Dear Mr. Tan,
As an expat in Singapore I signed up for Zurich's Vista Plan. Life in Singapore was good and I am very grateful for the hospitality and opportunity provided by the Singaporean Government. (My 2 kids are called Lee and Kuan, my wife's last name is Yu. That wasn't done on purpose, but in a way it does reflect our respect for the Minister Mentor.)
While liberal financial regulations have made Singapore what it is today, the top city to do business in, I feel that regulations aren't protecting end consumers as they should. MAS has brought some considerable improvement in this area, but does it go far enough?
As an example, I would like to call on all customers who regretfully have purchased a Zurich Vista investment plan.
I say regretfully, because for me it hasn't worked out. After several years of contribution, this is the score:
- on contributions of about us$ 200,000, Zurich has charged me us$20,000.-
- my gain has been around 4-5% per annum (which is good for Singapore, but standard in Australia)
- that gain is mostly due to the bonus which I was given at the beginning for signing up, this bonus effect will decline over the years
My main regret, besides the high cost, is regarding the terms and conditions that come into play when life changes and contributions to Zurich have to be paused.
Once I stopped making regular contributions, I found out that some of the charges simply continue and that stopping alltogether is costly, due to a steep surrender penalty. I am establishing if I have been mislead or ill-informed, or, whether it has been my own fault to buy into this product.
My individual opinion - other people may have their own - is that I bought 'flexibility', and that the fixed fee structure and high surrender penalties haven't been made clear enough. As a part of that process, if there are more customer like me, I am calling on them to see if we can take collective action:
Erik van Vulpen