The Scotsman writes that endowment policies are in "terminal decline". They cite the recent cuts in bonuses, announced by the larger life assurance companies; quote:
"..Standard Life and Clerical Medical were this week the latest in a string of assurors to serve up unpalatable news to policyholders: the former slashed bonuses almost across the board, despite a 10.4 per cent pre-tax return on its with-profits fund, while the latter's investors fared little better, although its fund was up 9.9 per cent.
That followed grim tidings from Scottish Widows, a subsidiary of Lloyds TSB, and Aviva - owned Norwich Union. Like Standard Life, Widows cut final payouts for the sixth time in three years, following a 10.5 per cent lift in its fund.
Earlier, Norwich Union, the UK's largest insurer, became the first this year to deliver a stinging blow, slashing payouts by up to 11.5 per cent when its four funds overall enjoyed the same rise.
Prudential's bonus declaration is over a fortnight away, while Abbey National is not due to make its announcement until March. The Pru has claimed it will increase or maintain total bonus rates on all unitised with-profits and offer good year-on-year increases in value..".
The bottom line to this is that we, the holders of these lousy underperforming polices, are screwed.