Questions about your bonus or annual statement? We can help.
We understand that our members are keen to find out how their plans are performing, including details of any bonuses that they may be due to receive. That means that many of you get in touch with us around the time that annual statements are released with questions about your bonuses and statements, too.
We thought it might be helpful to pull together some of the most common questions you ask us about these and put them all in one place for you. That way, if you have a question regarding your bonus or annual statement, you can get an answer instantly.
Of course, if you can’t find the information you are looking for below, please do feel free to contact our Member Services team who will be more than happy to help. You can reach them via email to: [email protected]. Similarly, if there’s anything that you think we’ve missed, please do let us know and we can add this to the FAQs below.
Bonus and Annual Statement FAQs:
How can I see the current value of my plan?
If you have either a Stocks & Shares ISA or Junior ISA with us, you can view the current value of your plan online. All you need to do is log in to your account and you’ll find an overview of your plan. You will need to register for online account access, if you haven’t done so already, by clicking here and following the instructions. If you still need some help with this, our Member Services team will be happy to guide you through the process.
For all other savings plans, you will receive your annual statement via post, and this will include the current value of your plan, any payments that you have made into the plan and the bonus that you received on your plan in 2020.
How can I see my bonus?
If you have a Stocks & Shares ISA or Junior ISA and are registered to view your account online, you can log in to see your most recent bonus. If you do not have access to view your account online, or have another Shepherds Friendly savings plan, the details of your bonus will be included in your annual statement.
Please note that if you have an ISA or Junior ISA and you want to view your bonus online, you will need to register for online account access. If you haven’t done so already, you can register by clicking here and following the instructions.
When will my bonus be applied?
Annual bonuses cover the calendar year, so will be applicable to investments up to 31st December 2020. We know that your annual bonus is important, and our members’ eagerly anticipate the announcement of this each year, so we endeavour to make this announcement as soon as possible. This process includes our actuaries, who calculate annual bonuses based on the performance of the With-Profits Fund, before being approved by our Board of Directors.
For our Stocks & Shares ISA and Junior ISA products, bonuses have already been announced at 2%. Additionally, annual statements for all our plans will be distributed soon , and will explain the current value of your plan, including any annual bonuses.
Please be assured that the time it takes to carry out this process does not impact the overall value of your investment in any way. Any bonuses related to future performance after 31st December 2020 will be considered at the time of the plan’s maturity, or the next annual bonus, whichever is soonest.
When will I get my statement?
Annual statements for all plans will be sent out via post soon. If you have a Stocks & Shares ISA or Junior ISA, you can see the value of your plan by logging in to your account to view your plan online. You will need to register for online account access if you haven’t done so already, by clicking here and following the instructions.
How does the bonus work compared to cash / other stocks and Shares ISAs?
Our With-Profits Fund is primarily invested in the Multi Assets Strategies Fund (MAST), which is managed by Royal London Asset Management (RLAM). This fund aims to achieve steady growth over the long term, at a rate that outperforms cash savings accounts, but carries less risk and reward potential than some other investment funds, giving our members a smoother investment journey, if they invest for the long-term.
Our fund therefore differs from other accounts in the following ways:
Cash ISAs usually receive tax-exempt interest payments, which may be fixed or variable, depending on the individual account. The money is not invested in asset classes such as stocks & shares, property or bonds, meaning that there is no risk of receiving back less than you paid in. However, the growth potential in these accounts is typically lower as a result of this.
Unit-linked Stocks & Shares ISAs
Unit-linked investments are directly invested in assets in a similar way to our With-Profits fund. However, the key difference between the two is that unit-linked investments will fluctuate on a daily basis, meaning investors may experience higher levels of volatility. Our With-Profits Fund uses an investment strategy known as ‘smoothing’, which aims to reduce the peaks and troughs of investing by calculating the performance of the investments over a calendar year, before announcing the value of any bonuses. In some years, we may hold back profits from periods of strong performance in order to pay a bonus in years of poor investment performance, meaning that members should have a more stable investment journey.
However, it is important to remember that when you withdraw any money from your plan, we will calculate the value of the investments that you hold within the With-Profits Fund to ensure that you leave with your fair share. This may mean that:
- If you have been invested through periods of strong investment performance, you might get a final bonus, or;
- If you have been invested through periods of poor investment performance, and you leave the fund, you may get back less than the current value of your plan. This is called a Market Value Reduction (MVR).
- However, this does not apply to plans that are maturing. When your plan matures we guarantee that you will get back all of your payments into the plan plus any bonuses that have been paid in the past.
How do we invest your money?
Shepherds Friendly investments are primarily placed into a fund managed by Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), which is called the ‘Multi Assets Strategies Fund’ (MAST). This fund invests in a diverse mixture of asset classes including stocks & shares, gilts, bond and cash.
The overall aim of the fund is to provide a better return than a cash account, but with a medium to low level of investment risk. However, it is important to remember that all investments do carry risk, and you may get back less than you pay in.
Why do different plans receive different bonus rates?
All of our current With-Profits plans are invested in the fund and we work hard to try to pay all members a bonus. As each plan has different features and charges, these have to be considered so that we can ensure that all members receive their fair share of the fund growth. For example, some plans have Life Insurance built into them, so that your loved ones receive a sum assured in the unfortunate event that you pass away. As bonuses are paid after any charges, this means that some plans may receive different bonuses, depending on the features of each plan.
When do I get my 5 Year Fixed Rate Bond Statement?
We send out statements for our Five-Year Fixed Rate Bond once a year. This year’s statement covers the period from 1st January to 31st December 2020. Your interest is calculated daily and your statement gives the current value of your plan up until 31st December.