Lost policy declaration form

The Hibernians withdrew from the insurance business on 31 March 2013.

Our actuary is in the process of calculating a closure value for each insurance policy, and we will advise individual policy holders during June 2013 of the amount owing under each policy.

In preparation for this, the Hibernians have written to each individual life assurance policy holder requesting their original policy document(s).

(Please note that this request does not apply to funeral benefit members – only to life assurance policy holders)

If you cannot find your original policy document(s), please complete and return the form provided below:

HCBS Lost Policy Declaration Form

This form must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or Solicitor of the High Court.

President’s Newsletter – April 2013

At the Society’s Special Meeting held in Wellington on 16 March 2013 it was agreed that the Society would cease all insurance business, for the reasons set out in previous newsletters.  The meeting, after discussion and with some amendment, accepted the Board’s recommended Rule changes to achieve this.

What does that mean?  All insurance cover provided by the Society ceased at midnight on 31 March 2013.  The value of each policy-holder’s life assurance or funeral benefit as at 31 March 2013 is currently being calculated by an actuary.  This ‘actuarial value’ will then be held by the Society for that policy holder, as a fixed sum owed by the Society to the policy holder.

The Society will be contacting each member affected by this change to advise them of their entitlement.  We anticipate that this will be during June 2013.

The Society will be paying out the money owing to former policy holders progressively, as funds come to hand.  It is not certain how quickly this can happen, but I am confident that the great majority of funds will be available to members who require it within months.

On the other hand, I believe that not every former policy holder will need their money to be paid out immediately.  I, for one, will be leaving my modest amount with the Society (more on this below).

There are two main reasons why the Society is not in a position to pay out every former policy holder immediately.  Firstly, the Society has invested prudently over the years, which means that some of the Society’s investments are in medium-term assets such as mortgages.  Secondly, the Society is pursuing a legal action against its former auditors to recover some of the money stolen from it.  The amount and timing of that recovery are uncertain, although the Board is confident of a positive outcome.

As well as the actuarial value mentioned above (as a debt to each former policy holder), the Board is as confident as is possible in a dynamic investment environment, that bonuses will be available to members, based on the good investment returns that the Society has been achieving and on other gains such as the legal action mentioned above.  These bonuses will be paid out from time-to-time in proportion to the amount owing to members at that time.

It is a legal requirement, and it is included in the Rules, that only members can receive such bonuses.  Former policy holders who chose not to continue their membership of the Society will of course be paid out the money owing to them as determined by the actuary, in the same way as other former policy holders.  However they will not participate in any gains (or losses!) that the Society is able to achieve through its investments and operations.  So I intend to maintain my membership!

Members who did not have insurance policies are not affected by these changes, and we hope that they will continue to maintain their membership of the Society.

So much for the past.  What of the future?  The Board has already reaffirmed its belief in, and commitment to, the future of the Society as a fraternal and benevolent organisation.  While the nature and structure of the Society will be very different from the past, its future lies in local branches that meet local needs and work together to provide coordinated national benefits.

To help facilitate this discussion, the Board is setting aside a good part of our Annual Meeting on 20 July 2013 to explore this future together, and all members are encouraged to attend.

We will continue to provide more detailed information over the coming months on the Society’s website.

Gordon Stewart

Special meeting on 16 March 2013

A Special Meeting of the Hibernians will be held on Saturday 16 March 2013 at 11:00am at St Mary of the Angels Parish Hall, 17 Boulcott Street, Wellington.

This meeting is primarily for Branch delegates to vote on rule changes that allow the Society to stop insuring its members and allocate a final cash closure value to members who have assurance and funeral benefits.

A copy of the notice of meeting and the proposed rule changes are included below:

Notice of Special Meeting

Proposed Rule Changes

Update (4 March 2013):

The latest copy of the President’s newsletter is included below.  This answers a number of questions that members have raised since they were initially advised of the special meeting:

President’s Newsletter 4 March 2013

Hibernians freshen up online look

The Hibernians have upgraded their website, making their offerings more visible to members and the public.

“It was well overdue”, Hibernian Marketing and Communications Chairperson, Paul Ramsay said.

The original site was designed twelve years ago, grouping the offerings by age-groups. The new design removes this distinction, making everything more readily accessible.

The Hibernians have made an important contribution to the lives of many Catholic families.

As well as financial benefits, the Hibernians have always placed a strong emphasis on community and social support.  Speaking at the Hibernians Annual Meeting in Auckland recently, Bishop Dunn reinforced the changing nature of the immigrant church.

“Bishop Dunn challenged us to re-think our target market”, said Paul Ramsay.

The Hibernians are very pleased to launch its new website which includes CathNews NZ’s twice-weekly update of Catholic news from New Zealand and around the world.

“We are very grateful to Church Resources for helping us out in this way.  They have done a fantastic job.”

The Hibernians see the new site as a starting point, and are looking to add additional functionality.

“This includes the possibility of online purchasing of products and services”, Paul Ramsay said.

“One of the beauties of using a Content Management System is that the site can be fairly easily adapted to meet new needs as they come along”, said John Murphy of Church Resources.