With-profits funds explained 10 steps to assessing your with-profits policy
Checklist: how to assess your with-profits policy
1.Pull together all your policy documentation
Takeovers and mergers could mean the life company that provides your fund has changed. For example, CGNU is now part of Aviva, while Scottish Amicable is part of Prudential and Eagle Star is now Zurich.
2.Consider whether you still need the policy
For example, an endowment policy taken out to repay a mortgage may no longer be required.
3. Check for guarantees
It may be worth sticking with a policy that has a guaranteed payout, especially if you're nearing the end of the policy term and investment returns have been poor.
4. Check whether your policy includes any MVR-free days
Depending on when you bought the policy there may have been a 10-year MVR-free anniversary date which may now have passed or be soon to pass.
5. Check your bonuses
Ask whether your policy will pay a proportion of the terminal bonus if you cash it in early.
6. Check how your money is invested
The asset allocation of your fund will affect the returns, so check the proportion of equities, corporate bonds and fixed-interest investments.
7. Speak to an independent financial adviser
Despite poor returns, you may be better off sticking with the existing policy. Or you may be able to switch to a unit-linked fund with lower charges.
8. Consider the second-hand market
Rather than cash in an endowment policy, it may be worth selling it on the second-hand market. Find out more in our guide to trading your endowment policy.
9. Look at alternatives to with-profits
Consider your financial goals along with your tolerance of risk in order to establish the right asset allocation for your investment.
10. Complain about mis-selling
If you think you've been mis-sold a with-profits investment, complain to the provider or the company that advised you. Complaining about financial services - find out more in our helpful guide to complaints.
Know your rights: What are the grounds for making a mis-sold endowment complaint? You can take action if you think the advice you were given was incorrect of misleading.