Meeting your changing needs

Your Flexible Options Bond – meeting your changing needs

The investment you made into your bond should be viewed over the medium to long term, at least a five to ten year period to help meet your financial objectives. Taking this approach aims to help smooth out the ups and downs of the stock market.

If you see a fall in the value of your bond because the stock market has fallen, you may be tempted to cash in some or all of your bond. This might stop any further losses but you could be missing the potential for further growth over the longer term. Moving out of an investment during a downturn may mean missing any recovery and therefore upturns in the market. If you don’t need the money, you may be better leaving your bond invested. Of course, this may not be the case if the markets continue to fall.

With all this in mind, many investors will have been considering what they should do. And in times like these, it’s all the more important that you are able to tailor your investments to suit your changing needs.

Your Flexible Options Bond is specifically designed to help you do this.

As its name suggests, the benefit of the Flexible Options Bond is that it gives you flexibility and options. If your personal circumstances, investment needs or attitude to investment risk have changed since you took out your policy, your Flexible Options Bond can easily be adjusted and tailored to fit your new requirements.

However, it's important to remember that the value and any income you take from your Flexible Options Bond is not guaranteed; it can go down as well as up. You may get back less than your original investment and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

If withdrawals are taken from your bond, they could be greater than any growth achieved and this could reduce the value to below the amount originally invested.

As a Flexible Options Bond investor, you can:

  • invest in up to 10 investment funds from a range of over 100 available, allowing you to diversify and spread your investments as you want, and select the level of investment risk that you feel comfortable with. More information about our range of funds is available here.
  • switch between these funds to adapt to any changes to your circumstances and needs. You can switch up to 12 times every year for free
  • withdraw part or all of your bond as a lump sum
  • take a regular income, which could give you some tax benefits
  • get up-to-date valuations when you need them
  • be eligible to receive a regular loyalty bonus after five years in the policy, for payments made on or after 23 March 2005
  • take advantage of various trust arrangements, for example, to potentially mitigate your Inheritance Tax liability.

The value of the tax benefits of your bond depend on your personal circumstances. Your circumstances and tax rules may change in the future.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, and you may wish to seek financial advice before making any changes to your investments. There may be restrictions on investing in some funds and there may also be tax implications or market value reductions in certain circumstances.

The list of funds available through your Flexible Options Bond is available here, with more information about each of these funds available here.

For more information speak to your financial adviser or contact us on 0345 716 6777. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm and Saturday 9am – 12.30pm. We may record and monitor calls to help us improve our service.