more information.

Cash account interest rates

If your bond has a cash account, there may be interest to pay if your account is overdrawn. Have a look here to find the interest rates that apply to the cash account.

Dealing charges

We won't charge you for any switches within our own internal range of funds.

We don’t apply dealing charges for selling or purchasing cash deposits or structured deposits. For all other investments you get 25 free deals each policy year, after which we'll charge you. Replacing one asset with another is two deals i.e. one sale and one purchase. The current dealing charge is £23.25 but we review our charges each year. However, there are other charges made by our custodian and/or by another custodian/investment manager that could apply.

Valuation charges

We'll send you four statements each year free of charge. There's a £40 charge for any additional statements you request.

We recommend that you discuss this with your financial adviser. The information below relates to products provided by Athora Ireland.

You can use our Deed of Appointment of Additional Trustees Form.

You will also have to complete our Policyholder Details Form.

It is important to note that Athora Ireland does not comment on the validity of instructions. It is the responsibility of the trustees to ensure their instructions are in line with the trust provisions.

For trusts set up in Scotland, please use the Changing Trustees Form.

We recommend that you discuss this with your financial adviser. You can use our Changing Trustee Form.

We have a range of trusts available. We recommend that you discuss these trust options, and which may be appropriate to your personal circumstances with your financial adviser. Trusts establish legal rights and entitlements and might have material financial and tax implications for the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries. Athora Ireland is not authorised to provide legal advice, so you should take your own legal advice before setting up a trust, to make sure that it meets your requirements. Our trusts have been drafted for use by UK domiciled individuals.

No, the guarantee products are not affected by the transfer. None of the guarantee products including 5 for Life, Aegon Secure Capital, Aegon Secure Income, Aegon Secure Lifetime Income and Aegon Secure Trustee Investment will transfer. Athora Ireland will continue to provide the guarantees on these policies.

There are no immediate changes to the underlying investments for our offshore bond products. We’ll write to you over the coming months to give you further information on the transfer. When Utmost becomes the new owner of the Athora Ireland offshore bond business, they’ll contact you with further updates in relation to the offshore bond policies and investments.

There are no servicing changes. In the run up to the transfer of the offshore bond portfolio to Utmost, we will continue to service offshore bond policies as usual.

Athora has agreed to sell the Athora Ireland offshore bond portfolio to Utmost Ireland DAC (Utmost), a wholly-owned, Dublin-based subsidiary of Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG). This transaction is through a portfolio transfer which is subject to court approval. Utmost is an Irish registered company which is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

For more information visit www.utmostwealth.com

As part of the court process we’ll be writing to you during 2018 to provide further information on the proposed transfer.  When the transaction receives court approval, Utmost will become the new owner of Athora Ireland’s offshore bond portfolio. In the meantime, we’ll write to you over the coming months to give you further information on the transfer. When Utmost becomes the new owner, they’ll contact you with further updates. In the meantime, your policy continues to be serviced by Athora Ireland.

We expect that the transaction will complete towards the end of 2018. This transaction is through a portfolio transfer which is subject to court approval.  When the transaction receives this approval, Utmost will become the new owner of Athora Ireland’s offshore bond portfolio.

Athora Ireland’s offshore bond portfolio is being transferred to Utmost Ireland DAC. This includes the Wealth Planning Account, Private Client Portfolio, Investment Portfolio, Money Market Portfolio, Estate Planning Portfolio, Flexible Investment Plan and Wealth Management Portfolio. 

Please note that there are no changes to our guarantee policies. Athora Ireland will continue to provide the guarantee on your client’s policy.

Utmost Ireland DAC (Utmost) is an Irish registered company which is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. They are based in Dublin and are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Life Company Consolidation Group (LLCG).

For more information, visit www.utmostwealth.com

The offshore bond market is not a core focus for Athora’s future business plans. Therefore, the decision was made to sell it to Utmost Ireland DAC.

