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International Bond - Life Assurance Option


International Bond - Life Assurance Option

The International Bond is a lump sum, non-qualifying, whole of life, offshore investment linked life assurance contract into which one-off, additional single or recurrent payments may be made.

It is provided by Standard Life International dac and sold cross-border to UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man residents. It is available to Individuals, corporate entities and trustees.

The International Bond is an Insurance Based Investment Product (IBIP) and is covered by the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). We have defined it as a complex product, since it offers exposure to financial instruments deemed complex under MiFID II and incorporates a structure which could make it difficult for the customer to understand the risk involved.

More on International Bond and charges (PDF, 328KB)

For more target market and suitability information for this product download the statement of Target Market.

The Bond offers:

  • Flexible payment arrangements
  • Investment in insured, mutual and whole of market funds, the Elevate General Investment Account, deposit accounts, structured deposits and management by Discretionary Investment Managers
  • Tax deferred regular withdrawals
  • One-off withdrawals
  • Family wealth transfer opportunities - written under trust or via assignment
  • Flexible adviser charging options


  • Bond owner should be at least 18
  • Bond owner must be habitually resident in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man
  • The lives assured under the bond can be aged from 3 months to 84 years
  • Up to 6 people can jointly own the bond, and up to 6 lives can be assured
  • Settlor(s) should be at least 51 at next birthday for Discounted Gift Plans

Current payment, investment and withdrawal limits  

Minimum single payment £20,000

Discounted gift plan (trust)

Minimum additional single payment £2,500

Recurrent Single Payment minima

However, where a Recurrent Single Payment is being added to an existing bond or where one is being paid in conjunction with a single payment of £20,000 or more the payment limits reduce to the following:

£1,000 monthly
£3,000 quarterly
£6,000 half yearly
£10,000 annually

£500 monthly
£1,500 quarterly
£3,000 half yearly
£5,000 annually

Insured funds, mutual funds
Elevate General Investment Account £50,000
Deposits £20,000
Discretionary investment managers £100,000
Whole of market funds £100,000
Minimum lump sum withdrawal £500
Minimum regular withdrawal £200
Minimum Discounted Gift Plan regular withdrawal £250

Regular withdrawals can be taken monthly, quarterly, every four months (not available for Discounted Gift Plan), half yearly or yearly.

Investors can choose from a wide range of funds. There is no tax liability on switching but switching charges can apply depending on the assets held.

More on Investment funds

Tax-deferred withdrawals
Up to 5% of the total payments made into the bond can be taken each year by your client up to a maximum of 20 years, without any immediate tax liability. Once withdrawals equal the total amount paid into the bond, this allowance stops. If the full 5% allowance isn't used in a particular policy year, it can be carried forward. Withdrawals in excess of 5% may be treated as a 'chargeable gain' and will be liable to income tax. Tax rules may change. At least £10,000 must remain in the bond.

Regular withdrawals may not be allowed where Recurrent Single Payments are actively being paid into the bond.

Taking adviser charges from inside the bond is classed as a withdrawal, and any withdrawals will form part of your clients’ 5% annual tax-deferred allowance. Taking adviser charges from outside the bond is not classed as a withdrawal, and will not form part of your clients’ annual allowance.

More information on tax deferred withdrawals in the Key Features document (PDF, 303KB)

Estate and inheritance tax planning
The bond can be used with a range of family wealth transfer solutions:

  • Trusts - let bond owners give money to others without giving them total control. Trusts can give your clients flexibility over who will receive their money and when. No probate is required
  • Segmentation and assignment - the bond can be split into up to 9,999 segments, with a minimum investment of £200 per segment. The bond owner can choose to assign segments to third parties who may be in a lower tax bracket. These third parties may then elect their own investment, withdrawal and adviser changing strategy.

More on estate planning

International Bond segments and withdrawals calculator
This calculator will help you select possible segment numbers and withdrawal amounts for International Bond Life Assurance Option, International Bond Capital Redemption Option and Wrap International Portfolio Bond where a regular withdrawal is required.

Launch International Bond segments and withdrawals calculator (xlsm, 856KB)

Benefits for your clients

  • A tax efficient way to save for the future - your client's money has greater potential to grow as tax isn't usually paid until they take their money out the bond. 
  • A tax efficient way to plan around inheritance tax - a bond may be put in trust which can reduce IHT liability or avoid it altogether.
  • Investment choice - choose from a choice of over 2000 investment funds, from our range of Discretionary Investment Managers (DIMs), bank and structured deposits, or whole of market funds
  • Transfer ownership - gift the bond to children or grandchildren in the future. With a default of 100 segments, the bond offers ultimate flexibility on assignment
  • Flexible withdrawals - make regular or one-off withdrawals. Withdrawals are subject to an overall limit and will reduce the value of the bond
  • Transparency - clients only pay for the features they use. There are no hidden charges, giving your clients a fair deal and value for money. It is easy to make flexible withdrawals and transfer ownership.
  • Flexible adviser charging options - charge clients for your services in a way that suits you both

Benefits for your business

  • Flexible adviser charging options - charge clients for your services in a way that suits you both
  • Online Fund Switching - fully automated adviser online fund switching facility to buy, sell and switch insured and mutual funds.
  • Ongoing advice - help your clients achieve their financial goals tax efficiently now, and meet their changing needs in the future


Fund Management Charge (FMC)
Fund management charges vary depending on the type of investment chosen. We have been able to negotiate discounts with some fund managers. Your client now pays a lower fund management charge where applicable.

