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Friends Provident Premier Advance Review

Friends Provident Premiere Advance Review

Friends Provident Premiere Advance is the fourth most expensive regular savings plan in the market.

Friends Provident Premier Advance is a unit-linked regular payment savings plan designed to be held as a medium to long-term investment.

Friends Provident Premier Advance also has mirror funds similar to the Zurich Vista Savings Plan which add another layer of costs to the already high product charges.

While it is marginally better than Generali Vision and Zurich Vista, it is still a savings product that is more expensive.

Minimum Contributions & Investment Terms

Minimum Contributions - USD 300 per month / USD 3,600 per year

The Friends Provident Premier Advance Savings Plan offers the following terms - 5 years and above.

Capital Protection

The Friends Provident Premier Advance Savings Plan is not ‘Capital Protected’ regardless of the term selected. 

If you are looking for ‘Capital Protected’ Savings Plans, read this review - Investors Trust S&P500 Index Review.

Investment Options (Where the money can be invested)

The Friends Provident Premier Advance Savings Plan offers around 190 mutual funds and some ETFs to choose from.

The funds offered are from some of the top fund managers in the world, but all the funds offered in this savings plan are mirror funds with very high charges.

Friends Provident levies their own mirror fund charge over and above the fund manager's charges.

 Some of the mutual funds offered have annual charges as high as 2.53% per annum, over and above the mirror fund charge of 1.2%. This adds up to 3.73% per annum, over and above the product charges.

Charges

Initial Charge - An initial charge of 1.5% is taken each quarter from the initial unit holding over the term of the plan. This charge is taken by cancelling initial units on the quarterly anniversary of the plan commencement date.

Bid/Offer Spread - 7% (Difference between the buying and selling price of funds within the plan)

Policy Charge - USD 6 per month

Fund Administration Charge - 1.2% per annum - this charge is based on the policy value and will be deducted on a monthly basis.

The Friends Provident Premier Advance savings plan offers bonuses and enhanced allocations, based on the total amount of annual premium paid. 

The simplest way to understand charges is to see what you would end up with - at a certain level of monthly contribution, and assumed growth rate, and net of all product charges. See the section below.

What you would end up with if:

You save - USD 1,000 per month, for 5 years,

You paid - USD 60,000 in 5 years,

You get at the end of the term - USD 69,071 with an assumed growth rate of 8% (net of charges).

What an actual quote looks like:

Click on the images below to magnify them. 

Friends Provident Premiere Advance Quote
Friends Provident Premiere Advance Quote

Jurisdiction - (Where your money is held)

Friends Provident International Limited provides life assurance, investment and protection products and is authorised by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.

Protection issues

For life assurance companies, the Isle of Man's Life Assurance (Compensation of Policyholders) Regulations 1991 ensure that, in the event of a life assurance company being unable to meet its liabilities to its policyholders, and subject to the Regulations, the scheme manager shall pay to the policyholder out of the Policyholders' Compensation Fund a sum equal to 90% of the amount of any liability of the insurer under the contract.

The Island's scheme operates globally, providing protection to policyholders no matter where they reside.

The scheme would be funded by a levy on the funds of the other life assurance companies.

The Financial Services Ombudsman

The role of the Authority does not extend to acting as arbitrator for individual policyholder complaints. However, it should be noted that the Isle of Man has a Financial Services Ombudsman scheme which has a broader remit. This service is free and designed to handle consumer disputes in the areas of Insurance, Banking, Investment and Pensions from consumers of Isle of Man regulated businesses from around the World.

To pursue a complaint, the complainant must first have formally taken the matter up with the institution concerned, and must contact the Ombudsman within 6 years of the act or omission taking place, or within 2 years of the date at which the act or omission came to the notice of the complainant.

Complaints where the act or omission occurred prior to April 20th 1999 do not fall under the scheme.

The scheme's adjudicator has the power to impose directions to remedy the position, and can make monetary awards of up to £100,000 in respect of an act or omission which occurred before 1st April 2012 or £150,000 if that act or omission occurrred on or after 1st April 2012.

CONCLUSION

Would I buy this savings plan myself, and recommend to others?
Never.

Disclaimer: This article is assumed to be accurate at the time of publishing, and represents the personal opinion of the author. If you wish to correct/contest any of the following, please do so in the comments below. I am open to correcting errors if any. All opinions are welcome.

Friends Provident Premiere Advance

4.6
Flexibility 6.0
Investment Options 5.0
Charges 3.0
Online Access 5.0
Customer Service & Admin 4.0

For

  • Good Online Access
  • Some ETFs to choose from

Against

  • Capital protection is not available
  • Fourth highest product charges in the market
  • Fund charges are very high
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