There are no immediate changes. We will write to you over the coming months to give you further information on the transfer. When Utmost become the new owner of the Athora Ireland non-guarantee business, they will contact you / your client with further updates in relation to the policy. Our goal is to ensure a smooth transition to Utmost once the sale receives approval. In the short term:

  • you do not need to make any changes or take any action in relation to your / your client’s policy as a result of this announcement;
  • you will still have access to our online services until the transfer completes; and
  • we will continue to service advisers and policyholders until the transfer completes.

Yes. If you were habitually resident in the UK when the contract started you'll be covered by the provisions of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. Insurance business is generally covered for 100% of the current value of the bond or plan, without limit.

Yes. Policyholder assets are ring fenced and only available to policyholders if we were to wind up.

Athora Ireland is part of the Athora Group. Athora Ireland is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and is subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of UK business. As well as having strong internal controls, we operate within both the Irish and European regulatory framework covering the following key elements to help protect your investments: 

  • Regulation
  • Independent custodian
  • Segregation of assets
  • UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Yes, there is an independent custodian for most of our policyholder assets. A custodian is a person(s) or organisation who is responsible for the safekeeping of assets. Although there is no requirement for Athora Ireland to appoint a third party custodian, we use one to hold most of our policyholder assets.

Policyholders are treated as super-preferential creditors ahead of all creditors under the European Communities (Insurance and Reinsurance) Regulations 2015. 

A LEI isn’t required by the trustees or an entity where they only hold an Athora Ireland bond. The assets being managed are our assets not the trust or entity’s assets. If the trustees or entity also invest outside of the bond wrapper they potentially would require a LEI depending on what they invest in, and the trustees or entity should speak to their financial adviser or investment manager about whether a LEI is required. 

If the trust needs a LEI, the trust would have to fund it directly. Where it own an Athora Ireland bond, it could take a bond withdrawal but would have to bear in mind any tax consequences of doing this. 

All references to taxation are based on our understanding of current taxation law and practice in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which may change.

The Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (CRS) is a global tax compliance measure designed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to combat tax evasion. The Irish Government has amended its laws to implement CRS. Since 1 January 2016, Athora Ireland has been obliged to report specific information to Irish Revenue about reportable persons who aren’t resident in Ireland for tax purposes. By reportable persons we mean:

  • individual policyholders;
  • trustees, settlors, beneficiaries and protectors for trusts, and
  • beneficial owners for companies. 

Irish Revenue will then, in turn, exchange this information with the relevant tax authorities. We’re required to submit an annual CRS report to Irish Revenue by 30 June every year.

Please see our Protecting your personal information leaflet and revenue.ie for further details.

What this means for policyholders

Athora Ireland is obliged to determine jurisdictions of tax residence and taxpayer identification numbers for our policyholders. We share this information with Irish Revenue. In order to for us to comply with our obligations, you must complete and return our Self-certification declaration

Please also complete our Self-certification declaration should there be a change to your details. 

FATCA is a United States (US) law designed to tackle tax evasion by US citizens living outside the US. FATCA now applies in Ireland. This means that Irish financial institutions (including Athora Ireland) are obliged to determine whether their customers have a US connection and report to the Irish Revenue Commissioners, on an annual basis, customers who are or who might be US citizens and / or US tax residents.

Aegon Ireland's Global Intermediary Identification Number is YJ60CN/00003/ME/372.

All references to taxation are based on our understanding of current taxation law and practice in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which may change.

What does this mean for new business applicants?

The means that during the new business process, we're obliged to check whether an applicant has a U.S. connection. We do this through declarations in our application forms. If a U.S. connection is confirmed to us, we can't proceed with the application.

What does this mean for existing policyholders?

For existing business, we're required to carry out checks where we've reason to believe an existing policy has a possible U.S. connection. If a U.S. connection is confirmed to us, or if we don't receive a response to checks we carry out, we're obliged to include this policy in our annual report to the Irish Revenue Commissioners.

