Sale of AMP Life to Resolution Life
AMP Life is now proudly owned by Resolution Life, a global life insurance group focusing on the acquisition and management of portfolios of in-force life insurance policies, such as AMP Life.
AMP Life will continue to operate under the AMP Life name for the time being under a brand licence agreement from AMP Limited. In addition, AMP Limited will retain a minority economic interest in Resolution Life Australia.
We will continue to deliver on customer promises and customers will also benefit from Resolution Life’s experience, expertise and track record in delivering a high level of customer service and policyholder benefits in a secure, well capitalised environment.
Importantly, the terms and conditions of policies or plans will not change due to the sale. Rest assured managing investments and insurance and paying customer claims will continue to be our utmost priority. By becoming part of the Resolution Life Group, we are now part of a business solely focused on existing customers rather than seeking to attract new customers.
View letter to customers regarding sale completion here.
The AMP Life NZ Operating Model under Resolution Life Ownership
Please view a summary of the new operating model of AMP Life NZ here.
FAQs regarding the sale of AMP Life to Resolution Life
Do policies change now that AMP Life is owned by Resolution Life?Show more
The terms and conditions of customer policies or plans will not change due to the sale. We will continue to deliver on customer promises and services, and customers will also benefit from Resolution Life’s experience, expertise and track record in delivering a high level of customer service and policyholder benefits in a secure, well capitalised environment.
Managing investments and paying customer claims will continue to be our utmost priority. By becoming part of the Resolution Life Group, we are now part of a global manager of in-force life insurance portfolios which means we remain focused on existing customers rather than seeking to attract new customers.
How do customers contact AMP Life?Show more
Customers can continue to contact us in the same way they always have. Customers can still find us on the amplife.co.nz website. Customers can still make changes and updates to their policy or plan including varying policy cover.
Where are you based now?Show more
AMP Life will maintain a physical presence in New Zealand and Australia to service our customers. New Zealand customers will continue to be able to call our teams in New Zealand if they need to speak to us about their policy or be supported through the claims process. AMP Life has offices in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Parramatta, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Who is Resolution Life?Show more
Resolution Life is a global manager of in-force life insurance businesses who provide customers with peace of mind that their insurance is in safe and trusted hands for the long term.
Since 2003, various Resolution Life entities have committed over US$16 billion of equity in the acquisition, reinsurance, consolidation and management of 28 life insurance companies. Together, these companies have served the needs of over 10 million policyholders while managing over US$320 billion of assets. Resolution Life focuses on delivering policyholder benefits in a secure, well capitalised environment.
Resolution Life is backed by large investors who are leading financial institutions, insurance companies, pension plans, sovereign wealth funds and family offices.
Is Resolution Life subject to the same legal and regulatory requirements as AMP Limited?Show more
Yes. Resolution Life will be subject to the same New Zealand and Australian regulatory requirements as AMP and as all other life insurance providers in New Zealand and Australia are.
Under both New Zealand and Australian law, AMP Life has legal obligations to prioritise customers’ interests ahead of shareholders’ interests if there is a conflict. AMP Life is regulated by both the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in New Zealand and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority in Australia and will be subject to the same conditions in the future as it is today, including that the company is well capitalised. This means there are legal and regulatory measures to ensure we meet customer promises by paying claims and doing so in a timely manner.
New legislation is currently proposed in New Zealand that will regulate the conduct of all life insurers. If passed, this will apply to AMP Life as it will to all life insurers who operate in New Zealand. AMP Life will continue to operate under the NZ Financial Services Council Code of Conduct and the Financial Services Council Code of Practice in Australia.
Why is the sale to Resolution Life good for customers?Show more
Resolution Life is a global life insurance group focusing on the acquisition and management of portfolios of in-force life insurance policies, such as AMP Life. By becoming part of the Resolution Life Group, we are now part of a business solely focused on existing customers rather than seeking to attract new customers.
AMP Life’s customers will benefit from Resolution Life’s experience, expertise and track record in delivering exceptional customer service and customer benefits in a secure, well capitalised environment.
Importantly, the terms and conditions of policies or plans will not change due to the sale.
Paying claims remains our priorityShow more
Paying claims will always be an AMP Life priority.
