In this section

active member (of a pension scheme)

A member of a pension scheme for whom contributions are being paid, and/or pension benefits are accruing.

additional bonus

A bonus that may be added to a with-profits policy when it is surrendered or matures. The amount of bonus paid (if any) depends on the performance of the investments (and other profits and losses of the fund) over the term of the policy and is not guaranteed. This is sometimes known as a final, maturity or terminal bonus.

additional rights

The benefits built up in a money purchase pension scheme from contributions made by the policyholder or their employer.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC)

Extra contributions paid by a member of an occupational pension scheme to provide benefits in retirement, in addition to the main scheme benefits.

administrator (for a deceased person's estate)

If a person has died without making a will, the next of kin can apply to the Probate Registry of the High Court for letters of administration, which is a legal ‘grant of representation’ that appoints them as the administrator to deal with the deceased person’s estate. The administrator can claim the proceeds of any life and some pension policies owned by the deceased person, which are not in trust or subject to an assignment.

In Scotland, the administrator is called the ‘executor dative’ and the grant of representation is called the ‘confirmation’.

adviser

Someone who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to establish your needs and your circumstances and advise you on suitable products to meet your financial objectives. An adviser can either recommend products from one company, (a’ tied adviser’) or a number of companies (an independent financial adviser).

age-related rebate

A payment the Government makes to your company pension scheme, personal pension plan or stakeholder pension if you are contracted-out of the State Second Pension (S2P). The amount you receive depends on your age at the start of the tax year and how much you earn.

allocation rate

For unit-linked policies, the percentage of your premium that is invested.

Alternatively Secured Pension (ASP)

Until 6 April 2011, this was pension income drawn directly from a money purchase pension fund by someone aged 75 or over while their fund remains invested. On 6 April 2011, it was replaced by drawdown pension.

annual allowance (pension)

The maximum amount that can be paid into a pension(s) each year and receive tax relief from the Government. This covers all the pension contributions made, not just those paid into an employer’s scheme. The annual allowance for 2013/14 is £50,000. From tax year 2014/15 this reduces to £40,000

annual allowance charge

The tax you will pay if your pension savings exceed the annual allowance. Tax is charged at your marginal rate.

annual bonus

A bonus that may be added to conventional with-profits policies once a year. However, the allocation of bonuses depends on the performance of the fund and we can’t guarantee that a bonus will be added every year but once a bonus is added, it cannot be taken away. For more information on annual bonuses, visit our customer centre, select your former policy provider and look in the ‘general information’ section.

Annual Management Charge (AMC)

An amount we charge each year (usually a percentage of the amount you have invested) for managing your fund.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

A rate of annual interest used by lenders, which takes account of the set up and continuing costs of a loan over its entire term.

annuitant

A person who receives an annuity for a specified term (a temporary annuity) or for the remainder of their life (a lifetime annuity).

annuity (policy)

When your pension policy matures, you will usually use the money built up in your pension fund to buy a ‘lifetime annuity’ that will give you a regular income in retirement for the rest of your life. The term annuity also refers to the regular income you receive from your annuity policy.

annuity escalation

An annuity can increase each year, either by a fixed amount, such as 3% or linked to a measure of inflation. The rate at which an annuity will increase each year when it is being paid is known as an ‘annuity escalation rate’

annuity guaranteed period

Annuity policies may include a guarantee which means that the income is paid for a minimum number of years, even if you die.

annuity rates

The rates that determine the amount of income an annuity provides, typically for each £100 or £1,000 of fund value. Annuity rates offered by different providers vary and change regularly.

asset allocation

The proportion of a fund that is invested in each asset class.

asset class

The different types of asset that are included in an investment fund, for example,  property, bank (cash) deposits, company shares (equities), fixed interest stocks / bonds including bonds or securities issued by the UK Government (gilts) and loans to companies (corporate bonds).

asset mix

The type of assets the fund is invested in.

assets

Investments in a fund (see also asset mix, asset class and asset allocation).

assign / assignment / assignation / assignee

If you assign your policy, you transfer all the rights to receive benefits and rights of the policy to a new owner (known as the ‘assignee’). ‘Assignment’ or ‘assignation’ is the act of assigning a policy.

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

An organisation that represents the interests of the UK’s insurance industry. The association speaks out on issues of common interest, helps to guide debates on public policy and promotes high standards of customer service in the insurance industry. Visit the ABI’s website at www.abi.org.uk

assumed final bonus

The final bonus we assume will be paid when we estimate the value of an investment.

assumed regular bonus

The regular bonus we assume will be paid when we estimate the value of an investment.

beneficiary

This stands for ‘Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services’ but is now generally only used in its abbreviated form. It is a way of transferring money electronically from one UK bank account to another. Payments take three working days to clear. They are entered into the system on the first day, processed on the second day and cleared on the third day.

