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 that approximately 370,000 annuity policies of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited would be transferred 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. Following the conclusion of that hearing, the Judge did not approve the transfer and we were given permission to appeal the judgment. 

Having considered our position and taken appropriate legal advice, we lodged our notice of appeal with the Court of Appeal on 27 September 2019. 

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. We believe the High Court’s judgment should therefore be re-considered by the Court of Appeal.

Previous update in June 2020

The June 2020 update advised that we had asked the Court of Appeal to delay the appeal hearing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we expected the hearing to be held in late autumn 2020.

Latest position

The Court of Appeal has now confirmed the appeal hearing will start in the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL on Tuesday 27 October and is expected to last three days. If there are any changes to the hearing date or arrangements, we’ll publish the details here. We’ll also update our recorded message on 0800 640 9164 (UK) and +44 203 755 9194 (overseas).

Please note that any objections made available to the High Court in June 2019 will also be made available to the Court of Appeal. This means impacted policyholders don’t need to resubmit their objection to either us, or to the Court of Appeal, or contact us about it.

The appeal hearing will take the form of a review of the High Court Judge’s decision not to approve the transfer. It will only consider the material that was available at the High Court hearing in June 2019. The Court of Appeal will make a decision on whether the original High Court approval hearing outcome was correct or not. 

There will not be an opportunity to debate whether or not the transfer should or will be approved or to provide additional objections to it. This is because, if the appeal succeeds, there will be a further High Court hearing to decide whether the transfer should proceed.

Anyone who wants to can attend to observe the appeal hearing. However, the Court of Appeal has not given permission for any impacted policyholders other than those who attended and spoke at the approval hearing in the High Court in June 2019 to participate and speak at the appeal hearing. Any impacted policyholder who wishes to be heard at the appeal hearing should contact the Court of Appeal directly to ask for permission to do so. Please contact them at Civil Appeals Office, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL using reference A3/2019/2407 and 2409. 

In the current Covid-19 pandemic, if the Court of Appeal decides to make remote facilities available to observe the hearing (eg by telephone or video conference), we’ll update this webpage.

Following the appeal hearing, we don’t expect an immediate decision but anticipate this will follow some time later in 2020 or early in 2021. 

If the appeal succeeds, there will need to be a further approval hearing at the High Court to decide if the transfer should proceed. We’ll write to impacted policyholders at least six weeks before any approval hearing to let them know the details. 

We’ll continue to publish updates about the proposed transfer here and we’ll also update our recorded message.

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.

We might record your call for training and quality purposes. To find out more about how we use your personal data please see our Data Privacy Notice.

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 £50bn 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 rothesaylife.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 Independent Expert’s letter of clarification regarding Guernsey Policies.

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: 
Prudential Customer Services
Lancing 
BN15 8GB

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).