Standard Life has cut annual bonuses on its with-profits rates and introduced a queuing system for policy-holders who want to transfer out of its property fund.
The pensions and insurance provider said the bonus cuts are a response to the dramatic plunge in the stock markets over 2008, while the changes to the property fund are down to a lack of buyers in the market.
Bonus growth rates on life plans that do not have a three per cent unit price-growth guarantee are now 1.5 per cent, compared to a previous growth of two per cent.
On unitised with-profits pensions, bonus growth rates are now two per cent, from a previous 2.5 per cent.
Margaret Flaherty, with-profits communications manager for Standard Life, said: "2008 was a poor year for investment returns, with the FTSE All Share Index falling 32.8 per cent over the year.
"We have therefore made changes to final bonus rates and some annual bonus rates to ensure we continue to treat all our with-profits customers fairly."
Annual bonuses on conventional with-profits plans have reduced slightly for life plans, with attached bonuses falling to 0.35 per cent from 0.5 per cent, and remaining unchanged for pension plans.
Standard Life also said those wanting to switch, transfer or surrender from its UK Unit Linked Life and Pension Property Funds will have to wait for up to six months to receive their cash.
The insurer said it is introducing the system because commercial properties, which the fund invests in, are taking longer to sell and are achieving less.
John Gill, managing director of customer services, said: "Our decision to introduce a queuing system on some of our property funds is designed to ensure fairness. While this is an established method of dealing with such a situation, we also appreciate it is an unwelcome one for some investors.
"However, failure to act now would increase the risk of us not being able to achieve the best deal for all investors in the fund, including those who intend to remain invested over the long-term."
Friends Provident, AEGON, Axa and Scottish Widows all introduced queuing systems at the end of 2007 or beginning of 2008.