Zurich International provides individual savings, investment and protection products, and has established branches in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
Zurich International Life is part of the Zurich Insurance Group, offering life insurance and investment and protection solutions throughout the world. Operating in international markets around the globe for many years, Zurich Insurance Group employs around 60,000 people in 170 countries.
The Zurich Vista savings plan has been widely marketed to expatriates over many years. Vista is an international, unit-linked, life insurance policy. The policy is designed to be held for the medium to long term, and is subject to minimum premium levels.
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 charges are explained in the ‘What are the charges?’ section.
As it is a unit linked regular savings plan, Zurich Vista is susceptible to market risks but 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.
The Zurich Vista Plan can be denominated in USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, SGD, JPY, CHF, AUD.
£200 Monthly, £600 Quarterly, £1,200 Half-yearly, £2,400 Yearly (or currency equivalent) the minimum term is 5 years up to a maximum of 25 years depending which contribution level is selected.
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 of the first 18 months payments will be lost upon surrender.
However, regular withdrawals and partial surrenders can be paid out after the primary initial period has ended and provided there are sufficient accumulation units available in the policy to surrender. These partial surrenders are free of any penalty charge.
A charge of 4% each year of the value of the initial units, deducted monthly will be deducted from the value of the initial units held within your policy. This charge will be deducted throughout the premium term or 25 years if later. After the initial period has ended, accumulation units are purchased at a much lower annual management charge.
Policy fee: a monthly policy fee of £5.50 will be deducted in arrears from the policy.
Yearly management charge: this charge is based on the policy value and will be deducted on a monthly basis at a rate of 1% each year. The monthly charge taken is 0.0833% x current policy value.
Underlying fund charges – the fund charges are made by the fund managers and include (but are not limited to) annual management charge, performance fee, bid-offer spread and/or switching fee. These can be between 0.5% and 3%.
Mirror fund charge – in addition, Zurich charges 0.75% a year on the net asset value of the underlying fund, for the provision of the mirror.
Zurich Vista gives you a welcome bonus when you save more. You can also earn a loyalty bonus every five years to help give your savings a regular boost, and when your policy matures a maturity bonus is paid.
Zurich Vista will credit your policy with a welcome bonus during the first 12 months of your policy (or the first 12 months of any increase). The amount of bonus depends on how much you are saving each month and the term of your contract. In addition, they will pay you a loyalty bonus every five years.
At year five the loyalty bonus will be a refund of 10% of the total yearly management charge deducted in the previous five years.
At year ten the loyalty bonus will be a refund of 10% of the total yearly management charge deducted in the previous ten years (less any loyalty bonus paid in year five).
At year 15 and every subsequent five years, the loyalty bonus is a refund of 20% of the total yearly management charge deducted since the policy started (less any previous loyalty bonuses paid).
On maturity the Zurich Vista policy, you will also receive a maturity bonus at the policy maturity date.
For a policy term between 5-14 years (inclusive), the maturity bonus will be a refund of 10% of the total of the yearly management charge taken during the policy term (less any loyalty bonuses paid).
For a policy term of 15 years and over, this will be a refund of 20% of the yearly management charge taken during the policy term (less any loyalty bonuses paid).
The loyalty bonus and the maturity bonus is dependent on all expected regular premiums being received.
Zurich Vista is recommended by traditional financial advisers as an ideal savings product for expats who want to save to reach a long-term financial goal.
If your policy is surrendered early you may get back substantially less than you actually invested, due to early encashment penalties. 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 also 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.
If you want to learn more about the Zurich Vista Savings Plan, or, discover how to get your investment savings plan to work, then fill out our contact form below.
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