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3 Best Investment-Linked Plan or 101 Wrappers in Singapore 2024

Investment-linked Insurance Plans (ILP) provides you with the opportunity to leverage the gains in the financial markets and provide life insurance coverage to take care of your loved ones. In this article, we present some investment-linked plans or “101 Wrapper” that may help you meet your investment and savings objectives.

However, before we begin, we would like to address the social stigma of ILPs in general.

This is not a recommendation, Moneyline.SG is not an Exempt Financial Adviser and act only as an information portal. Please seek advice from a licensed financial advisor or leave your contact details below for a proper fact find by a licensed practitioner before making any decision. All information provided are public and can be found directly on the providers website or via any financial representatives that represents the product provider.

Are ILPs bad?

There is no straight forward answer to this because Investment-Linked Plans by itself is a category of life insurance products. By implying ILP is bad, is similar to saying “universal life insurance is bad”, or “whole life insurance is a scam”, or “buying term life insurance is a waste of money”

The notion of ILP came about when people were unhappy with par fund returns of life insurance policies and wanted more flexibility and control. Therefore, Insurance companies decide to give people more flexibility. The biggest problem with ILP is that the cost of insurance rises steeply in the later years of the insured’s life. Thus, if the cost of insurance continuously supersedes the returns of the underlying investments each year, the cash value may actually deplete to a stage where one may eventually lose their coverage even as they continue to pay their premium diligently.

More recently, we are starting to see the emergence of a different type of ILP which is primarily marketed as an investment product by agents, bankers and financial advisors. They are typically known as the “101 wrapper”; such plans provide a death coverage of 101% of the total premiums paid, or in other words, not much insurance coverage. Technically, such a plan does not entirely mix investments with insurance but provides a value-added preposition of capital guaranteed upon the insured’s death regardless if the price of the investments drops below the principal.

Principal Guaranteed, Upon Death

This feature can be one of the most fundamental reasons for considering an Investment Linked Policy (ILP). While an individual is alive, they can effectively manage their investments. However, when a person passes away suddenly, there is a risk of inheriting a struggling portfolio by family members who may rely on these investments for important purposes such as children’s education, retirement, or future family expenses.

Therefore, one of the key benefits of this product is the inclusion of death coverage. This means that in the unfortunate event of your demise, the principal amount will be guaranteed to your beneficiaries. Unlike investing through traditional means, an ILP ensures that your investment is protected even after your death, providing financial security for your loved ones.”

Please note that ILPs may have varying features and conditions, so it’s essential to review the specific terms and conditions of the policy you are considering.

Cost Efficiencies

This may come as a surprise, as investment-linked insurance products are often criticized for high platform charges, in addition to fund management and insurance fees. However, this article highlights plans that are cost efficient (low breakeven yield), with the inclusion of start-up and loyalty bonuses to offset costs. These plans may prove to be more cost-effective than a pure investment or robo-advisory platform over a certain holding period.

Locked Up Portion

One must take note that such plans requires a part of your investments, usually termed as “Initial Unit Allocation” to be locked up for a selected number of years. These monies cannot be withdrawn unless you wish to surrender or terminate the policy.

We select the 3 Best Investment-Linked Insurance/101 Wrapper Plans base on 3 basic criteria:

  • Provision of start-up and loyalty bonuses
  • Access to Accredited Investor Funds
  • Low Breakeven Yield

Best Investment-Linked Plan for Free Principal Protection


HSBC Life Wealth Abundance
Primary Charges

Account Maintenance Fee  – 2.1% p.a. first 10 years 0.6% p.a. 11th year onwards

Charges exclude fund management fees, and early surrender fees and other partial withdrawal fees.

Few things to take note

The HSBC Wealth Abundance is a new addition to the suite of HSBC Life Investment Linked Policies. If you are looking to grow your wealth through investments to confidently meet your financial goals while protecting yourself and your loved ones, HSBC Wealth Abundance comprehensive range of benefits allows you to optimize your investment returns, create additional income streams, and enjoy peace of mind with extensive life protection coverage.

