Since you ask.
In about 1992 I joined my employer's group personal pension plan. They pay in 8% of my salary and I pay 5%. Is my money safe if my employer goes under? I am concerned because I have seen so much adverse publicity on people losing their pensions when a company goes bust.
Every month your employer is required to pay the contributions to the personal pension scheme provider.
Once received, it is invested in your scheme in the funds you will have selected. It is yours and your employer does not have access to it. Also, even if your employer fails, the receiver cannot touch your pension fund either.
Mr K B from Stakeford asks:
Some years ago I took out a whole life insurance policy. At the time, I was married but I have since divorced.
I have kept the policy going as it will pay out pounds 50,000 when I die and is really now to provide something for my children who are all still under 18.
How can I ensure that the proceeds will definitely go to them and how quickly would they get it?
If the policy is not written in trust, the proceeds would form part of your estate and be distributed in accordance with your will once probate has been obtained.
I'd suggest you arrange for the policy to be placed into trust so that the proceeds would then be paid to your trustees almost immediately after your death. If any of your children are still under 18 at the time, your trustees would need to invest their share until they reach 18.
The life company who your policy is with should have suitable draft trust wordings. An independent financial adviser or your solicitor will be able to help you complete these documents.
Miss W M from Washington asks:
I have been reading that it is now possible to invest into property via personal equity plans (Peps) and individual savings accounts (Isas).
I have a Pep that I took out over 10 years ago which has been quite volatile and I was thinking of making a switch to a property fund, but the company I am with tell me that they do not have one. As you cannot now take out new Peps, what are my options?
Funds that invest in `bricks and mortar' were made allowable investments in Peps and Isas at the end of December.
Whilst it is not possible to take out new Peps, it is possible to transfer your existing Pep to an alternative plan manager. An independent financial adviser will be able to help by selecting a suitable property fund most in keeping with your risk profile.
* Investors Guide is a booklet with information on all aspects of investment and is available to readers.
For your free copy, freephone (0800) 074-5489 or write to me at Rutherford Wilkinson Plc, 21-23 Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1NT.
Please also write with queries you'd like answered. Rutherford Wilkinson Plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.