Unit Linked Investment Plans, Are They Worth Your Buck?

Before we take a look at the best unit-linked investment plans (ULIP) from Manulife. Let’s go through very briefly what a ULIP is and what are the reasons you would choose one compared to the other insurance products available.

In short, a unit-linked investment plan a.k.a. investment linked policy, allows you to be invested in the market whilst being protected with life coverage at the same time.

A ULIP as its name implies is an investment insurance plan. This means that capital is guaranteed only in death or terminal illness and growth of account value depends entirely on the market and is not guaranteed.

Depending on the ULIP, you can choose to invest in dividend-paying funds to receive a steady stream of income (a.k.a. passive income).

The term Minimum Investment Period (MIP) will be used regularly throughout this article, the MIP is the duration during which there will be charges in the event of:

  • Premium shortfall charges – You fail to pay the regular premium (after exercising your last premium flexibility benefit, if any)
  • Partial withdrawal charges – You make any partial withdrawals
  • Early surrender charges – You surrender the policy (a full withdrawal)

Today, we will be taking a look at the two best unit linked investment plans from Manulife, namely ManuInvest Duo and InvestReady Wealth II.

Both ULIPs give you an initial welcome bonus as well as yearly loyalty bonus after a set amount of years. Let’s go more into details as to the key benefit differences so that you can choose the one that is right for you.

Best Unit Linked Investment Plan (ULIP) for Life Coverage – Manulife ManuInvest Duo

Manulife ManuInvest Duo

Key points of Manulife ManuInvest Duo

These are some of the key points of Manulife ManuInvest Duo:

  • Welcome bonus up to 80% of your first-year premium
  • Yearly loyalty bonuses of up to 0.8% of your account value
  • Choose your preferred sum assured coverage of up to 100x of your yearly premium
  • Minimum Investment Period (MIP) options of 10, 15 or 20 years
  • Option to invest in dividend-paying funds
  • Premium flexibility benefit skip up to 4 yearly premiums payments depending on your chosen MIP
  • Administrative fees of 5% of the account value for the first 5 policy year, fees drops to 1% from the 6th policy year onwards

Welcome Bonus

For a start, we have the Welcome Bonus which can be as much as 80% of your first year premium depending on your chosen sum assured of insurance coverage and minimum investment period (MIP)

Loyalty Bonus

From the 7th policy year onwards, ManuInvest Duo pays you yearly Loyalty Bonuses until the termination of your ULIP.  These yearly bonuses which is a percentage of your account value goes into building your investment portfolio can be as much as:

  • 0.30% until the end of the MIP following which,
  • increase to 0.80% until policy termination

Death and Terminal Illness Coverage

You can choose your preferred sum assured up to 100X your yearly premium to protect you against death and terminal illness.

You have the flexibility to change your sum assured during the policy term

Premium Flexibility Benefit

From the 6th policy year onwards, depending on your chosen MIP, you may skip 2 to 4 yearly premium payments without incurring premium shortfall charges

  • MIP 10 years – skip 2 yearly premium payments
  • MIP 15 years – skip 3 yearly premium payments
  • MIP 20 years – skip 4 yearly premium payments

Partial Withdrawals

From the 6th policy year onwards, you can withdraw 20% of the total basic premiums paid in the previous policy year for a small transaction fee of S$50

Fees & Charges for Manulife ManuInvest Duo

  • Administrative charge of 5% per annum of the account value will be charged monthly from policy year 1 to 5. From policy year 6 onwards, the administrative charge will drop to 1% per annum.

Optional Add-ons

  • Critical Care Accelerator II rider – Covers you the main policy’s sum assured against any of the 36 covered critical illnesses
  • Critical Care Complete rider – Covers you your chosen sum assured against 45 covered critical illness and 9 additional critical illnesses and 14 special conditions
  • Critical Care Plus rider – Covers you your chosen sum assured against any of the 36 covered critical illnesses
  • Early Critical Care II rider – Covers you the main policy’s sum assured against 105 critical illness of all stages, 20 addtional advanced-stage critical illnesses and 23 special conditions
  • Early Critical Care Waiver Rider – Waives all future premiums upon diagnosis of any of the covered critical illness across all stages
  • Critical Care Waiver Rider – Waives future premiums upon diagnosis of any of the covered advanced-stage critical illness until the end of the rider term

Best Unit Linked Investment Plan (ULIP) for Maximum Investment Growth – Manulife InvestReady Wealth II

Manulife InvestReady Wealth II
Manulife InvestReady Wealth II

Key points of Manulife InvestReady Wealth II

  • Welcome bonus of up to 60% of your first-year premium
  • Yearly loyalty bonuses of up to 0.3% of your account value
  • Sum assured of 101% of total premiums paid or account value against death and terminal illness
  • MIP options of Regular 3, 5 or 10 years or Flexi 3, 10 or 20 years
  • Over 100 unit funds to invest in with the option to invest in dividend-paying funds

Welcome Bonus

Choose a longer Minimum Investment Period (MIP) to receive a higher welcome bonus of up to 60% of your first-year premium

  • If your annual premium is S$14,400 with a 20-year MIP, you will receive S$8,640 in Welcome Bonus that goes to kickstarting your investment portfolio

Loyalty Bonus

From the policy year immediately after the end of the MIP, Manulife InvestReady Wealth II rewards you for staying invested by giving you yearly Loyalty Bonus of up to 0.30% of your account value until policy termination.

MIP Renewal Bonus

For MIP 3 or 5 years, receive up to 20% of your renewed MIP premiums when you renew your MIP for an additional 3 or 5 years.

Regular vs Flexi Options Difference

Regular MIP option allow you to change your yearly premium only after the MIP is over whilst the Flexi MIP options allows you to change your regular premium from the 2nd, 4th, or 11th policy year for Flexi 3, 10 or 20 years options respectively.

Fees and Charges for Manulife InvestReady Wealth II

  • Administrative charge of 0.7% per annum of the account value will be charged monthly
  • Supplementary charge of 1.8% per annum of the account value will be charged monthly for the first 10 years

Optional Add-ons

You can choose to add these premium waiver riders to help with the cost of premiums should the unexpected occur:

  • Early Critical Care Waiver Rider** – Waives all future premiums upon diagnosis of any of the covered critical illness across all stages
  • Critical Care Waiver Rider – Waives future premiums upon diagnosis of any of the covered advanced-stage critical illness until the end of the rider term
  • Cancer Care Premium Waiver Rider – Waives future premiums upon diagnosis of major cancer until the end of the rider term

**We recommend taking up the Early Critical Care Wavier rider as it waives all future premiums and covers more illnesses.

Where can I compare the payout and benefits of Investment-Linked Policies?

Before committing to an insurance policy, it certainly pays to make an effort to compare. Specific product features, benefits, and payouts will differ more than you think across insurance companies. Why regret only years later, when you find out that you are not getting the best insurance policy available for the price you’ve paid?

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