Hansard Vantage Platinum II
Hansard Vantage Platinum II Review:-
Based in the Isle of Man, founded in 1987, part of Hansard Global. Listed on London Stock Exchange since 2006.
Over 1 billion USD under management with over 40,000 clients with a worldwide following. However, being listed in London does not make it regulated in the UK and USA, be careful as this review is only about the Vantage Platinum II which is not available in many regulated territories.
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Hansard Vantage Platinum II Review
The Hansard Vantage Platinum ll is an expensive option compared with a pure platform custodian plan and supposed tax benefits can be outweighed by charges and lost through penalties. There is no bid/offer spread but the initial units(accrued in the first 24 months are charged at 7%pa for the period of the contract. Nearly all capital units are higher than 5% annually charged meaning potential for growth is minimal.
Hansard, through the Hansard Vantage Platinum ll offset costs by applying bonus determined by the length of the savings term chosen at outset, including loyalty bonuses and intial bonuses. You lose these initial bonuses if you do not maintain the plan for 5 year. In essence you get charged if you do and charged if you don’t maintain the plan. We think this shows, despite the concept of “paid-up” often sold as a benefit, that in reality the lack of flexibility, access and charges has to be considered. It does not offer a full range of discounted funds, direct equities or trackers to invest in.
Between the first 3 months and 2 years of premiums will be completely lost (penalty) if you attempt to access investments early and if you make this plan “paid-up” charges will quickly eat into returns. So, this is not suitable for anyone that does not intend to maintain the plan.
- Widely sold and supported by adviser community
- Offers some tax protection in certain jurisdictions
- If kept running to original planned term then may promote savings concept
- Hansard provided feedback through Mark Parsons listed at bottom
- No flexibility of full withdrawal or full access in the early years without penalty
- Many countries do not recognise any tax concessions
- Commission wipes out all initial investments made making this an extremely expensive option
- Does not provide full access to lowest cost funds and passive trackers
|Policy Currency: The Hansard Vantage Platinum II may be denominated in most currencies including; US dollar, GB pound, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen or Euro. Benefits will be paid in the plan currency.|
|Why choose the Hansard Vantage Platinum II: Over 170 international funds available with access to outside equities, bonds and collectives at greater cost.Guaranteed Lifecover Amount.|
|Hansard Vantage Platinum II promotion: What does Hansard write about their own plan?Vantage Platinum II is designed as a long-term savings contract to help you with retirement planning, meeting educational costs for your children, fulfilling specific financial goals or simply protecting you against future unseen circumstances in your life.|
|Eligibility: Hansard Vantage Platinum II is a regular premium, life assurance contract issued by Hansard. It is available to most international investors outside of main regulated territories such as the UK, the U.S.A. and Australia.|
|Minimums: £325 per month ( or equivalent currency) with no credit card transaction fee- no need for UK bank account.|
|Charges: 1.5% per year for accumulator, initial and bonus units (reflected in the quoted unit price).
Initial units are subject to an additional charge of 5.5% per year (reflected in the quoted unit price).Initial bonus units cannot be lost if contributions continue for the first 5 years of the contract.
It will also receive bonus units which are calculated on every anniversary where contributions are being received at the original level, and these are credited to the contract every 5 years and cannot subsequently be lost.There are no additional charges on the initial units at commencement. As the contract approaches the contracted maturity date there will be a greater proportion of initial units available; given that Vantage Platinum II is designed for long-term savings, the early costs are higher so less is available for early surrenders.
|Administration charge: The Administration Charge on Vantage Platinum II is £5, but this increases to £10 per month for paid up contracts (i.e. where contributions have stopped).
Are charges explicit: By explicit, it means that it is clear to see not only the charges for taking out the plan but also the cost of funds annually, any upfront fund costs, penalties on access, etc. Yes, in the main the Hansard Vantage Platinum II charges are clearly shown and any professional should be able to interpret them. We have had feedback from clients though that they find it extremely difficult to interpret charges such as how any early access penalties would be calculated.
|Surrender of the Hansard Vantage Platinum II: The treatment of a partial surrender as a one-off withdrawal is important from a UK HMRC chargeable event reporting aspect; Hansard Vantage Platinum II is not available to UK residents, and a UK expat would be expected to obtain their own tax advice particularly if they expect to repatriate to the UK. The Hansard Vantage Platinum II is not designed to meet specific UK tax regulations.
