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REVIEW SUMMARY

Utmost International Vision Savings Plan

Guernsey-based Generali Worldwide has officially been named Utmost International (Utmost International have completed 11 acquisitions over 5 years). 

Utmost International is a life assurance group that provides solutions designed to preserve clients’ assets. Headquartered in London, they operate from eight offices around the world with life insurance entities based in Ireland, the Isle of Man and Guernsey.

Their principal business lines are Utmost Wealth Solutions and Utmost Corporate Solutions. 

Utmost International says that they seek to be the leading provider of insurance products to wealthy individuals in countries where insurance offers a planning advantage.

They are a leading provider of international life insurance across markets like the UK, Continental Europe, the Middle East and operate in over 15 key markets across the globe.

NOTE: Utmost International has taken over any existing policies sold by Generali, including the Vision Savings Plan's existing customers. However, for new investors in the UAE, this plan is no longer available (pulled in March 2019).

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

The Vision Savings Plan is a regular premium, whole of life, life assurance contract.

It offers a wide range of investment funds and relatively short initial periods (when initial units as opposed to accumulation units are being purchased). 

It is relatively easy for this endowment-type of regular savings plan to be mis-represented. The main area of contention is often to do with the lack of  flexibility and difficulty in understanding their charging structures. 

Many plan holders are usually unaware that upon early full encashment, most, if not all of the first 18 months – 2 years premiums are lost through surrender charges.

The outdated construction of this plan now makes it a relatively unattractive option for many international investors who wish to maximise their return.

Utmost International (formerly known as Generali Worldwide) Vision Savings Plan charges:

The Vision Savings Plan charges can be summarised below.

NOTE: Charges will vary according to the type of plan taken out from Utmost International (formerly known as Generali Worldwide) as they offer different charging structures largely linked to the amount of commission or earnings being taken by the third party salesman or adviser.


The initial period charge:

It is determined by the premium payment term of your plan. It is the period after the plan commencement during which initial units are allocated.
  • The initial period (in years) is equal to the total administration fees due over the premium payment term divided by the initial annualised regular premium (if the premium payment frequency of your plan is monthly, your annualised regular premium is the monthly premium multiplied by 12).
  • In summary, Initial Units incur additional charges at commencement, and then throughout the term and may be worthless if you cancel the policy early.
  • Where a premium payment term of five years or more is selected at plan commencement:

    Payable up to year 5 - 2.75% per annum of total regular premiums.
    Payable after year 5 -2% per annum of total regular premiums.
  • Where a premium payment term of ten years or more is selected at plan commencement:

    Payable up to year 10 - 2% per annum of total regular premiums.
    Payable after year 10 - 0.3% per annum of total regular premiums.

Plan fee:

The plan fee is £3 per month or currency equivalent.

Establishment charges:

Applies only to single premiums and levied at 1.5%.

Investment administration charge:

1.5% per annum is deducted annually in arrears from the accumulation units allocated to the plan.

Charges within the underlying fund:

  • Internal funds bid/offer spread - 0% to 1%, external funds bid/offer spread - 0% to 2%.
  • Internal funds AMC – 0%, external funds AMC – 0.5% to 3%.

Early encashment warning: 

A full encashment results in penalties being applied through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy. In essence, all your premiums are forfeited if surrendered during the initial period. For a 25 year plan, this period would be 23 months.

It is important to be aware that the Vision Plan is a long-term savings plan, if you decided to cancel the plan early it is likely that you will lose a large proportion of the money you have saved.

NOTE:

  • The fees and their structure looks frighteningly high.
  • For new investors in the UAE, this plan is no longer available.
  • We would highly recommend reading the 'expert verdict' section of this review to make an informed decision.

 

The Pros

> Size and administrative capability
> Potential for better than bank rate return if all contributions are made throughout the term

The Cons

> Inflexible
> Opaque and complex charging structure
> Expensive way to invest
> Easily mis-represented at the point of sale
What's the investment choice?

It offers a selection of around 200 investment options, from external fund managers and internally managed funds, to match a wide variety of investment profiles.

You may select up to 10 different investment choices corresponding to underlying funds at outset into which your premiums may be invested, provided that the amount to be allocated in relation to each investment choice is above the minimum allocation requirement.

What are the currency options of the Utmost Vision Plan?

Policies are available in:

  • GBP
  • HKD
  • JPY
  • EUR 
What's the minimum amount I can contribute to my Utmost International Vantage plan?

The minimum regular premiums for terms of more than 10 years are:

£200 monthly, £600 quarterly, £1,200 half yearly, £2,400 annually (or currency equivalent.)

For plans with a premium payment term of less than 10 years, the minimum regular premiums are 2.5 times those above.

How many lives can be assured with the Vision Plan?

Plans are available on a single life or joint life basis.

The maximum number of lives assured under a plan is therefore two.

Wiped me out

I had absolutely no idea that this was not a flexible savings policy - because I'd specifically ask for a flexible savings account. 

I was sold a load of flannel from an IFA my brother recommended to me - and when I tried to access my savings to invest in my new business I discovered everything was effectively gone.

The IFA told me if I carried on saving my money would come back in to play - or he offered me an alternative savings policy which was obviously unacceptable.

Expert assessment of Utmost International (formerly known as Generali Worldwide) Vision Savings Plan

More cost effective, flexible and less complex options are now available for senior international professionals.

If you already hold a Generali Vision savings plan from Generali lnternational and it is worth £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.

Generali Worldwide Brochure

Utmost International (formerly known as Generali Worldwide) Vision Brochure UAE

Utmost International (formerly known as Generali Worldwide) Vision Policy Terms And Conditions

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