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REVIEW SUMMARY

Zurich International Vista Savings Plan

Zurich Middle East is part of Zurich Insurance Group, one of the largest insurers (with 140 years' experience).

Zurich International provides individual savings, investment and protection products, and have established branches in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

Zurich Middle East is regulated by UAE Insurance Authority, Central Bank of Bahrain and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.

Our Verdict
A Closer Look
FAQs
Customer Reviews

The Zurich International Vista is a savings plan that claims to provide access to an extensive range of investments giving you the potential to earn a return on your savings.

The Zurich International Vista allows you to check the value of your savings plan any time by logging in to Zurich International Online.

The key features of the Vista savings plan are as follows:

  • Under the Vista, you choose the savings amount and how long you want to save for.
  • The minimum savings amount is USD300 a month and the minimum term is five years. 
  • Zurich International offer access to a wide range of investments under the Vista, including their Zurich Target Dated Funds, Zurich Allocated Passive Funds or Zurich Managed Funds. Alternatively you can choose from their range of Mirror Funds.
  • Zurich International says that you can tailor the Vista to suit your preferences – the length of your plan, the amount you pay in, the frequency of your payments and your currency. 
  • It is free to move between funds and you can actively manage your fund choice.
  • The Vista savings plan can be issued to anyone between the age of 18 to 74.
  • The plan currencies include: USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, SGD, JPY, CHF, AUD. Benefits will be paid in the plan currency.

Your Zurich International Vista savings plan can be structured in two ways:

  • Just for you (single life only): If you are a single person or the main wage earner in a family.
  • For you and someone else (joint life first death): A joint plan provides protection for two people, with a single payout occurring when a policyholder dies. This could work out better for you and your partner compared to two single policies.

Zurich International Vista savings plan charging structure:

Charge type

Applicable rate How and when this charge is taken
     
Expense recoupment charge 4% yearly taken from regular premiums paid during an ‘initial contribution period’. This is usually the first 18 months of regular premiums or any regular premium increase. This charge is taken from your investments at the
start of each month up until the maturity date of the plan.
     
Monthly plan charge This is a fixed charge of USD8.25 and is taken each month. This charge is taken from your investments at the start of each month throughout the term of your plan.
     
Yearly management charge 1% yearly of the value of your plan. This charge is taken from your investments at the
start of each month throughout the term of your plan.
     
Underlying fund charges The fund charges are made by the fund managers and will vary for different types of funds. You do not pay these directly as the charges will be deducted daily before calculating the daily price of each fund.
     
Zurich mirror fund charge Where Zurich mirror funds are selected, an additional 0.75% yearly fund management charge is applicable. You do not pay these charges directly as they will be deducted before calculating the price of each fund.

 

Zurich International says that your savings are kick started with a welcome bonus during the first 12 months of your plan.

The amount of bonus depends on how much you are saving. They will also pay you a loyalty bonus every five years and at the end of your plan. The loyalty bonus is dependent on all expected regular savings amounts being received up to when the loyalty bonus payment is due. 

Changing or cancelling the Vista savings plan:

  • You have 30 days from the date of receipt of your policy documents to write to Zurich International and ask them to cancel the policy.
  • You can cancel before you receive any documents by contacting either your financial adviser or Zurich International directly.
  • If your plan is being paid by regular premiums and you decide to cancel, they will refund the regular premiums paid.
  • If you have paid in a single premium and there has been a fall in the value of your investments between the time your policy was issued and when they receive your request to cancel, they will deduct this amount from any refund.

NOTE:

  • A full early encashment results in penalties being applied through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy. In effect, this means that on polices with an original term of more than 15 years, most, if not all, of the first 18 months to 2 years of premiums will be lost upon surrender.
  • We would recommend reading the 'expert verdict' section of this review to learn why our experts gave Zurich International Vista savings plan 2 out of 5 stars in their independent review.

Additionally, here's a free guide that can help you achieve better results. In this guide, you'll learn:

  • Academic evidence only shared with a select few firms across the world
  • A real-life example of why you should never try to outguess the market
  • Why a fund's past performance is not enough to predict future returns
  • Why you need to focus on what you can control and why this leads to a better investment experience
  • Why you should accept the markets for what they are
  • What can impact behaviour and make people seek instant gratification

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The Pros

> Established brand name
> Lack of flexibility may encourage discipline of saving

The Cons

> Inflexible
> Opaque and complex charging structure
> Expensive way to invest
> Easily mis-represented at the point of sale
I want to get out of my Zurich International Vista savings plan. Will I pay a penalty?

A full early encashment results in penalties being applied through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy.

In effect this means that on polices with an original term of more than 15 years, most - if not all of the first 18 months to 2 years premiums will be lost upon surrender.

What's the investment choice and is the Vista a multi-currency plan?

You can select from a range of around 170 funds from the biggest names in global fund management.

However they are MIRROR funds, which means additional expense.

The Zurich Vista Plan can be denominated in different currencies, such as: USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, SGD, JPY, CHF, AUD, and you can choose a term from 5 years to 25 years.

 

What are the main issues with the Zurich International Vista savings plan?

Zurich Vista is recommended by traditional direct salespeople (IFAs) as an ideal savings product for international professionals who want to save to reach a long-term financial goal. 

It can also be white labelled (that is: it is a product that other financial institutions can sell with their own logo on, their own product literature relating to the product etc.) 

Zurich Vista is often sold by banks as well. 

If your policy is surrendered early you may get back substantially less than you actually invested, and in the first 18 months you will get nothing back.

As it is a unit linked regular savings plan, Zurich Vista is susceptible to market risks.

Effective management of the investment strategy and expert guidance of an investment adviser may add considerable mileage to the growth in fund values of the plan.

It is not intended as a short-term plan. You should not invest in such a plan if you may need the money for short-term financial goals.

You should not commit to saving a high monthly premium if you are unsure whether you will maintain that level of premium for the duration of the plan, as fees will depend on your initially agreed premium.

These all sound fairly obvious - but you'll be astounded at some of the premiums and terms people are persuaded to sign up for -  and the negative impact it can have on their savings.

How much do I have to pay for starting my Vista savings plan?

Savings start from USD300 per month. There’s no maximum; however, whatever amount you choose, it should be affordable throughout your selected savings term.

You could also add one-off investments at any time from USD6,000.

Very high charges

While the Vista seems appealing at first glance, you will soon discover its many pitfalls!

Just think of it this way - no one will ever make money on their savings when they have to pay such high amounts in charges. 

Expert assessment of Zurich International Vista savings plan

This is an outdated, expensive and inflexible plan.

Much better options exist.

If you already have a Zurich Vista savings plan from Zurich International, 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.

GET A SECOND OPINION

Zurich International Vista - Flyer

Zurich International Vista - Key Features Document

Zurich International Vista - Policy Terms and Conditions

Zurich International Vista - Customer Product Disclosure Document (Bahrain)

Zurich International Vista - Key Information Document for Qatar

Zurich International Vista - Policy Conditions for Bahrain and Qatar

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