Next steps towards Brexit

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Triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty

On Wednesday 29 March 2017, Theresa May will formally trigger the start of the process of the United Kingdom (UK) exiting the European Union (EU) by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

As a business, we keep abreast of political developments, including Brexit, which may have an impact on our business and particularly our customers and advisers.

While there are no immediate changes, we understand that you may have questions and we’ve prepared a number of FAQs which you can see below. We’ll continue to post relevant developments or information on our website.

The FAQs are based on our understanding of current legislation and UK Government plans, which may change.

What does triggering Article 50 mean?

The UK voted to leave the EU back in June 2016 and triggering Article 50 is the formal start of two years’ negotiation around the terms of the UK’s exit. Alongside this the UK Government will also negotiate future trade agreements with the EU and countries outside the EU.  Most changes won’t happen until after these negotiations are complete and many changes may not be agreed or implemented for considerably longer.

How is Aegon planning for Brexit?

The UK won’t leave the EU until after two years of negotiations have taken place. The UK Government and regulators have already said that at the point of exit, the UK will continue to follow existing EU laws and regulations relating to financial services, until and unless decisions are made at a later date to move away from these. This gives continuity and time to plan for any future changes.

We’re also taking a close interest in any decisions the UK Government may take to reflect economic conditions it faces in the UK.

Are there any immediate changes to my pension or investment policy?

Pensions and investments tend to be invested in stocks and shares, the value of which can fall as well as rise. Investors may change their views on the value of various stocks and shares as they predict the impact of Brexit on companies both within and outside the UK.

Values can also be affected by other factors. For example, since the UK decided to leave the EU, the international value of sterling has fallen, raising the UK stock market’s value.

Looking ahead, the value of your pension or investment, will continue to be affected by the value of the funds you’re invested in and can fall as well as rise and isn’t guaranteed. The value is also likely to depend on broader economic reasons, for example market and currency movements. It isn’t possible to predict these in advance. You could get back less than you invested.

Should I change where I’m invested?

If you’re considering changing where you’re invested, we recommend you speak to your financial adviser. We’re unable to provide advice.

Could there be changes to when I can take my pension?

Not as a direct result of Brexit. The minimum age at which you can take your pension is set by the UK Government.

Will my state pension be affected?

UK state pension benefits are set by the UK Government. Generally speaking, if you’ve always lived and worked in the UK, your state pension shouldn’t be directly affected as a result of Brexit.

Unrelated to Brexit, an independent review commissioned by the UK Government recently made recommendations to increase the state pension age to 68 between 2037 and 2039. The UK Government hasn’t yet announced if it will accept this recommendation.

Will there be changes to the rules around ISAs?

Not as a direct result of Brexit. ISAs are a UK product and the rules are set by the UK Government.

Will the Aegon Group still support you in the UK?

As an important part of the Aegon Group our parent company continues to support us in the UK. In 2016, we announced the acquisition of Cofunds and the defined contribution platform of BlackRock. These acquisitions show our long term commitment to the UK. Aegon UK is independently strong with a robust balance sheet.

How can I keep informed of developments?

We’ll regularly update our website to help our advisers and customers keep up to date with developments.