Serious Illness Protection is an important benefit to have, and now the illnesses you can be covered for have increased with one provider, Royal London, having added an additional 7 serious illnesses to their policy including Drug Resistant Epilepsy & Severe Sepsis. They ahve also updated their Partial Payment Serious Illnesses by adding 6 illness now including Diabetes Type 1 & Severe Mental Illness - that is not provided by any other provider.
Claiming for an illness under the partial illnesses provides a payment of up to €15,000 and this will not affect your overall Serious Illness Benefit. therefore you will be covered for 40 partial illnesses for free under your policy.
With this your children receive FREE Specified Illness Protection up to age 18, or 21 if in full time education, and they are cover from birth.
For more information on Specified Serious Illness Cover and to get your quote feel free to contact us!
There is a significant amount of money sitting unclaimed in pension schemes in Ireland, a quick search of the internet and you’ll find the amount of these ranges anywhere between €500million and €1billion. Unfortunately unlike in other countries, there is no central register of old pension schemes in Ireland that you can access and find the necessary information. This lack of a central service has been raised by politicians over the years, but with no success as yet.
This money is owned by the beneficiaries – most often ex-employees. It’s really important to remember that all of this money is held in trust and completely separate to the assets of the employer. So even if the company is no longer in existence, the money is still sitting there somewhere, waiting to be claimed by its owner – the ex-employee.
You might dismiss for example a tiny amount from early in your career as not worth the hassle to chase up. However time and compound interest do wonderful things to pensions funds - Albert Einstein once said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world”. If you assume for a minute that you left your first employer at age 30 and left behind your pension fund with €10,000 in it. The company may be gone, you’ve no idea where to start looking for the money and don’t think it’s worth the hassle. However if the fund grows on average by 5% p.a. and you retire at age 65, it will then be worth over €55,000. Now that is definitely worth chasing! The benefits may be even more valuable if they were built up in a Defined Benefit pension scheme.
Probably the biggest frustration for many people in this situation is that it is not easy to find and claim old pension scheme benefits. Your old employer from 20/30 years ago may no longer be in existence, and you may not know who the pension scheme administrators were. Quite often, people have simply binned any correspondence that they got over the years. This can turn out to be an expensive mistake.
So what should you do if your old employer is no longer in existence and you want to track down your benefits?
This is a really important step. Retain any scheme benefit statements that you get for your pension scheme and retain contact details of the scheme administrators. Remember when you move house etc. to keep them updated of your changed contact details. Also if you change your name when you get married, it makes sense to get them to update their records.
Talk to old colleagues
If you have no paperwork, quite often you will find that a slightly older ex-colleague may well have faced this exact same situation themselves in the recent past. Reach out to them – they just might be able to save you a whole heap of work by passing on the details of the pensions scheme administrator.
Contact The Pensions Authority
If all else fails, contact The Pensions Authority who regulate most of the pension schemes in Ireland. They may be able to help you track down the administrators of your old scheme.
As mentioned earlier it is usually well worth the trouble of chasing up on these old benefits. It could produce a really nice boost to your other pension funds.
With Ulster Bank and KBC planning to leave the Irish market, there are a range of options available for those customers looking to switch their savings on deposit to savings and investment products.
In 2021, Ulster Bank Ireland announced it would commence a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland over the coming years. Announcing its plans to exit the Irish market, Ulster Bank Chief Executive Officer, Jane Howard said there would be no immediate change to customers as changes will happen over the coming years. “Ulster Bank will continue to offer a full banking service in our branches, online and through normal channels for existing and new customers for the foreseeable future,” she said.
Since then, Permanent TSB announced that they had signed a memorandum of understanding with Ulster Bank-owner Nat West to acquire non-tracker mortgages, SME loans and Ulster Bank branches.
Following on from the news that Ulster Bank is to exit the Irish market, KBC informed its customers that Bank of Ireland would acquire KBC Bank Ireland’s performing loan assets (including performing mortgages, commercial and consumer loans), deposits and a small number of non-performing mortgages. Ultimately, this means that KBC Group will withdrawal from the Irish market too.
Although both banks have said that customers can continue to do their usual banking with them and will be notified well in advance when changes to their accounts are due to happen, customers may be left wondering what the next steps are for them.
Switching from your bank
If you have money on deposit with either Ulster Bank or KBC, now might be a good time to consider switching and saving elsewhere. Wouldn’t it make sense to be in control of this and make the move yourself in good time and to a saving and investment provider of your choice?
Moving your Ulster Bank or KBC investment now rather than later means you will have time to consider your choices and find an alternative that suits you and your financial needs Alternatives to bank deposit accounts Given that Ulster Bank and KBC are exiting the Irish market, it’s timely to look at other alternatives. If you have a large amount of money on deposit making very little interest, now might be the right time to consider investing in funds. Historically, saving on deposit in banks has often been considered a safe option, however it also means that your return on investment is often quite low. While savings on deposit will give you a predictable, low rate of interest, you only get a little extra on top of what you put in. But when you invest your money in a fund, that little extra on top, can become a lot extra. Funds aim to grow your savings faster than interest rates offered by regular savings on deposit. Funds can be riskier investments to money on deposit in banks. Your investment in a fund could go down as well as up. But they do have the potential of higher returns. Cash is considered safe because the amount of money in your bank deposit will never fall. However, the value of your money on a bank deposit can fall. This happens when inflation is high. High inflation means the price of goods increase, for example, your weekly shop costs more due to the price of milk, bread and cereal increasing. If you have money saved in a bank and have it ear marked for a future purpose, high inflation could mean that when you go to spend the money, the item that you are purchasing may be more expensive than what you put aside for it. Therefore, investing in funds is a common strategy used to ensure your money is not eroded by inflation. Grow your savings over time You can choose the risk level of your funds. You can find funds with steady consistent growth, and funds that offer more potential for higher long-term gains. The higher the potential for growth, the riskier the fund, and your investment could go up or down.
For more information on savings and investments speak to us today!
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