Following STM Group Plc’s acquisition of London & Colonial Holdings Limited in 2016, the Gibraltar based life assurance provider London & Colonial Assurance PCC Plc(LCA) is introducing two investment linked annuity products, the Flexible Pension Annuity (FPA) and the Flexible Life Annuity (FLA) for the UK tax resident market.
• They are UK residents looking for tax efficient, regular (i.e. monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual) income payments for life;
• They have a fund in excess of £100,000;
• They would like to be able to vary the level of income they receive depending upon their circumstances;
• They wish to retain control of their fund so that upon death, the remaining value of the annuity fund can be used to provide benefits for dependants and other beneficiaries.
Currently, LCA market two flexible annuities for UK tax residents, the Flexible Life Annuity and the Flexible Pension Annuity.
The FPA is a pension annuity purchased on behalf of the policyholder by the trustees of the pension scheme holding the pension assets. The product allows full flexibility, providing the Policyholder the option to elect how much income to take each year in line with pension freedoms. The policy is purchased by the trustees of the registered pension scheme, therefore there is greater investment flexibility.
An in-specie transfer of existing pension scheme assets is allowed.
The FLA is a purchased life annuity. During the lifetime of the annuity, the policyholder can elect to change the amount of the annuity payments (either increase or decrease). A wide range of assets is allowed in the FLA. HM Revenue and Customs personalised bond rules apply, so investments need to be advised by a qualified investment adviser.
LCA is organised as a Protected Cell Company (PCC). Each LCA annuity is linked to a cell and the assets backing the annuity are owned by the cell and hence completely ring-fenced from all other policyholders’ and shareholders’ assets. Each unique cell of the company can have at least one preference share issued to that cell. LCA’s policyholders are able to purchase a preference share in the cell containing their policy at policy commencement.
The preference share gives the holder of the share at the time of policyholder’s death access to the assets being held in the cell. The preference share enables the funds from the cell to pass to the
beneficiaries. Whoever holds the preference share on death has the right to the residual value. If the holder of the preference share at the time of his/her death is the policyholder then the assets in the cell will fall into the estate.
London & Colonial Assurance PCC Plc (‘LCA’) is a Gibraltar based life insurance company with a long history in the UK annuity market, having transacted annuity businesssince its incorporation in 2001.The business was primarily established to provide an alternative to conventional annuities for high-net-worth individuals wishing to use their pension funds to purchasean annuity that provides greater flexibility for income and investment choice.