Your questions answered

Proposed changes

On 3rd April 2018, the Master Trust and Retirement Saver workplace pensions and savings business moved to Scottish Widows. Zurich wrote to affected customers and scheme members to let them know about this change. These Plans are now provided and administered by Scottish Widows. 

If you took out a Retirement Saver Plan or joined the Master Trust on or after 3rd April 2018, you were automatically set up as a Scottish Widows Retirement Saver customer or Master Trust member.

However, your Plan still provides access to insured funds provided by Zurich Assurance Ltd (ZAL).

To carry out the Transfer of these funds we’re following a legal process set out in Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which is subject to Court approval. We refer to this process as the Transfer.

If the Court approves the Transfer by 1st July 2019, the majority of Zurich's workplace pensions and savings business will move to Scottish Widows.

The Transfer is part of a process of simplifying its business in line with the wider business strategy of the Zurich Group.

How are Plans affected?

We’ll write to all customers and scheme members who are affected by the Transfer.

The Transfer will not change the benefits held under your Plan. The provider of the insurance funds in which your Plan can invest will simply change from Zurich to Scottish Widows.

Following the Transfer, all communications, literature and websites will show Scottish Widows as the provider of the insurance funds in which your Plan can invest.

If you and your employer are making contributions into your Plan, then these will continue.

No. You can continue to use the same contact details you currently do to get in touch.

If you have a question or are unsure about the proposed Transfer, you can call our dedicated team on 0800 678 3515 (or +44 1242 664016 if calling from overseas).

Customers and scheme members with more than one Plan might receive a separate letter for each Plan. You may need to consider different information depending on the Plan it relates to so please read each letter.

Please call us on your usual contact number. Lines are open 8.00am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Please have your Plan number to hand if you do call.

The approval process

No, the Transfer is not subject to a vote. However it does need to be approved by the High Court. If anyone affected would like to object to the Transfer they have a right to do so. More information on how to do this is in the section 'How to ask a question, raise a concern or object to the Transfer?'

Your interests are protected by a rigorous review process which includes:

  • The appointment of an Independent Expert to produce a report for the Court on the impact of the Transfer on customers and scheme members;
  • Close consultation with our regulators the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA);
  • The ability for affected parties to raise concerns or object to the Transfer;
  • The requirement for approval of the Transfer by the High Court.

John McKenzie, a Senior Life Consultant at Hymans Robertson LLP was appointed as Independent Expert. He was approved by the PRA, following consultation with the FCA. John is a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and has over 20 years’ experience in the life insurance industry. He is independent of both Zurich and Scottish Widows. His overriding duty of responsibility is to the High Court, not Zurich or Scottish Widows.

John McKenzie has written a report on how Zurich and Scottish Widows Planholders are likely to be affected by the proposed Transfer. The report has been presented to the High Court and is available to all affected parties.

The Independent Expert concluded that, in his opinion, implementing the Transfer will not have a material adverse effect on the security of benefits or the future benefit expectations of any Planholders of Zurich or Scottish Widows. You can find a summary of his report in Appendix B of the Planholder Guide. His full report is also available from the library.

No. The Transfer will only go ahead if the High Court approves it.

The High Court will only approve it if it is satisfied that the Transfer is appropriate, fair to our Planholders and meets the legal requirements. It will consider the opinion of the Independent Expert and reports from our regulators, the PRA and the FCA. It will also consider objections received from Planholders.

The approval of the High Court is required by law, as transfers of insurance business are governed by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This is an important protection for Planholders.

After the High Court Hearing, which is expected to take place on 12th June 2019, we will publish the decision on this website.

For local law reasons, we will also need to carry out separate Court processes in Jersey and Guernsey. The Master Trust and Retirement Saver Plans will not be affected by the Court Hearings in Jersey and Guernsey. If you have any other Plans which might be affected by these processes, Zurich will write to you separately.

If the High Court doesn’t approve the Transfer, your Plan will continue to invest in Zurich insurance funds. We’ll update our website following the High Court Hearing. 

How to ask a question, raise a concern or object to the transfer

Yes. Copies of all relevant documents relating to the Transfer are available in the library or can be requested by:

Calling us

You can call us on 0800 678 3515 (or +44 1242 664016 if calling from overseas). Lines are open 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 12.30pm Saturday (excluding Bank Holidays).

Emailing us

You can email us at PartVIIEnquiriesWS@scottishwidows.co.uk

Writing to us

You can write to us at:

Scottish Widows
PO Box 1315
Cheltenham
GL50 9DL


If you write or email us, please provide your Plan number and Scheme name.

If you’re unsure or would like further information about the Transfer, please see the Contact us page for details of the different ways to get in touch. If you’re writing to us about a Part VII letter you’ve received, please put your Plan number at the top of your letter or email.

If you have a general question about your Plan which is not related to the Transfer, please use your usual contact details.

If you believe that you may be negatively affected or are unsure about the Transfer, you can raise your concern or objection by:


Calling us
You can call us on 0800 678 3515 (or +44 1242 664016 if calling from overseas). Lines are open 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 12.30pm Saturday (excluding Bank Holidays).

Emailing us
You can email us at PartVIIEnquiriesWS@scottishwidows.co.uk

Writing to us
You can write to us at:

Scottish Widows
PO Box 1315
Cheltenham
GL50 9DL

If you write or email us, please provide your Plan number and Scheme name.

We'll pass any concerns or objections we receive to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Independent Expert and the High Court.

Yes. We can provide copies of the letters and supporting documentation in a number of formats if required. Please contact us for more information on 0800 678 3515 (or +44 1242 664016 if calling from overseas).

Service availability during the transfer

To complete the Transfer, we need to temporarily suspend some service availability (this is also referred to as a trading suspension) while we make changes to the systems. During this time you won’t be able to buy, sell or switch funds. We expect the trading suspension to run from 25th June 2019 to 9am on 3rd July 2019.

If you give us trading instructions (for example, to switch units) before 25th June 2019, we’ll action the request in the usual way (so it won’t be affected by the temporary trading suspension).

For instructions received on 25th June 2019:

  • Where the instructions are submitted through our website we’ll need to receive them by 3pm in order to process them before the trading suspension begins.
  • Where the instructions are submitted through any other route (for example, by telephone, email or post), we’ll need to receive them by 9.30am so we have time to process them before the trading suspension.

We refer to the times shown above as ‘cut-off times’. Any instructions received after the cut-off times on 25th June and before 9am on 3rd July, won’t be processed until after 9am on 3rd July 2019.

If you’re planning to carry out any transactions during the trading suspension period, please contact us before the period starts on your usual customer number (which you’ll find on previous letters we have sent you) to discuss your options.

Please see Section 1.10 of the enclosed Planholder Guide for further information.

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