On Thursday 18 February 2016, we announced bonus rates for all our with profits plans for 2015, after delivering a return of 3.1% on the assets we hold for with profits policyholders. This return is before we have taken off investment expenses, tax and any policy charges. Over the past 10 years, assets invested for customers in Legal & General’s With Profits Fund have delivered a return of 5.5% per annum before tax. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.
Jackie Noakes, Managing Director, Savings said:
“One of the main advantages of a with profits investment is the ability to protect our customers against short-term market volatility by ‘smoothing’ payouts. 2015 was a challenging year for investment markets but we have actively allocated the fund across a broad spread of assets achieving another year of positive returns. This means that our with profits customers continue to see steady growth on their investments over the long-term, well in excess of inflation.”
During 2015, major economies like the US and the UK continued to grow at a steady pace. However, there was a dramatic slowdown in growth in China which led to a drop in global demand for commodities and a subsequent fall in prices. This was bad news for exporting countries like Russia and Brazil that had previously benefited from higher commodity prices. Market returns in general were much lower than in 2014.
Equity market returns varied considerably, with Japan outperforming global markets. Continental Europe and US equity markets also rose while the UK market was broadly flat. Emerging market equities fell as the slowdown in China, falling commodity prices, geopolitical conflict, and the prospect of higher US interest rates unsettled investors. The equity markets of commodity producers such as Brazil and Russia fared the worst, while countries that are net commodity importers, such as India, performed better.
Bond markets were helped by the fall in the oil price and other weak commodity markets which had the effect of pushing down inflation in the major economies. Nevertheless, corporate bonds struggled to make headway with the uncertain global economic outlook. Higher rated government bonds such as US treasuries, UK gilts and German bunds performed better as they were seen as a safe haven for risk-averse investors. However, total gains over the year were modest.
UK Commercial Property recorded strong performance. Rental income and capital growth contributed broadly equally to overall gains. Offices and industrial property both continued to outperform retail property.
The graph below shows how the assets we hold for our with profits policies have performed for each of the last nine calendar years, 1 January to 31 December. The performance is a combination of the returns received from all the investments. These investment returns are before we’ve taken off investment expenses, tax and any policy charges. You can find more information about deductions and policy charges in your policy documentation.
Please note that the returns used to calculate bonuses for individual plans over the years will not be the same as those shown below. This may be for a number of reasons, one of which is to reflect the varying features and benefits of different with profits products.
Please note that all investment returns are rounded to the nearest percent.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance.
You can find out specific product details by clicking on the relevant link in the left hand navigation.
With profits invests mainly in the following asset classes:
With profits invests in shares because they are widely believed to provide the best long-term return. Over the short term, the value of a fund investing in shares can go up and down a lot. Share prices can change dramatically in response to the activities and financial performance of individual companies, as well as being influenced by general market and economic conditions.
With profits invests in fixed interest securities that aim to provide a stable income over a fixed length of time. These are essentially a loan, usually to a company, or sometimes to a government. The return on a fund investing in fixed interest securities comes from the interest that the company or government pays on the loan, and the value of the securities. Fixed interest securities are less risky than shares but are likely to provide a lower return over the long term.
Property fits well in a balanced investment mix as its returns aren’t directly linked to the returns from shares. Investment includes holdings in offices, retail space and industrial property, which can offer good prospects for long-term returns. Commercial property can provide growth through rises in the value of the property and through the steady income stream that can be received from rents.
We invest in a mix of assets, which can help to reduce the impact of poor performance by any one asset type. As the assets react differently to economic factors, when one is not performing well, another may be performing better.
The pie chart below shows the mix of assets for our with profits policies as at 31 December 2015.
We send all our with profits customers an annual bonus statement showing how their plan has performed over the previous year. Please use the following dates as a guide to when statements will be mailed in 2016:
Here you'll find easy to understand factsheets on 'smoothing', market value reductions and bonus declarations.
Take a look at the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the With Profits Fund.
Use our free and secure online service, My Account, to find out the current value of your Legal & General investment or pension, seven days a week.