The purpose of this page is to explain the actions policyholders who reside overseas need to take to have access to the replacement life insurance options if the proposed policy restructure is approved.
As we have communicated in our Policyholder Update letters, Foundation Life is currently considering a policy restructure which would affect all Foundation Life participating Whole of Life and Endowment insurance policies.
While we were planning to send the information pack in the first half of 2020, we have not yet finalised the proposal, due, in part, to the financial and economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Once financial markets have settled, we anticipate being able to confirm the final details of the proposed policy restructure and implementation timeline.
If the proposed policy restructure is approved by both policyholders and the High Court, New Zealand resident policyholders will be asked to choose between a range of replacement life insurance (with a new insurer) and cash payment options, to replace their policies.
As the new insurer is unable to offer life insurance to policyholders residing overseas, overseas resident policyholders will be offered only the cash payment option. If you have a jointly owned policy, the new insurer is unable to offer replacement life insurance if any of the policyholders reside overseas.
We want to make sure that ALL policyholders have access to the options that best suit their individual circumstances, including continued life insurance. It is important to us that you fully understand these options. We suggest you may want to contact us so we can discuss these options with you and ensure you understand the choices you have. These options are described in more detail below.
If you are living overseas permanently and wish to continue having life insurance if the proposed policy restructure is approved: You need to transfer the ownership of your policy to a person (or persons) residing in New Zealand. If your policy is transferred to a New Zealand resident, we will send the information pack to the new owner, who will be able to vote on the proposed policy restructure. If the proposed policy restructure is approved, we will write to the new owner asking them to choose which of the replacement life insurance and cash options they wish to receive. See under the heading “Transferring Policy Ownership” below for more information on how to transfer ownership of your policy.
If you are living overseas temporarily and wish to continue having life insurance if the proposed policy restructure is approved: You need to contact us and advise us of your New Zealand postal address, so we can update our records. We will send the information pack to you at your New Zealand postal address. You will be able to vote on the proposed policy restructure, and if it is approved, we will write to you asking you to choose which of the replacement life insurance and cash options you wish to receive.
If you are living overseas, and you wish to receive a cash payment in replacement of your policy: You do not need to do anything. We will send the information pack to you at your overseas postal address. You will be able to vote on the proposed policy restructure, and if it is approved, we will write to you and let you know the cash amount you will receive.
We will confirm the date by which policy transfers must be completed in the information pack to be sent to you about the proposed policy restructure.
We recommend that you consider contacting your financial adviser to discuss your options. If you do not have a financial adviser, a list of New Zealand based advisers can be found on the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) website, https://fma.govt.nz/investors/getting-financial-advice/finding-an-adviser/.
Transferring Policy Ownership
Transferring ownership does not change the life assured under the policy. However, it does transfer control of the policy to the new owner(s) who, after the transfer is registered, will
- receive payment of any claims made under the policy
- be responsible for ensuring the continued payment of any premiums (although premium payments can be made by the original policyholder, the life insured, or anyone who agrees to pay them)
- receive any further correspondence in relation to the policy, including documentation and future information on the proposed policy restructure
- be eligible to vote on the proposed policy restructure, choose which option to receive if the proposed policy restructure is approved and direct where any cash payment is made
Therefore, if you are contemplating transferring ownership of your policy, you need to make sure the new owner is someone you trust to act in your best interests.
If you want to transfer ownership of your policy, there are a number of steps which need to be completed. These steps are outlined below. This process can take some time to complete, as we require certified identity documentation for both the current and new owner/s in order to complete registration of the transfer.
How do I transfer ownership of my policy?
Policy transfers are completed by filling in the relevant sections of the Memorandum of Transfer which can be found on the reverse of your original Policy Document. (See sample table below). The current owner/s will need to sign as the transferor and the new owner/s as the transferee.
The signatures need to be witnessed by a third party (it can be a relative) and the Policy Document returned to Foundation Life, along with the following identification requirements for all current and new owners:
- A certified true colour copy of all owners’ Proof of Identity e.g. a certified true copy of a current signed passport. If a current passport is not held, we will accept a Driver Licence (both sides) together with either a bank card, letter from a government agency, bank statement, Birth Certificate, Supergold Card, EFT-POS or Debit Card.
- A certified true colour copy of all owners’ address verification i.e. bank statement, or a letter from a government agency not more than three months old.
There are only certain people who can certify the documentation. A solicitor/lawyer, a Chartered Accountant, a sworn police officer, Justice of the Peace, a principal of a school, a doctor or any person authorised to take statutory declarations. All certifications must show the certifier’s name, occupation, signature of certifier, be dated and make a statement to the effect that the documents provided are a true copy.
If you don’t have your original Policy Document you need to complete a Lost Policy Statement (we included a Lost Policy Statement with your June Policyholder Update letter) and return it to Foundation Life. Once received, a new Policy Document will be issued for you to complete the above instructions on.
Policy Ownership Transfer Process