A little about

Our history

Way back in 1834 we were called The Ancient Order of Foresters. Very grand, don’t you think? Although we are now simply known as Foresters Friendly Society, our ethos hasn’t changed.

Foresters is there for you too

Take out any of our financial products and you’ll automatically become a member.

Our first members came to recognise they had a duty to assist their fellow men and women who sometimes needed help “as they walked through the forests of life”. This need arose principally when a breadwinner fell ill, could not work and received no wages. Providing financial and social support to our members has been the main purpose of Foresters Friendly Society throughout our long history. Back then, Members recognised that by paying a few pence a week into a common fund, they would be able to offer sick pay and funeral grants when needed.

Over 185 years of

helping our members

  • The Ancient Order of Foresters is founded.

    1834
  • Legal status attained under the new Friendly Societies Act.

    1850
  • Our members set up the UK’s first voluntary Lifeboat Fund.

    1864
  • After the National Insurance Act of 1911, we became an ‘Approved Society’, allowing us to get involved in the state system of National Insurance, which virtually doubled our total membership.

    1912
  • The Foresters’ War Memorial Benevolent Fund is established to provide financial assistance to members and their families who have been severely affected by the losses of the First World War.

    1918
  • Centenary celebrations include a thanksgiving service, held simultaneously at over 500 locations while around 1,135 delegates attend the AGM, including visitors from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Holland and the United States.

    1934
  • We celebrate our 125th anniversary.

    1959
  • Over 600 members attend the 150th anniversary celebrations.

    1984
  • Payments by the Foresters’ War Memorial Benevolent Fund reach £1 million.

    1988
  • The Society is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

    2000
  • We acquire Tunstall Assurance Friendly Society.

    2003
  • Acquisition of Leek Assurance Collecting Society.

    2005
  • Our 175th anniversary is celebrated at our AGM in Manchester, close to where the Society began.

    2009
  • We team up with Archery GB (the governing body for the GB Archery Olympic and Paralympic teams) as their Performance Partner in the run up to London 2012.

    2010
  • Following the change in financial services regulator, we are now dual regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

    2013
  • Our partnership with Archery GB is renewed and we continue as Performance Partner for the next 3 years.

    2013
  • Our Introducer Scheme is launched.

    2013
  • Celebrations for our 180th anniversary take place at our AGM in Torquay.

    2014
  • Acquisition of the Post Office Insurance Society (POIS).

    2014
  • Foresters announces record sales results in 2015 with a 32% increase in premium income to £19million.

    2015
  • The Society also paid out over £1million back to its members in the form of dental and optical grants, discretionary benefits and charitable donations.

    2015
  • This is in addition to the £1.9million paid out in the form of final bonuses to its policyholders and £0.7million in annual bonuses added to their guaranteed benefits.

    2015
  • Our Lifetime ISA is launched, as one of the first in the market place.

    2017
  • We launch our Junior ISA.

    2018
  • Our new Help at Home Service, part of our enhanced member benefits package, is unveiled.

    2018
  • Our with profits fund maintains best in class performance in the independent Barnett Waddingham with profits fund survey.

    2018
  • We paid £1.1million back to our members in discretionary grants and charitable donations. This is in addition to the £2.2million paid out in the form of final bonuses to our policyholders and £1.1million in annual bonuses added to their guaranteed benefits.

    2018
  • Our with profits fund is again recognised as a top performer in the independent Barnett Waddingham with profits fund survey despite tough market conditions and is listed as the top performing fund in the small and medium categories with a 5 year annualised return of 5.39 per cent.

    2018
  • After a stringent selection process, we partner with AXA Investment Managers in order to provide us with additional investment diversification and potential return for our policyholders.

    2019
  • We are announced as winner of ‘Best Small Insurer’ at the Insurance Investment Exchange Awards 2019.

    2019

There are two ways to become a

Foresters member

FREE membership included

Take out one of our financial products

You might want to put something away for your children. Or save up for your future. Every one of our products includes free membership with access to a range of benefits.

£25 per year

Membership subscription

Don’t need a financial product? Don’t worry. You’ll also be welcomed as a member by taking out an annual subscription. For only £25 every year you can enjoy all the benefits of Foresters Extras, including financial support, practical help, as well as social and community events.