Manulife completed its acquisition of Standard Life’s Canadian business in January 2015 for $4 billion. The deal had been anticipated for several months. Now that it is finalized it will enable Manulife to increase its presence in Quebec and along a number of strategic lines of business, particularly in the area of retirement planning.
For Westward clients with Standard Life insurance policies or annuities, the acquisition will not affect the terms of Standard Life contracts. Premiums, death benefits and annuity income remain unchanged.
Likewise, the projected overall performance of tax and estate plans designed by Westward under The LifeStep Process with Standard Life contracts remains the same.
The opinions expressed in this memorandum are strictly those of Westward Advisors Ltd. This memorandum is for information purposes only and is not legal or tax advice.
Does the acquisition change my insurance policy or annuity?
No. Your Standard Life insurance policy and/or annuity contract remains unchanged. Manulife assumes all of Standard Life’s obligations as the insurer on the original contract.
What changes will I see?
The only changes you’ll see are cosmetic. You can expect to see Manulife putting its branding on communications related to your policy or annuity over the months ahead. The contract itself remains unchanged.
Are any advantages created by this acquisition?
Yes. There is a possibility that Manulife could make additional options from their own product line available to owners of Standard Life contracts, that would not otherwise have been available from Standard Life. This is only beneficial to Standard Life policyholders. We will analyze any opportunities that emerge and let each client know should it be advantageous to incorporate any new options or products into their plan.
What about the reinsurers on my contract?
The reinsurers attached to and backing up any Standard Life contract remain attached to and continue to back up those same contracts under Manulife. The reinsurance arrangement is contractual between the insurer and the reinsurer, and the policyholder is not a party to that contract. Therefore, it is possible that Manulife may negotiate a different reinsurance arrangement, but unlikely since Manulife would have to absorb the cost of any changes to the reinsurance arrangement.
Does this affect my Westward tax and estate plan?
No. The costs and benefits of your LifeStep Process tax and estate plan are unaffected and the switch to Manulife will not have any bearing on its performance.
Do I have to contact Manulife?
No. Manulife is administering the Standard Life systems so it is business as usual. They know who you are and they know we are your agent. We can communicate with Manulife about your plan in the same way we communicated with Standard Life.