June 2021 update: proposed transfer of certain annuities from The Prudential Assurance Company Limited to Rothesay Life Plc

Background

In March 2018, Prudential plc announced its intention to demerge M&GPrudential, its UK and European savings and investments business, and to list it as an independent company on the London Stock Exchange. The company, now called M&G plc, was listed on the London Stock Exchange on 21 October 2019.

As an independent company, M&G plc is continuing its transformation into a more capital-efficient business, targeting growing demand for savings and investments solutions.

In support of this transformation, Prudential proposed to transfer certain annuity policies of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited to Rothesay Life Plc by means of an insurance business transfer scheme under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. For a small number of policies, where the policyholders are resident in either Jersey or Guernsey, there will also be equivalent insurance business transfer schemes in Jersey and Guernsey.

The transfer required approval from the High Court of England & Wales ("High Court"). Following the conclusion of a hearing held in June 2019 at the High Court, the Judge did not approve the transfer and we were given permission to appeal. 

We decided to appeal having been advised that in reaching its decision to decline to approve the transfer, the High Court may have made material errors of law.

The appeal was heard in the Court of Appeal between 27 and 29 October 2020 and the Court of Appeal’s judgment was handed down on 2 December 2020. The Court of Appeal concluded that the original judge made errors in his approach to assessing whether the transfer should be allowed to go ahead. This means that the original decision will not stand and the High Court will be asked to assess the proposed transfer again and make a new decision as to whether the transfer should be allowed to go ahead.

We currently expect that the approval hearing in the High Court to consider whether to approve the transfer will take place in late 2021.

Current update – the preliminary hearing

The preliminary hearing has been scheduled in the High Court on Friday 23 July 2021. The preliminary hearing will be solely concerned with procedural matters and will not consider the merits of the Scheme; its purpose is to update the High Court on the transfer process and provide a detailed plan of how we intend to update impacted policyholders about it.

Policyholders may attend the preliminary hearing, but it will be at the discretion of the High Court as to whether it will hear any representations (which may relate to procedural matters only) from policyholders at the preliminary hearing. If you wish to attend the preliminary hearing, please let us know by emailing annuitytransfer@prudential.co.uk or calling us on 0800 640 9164. Whilst we will endeavour to pass on any details of the preliminary hearing as soon as we know them, we advise you to refer to the latest information available from the High Court and to check what the prevailing measures mandated or recommended by the UK government (and on the procedures operated by the High Court) are in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. We expect the High Court to publish the arrangements for the preliminary hearing at gov.uk/government/publications/business-and-property-courts-rolls-building-cause-list/business-and-property-courts-of-england-and-wales-cause-list on the afternoon of 22 July 2021.

Any person who considers they would be adversely affected by the proposed transfer shall have a right to attend and express their views at the approval hearing in late 2021. Once the date of the approval hearing has been confirmed, we’ll inform impacted policyholders in writing at least six weeks beforehand, as well as updating this webpage.

We’ll continue to publish updates about the proposed transfer here and we’ll also update our recorded message on 0800 640 9164 (UK) and +44 203 755 9194 (overseas).

The benefits, terms and conditions, and current service for the policyholders covered by the proposed transfer remain unaffected.

Check if your policy might be impacted

You'll need your 16 digit annuity policy number to hand which can be found on any correspondence we sent you. If you have more than one annuity policy, you will need to check each policy in turn. If you cannot find your annuity policy number please call us on

0800 640 9164 or +44 203 755 9194 0800 640 9164 or +44 203 755 9194

if calling from outside the UK. Our lines are open between 8.30am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, except on bank holidays. Calls are free from UK landlines and mobile phones.

More about Rothesay Life Plc

Rothesay Life Plc was established in 2007 and has become one of the largest specialist annuity providers in the UK market, with over £60bn assets under management and insures the annuities of over 800,000 individuals. Rothesay Life Plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. You can find out more by visiting rothesay.com

Important Documents

In February/March 2019, we sent policyholder packs to those customers whose annuity policies might be transferring to Rothesay Life Plc. You can download copies of the documents included in those packs and other reports here:

This letter is specific to individual policyholders holding an annuity that it is proposed will transfer. 

Download letter

This letter is specific to Trustees of pension schemes holding an annuity that it is proposed will transfer.

Download letter

This letter is specific to the members of certain pension schemes holding an annuity that it is proposed will transfer, where PAC has an agreement with the Trustees to contact such members directly.

Download letter

This booklet, sent with the each of the letters above, contains a Questions and Answers section as well as a summary of the Scheme, a summary of the Independent Expert Report and a copy of the Legal Notice of Transfer.

Download circular

This document sets out the terms of the proposed transfer.

Download document

This document reflects the changes made to the original Scheme Document that was submitted to the High Court for the directions hearing in January 2019.

Download document 

This document sets out the Independent Expert’s analysis of the impact of the proposed transfer on policyholders. A summary of the Independent Expert Report is in the Policyholder Circular.

Download report

This document sets out the Independent Expert’s description of developments since publication of his main report dated 21 January 2019, including an updated assessment of the proposed transfer.

Download document

The Chief Actuary of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited (PAC) provides a report on the impact of the proposed transfer on transferring and non-transferring PAC policyholders.

Download report

This document provides an update to the main report dated 18 January 2019.

Download document 

The PAC With-Profits Actuary reports on the impact of the proposed transfer on transferring and non-transferring PAC with-profits policyholders.

Download report

This document provides an update to the main report dated 18 January 2019.

Download document

This is information for the Jersey Scheme

Download document 

This is information for the Guernsey Scheme

Download document 

This is information for the Jersey Scheme.

Download document

Contact us 

Post: 

Write to us at:
Rothesay Transfer
Prudential
PO Box 3122
Lancing
BN15 5DA

Phone: 

Call us on 0800 640 9164 or
+44 203 755 9194 if calling from outside the UK. Our lines are open between 8.30am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, except on bank holidays. Calls are free from UK landlines and mobile phones.

Secure Message:

Send us a secure email from our website. Please visit pru.co.uk/prumail

Email:

Email us directly at annuitytransfer@prudential.co.uk

(please note sending an email to this address is not a secure method of communication; if you are including any personal or sensitive information, such as your address, we suggest you use our secure email or one of the other methods).