Need more information?

You can get more information on FATCA by contacting a financial adviser or alternatively, by visiting the website of the Irish Revenue Commissioners at www.revenue.ie

Athora Ireland's LEI number is 549300AIPJCQZNY2IH15.

1. Tell all of your banks and other financial institutions

Where possible, ask them to close any accounts that have been used fraudulently and open new ones for you in their place. 

Otherwise, ask them to apply additional security to all of your accounts, as fraudsters will often make multiple attempts at accessing accounts.

2. Report the incident to the police

This can be done by contacting Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. Be sure to follow their instructions.

Their website also includes information and advice on many types of fraud and scams.

3. Take steps to prevent further incidents

Contact a credit rating company (such as Experian®) and ask them to flag your credit report. That way, any future transactions will have to be verified with you.

Use the CIFAS Protective Registration service. They in turn will flag your personal file so that when a CIFAS member company receives an application in your name, they’ll conduct extra checks to ensure the application is genuine. 

Learn more about fraud prevention

There are a number of organisations and websites dedicated to helping consumers and businesses to prevent fraud. Some useful examples are given below:

Identity theft is when someone takes your personal information without your permission and uses it to commit fraud. This personal information may include your name, date of birth or National Insurance number.

Identity theft is a growing problem, largely due to more widespread use of information technology – including internet and email. Once your identity is stolen, criminals may use this to withdraw money from your bank accounts and investments, or run up large debts in your name.  As well as the financial loss involved, victims of identity theft can often find that they’re left with a damaged reputation and ruined credit which can take some time to be put right.  

For example, criminals could use this information to do the following in your name:

  • Open bank accounts.
  • Take out insurance policies or submit insurance claims.
  • Get credit cards, loans or state benefits.
  • Obtain identification documents such as passports or driving licences.
  • ‘Take over’ your existing bank accounts or investments and withdraw funds from them for their own benefit.

1. Keep your information private

  • Keep important documents– for example, your passport, driving licence and policy documents – in a safe place.
  • Shred or destroy all documents which contain financial information or information which otherwise identifies you. Use ‘micro-cut’ shredders for added safety.
  • Don't use the same password for more than one account and never use banking passwords for any other websites.
  • Keep your passwords safe and never record or store them in a way that leaves them open to theft, for example in your purse or wallet.
  • If you change address, get your mail redirected and tell all your financial and other organisations about your change of address immediately.
  • If your passport or driving licence is lost or stolen, contact the relevant organisation straightaway. If your plastic cards are lost or stolen, cancel them immediately.
  • If you stop receiving mail, or if it’s regularly delayed, contact the Royal Mail straightaway to find out why – as fraudsters may be intercepting it. 

2. Ensure your internet connection and computer are secure

  • Always ensure your computer ‘firewalls’, anti-virus protection and other software are kept up to date.
  • Only provide personal information using secure web pages – these will have a URL address starting with ‘https’, rather than http. A lock icon will also appear at or near the top of your browser window.
  • Consider purchasing a product that offers online identity theft monitoring and protection.

3. Be careful sharing your personal information

  • Beware of 'phishing scams' – don’t click on links in unsolicited emails or give log-in information for online accounts. If you’re unsure, contact the institution that’s requesting the information to make sure it’s legitimate. 
  • Don’t give out your National Insurance number unless absolutely necessary.
  • Be wary of sharing your personal information on social media. Regularly check the security settings for your account to ensure your details can only be seen by your intended audience.

4. Remain vigilant

  • Be suspicious if you’re unexpectedly contacted by telephone, email, post or fax asking for personal information, for example a policy number. 
  • Check your financial statements regularly and let your bank know straightaway if there are any transactions you don’t recognise.
  • If you’re a company director, consider using different signatures for your company and personal transactions.
  • Check your credit report regularly, at least once or twice a year. This can often be obtained free of charge. Make sure you recognise all entries, and follow up immediately if you don’t.