Customers terms and conditions of their policies remain unchanged after the sale. AMP Life will continue to operate under the fundamental insurance principle of utmost good faith in dealing with all customer claims.
AMP Life paid out NZ$186m in claims in 2019 in New Zealand. The same team that was managing AMP Life before the sale will continue to manage the company after the sale.
Will policies be managed overseas?Show more
No, policies will continue to be managed by local AMP Life teams in New Zealand and Australia.
Will Resolution Life be offering its own products in New Zealand or Australia?Show more
Whilst that is an option for the future, for the foreseeable future, Resolution Life is focusing on servicing the existing needs of customers and keeping the promises that were made to them when they took out their existing policies.
If AMP Life is now a closed book, does that mean customers can’t make changes to their life insurance?Show more
If the terms of individual policies allow customers to make changes then these options will still be available.
Will customers be able to switch to other life insurers?Show more
Yes, customers are able to switch to other life insurers. Resolution Life is committed to providing AMP Life customers with competitive premiums, great customer service and efficient claims management. It respects that certain customers may wish to review their options, but as this may result in the loss of some benefits, customers are encouraged to speak to a financial adviser before making a decision about switching life insurance providers.
What is an in-force life insurance portfolio?Show more
An in-force life insurance portfolio refers to the current policies held by customers of AMP Life. AMP Life does not seek to acquire new customers, instead AMP Life chooses to focus on the customers it already has. This will not change with the sale to Resolution Life.
What is an in-force life insurance specialist?Show more
An in-force life insurer focuses on its existing customers. AMP Life became an in-force specialist following the sale announcement. AMP Life will remain an in-force life insurer, regardless of the sale to Resolution Life. AMP Life made this change to its business model in response to the market environment for life insurance. AMP Life is focused on servicing and retaining our customers, and this will not change with new ownership.
Will the acquisition mean that AMP Life will become a ‘zombie fund’?Show more
A zombie fund is a colloquial expression for a participating life insurance fund that is closed to new customers and where the fund has capital constraints which prevent it from investing in growth assets. This is not the case for AMP Life whose funds are well capitalised to withstand market shocks. AMP Life’s participating fund has been closed to new customers for over 20 years in New Zealand and Australia. Over this time, the assets of the participating fund have grown as customers continue to pay premiums and make changes to their policies, the fund earns investment returns, while benefits are paid out to customers. Over time, the participating fund will inevitably run off as benefits are paid to policyholders.
AMP Life has plans in place to manage this gradual run off over the next 50 or so years and these plans will continue to be refined, benefiting from Resolution Life’s global expertise in managing the run-off of participating funds in a well-capitalised environment.
How does a participating policy work?Show more
Many of AMP Life’s products are participating products, such as whole of life and endowment products. Your policy schedule will tell you if your policy is a participating policy. These policies have both savings elements (the policy pays out at maturity or earlier if you surrender) and protection elements (the policy pays out if you die earlier).
A participating policy means that customers participate in the profits of the life company from these policies, generally receiving 80 per cent of the profits. The shareholder’s share of the profits, the other 20 per cent share, was established at demutualisation of AMP Life (and also National Mutual Life Association of Australasia).
The terminal and annual or reversionary bonuses added to these policies are the way that the profits are shared with customers. These profits primarily arise from the investment of the assets of the life company in shares, property, bonds, and other assets. Reversionary bonuses are guaranteed additions once added to the policy. Terminal bonuses are paid at the point of paying out the policy, either on maturity, death or surrender. Terminal bonuses are not guaranteed and can be varied at any point in time. The shareholder only receives a share of profits when bonuses are paid to policyholders.
This means that there is alignment of the interests of the participating policyholders and the shareholder, currently Resolution Life. It is in both the participating customers’ and shareholder’s interests that the life company is run well and continues to maximise the profits from the participating policies over the duration of the policies.
These participating products have not been actively sold in New Zealand and Australia for over 20 years. Customers have continued to pay their premiums, receive their bonuses and the protection of their life policies over this time. There will be no changes to the terms and conditions of these policies with the sale to Resolution Life.
Where do the bonuses come from and how do customers know that Resolution Life will continue to pay them?Show more
The terms and conditions of all policies remain the same after the sale to Resolution Life. This includes the right to bonuses.
