Author: Gerard

Executive Pensions

In terms of making pension provision, sole traders are generally restricted to personal pension plans and PRSAs. There are strict limits on how much they can contribute to their pension and as to how they can take benefits at retirement.   Company owners may, however, have much greater pension flexibility. If they take a salary from the company, they will more than likely have the option of setting up what is called an executive pension plan. This is usually a one-person scheme that is set up under the company name with the company owner as both member and trustee....

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Mortgage Life Cover

Mortgage life cover or mortgage term assurance as it is also known is usually a requirement made by a lending institution before they will release funds you have agreed to borrow for the purchase of a home.   In simple terms it is an insurance policy that will pay the outstanding amount owed on a home loan on the death of a mortgage holder. Occasionally there may be an excess balance remaining from the life cover which would be paid to the next of kin or to the estate but this is usually a very small amount. The main difference between...

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Savings Vs Pensions

Why should a person save to a pension instead of a savings account and vice versa? There is an argument for both cases but I will briefly outline some essential differences here.   Savings Account/Policy These are usually for a shorter term than pensions. The money saved is usually accessible either on the spot or within a few days of request. However, beware of early encashment penalties on some accounts or policies. Savings accounts or savings policies tend to be better options for short to medium term goals, for example, children’s education costs, a new car, a deposit for...

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Reducing Investment Risk

In a world of low to zero interest deposit accounts and few capital secure investment options, from the outside it appears not to be a good time for the low risk investor. However, this is not necessarily true. Many people, when they think about investing, automatically envision large scale and high-risk products that are completely out of sync with their needs in terms of capital preservation or growth. This does not need to be the case!   Investments are generally risk rated on a scale of 1 to 7 with 1 representing the lowest possible risk and 7 being...

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Options When Leaving Pensionable Employment

If you change jobs and move to a new employer, you may be leaving a pension scheme with your previous employer. What you may not know is that upon leaving, you have a number of options regarding this pension, known as a retained benefit. The main ones are as follows:   Leave it as is One option involves doing nothing and leaving your pension as is. It will continue to be invested in line with the scheme strategy and you may be able to take benefits from the age of 50 onwards (see below). However, there are a number...

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