Your benefit statement – bonus rates FAQs

If you have savings or investment plans with Metfriendly you should receive your bonus statement by early March each year.

 

What is a with-profits investment?
  • A with-profits investment allows savers access to a fund, where their money is pooled with others’ and all share in the investment return.
  • The share is in the form of annual (reversionary) bonuses added to the policy. Once added they cannot be taken away.
  • A final bonus will often be applied at encashment if you invest for a minimum of three years. This is not guaranteed and will vary depending on the type of investment.
How does the with-profits fund work?

The fund is invested in a mix of equities, commercial property, corporate bonds and cash and therefore not solely dependent on one market.

Any payments made to our members by way of an annual or final bonus must reflect the way in which the value of the fund has performed throughout the period of investment.

The Society aims to avoid large changes in the bonuses paid from year to year by applying smoothing.

What is smoothing?

It is a process designed to protect the investor from sudden movements in the stock-market.

In practice, smoothing means we hold back some of the high investment returns from the good years and use them to boost with-profits payments in years where returns are lower.

What are costs and expenses?

The Society aims to keep charges for its costs as low as possible and these are reviewed annually.

All costs are deducted prior to annual and final bonuses being applied.

We do not pay commission to anyone.

What is Conventional with-profits (CWP)?

These are endowment type plans which have a sum assured that is slightly lower than the premiums which will be paid by the time the policy matures. 

Tables 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 21.

What is Accumulating with-profits (AWP)?

The value increases as contributions or premiums are paid into the policy.  The Total Benefit (final column) is the amount paid to 31 December plus all annual bonuses from previous years (including 2017). 

Tables 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31. 

What are Fixed Benefit policies?

The Guaranteed Five-Year Savings plan and the various protection protects Metfriendly offer – Income Protection, Critical Illness Cover and Tables 17 (DTA) and 23 (LTA).  These products are not affected by the returns on the with profits fund.

What is the Sum Assured (CWP) and why is it less than I will have paid in?
  • The ‘Total of Sum Assured & Bonuses’ column is the minimum amount Metfriendly guarantee to pay on death of the policyholder (including any bonuses that have accrued).
  • This is also the minimum amount due at maturity assuming all premiums have been paid.
  • In keeping the Sum Assured below the full amount which you will have paid in, we allow for the expenses incurred in running the policy, and the cost of providing the death benefit.
How are bonuses calculated and when are they applied?
  • Bonuses take into account investment return less any expenses, smoothing, taxation and the cost of providing death benefits.
  • The Annual Bonus is added to applicable plans on 31 December each year. Any that have been applied are guaranteed at maturity or on death.
  • On your statement the ‘Bonus Rate’ that we paid at the end of last year is shown and the amount of the 2017 bonus is under ‘New Annual Bonus 2017’ column.
  • The Final Bonus (also known as terminal bonus) may be added to your lump sum investment on or after the third anniversary. Other regular contribution contracts may attract a final bonus at maturity and this is factored into surrender values from the 6th anniversary onwards.
  • The Final Bonus is for the first time shown on the annual statement for lump sums (where applicable). The rate reflects investment performance and is decided at the time of surrender. Please note the final bonus is not guaranteed and may fluctuate.
Can the final bonus be negative?

We have to reflect the return we make on our investments, even in bad times. Therefore, a negative bonus or market value reduction (MVR) may be applied to adjust the surrender values accordingly.

Please note that an MVR would not apply to maturity values or death claims.

Metfriendly does not currently (as at 1 February 2018) apply an MVR to any of its products but reserves the right to do so in a fair manner.

Can my savings plan be compared with interest rates on savings accounts offered by banks and building societies?
  • The rates are difficult to compare but it is important to note that on conventional (CWP) savings plans our bonuses are calculated from and are added to the sum assured, not just the money you pay in.
Can my ISA be compared with cash ISAs offered by banks and building societies?
  • Annual bonuses (currently 1.5%) applied to an ISA investment are a reflection of the return on secure investments over the recent years.
  • From April 2018, our monthly savings ISA will attract a guaranteed bonus rate of 2.5% until April 2020 on all contributions made during the 2018/19 tax year (06/04/2018-05/04/2019).
  • We are currently paying final bonuses on lump sum investments which have been invested for three or more years.
  • Therefore, at the time of encashment, you may also be entitled to a final bonus which represents additional investment growth not already distributed by way of annual bonuses
  • The bonuses depend on market conditions. At present (01/02/2018), we are paying 8% after three years, 18% after five and 38% after ten years. 
What are the current bonus rates?
How can I find out more information?

‘I would recommend Metfriendly to everyone.’

Mrs V Thompson, Dagenham

‘Very pleased with the service I’ve received to help me save money direct from my salary.’

DC Chris W, SO15

Good service – always very helpful and informative.

Miss J Coward, South Norwood, London

Very happy with the service. I have a number of policies for myself and my children.

Police Sergeant S Drysdale, DPS Borough Support

Great opportunity for family members to be offered the same offers as members.

Miss A McLeary, ESB

‘I’ve used Metfriendly for the last 5 years and recently the money has gone towards a deposit for our house. I will be signing back up next year to help save towards my kids future.’

Mrs A Cooper, Met CC, Bow

‘I have always been pleased with the returns from my Metfriendly policies.’

Mr P Payne, Bordon

‘Hassle-free savings that are started every year on my behalf, without me having to call up.’

 

D.C. R McLaren, Hackney Borough Stations