Foresters Friendly Society - Putting a value on mutuality
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Foresters Friendly Society today announces that in 2013 it paid out a total of £853,000 in discretionary benefits made available to its 65,000 individual members which was in addition to the bonus payments made to financial policyholders. Foresters has a strong track record of benevolence and has made consistent levels of payouts to its members for the past 8 years amounting to over £10million in total. After six months from a financial policy's inception, members of the Society gain automatic access to the Foresters' member benefits package, known as Foresters Extras, at no additional cost.
As a mutual society celebrating its 180th anniversary this year, member benefits form an essential part of Foresters' ethos with the Extras package forming a key component of Foresters' member-focussed approach. Member benefits include: discretionary optical and dental grants, educational financial grants to assist with the costs of higher education or recognised qualifications, hardship grants when members fall on hard times such as the recent flooding. Other member benefits that are available immediately upon becoming a member include a 24/7 GP Consultation Service, a care advisory service through Foresters Care, a discounted will writing service and access to social events organised by Foresters branches. Members of the public can join the Society to take advantage of the benefits without having to buy a financial policy.
Commenting, Foresters Friendly Society Marketing Director, Neil Armitage said: "Mutuals like Foresters are, and always have been, about helping people help themselves, playing a vital role in providing a range of easily accessible and affordable financial products. The addition of our member benefits package really helps to differentiate our proposition and we work hard to ensure that the Extras available to our members add real value and are relevant to our members."
One Foresters member who received educational grants whilst studying is Cheree O'Melia now aged 26. Cheree says: "I have had a Stocks & Shares ISA with Foresters for 5 years. I chose Foresters because their financial products were easy to understand and they provided great benefits which you don't normally get when you buy financial products. Also it was evident that Foresters had a great ethos and really did look after their members. The Educational Grant I received from Foresters during my three years of study at Exeter University was really appreciated. Although I was studying full time, I had two part-time jobs in order to pay for my living and travel costs to University every day. The big expense that I could never anticipate was the cost of all the University text books which would cost upwards of £600 per year. The Foresters' Educational grants were extremely helpful when it came to having to buy my course books at the beginning of each study year providing me with the funding I needed to purchase the books.
"Although I had heard of the Educational Grant when I opened my ISA, I was really surprised how easy it was to apply for and I'm grateful for all the help Foresters gave me. Without this grant I would have probably had to get a third job which would have adversely affected my studies."
The grants and benefits offered by Foresters Friendly Society are discretionary and are not regulated.