Investors in with-profits bonds will be able to withdraw £5bn without triggering a penalty charge when funds reach their tenth anniversary this year, says Skandia.
Analysis by the platform suggests of the £15bn held by almost 500,000 investors in with-profits bonds, one third have a penalty-free exit period upon reaching their tenth anniversary this year.
"Many with-profits funds are very different investments today compared to ten or twenty years ago so it is important to check they are still relevant," says Skandia's investment expert Graham Bentley (pictured).
"As with any contract, it is important to be aware of any exit penalties that exist and avoid them where possible."
Whilst urging advisers to review clients' investments in order to take advantage of this opportunity, Skandia says people should realise with-profits bonds have undergone important changes over the last ten years.
It says around 90 with-profits bonds have penalty-free exit dates in 2011. On average, these funds paid a bonus rate of 1% in 2010 - less than the average cash ISA. Furthermore, 34% of these funds come with an explicit charge to meet the cost of guarantees to investors, but often such charges did not apply when the product was bought.
Skandia says the with-profits landscape has fundamentally altered since their heyday a decade ago. Sales of the funds hit a record high in 2001 when 495,000 policies were sold with an average investment of just over £30,000. Back then, the average with-profits fund had an equity weighting of 66% with the remainder invested in a mix of property, fixed interest and cash.
Today, the average with-profits funds only has 33% invested in equities and a larger amount invested in fixed interest.
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