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Property Funds

With effect from 19 March 2020 Irish Life is introducing a six-month notice period for all switching and encashment requests from the Property Funds.

 

This means any request to encash (fully or partially) or switch (fully or partially) from these Funds will be processed using the Fund prices at the end of the six month notice period from when the request was made. This does not apply to death claims or normal retirement benefit claims.

 

Introduction of a Notice Period

With effect from 19 March 2020 Irish Life is introducing a six-month notice period for all switching and encashments from the Irish Property Fund.

This decision has been reached as these Funds continue to see more clients encash or switch money from the Funds than invest in the Funds. In recent weeks, economic uncertainty arising from the Covid-19 virus has increased the level of withdrawals from the fund and created some market uncertainty around property valuations.

Therefore, in order to protect the interests of long-term investors in the Funds we have introduced a six-month notice period. This decision means that any request to switch out of the Funds or encash from the Funds either partial or full will be processed using the Funds’ prices at the end of the six-month period. The notice period is a rolling six month notice and will apply to each customer individually. Irish Life reserves the right to alter the six month notice period in the future, however this will not impact on any instruction received while this six month notice period is in place.

Note: This deferral does not apply to retirement (normal or late), death claims or existing income arrangements.

What funds are impacted?

  • Exempt Property Fund
  • Irish Property Fund
  • Setanta Property Fund
  • Canada Life Property Fund

What are the implications of the decision?

Any customer who requests an encashment or switch from any of the Funds listed above will receive a letter advising them that:

  • Their request will be processed six months from the date we receive their notification. Note: The notice period is a rolling six month period. 
  • The price used will be the price at the end of the period i.e. the actual transaction date and not the request date. 
  • Customers have a period of 15 days in which to cancel their requested transaction. If the transaction is not cancelled within this period the customer will not have any further opportunity to change their mind.

Customer Notification

Irish Life will write to all customers that request any such property encashment or switching and inform them as to why this has happened.

 

Why has this decision been taken?

Property as an asset class has performed very strongly over the past 10 years. However, over the past 12 months the Fund has seen more clients encash or switch money from the Fund than invest in the Fund. In recent weeks, economic uncertainty arising from the Covid-19 virus has increased the level of withdrawals from the fund and created some market uncertainty around property valuations.

 

Therefore, in order to protect the interests of long-term investors in the Fund we have introduced a six-month notice period.

 

Who made this decision?

This decision was taken by the company on the advice of the Appointed Actuary in light of our responsibility to ensure the fair treatment of all our policyholders. The decision was made in response to policyholders’ behaviours and market conditions and does not reflect any fundamental change in our view as to the long-term suitability of property as an asset class or the quality of properties within our Fund.

 

What does this mean for property as an investment?

It is important to stress that these changes are being made as a result of investor behaviour and current valuation uncertainty as a result of Covid-19. Our view remains that property continues to represent a good long-term asset class for investment. Historically property has provided strong returns in excess of inflation over the long-term, and there is no reason to believe this will not be attainable in the future.

 

Has this ever happened before?

Yes. In the early 1990’s, in 2001 and in 2007 the property market went through uncertain times and a similar approach was adopted by Irish Life and other companies.

 

Do customers need to do anything?

No, customers do not need to take any action in response to this change or to the letter we will issue should we receive an encashments or switching request. In time, when the circumstances which gave rise to this decision have abated, we will remove this notice period.

 

Can customers redirect future contributions?

Yes, customers can request that future regular contributions are not invested in the Property Fund. There is no notice period for such a decision.
 

What are the implications for death claims?

The six month period does not apply to death claims.

 

What are the implications for retirement claims?

The six month period does not apply to normal and late retirements, however it will apply to early retirements in most circumstances.
 

Can Irish Life alter the notice period?

The notice period is a rolling six month notice and will apply to each customer individually. Irish Life reserves the right to alter the six month notice period in the future, however this will not impact on any instruction received while this six month notice period is in place.

 

Should you have any further queries please email happytohelp@irishlife.ie

 

Kind regards,