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Demutualisation of friendly societies

Last updated 7 July 2013

The law relating to the CGT treatment of policy holders of friendly societies who receive cash or shares when their friendly society demutualises has recently been changed. The changes take effect from 1 July 2008.

If you hold or held a policy of a friendly society that demutualised from a not-for-profit friendly society to a profit friendly society, you may be able to disregard your capital gain or loss from the CGT event. You can disregard capital gains and losses you make from a CGT event happening to your interest or other right you have or had in the friendly society except where you receive an amount of money. Your friendly society should advise you whether you realise a capital gain or capital loss.

If you received only shares, or rights to acquire shares, as a result of the demutualisation of your friendly society, we consider for CGT purposes that you acquired each share or right at the time it was issued.

Your friendly society should advise you of the cost base of the shares or rights to acquire shares. The cost base, or reduced cost base, is equal to the:

  • market value of the health insurance business and
  • embedded value of the life insurance business and any other business of the friendly society.

Selling the shares or rights (through the sale facility or otherwise) will be a CGT event that may give rise to a capital gain or capital loss in the income year in which you enter into the contract of sale.