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:
Meet the Committee members
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.
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 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.
Appointed a Director to Standard Life Assurance Board in October 2016 and joined the Phoenix Life and Phoenix Life Assurance Board on completion of the acquisition of Standard Life. Amanda has over 20 years' risk management experience, and has held senior positions at the UK's Financial Services Authority and Aegon UK. Since leaving Aegon, she has taken on a number of Non-Executive Directorships and is currently a Director of Post Office Insurance (where she is also chair of the Audit and Risk Committee) and a member of the British Gas Insurance Board and Chair of the British Gas Insurance Risk Committee.
Sam Buckle joined the Phoenix Group in 2011 and took up the role of Heritage Customer Director in August 2020. During her time with Phoenix, Sam has held a variety of roles including managing the Group’s regulatory relationships; running the Group Risk due diligence and change in control process for the Abbey Life and ReAssure acquisitions; being part of the management team deployed to stabilise and transition the Abbey Life business; and running the Abbey Past Business Review and enforcement investigation.
Prior to Phoenix, Sam started her career at Abbey National on the retail graduate programme where she qualified as financial advisor before progressing to branch management and then into sales development for the retail bank. Sam moved over into Compliance where she held a multitude of roles during the bank’s transformation into Santander UK. Following a career break in South Africa , Sam finished her career with Santander as head of regulatory advice for mortgages and insurance.
Steve qualified as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in 1985. He has worked in the Life Assurance industry for over 40 years, in a variety of roles, notably as With-Profits Actuary at Royal London from 2004 until 2016, during which time he had significant involvement in several acquisitions, including the life assurance business of Cooperative Insurance. Earlier in his career Steve held several roles at Scottish Provident Institution from 1993 to 2001, including Group and Appointed Actuary.
In early 2017 Steve joined the With-Profits Committee of Legal & General as an Independent Member and served in that capacity up to September 2020, when the L&G With-Profits business was acquired by ReAssure. He then joined the Phoenix Group With-Profits Committee in a similar capacity on January 1 2021, following the acquisition of ReAssure by the Phoenix Group . He also joined the With-Profits Committee of M&G Prudential from the start of 2021.
In addition, Steve served on the Life Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries between 2011 and 2015.