A Slice of The Pie
Standard Life has promised its two million policyholders a windfall payout from its £1.3BN orphan fund pot, surplus cash held in its with-profits fund.
Standard Life said that it would pay the cash to qualifying policyholders as their policies matured, rather than paying out one lump sum to all its customers in one go.
The orphaned assets are pots of surplus cash that inflate insurers' solvency figures.
Aviva, parent company of Norwich Union, will divide its £4BN orphan assets between shareholders and policyholders and Prudential is also considering what to do with its pot of surplus assets, worth £9BN.
A Standard Life spokesman told The Times:
"When other insurers, such as AXA, distributed their orphan assets, they made a one-off payment to all policyholders.
We are taking a different approach and are giving enhanced payouts when a policy reaches maturity, or when it is surrendered or transferred.
We are doing this because we want to retain some of this cash cushion over the life of our policies, some of which have decades to run."
This approach means that investors will be forced to keep their policies until maturity, if they wish to receive their share of the pot.