The Endowment Diary

The Endowment Diary

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The Endowment Mis-selling Debacle - one of the UK's worst financial scandals

Monday, October 27, 2008

What Happened To Smoothing?

What Happened To Smoothing?

The Times reports that:

"Legal & General has become the latest insurer to cut terminal bonus rates on with profits funds. The FTSE 100 company is cutting rates by between 5 and 9 per cent in the wake of falling and turbulent stock markets.

The move means that a 25-year £50 a month mortgage endowment maturing will pay £38,565 compared to £41,293 before the reduction. A 20-year £200 a month pension maturing after this change will pay £90,999 compared to £98,511 before the change.

Mark Gregory, managing director of with profits at L&G, said the decision would affect 10,000 of the company's 800,000 policyholders. He added: “We have made the decision to reduce final bonus rates to take account of some of the negative movements in the investment markets.

'In making these changes, we are ensuring fairness between all of our customers, whether they are leaving or remaining in our with profits fund
.'"

Am I alone in believing that the concept of a "with profits" (a somewhat ironic name under the circumstances) fund is that the "profits/losses" are smoothed over the period of the policy in order to minimise wild fluctuations in returns?

Surely, if these policies had been well managed by L&G, such a large reduction in one year would be unnecessary?

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