Life insurance translation: why does it get stuck for some companies?, News

What a deal! Since the passage of the Pacte law in 2019, policyholders have the option to transfer their life insurance to a new contract without losing tax priority, the famous 8-year period offers a €4,600 rebate on withdrawals and a reduced income tax rate of 7.5% excluding contributions on social security compared to 12.8% before maturity).

Specifically, clients can switch from a product that has fallen into disuse or that offers a EUR-only fund (support with guaranteed capital) to another completely new product under two conditions. First, it contains units of account (supports without guarantee of capital and invests in markets). Secondly, that it is insured by the same company.

It’s not necessarily a good deal when the terms of the first contract are particularly favorable, especially if it offers a guaranteed wage rate, a relic of the old days. But this is undoubtedly a good operation for those who want to diversify their savings or gain access to certain units of account. Moreover, theoretically, nothing prevents you from moving from a recent contract and still being sold to another one.

Bursorama and Generali are surprised

However, testimonials from policyholders seduced by experience can sometimes be confusing. “We inform you that the Pacte law exists to facilitate life insurance transfers, but we do not take it into account”would get a person who wanted to make a transfer from Nalo to Bursoram Bank. Since the contracts of these two intermediaries were insured by Generali, the operation seemed possible in principle without loss of tax priority.

“To say that we do not abide by the law of the Covenant is wrong”comments onInvest Xavier Prien, Boursorama Marketing Director. He deplores the bank’s tone in this post, which has been circulating on LinkedIn for weeks now (he doesn’t confirm its authenticity, although the word has prompted clarification from the teams): “Initially, Boursorama would have been good for fluidizing transfers within the same insurer. » Online banking tends to attract new customers. “I wouldn’t be the main loser of the movement”he jokes. However, according to him, tolerance “insurance option” which therefore requires “agreement”.

Generali, the company featured in this story, responds that the problem is related to the transition from an individual contract (Nalo) to a collective contract (Boursorama): “We have a reading of the law that there is a change of subscriber, points out Corentin Favennec, director of partnerships. So the tax authorities could re-qualify the transfer as a ransom and oversubscription. » In this case, the risk will be the loss of tax priority. He claims to have asked the Bersi question in September 2020, but has yet to reveal anything. Corentin Favennec denies the non-application of the law of the Covenant: “In 2021, we have awarded more than 1,000 contracts worth more than 200 million euros. […] When it comes to transferring within the same distributor, we don’t worry. » However, the transition from one intermediary to another depends on the good will of each professional.

Suravenir does not want to change distributor

The problem also arose on the side of the insurance company Suravenir. A reader, Florent Fillinger, told us about a file still blocked from being transferred from Fortuneo to Linxea. The distributor you are looking for answers: “We are waiting for information from Suravenir. […], as of today we are not yet able to offer you a transfer. » The insurance intermediary was contacted a few months ago, but still no response. For Florent Fillinger, this is also the transition from a collective agreement to an individual one, but this is not an obstacle to his exchange. Another intermediary informed us about the impossibility of switching between distributors under contracts of individual companies.

To a question about the subject InvestFrançois-Régis Bernico, CEO of Suravenir, provides an unexpected rationale: “The limitation we have is to respect the goodwill of our partners. Transfers are permitted as long as they occur within the same distributor. » Thomas Guyot, Chairman of the Board, confirms: “We don’t want to encourage competition between our distributors. »

But, “It has long been possible to make a brokerage transfer [avec le] the same contract, says Xavier Prien of Boursorama (who works with Generali). In addition, before the law on the pact, it was already allowed to change life insurance while the client switched from mono-collateral (only with a fund in euros) to multi-collateral (with units of account), this was called “Quadruple transfer”. In short, it is no longer knowing which saint to dedicate oneself to.

What the law says

The law is not verbose on this matter. It provides as a simple modality that “this conversion is carried out either by making changes to the voucher or contract, or by subscribing to a new voucher or contract with the same insurance company.” (Art. 125-0 A LKU*). Nothing is said about the limit of the freedom of the insured or the insurer.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance replies to the message that “This transfer, however, requires the consent of both parties to the contract, the insurer and the policyholder”. And indicate “that no executive order is planned or required” to complete the operation.

In July, the French insurers’ federation signed a market pledge to ease traffic. In this document, she states that she will ” farther [que la loi Pacte] through a mechanism for automatically accepting transfer requests, in particular when it comes to the same distributor.. A few lines stand out: “We remind you that each client is free to choose his distributor. Therefore, the change of intermediary is not a criterion for assessing the acceptance or rejection of the request. » Suravenir, holding respect goodwill [ses] partners “ would therefore be contrary to that obligation.

The Federation does not wish to comment on specific cases and insists on “duty to advise” professionals: “They have to make sure that the transfer still fits the profile of the investor and the investment project of the insured person.says Franck Le Vallois, managing director of France Insurers. The obligation to advise is not only at the time of signing, it is the entire duration of the contract. » However, it seems legitimate to ask the question of the appropriateness of a notice in case of refusal to transfer between two homogeneous contracts.

Frank Le Vallois believes that these blocked files are exceptions: “The numbers are stubborn, it cannot be said that insurers are not playing this game: in 2021, 423,000 transfers were made under the Pacte law.” Since 2020 (the first full year of the Pacte law), 659,000 contracts have been affected, with a total of 53 million life insurance companies in France (end of 2021, according to French insurers).

A few more stumbling blocks

Thus, a market agreement should certainly make things easier, but some stumbling blocks remain, including the transition from a collective agreement to an individual (or vice versa) and change of distributor. Frank Le Vallois believes that “sometimes misunderstanding”because, as Corentin Favennec also speaks of the Generali “the spirit of the law is to be able to upgrade your contract”. In their opinion, the transfer should only concern contributors who wish to abandon a product that is no longer for sale.

“The law exists in order to create a little competition”by contrast, judge our reader Florent Fillinger, a former wealth management advisor and compliance officer at a major bank. The original amendment to the Covenant Act, which opened up the possibility of transfer, as passed by the Senate prior to moderation, planned to allow even changing insurers, and this measure was intended to “disgruntled depositors [….] his current institution..

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