Axa Equity & Law, Clerical Medical and Standard Life have come out top in a free asset ratio survey from Nottingham University Business School.
The study of life office financial strength by the universitys Centre for Risk and Insurance Studies director Chris OBrien looks at the top 20 with-profits funds and compares free asset ratios excluding implicit items such as future profits.
Equitable Life, Scottish Mutual, Sun Alliance & London, and National Provident Life all come at the bottom of the table. But the study warns not to compare free asset ratios at face value and other reserves must be taken in to account when comparing funds.
The study also says policyholders should continue to expect lower bonuses as reduced investment returns impact on the ability of offices to make payouts.