Standard Life's plans to demutualise mean that millions of its policyholders could pocket windfalls of up to £2,000, says Lucy Warwick-Ching in the FT. Yet it may not make sense to hang on to (and keep paying in to) your with-profits bond, endowment policy or pension plan so as to receive that payout in three years. Some experts believe that bonuses will continue to fall and that, following flotation, the insurer is likely to align maturity values on its policies with those of its peers, which would mean a drop of around 10%. So you may be better off crystallising your gains now. But before you do, check the exit penalties that Standard Life levies; on with-profits pensions policies, you will have to pay 18%, whereas on with-profits bonds the charges vary from 0% to 27%.
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