A full encashment results in penalties being applied through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy. The surrender penalty reduces as the contract approaches the agreed contract maturity date; the penalty will be highest during the early years of the contract regardless of the term.In the first circa 24 months premiums are lost upon surrender, or put another way, 100% of all initial and bonus units are forfeited on surrender. It is important to be aware that the Hansard Vantage Platinum II is a long term savings plan, if you decided to cancel the plan early you could lose a large proportion of the money you have saved.
Expat Money Expert Assessment of the Hansard Vantage Platinum II
A predominantly commission-based advisers product, with longer terms (and pay) encouraged through client bonus concept.
We like Hansard as a company, but we do not rate the Hansard Vantage Platinum II highly. We have had several clients who have been recommended to take the plans out for longer periods to attract bonus even when the adviser knew that the client wanted the money in 5 years. It is not the fault of Hansard, of course, but the fault of the adviser that wanted more commission from the sale. The maximum Initial Unit Period is 24 months, and does not increase due to any bonus given – it will be reduced for shorter term contracts or if commission is given up, but never increases.However, the adviser is selling the idea of the bonus obtained on taking out the plan term for longer when not correctly informing the client that the initial unit period will be longer and the bonus will be lost when accessed early. The salesman promoting this get paid proportionally more money for “selling” longer plans to clients.
The charges are 7% only on units purchased during the Initial Unit Period but accumulator units purchased after the Initial Unit Period are charged at a lower rate. The greater the proportion of contract value in accumulator units (due to continued contributions) will result in a lower effective annual charge level.
Ultimately, the Hansard Vantage Platinum II is an expensive option when compared with a pure platform plan. The standard Hansard funds have high ongoing fees when directly compared to platform or direct offerings from fund houses via the UK or the USA.
There is no doubt that a Hansard Vantage Platinum II will do exactly what it says it will do if held to maturity, but any attempt to take proceeds early in the plans life, or make it paid up, will result in access penalties or higher charges Making a Hansard Vantage Platinum II contract paid up will increase the Monthly Servicing Fee from £5 to £10, but this is the only charge which increases; none of the fund-level charges will change.
However, some people require help when making disciplined decisions and will welcome the fact that a plan is written to a set target date and cannot be accessed; some people wish to deliberately lock-up their funds. Therefore, potential investors have to weigh up the benefits of locking up their investments and not having the flexibility to access their investment earlier without surrender charges applied.
We think there are other better options available though.
NOTE: The Hansard Vantage Platinum II provides the option of lump sum commission to its distributors ( in the industry this is called indemnified or up-front commission) and it has a successful network of distributing agents throughout the world excluding the main regulated territories. Not all distributing agents have regulation or financial qualifications and may not be aware of the other saving plan options available.
WARNING: Costs and information is correct as of July 2017. Please refer to a brochure from the company for current up to date information and any changes on costs or information. You should not buy based purely on information contained within this article and EME do not accept liability for purchases. If you have any doubts then please speak with your financial adviser or a representative of the company for further advice.
If the provider improves or amends its terms then EME would like to hear from them to amend the review page accordingly, and providers are encouraged to comment on errors or omissions to ensure that readers have the latest and correct information.
HANSARD FEEDBACK (MARK PARSONS) 20 May 2017: “Although we understand that some customers will have other investment needs such as with fund platforms, Hansard strongly feels that there continues to be a customer need for an affordable, long-term savings contract that aids wealth accumulation. We fully believe that independent reviews and feedback helps to improve customer outcomes and experiences, and although I have no intention of trying to influence the integrity of your review, as it stands your review paints an incomplete and inaccurate picture which serves to mislead and confuse customers.”
EME will attempt to enter into dialogue with Hansard to update any out of date information – and we will keep readers updated – 30 May 2017