What is the With-Profits Committee?

Our With-Profits Committee provides independent input to make sure the interests of Standard Life with-profits policyholders are protected. As well as the Committee, Standard Life’s With-Profits Actuary also has a responsibility to advise on the fair management of with-profits business.

The Committee discusses all relevant issues with the With-Profits Actuary. The Committee can take the Actuary’s advice and may take such external financial, accounting, actuarial, legal or other advice, as appropriate.

What the With-Profits Committee does

They give advice to Standard Life on the fair treatment of its with-profits policyholders, and raises any issues that it feels Standard Life needs to consider. It meets at least four times a year and its duties cover the following:

  • Treating you fairly: Standard Life is responsible for the management of its with-profits business. The Committee reviews the decisions the company proposes to take to make sure they’re fair for all with-profits policyholders. If it feels they’re not, it will challenge Standard Life to justify them.
  • Your expectations: The Committee doesn’t deal with individual customer complaints or questions, but it regularly reviews information about with-profits complaints to make sure Standard Life is treating customers fairly. If the Committee thinks there are any issues that Standard Life should be doing more about, it will raise them on your behalf.
  • Speaking up for you: Standard Life explains how it manages its with-profits business in its with-profits guides. These are based on a more detailed document called the Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM). The Committee checks that Standard Life is operating its business in the way described in the PPFM.
  • Making its views known: At its meetings, the Committee discusses its views and, where relevant, challenges the company's proposed actions with relevant senior managers. The minutes of the meetings, setting out the Committee’s recommendations, are also sent to the Boards of Standard Life, together with any additional reports from the Chairman of the Committee.

Annual reports to UK with-profits policyholders

Once a year, the Committee provides Standard Life with its opinion on how the company managed its with-profits business in the preceding year. The Committee considers in particular the fairness of how with-profits policyholders have been treated and if the business has been managed in the way described in Standard Life’s PPFMs.

Standard Life takes the Committee’s views into account when it produces the company's annual reports to UK with-profits policyholders. There is a separate report for each of Standard Life’s two with-profits funds for its UK business.

As well as confirming the Committee’s opinion on how Standard Life has managed its with-profits business, the reports highlight any significant issues that the Committee has found. If the Committee ever feels it has concerns that should be communicated to policyholders with further information, it will do so in the report.

With-Profits Committee's full terms of reference:

Terms of reference (225KB)

Meet the Committee members

Kerr Luscombe

Kerr Luscombe

With-Profits Committee Chairman

Kerr is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries with over 30 years’ experience in the life assurance industry. He joined the Committee in April 2019 and became Chairman the following month. He is also Chairman of the other With-Profits Committees in the Phoenix Group having been a member since September 2016.

He is a non-executive director of Scottish Friendly Assurance Society and a member of the With- Profits Committee at Aegon UK. He is also a trustee director at Clyde Valley Housing Association and The Merchants House of Glasgow, a charity.

He was previously Group Finance Director at Royal London Group and has held finance directorships of the life insurance businesses of Lloyds Banking Group and Santander as well as other senior management roles in the industry.

Adrian Eastwood

Adrian Eastwood

Adrian is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. He began his career in the life assurance industry at Scottish Widows in 1983 and was Chief Actuary for Scottish Widows and other Lloyd's Banking Group life insurance businesses from 2000 to 2010. He has served the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in various capacities, including as a member of Faculty Council, as Chair of its Life Board and as a member of its Regulation Board.

Adrian was Chairman of the Phoenix With-Profits Committees from 2013 until May 2019. He is a non-executive director for Aegon UK and chairs the Scottish Life Supervisory Committee for Royal London.

Ross Ainslie

Ross Ainslie

Ross is a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries, having qualified in 1993. He was Managing Director of Bright Grey and Scottish Provident from 2009 to 2012, having previously been Head of Actuarial for Bright Grey from 2002. He also held senior management positions with General Cologne Re, a specialised life reinsurer.

Ross has been a member of the Council of the Faculty of Actuaries and of the Faculty’s Social Policy Board and past chair of the Meetings Committee. He is also a non-executive director of Longevitas Ltd, an actuarial consultancy and software provider.

Margaret Snowdon OBE

Margaret Snowdon OBE

Margaret Snowdon OBE is a pensions professional and experienced non-executive director. She is a non-executive director of the Pensions Regulator and a non-executive member of the Phoenix Group With-Profits Committees as well as a non-executive director of XPS Group.

She also serves on the Advisory Board of Moneyhub Financial Technology Limited. Margaret previously held partner and director level positions with leading employee benefit consultancies. Among her many voluntary roles within the pensions industry, Margaret is Chair of the Pension Scams Industry Group and was Chair of the Pensions Administration Standards Association until the end of 2018 when she became their first Honorary President.

She is part of the Taskforce that wrote the PFS Gold Standard Code for financial advisers and led on the PASA DB Transfers Guide. Margaret was appointed an OBE in 2010 and has received many awards for her contribution to Pensions.

Diana Miller

Diana Miller

Diana obtained a degree in Law (LLB) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a qualified barrister, having been called to the Bar of Grays Inn.

She started her career as a legal adviser at Sun Alliance, and moved to become Legal Adviser and Company Secretary of Diners Club. In 1988 she joined Legal & General as their Group Legal Adviser, heading up the company’s legal team. In 1994 she headed up the Compliance division, and stayed in Compliance/Risk until leaving in 2010.

At that time she was Group Compliance and Risk Director responsible for compliance and risk across the whole group and for customer strategy, ensuring customers were well cared for. At L&G she was the CF10 for the insurance firm which included considerable with-profit businesses.

Since 2010 she has been a non-executive director and is also a non-executive director and Senior Independent Director for the Phoenix life companies, Standard Life companies and SunLife. She is also a non-executive director for the Northview Group (mortgage lenders), Homeserve (insurance intermediaries) and Sesame Bankhall Group (mortgage advisers). She is also a former non-executive director of Tesco Underwriting (general insurance firm).

David Woollett

David Woollett

David is currently the Customer Strategy and Oversight Director for the Phoenix Group Life Companies and is a member of the Life Management Board having over 20 years working in the UK financial services industry.

David joined Phoenix in 2010 during which time he has been a member of the Senior Management Team. Prior to the Customer Director role he held a number of Senior Risk and Compliance roles as well as being executive director for the Abbey Life business following the acquisition from Deutsche Bank.

Before joining Phoenix, David spent 10 years with PwC advising a range of financial services clients on risk management frameworks, business integrations, business systems including outsourced arrangements, best practice procedures and standards ensuring the effective management of risks.


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