Standard Life, Europe's biggest mutual insurer, said it was continuing to reposition its business after seeing a further jump in sales of self-investment pensions and investment bonds.
Figures for the final three months of 2005 showed the p lanned rise in single premium-based business was offset by a decline in areas such as individual pensions as Standard gets itself ready for a stock market flotation in the summer.
Overall in 2005, UK life and pensions business increased b y three per cent to £908 million, following a decline of 12 per cent to £221 million in the final quarter after Standard cut commission levels on individual and group pensions.
Chief executive Sandy Crombie said: "Our full year results show a clear shift in our core life and pensions business towards investment-driven single premium business.
" We have made good progress in 2005 in developing products that will further alter the balance of our business."
Sales of self-investment personal pensions (SIPPs) - allowing policyholders to make their own investment decisions - underpinned life and pensions business by taking more than £1 billion.
The fourth quarter figure rose to £329 million from £117 million.
Standard said it believed SIPPs would continue to sell strongly, despite a recent Government decision to exclude residential property from the list of approved investments.
"Property would have given it a bigger benefit but the product has been doing very well and we expect the d emand from A-Day to increase," finance director Alison Reed said.
A-Day, on April 6, is the day when new pensions tax changes are introduced.
Sales of single premium investment bonds also topped £1 billion after a gain of 23 per cent to £386 million in the final three months of the year.
The repositioning of Standard Life has seen it concentrate on higher margin business rather than chase volumes - leading to its decision to cut commission paid to independent financial advisers on group and individual pensions.
The society - founded in 1821 - has also cut more than 2,000 jobs and axed its direct sales force as part of other attempts to boost profitability.
Edinburgh-based Standard announced in October that it planned to demutualise in a move that should net windfalls for about 2.4 million policyholders. The repositioning has seen it concentrate on higher margin business rather than chase volumes - leading to its decision to cut commission paid to independent financial advisers on group and individual pensions.
It had an 8.3 per cent share of the UK life and pensions market in the first nine months of 2005, down from 8.8 per cent in the same period the year before.
Commenting on the 2005 figures, Roman Cizdyn, an analyst at Oriel Securities, said: "As expected they are redoing their portfolio to focus on the profitable business and that's why there's a continued collapse in individual pensions.
"They have to focus on profitability and that's clearly what they're about now."
Qualifying policyholders are expected to receive windfalls averaging £500 when the society floats on the stock market in the summer.
It is being forced to demutualise in order to rebuild its capital base to meet stricter r ules imposed by the Government.