We have a simple stepped product charge for all assets (except on insured funds).

On the International Bond Bank Account, we apply one simple, straightforward interest rate.

Allocation rates
The standard allocation rate is 100%

Adviser Payments

Adviser charging

On instruction from you and your client we will facilitate the payment of an adviser charge. Setting the amount of the adviser charge is a matter for you and your client.
You can choose this charge to be applied in the following ways:

Initial adviser charge

The charge is applied to single payments your client pays into the International Bond. You can ask us to deduct this:

  • before the payment is invested in the bond
  • after payment is invested in the bond.

If you take the charge in this way, it will form part of your client’s tax deferred allowance

Ongoing adviser charge

To facilitate ongoing services to your client.  We will deduct this charge yearly, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly as agreed between you and your client and notified to us.

Ad Hoc adviser charge

You can agree this charge with your client at any point in time by notifying us in writing.

Regular Initial adviser charge

This charge will only apply if your client pays Recurrent Single Payments to their bond and tells us the total charge, frequency term and amount.

Paying adviser charges

We will deduct money from your client’s bond’s holding in the International Bond bank account to pay any adviser charges or from the insured funds specified by your client. We will not take money from other linked assets.

Investment Choices

The International Bond offers a wide range of investment options:

Insured funds and mutual funds - choose from over 2,000 investment funds from more than 70 UK fund managers including Aberdeen Standard Investments.
Choose insured and mutual funds

Whole of market funds - if you choose to invest in funds which are not part of our range of mutual or insured funds, we’ll assess these funds to make sure they’re acceptable to Standard Life International and compatible with the relevant investment regulations.

Discretionary Investment Managers (DIMs) - choose a fund manager to construct and manage your client’s portfolio. Many DIMs have signed up to our Enhanced Discretionary feature, allowing them to invest in a wider range of investments than would normally be permitted under an offshore bond mandate, such as stocks and shares on recognised stock markets, and UK gilts.
More on discretionary investment managers

Managed Portfolio Service - Aberdeen Standard Capital’s Managed Portfolio Service (MPS) gives your client access to five different portfolios. Each is benchmarked against cash and designed to deliver a specific targeted return within an appropriate level of risk.
More on Managed Portfolio Service

Deposit Accounts - choose from bank and building society account providers made available by Standard Life International.
More on deposit accounts

Structured Deposit Accounts - choose from structured deposits made available by Standard Life International.
More on structured deposits

Elevate General Investment Account - choose from a wide range of investments on the Elevate platform based on your client’s view of risk and return and in accordance with our permitted investments requirements.
More on Elevate General Investment account (PDF, 599KB)

Banks, fund managers and DIMs may have their own minimum investment which is different from the International Bond.


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Pre-sales Product information

Online Services

DocuSign for the International Bond

We have created a digital solution for you to interact with your customers when writing new business for the International Bond.

How to register for DocuSign

You can register in 3 easy steps:

  1. Provide your email address, full name and company name to
  2. Our team will set you up as a user and send you an activation link along with a password
  3. Click the link to activate your account

You will then have access to DocuSign and our application forms, making new business submission more efficient for you and your customers.

Once you have registered you can login via this link - Access DocuSign

Submitting new business

Follow these simple steps to submit International Bond new business via DocuSign

  • Choose your application and click "use"
  • Identify signatories and complete the application online
  • Send application through DocuSign to your customer for e-signature
  • Once all signatories have e-signed the form the file is marked "complete"
  • The file will automatically send to our new business team for processing


  • New business - single payment and recurrent single payment
  • View and print client specific quote
  • Full adviser charging options available - inside and outside the bond
  • Save Quote
  • Quote available for 30 days after creation
  • Product specific Key Features Document available

More on Quotes

Online Servicing

  • Manage adviser charging - create new, amend or stop existing adviser charges.
  • Change address details
  • Client report - aggregating the client's holding
  • Current value

More on Online Servicing

Online Trading

  • Straight through processing - no manual intervention
  • Fund transactions - switch
  • Online validation
  • Track investment changes - online, phone and email requests
  • Online confirmation of completed trades

More on Online Trading

Bulk Data Download

  • Request and retrieve a file of your client's plan data

More on Bulk Data Download

Adviser Payments

  • Adviser statements - view, print and download in CSV or PDF formats
  • View payments due by agency or plan
  • View payments paid by agency or plan

More on Adviser Payments

Integration Services

We are able to integrate a number of our online services with your front/back office system which enables you to streamline your business processes and helps you deliver a quality proposition to your clients.

More on Integration Services


SLG LiveSite Portlet
SLG LiveSite Portlet
SLG LiveSite Portlet

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