Join thousands of international professionals and business owners to get weekly insights on health, wealth and happiness.
Friends Provident International has over 40 years of experience in the international life assurance market. They provide savings, investment and protection solutions to customers in Asia and the UAE.
They have offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Isle of Man.
Friends Provident International is part of IFGL.
IFGL provides investment, savings and protection solutions to international investors around the world and the group comprises RL360, RL360 Services, Ardan International and Friends Provident International.
The group employs 650 staff and administers assets of US$24 billion for 210,000 customers (figures as at 31/12/2020).
Premier Advance is a unit-linked regular payment savings plan designed to be held as a medium to long-term investment.
It is available if you are at least 18 years of age but less than 70 at the commencement date. There is no minimum or maximum age for the lives assured, but one of them must be less than 76 at the end of the original payment term.
The minimum regular payment would depend on the chosen frequency for FPI's Premier Advance savings plan. This can be summarised below:
The features of Friends Provident International's Premier Advance savings plan are as follows:
Premier Advance Investments:
Your payments will be invested in the funds you choose if you have a Friends Provident International Premier Advance savings plan.
The Premier Advance savings plan charges can be summarised below:
|Initial charge||An initial charge of 1.5% is taken each quarter from your initial unit holding over the term of your plan. This charge is taken by cancelling initial units on the quarterly anniversary of the plan commencement date.|
|Monthly plan charge||There is a monthly plan charge of USD 6 (GBP 4, EUR 6, HKD 48).
This charge is taken by cancellation of accumulation units at monthly intervals based on the plan commencement date.
|Annual administration charge||An annual fund administration charge of 1.2% of the plan value is applicable.
Annual management charges and other fund expenses are imposed by the underlying fund manager and the amount depends on which fund is chosen.
|Credit card charge||If you make a payment by credit card, they will make a charge of between 1% and 1.95% of each payment to cover the charges imposed by the credit card company. The exact amount of the charge depends on your country of residence.|
|Switch between funds||No charge|
|Other||If you make a lump sum payment, a one-off initial charge of 7% will be taken.|
Your plan is designed to run until the end of the payment term. If you cash-in your plan before the end of the term a cash-in charge will apply.
You’ll get back the value of the plan at the time you decide to cash it in. However, this value would depend on several factors and they do not guarantee you the money back.
Withdrawals from FPI's Premier Advance savings plan:
Additionally, here's a free guide that can help you achieve better results. In this guide, you'll learn:
The plan will not have a cash-in value until you have paid at least 12 months’ worth of payments.
We understand that there are also heavy encashment penalties after 12 months depending on the original term of the policy and when you want to access it.
These penalties pay for the commissions earned up front by your salesman.
The Friends Provident International Premier Advance is expensive compared to the alternatives and far less flexible.
The supposed tax benefits can also be outweighed by charges and lost through these early encashment penalties.
The penalties in the first 12 months are extremely high and will effectively wipe out any money saved in that time.
After the first 18 months you can:
In both these scenarios your plan value will continue to rise or fall in-line with the investment performance of the funds you invest in.
Charges will continue to be taken from your plan and this may erode the overall value of the plan.
You may also be subject to an ‘enhanced initial unit recovery charge’.
I signed up to a 25 year term, thinking I could get out earlier if I wanted to.
The reality is far from that - and when I couldn't get hold of my adviser, I contacted Friends Provident directly for information about why my charges were much higher than I was told and they totally fobbed me off, telling me to go back to the adviser.
The fees have just eaten up everything I've invested. I was lucky I figured this out early on and quit while I was ahead.
The outdated construction of this plan makes it unattractive for international investors who wish to maximise their returns.
More cost effective, more flexible and less complex options are now available.
If you already have a Premier Advance savings plan from Friends Provident International and it is worth approximately £250,000 or more, we strongly recommend you seek a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.