The bonuses largely arise from the returns on investment monies invested for you and are directly linked to the performance of the funds and assets that the money is invested in. Where there are actual or expected lower future investment returns (e.g. lower government bond rates) or underperforming markets (e.g. the global financial crisis or the current recent experience due to uncertainties with COVID 19) then this will impact the level of the future bonuses paid to you and the dividends received by the shareholder.
Terminal bonuses at any point in time are not guaranteed into the future. Terminal bonuses are generally adjusted up or down more quickly to respond to market conditions and enable the fund to be more aggressively invested for your benefit.
Reversionary or annual bonuses already declared are guaranteed at maturity of your policy. At any time between your annual policy notice, you can call our call centre or contact your financial adviser if you would like to receive a current value assessment of your policy.
How do customers know that Resolution Life won’t mismanage the assets or invest in less risky assets, as these are cheaper to manage and therefore leave me with very low bonuses?Show more
The investment returns form part of the profits of the participating business and form the basis for your bonuses. Profits are generally shared between the participating customers and the shareholder in an 80-20 share. This was agreed at demutualisation and is a legal requirement for the company. This means that for every $100 of profit declared, $80 goes to the participating customers’ bonuses and $20 to the shareholder as retained profits and ultimately paid to the shareholder as a dividend, provided the Fund has sufficient capital to protect against future adverse events.
It is not in the interests of Resolution Life to strive for lower returns for customers or to strive for excessive returns from extreme levels of risk. Resolution Life brings access to additional and global pools of quality asset managers and direct assets. This means that AMP Life can continue to manage the investment funds in a well-diversified manner seeking to maximise returns while at the same time having regard to liquidity to meet their requirements to be able to pay customers when required and sufficient capital to support the guarantees underpinning the policies.
Who controls all of this money and how do customers know Resolution Life won’t just take it all and use for themselves?Show more
The assets that back all customers liabilities are held within what is known as a statutory fund. This is mandated by New Zealand and Australian law. This means that these assets are ringfenced (much like trust assets) and have strict legal requirements around how they are managed.
Regular reporting is provided to the regulators in New Zealand and Australia on the statutory funds. There is no ability for Resolution Life to use the funds in the statutory fund for their own purposes. The role of the Insurance Prudential Supervision Act in New Zealand and the AMP Life Board under the Life Act in Australia is to ensure that in the investment, administration and management of the assets of a statutory fund, a life company gives priority to the interests of owners of policies. If there is a conflict between shareholders and customers, the customer interests must be prioritised ahead of shareholder interests. This is a legal requirement of directors. The AMP Life Board has a majority of independent directors, which means they are independent of Resolution Life and of management.
The assets of the statutory fund are invested to achieve an appropriate risk adjusted investment return. For protection policy types, like term insurance, disability insurance or annuities, the assets are invested in a prudent manner to seek to ensure that there are sufficient assets to meet the future claims on policies. For participating policies, the assets are invested in a diversified pool of growth and defensive assets to generate higher expected returns. The higher levels of risk on these investments may lead to higher profits which will be used to increase bonuses for participating policies.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has further strengthened protection for New Zealand policyholders with the requirement for AMP Life to establish a trust for assets backing New Zealand policyholder liabilities.
Are customers “captured” by AMP Life?Show more
Retaining our customers is a priority for AMP Life and we do this by ensuring our products, pricing and service meet our customers’ reasonable expectations. We understand customers have a choice when it comes to their life insurance provider and we want to ensure they continue to remain with AMP Life.
Regulatory approvals and oversightShow more
The sale of AMP Life required regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in New Zealand and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority in Australia. AMP Life’s operations remain subject to the same regulatory conditions as before with the addition of enhanced requirements in New Zealand.
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AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life) has proudly served customers in Australia and New Zealand since 1849. AMP Limited ABN 49 079 354 519 has sold AMP Life to the Resolution Life group whilst retaining a minority economic interest. AMP Limited (and its related companies) have no day-to-day involvement in the management of AMP Life whose products and services are not affiliated with or guaranteed by AMP Limited. “AMP”, “AMP Life” and any other AMP trademarks are used by AMP Life and Resolution Life under licence from AMP Limited.