What we like
  1. Dividend pay-out option – If dividend funds are selected, HSBC Life Wealth Abundance allows you to choose whether to receive dividends in cash or to reinvest them. This flexibility can provide you with additional liquidity and allow you to access funds in case of an emergency without incurring any additional charges.
  2. Access to Accredited Investors Funds – The HSBC Life Wealth Abundance allows retail investors to access Accredited Investor (A.I) Funds such as Fundsmith SICAV. Such funds are not accessible regardless of platforms for retail investors.
  3. No Cost of Insurance for Principal Death Protection – This feature is a huge benefit to cost sensitive investors who wish to annuitize by converting the plan to a dividend focus strategy while keeping principal intact till their end of life. Enjoy free protection due to accidental death for up to 200% of your total premium paid or account value.
  4. Loyalty, Powered up & Upfront Bonus – Start-up bonus of up to 12% p.a., monthly power-up bonuses (0.1% p.a. from 5th year), and loyalty bonuses (0.3% p.a. from 11th year)
  5. Premium Holidays – Policyholders will be eligible for premium holiday from the 37th month onwards for a period of 60 month, during the 10 year Minimum Investment Period, this effectively makes this product a 5 pay with additional 5 years lock in.
What we don’t like
  1. Lowest Start Up Bonuses – One of the key benefits of insurance-linked investments (ILPs) is the extremely high start up bonuses given by some insurer. With up to 12% start up bonus, this plan is the lowest in the market.
  2. Account Maintenance Fees Base on AUA – Unfortunately, even though the charges are generally low for ILP, the downside of the AUA charge is that if your investment performs well, the higher the charges will be vs each dollar invested.

Best Investment-Linked Plan for Low Charges

Etiqa Insurance

Etiqa Invest Builder
Primary Charges

Policy Charges – 2.3% p.a. (deducted monthly as long as policy is inforced)

Charges exclude fund management fees, cost of insurance, and early surrender fees and other partial withdrawal fees.

Few things to take note

The Etiqa Investbuilder offers a Minimum Investment Period (MIP) of 3, 5, or 10-20 years. During the MIP, the policy must be continuously paid and in effect. The plan does offer a premium holiday option for up to 12 months or waives the early encashment charge in the event of hospitalization, critical illness, retrenchment, or total permanent disability (TPD). Dividends will be paid out if dividend-paying funds are selected as part of the portfolio and the policyholder has chosen to receive dividends.

The Etiqa ILP sets itself apart with its straightforward charging program. The product maintains a consistent charge of 2.3% p.a. until policy surrender, but the impact of these charges is offset by an upfront welcome bonus and a loyalty bonus of 2.0% p.a. starting from the 11th policy year. As a result, the effective charges decrease significantly to as low as 0.3% p.a. from the 11th year onward. This structure ensures transparency and offers policyholders the benefit of reduced charges over time, making it an attractive option for short and long-term investments into AI Funds such as Fundsmith.

Overseas Non-Resident Investors

Investing in Etiqa Investbuilder can also be done even if you’re not a Singapore Residents or are located overseas at the point of application, this feature is available to selected countries resident and nationality, for more on this feel free to make enquiry below to see if you’re eligible


What we like
  1. Generous loyalty bonuses and low breakeven yields – The policy’s loyalty bonus of 2% per year from the 11th policy year, plus additional bonuses from the 6th to 10th policy years, significantly reduce policy charges and breakeven yields
  2. Life replacement option – The Etiqa Investbuilder offers the flexibility of replacing the policyholder with a spouse or child. This feature allows you to pass on the benefits of the policy to a loved one if you are no longer able to make the best use of it.
  3. Access to AI funds and managed portfolios – Retail investors can access AI funds through the Etiqa Investbuilder, which are typically not available to retail investors through other platforms. The plan also offers access to curated portfolio funds based on the individual’s risk profile.
  4. Dividend distribution – Dividends will be distributed to the policyholder within 30 days of the dividend declaration date, subject to a minimum amount of $40, if a dividend-paying fund is chosen.”

What we don’t like

  1. Inflexibility During Premium Payment Term – There is limited flexibility when a 10-20 year premium term is selected. While dividends can be paid out, the principal remains locked in for the full policy term unless there is a life contingency situation
  2. Low Upfront Bonus – While other insurers offer triple-digit upfront bonuses, the Etiqa Investbuilder may not be as generous in this regard. However, its loyalty bonuses more than make up for this and the plan has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, breakeven yields of any investment-linked policy (ILP) plans on the market

Best Investment-Linked Plan with Retrenchment Benefit and High Upfront Bonus

Best Investment linked insurance policy

TM #goAffluence
Primary Charges

Initial Charge – 0.35% – 0.85% p.a. x Initial Account Value x Number of Policy Term (this is charged on the first 24 months of the initial account market value)

Policy Charge – 1.2% x Annualised Commited Regular Premium x Number of Policy Term

Charges exclude fund management fees, cost of insurance, and early surrender fees and other partial withdrawal fees.

