Stopping payments to your endowment plan
If you’re considering stopping payments to your plan and/or accessing the cash in it, we’ll be happy to help. It’s important to note that once you’ve told us what you’ve decided to do, you can’t change your mind. Please be sure you understand all your options, and the effect of any changes you make. There are a few things you and any other plan owner should think about before you make any decisions.
If you took out waiver of premium with your plan and you're unable to work through illness or accident, you may be able to apply for your payments to be made on your behalf. Please call so we can talk to you about this in more detail.
If you have any questions once you’ve read this summary, or need any help understanding your options - just call us on 0345 640 1000 or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad.
How an endowment plan works
An endowment plan is a long-term savings and investment plan with life insurance. You pay a premium for an agreed period and receive a lump sum at the end of that time. If you die before then, we pay a guaranteed minimum amount, called a sum assured.
Endowments were often used to help repay mortgages or other debts and as long-term savings and investment plans with life insurance.
These vary depending on your plan type and the benefits you’ve chosen. We can explain the options to you if you get in touch. As a guide, these could include:
- Taking a temporary break from payments into the plan.
- Make your plan paid up which means you permanently stop making payments.
How your options could affect your plan
If you take a temporary payment break your cover will continue but after the payment break, you have a number of options. You can:
- Pay the missed payments and keep all benefits. You’ll need to restart your payments and you may need to confirm continued good health.
- Make your plan paid up. This means you’ll stop making payments permanently, keeping some benefits but potentially losing others.
- Cash in your plan.
If you choose to make your plan paid up, you could see:
- A drop in the value, so your plan may not meet its original purpose.
- Your level of life cover reduce.
- A change in tax status of your plan, which might mean paying more tax in the future.
- A change to charges, or additional charges, to your plan.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount that you put in.
Depending on the type of plan you have and the options you chose when it started, you may have some additional benefits included which you could lose. For example:
- Critical Illness cover - designed to pay a lump sum of money if a life assured (or potentially their children) suffers from a serious illness.
- An option that pays your mortgage interest (and possibly other home owner related costs) if illness or accident stops you working.
Some plans include a guaranteed annuity option. This provides a guaranteed lifetime income as an alternative to the maturity proceeds and is only available at the maturity date. Stopping or reducing your payments will impact the maturity value and therefore reduce the the value of this option.
You should consider the overall impact on your plan before making your decision. If you request for your plan to be made paid up you can't restart it. That's why we want you to be certain any decision you make is the right one.
Protecting yourself from investment scams
According to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre, an estimated £1.2bn is lost to investment scams every year. So if you’re thinking of reinvesting the money from your plan, take a minute to find out how to stay ahead of the scammers.
What to do now
Give us a call on 0345 640 1000 or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad. We can’t give you advice or make your decision for you, but we’ll be happy to help you understand your plan and talk you through all your available options and their possible implications.
Alternatively, speak with a financial adviser - if you don’t have one, you can get details of financial advisers in your area from www.pru.co.uk and selecting ‘contact a financial adviser’. Financial advisers will charge you a fee for any advice they give you, but it will be personal to you.
We’re here 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and happy to help in any way we can. Please make sure you have your plan number to hand when you call.