Aviva is planning to remove restrictions on its equity release offering, allowing customers to access up to 100 per cent of the available loan up front.
The decision comes as part of a revamp of the insurers equity release offering. The firm currently imposes a 75 per cent restriction on its lifestyle flexible option.
Following the changes, customers who do not initially take up the full loan will have an automatic reserve available if they want to access the funds in the future.
The decision means the insurer’s lifestyle lump sum plan, which Aviva says offers similar features but with less flexibility, will be withdrawn from April 18.
In addition, the £99 administration fee charged against the reserve for new and existing customers and a £300 redemption fee for all new loans will also be scrapped.
Aviva head of annuities Darren Dicks says: “It didn’t make sense for us to retain the lifestyle lump sum plan given the changes we’ve made.
“We’ve revamped and refreshed our equity release offering. Our research shows that customers want flexibility from equity release but they may not want to take the maximum amount right away.”
Aviva will also introduce an inheritance guarantee, allowing customers taking out a lifetime mortgage the option of guaranteeing that a proportion of their property will go to their family or estate when they die or go into long-term care.