Few things to take note

In today’s uncertain global climate, it can be challenging to know how to invest your money when your own job may be at risk. The saying “buy the dip” is not a matter of whether, but a matter of how, especially when the likelihood of unexpected financial setbacks increases during economic turmoil.

One solution to this problem may be TM #goAffluence. Have you ever thought about how to continue investing when the market is down and you lose your job due to retrenchment?

TM #goAffluence and FWD Invest First Plus share similarities in their charging structure, as they were the first two to introduce the Annualised Committed Regular Premium (ACRP) approach. However, the key difference lies in the initial policy charge. TM charges based on the value of the Initial Unit Account, which includes the first 24-month contributions, whereas FWD charges based on the Annualised Committed Regular Premium for both the initial and policy charges. Consequently, in an up market, TM policies will incur higher charges, while during a down market, TM policies will experience lower overall charges. This variation in charging mechanism allows for different cost implications depending on the market conditions, providing policyholders with a unique perspective when considering their investment strategy.

Comprehensive Write-up

What we like

  1. Premium Flexibility & Liquidity – With the exception of the IUA (Initial Unit Account) which is the first 24 months premium, liquidity of the product begins from the 25th This means you may stop premium payment, make partial withdrawal, take unlimited premium holidays or even reduce your subsequent premiums to the minimum amount without any extra charges. However, this will affect the subsequent loyalty bonuses being allocated to your investment in the long run. Initial and Policy charges will continue to be levied from the funds
  2. Up to 296% upfront Bonuses – When the policy is in force, an initial bonus will be paid out over two policy year from 50% per annum to a max of 148% per annum on the annual premium paid.
  3. Retrenchment Benefit  – Tokio Marine #goAffluence is the first policy to offer premium waivers in the event of retrenchment. If the policy has been in effect for at least 24 months and no premium holidays have been taken, and the policyowner becomes unemployed for at least 30 consecutive days, future regular premiums will be waived for up to 12 months. The premium waivers will begin on the next premium due date after approval of the retrenchment benefit application. In other words, Tokio Marine will pay for your policy for up to 12 months if you are eligible for this retrenchment benefit
  4. Access to Accredited Investors Funds – The TM #goAffluence allows retail investors to access Accredited Investor (A.I) Funds such as Fundsmith SICAV & Baillie Gifford. Such funds are not accessible regardless of platforms for retail investors. This means that as a retail investor, you will cut through the red tapes and be automatically granted access to AI funds through the wrapper functionality of the plan.
  5. Accidental Death and Medical Reimbursement  – If the policyholder dies due to an injury within 180 days of the date of the accident while the policy is in effect and before the policy anniversary on which the policyholder turns age 75, Tokio Marine will pay an accidental death benefit based on the annualized regular premium, up to a maximum of $100,000 and two times the sum assured. This benefit also applies if the policyholder dies in an accident while traveling on any mode of transportation covered under the policy. Tokio Marine also offers medical reimbursement of up to $2,500 per accident for inpatient treatment and up to $500 per accident for outpatient treatment, including chiropractic and traditional Chinese medicine, in the event of an accident.

What we don’t like

  1. Initial Account Charges Levied on Total AUM – The initial account charges are relatively low during the first few years. However, it’s essential for investors to be aware that these charges are calculated based on the total account value multiplied by the policy year and a specific percentage. Additionally, your overall policy charges may vary significantly, particularly when premium holidays are taken into consideration, with the entire assets under management (AUM) being factored in. It’s crucial for investors to carefully consider these charges and their potential impact on the overall investment performance and returns.
  2. No Immediate Dividend Pay-out – This plan does not allow for immediate receipt of dividends from dividend-paying funds. However, it does offer the flexibility of making partial withdrawals on your investment starting from the 25th month without incurring any early withdrawal fees.

Based on our analysis, if you prioritize low charges and are comfortable with a less flexible investment strategy, Etiqa Invest Builder may be the most suitable option. On the other hand, if you have a longer investment horizon and value high flexibility and upfront bonuses, TM #goAffluence offers better benefits. HSBC Life Wealth Abundance provides a balance between flexibility and low overall investment cost. However, it is crucial to carefully consider your long-term priorities and factors before selecting a policy, as these plans do not guarantee the principal in case of premature termination or even after the minimum commitment period. Returns are all subjected to market conditions, and it is recommended to seek clarification from agents or financial advisors regarding the associated charges before making a commitment.

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