Bank of England base rate

The main interest rate that the Bank of England charges banks for secured overnight lending. It is used as a guide for other interest rates.

basis amount (pensions)

The amount on which the maximum income withdrawal and capped drawdown is based. It broadly matches the amount of income a pension fund would provide if it was used to buy an annuity.

beneficiary (beneficiaries)

A person or persons entitled to receive money/benefits from a policy or from a deceased person’s estate. A ‘nominated’ beneficiary is a person who is named in a policy or a person’s will to receive benefits.

bid / offer spread

In a unit-linked fund, the price you can buy units at (offer price) is usually higher than the price you can sell them at (bid price). The bid / offer spread is the difference between the two.

bid price

The price that you receive when you cash in or surrender (sell) units in a unit-linked policy.

blood relative

Someone who is related to you through a common ancestor rather than by marriage or adoption, e.g. you have common parents or grandparents.

bond

A type of policy where you pay a single premium. These policies have no fixed term (open ended) and can be surrendered at any time. We will pay the sum assured (or death benefit) when you die.

bondholder

The legal owner of a bond. This may include trustees of a pension scheme.

bonus

The share of the profits added to with-profits policies.

bonus units

Units that can be added to a unitised with-profits policy to increase its value.

capital gain

The amount of money made if an asset (such as a building or company shares) is sold for more than it cost (the investment profit).

capital gains tax

A tax charged on the profit made by selling assets e.g. a business, a second home or shares. Everyone is allowed to make a certain level of profit each year before capital gains tax is charged. The allowance is £10,900 for the 2013/14 tax year. The sale of your main home is exempt in most cases as you may qualify for Private Residence Relief.

capital units

Units that can be allocated to a unit-linked (or unitised with-profits) policy in the first two years (typically). There are extra charges for these units to cover the selling and set up costs for the policy.

capped drawdown

One of the two types of drawdown pension, available under some money purchase pension schemes, that allow you to take an income directly from the pension fund while leaving the fund invested, instead of buying an annuity. Under this type, there is a maximum amount that can be drawn each year which is capped at 100% of the basis amount. The other type of drawdown pension is flexible drawdown.

carry forward (pensions)

An option which enables you to have pension savings in a tax year which exceed the annual allowance without having to pay tax. It is only available where pension savings in one or more of the preceding three tax years were below the annual allowance. The unused allowance is carried forward into the current tax year.

cash in value

The amount you might get if you surrender or cancel an investment or life insurance policy. Pension policies cannot normally be cashed in and can only be transferred to another pension provider. You should think carefully before cashing in your policy. We recommend you seek independent financial advice before you do.

chain of succession

The order in which next of kin can apply for legal authority to handle a relative’s estate when they have died without leaving a will.

chargeable event

A chargeable event will normally arise on a non-qualifying policy. For example, when you cash the policy in or if the life assured dies. If a chargeable event occurs, we need to send a chargeable event certificate to you and a copy to HM Revenue & Customs. This certificate is used to work out whether you need to pay any tax in excess of the basic rate.

charges

There are a number of ways in which companies can charge for financial services. These include allocation rate, annual management fee and the bid / offer spread.

civil partner

Someone who has entered into a formal arrangement (known as ‘civil partnership’) with a same-sex partner.

claimant

A person who is claiming money/benefits from a policy or policies.

closed life funds

Put simply, a life fund is one that contains longer-term investment policies and pensions. When a fund is ‘closed’, energy is focused on existing customers, rather than attracting new ones.

commission

An amount of money paid to an adviser or salesperson who advises you to buy a financial product.

compound interest

When interest is charged or earned it can be ‘simple’ or ‘compound’. Compound means that interest is also charged (or earned) on any previous interest.

confirmation (Scotland)

In Scotland, if a person has died and their estate is in probate, their next of kin can apply to the Sheriff's Court for ‘confirmation. This is a legal document that appoints them as the ‘executor dative’ to deal with the deceased person’s estate. Every part of the deceased person’s estate should be written in the inventory attached to this document.  There can be an extra page called an ‘eik’, which contains details of any amendments to the inventory identified at a later date.

consolidator (of closed life funds)

Phoenix Life describes itself as a ‘consolidator’ of closed life funds. This means that we bring together closed life funds from different companies for the benefit of all customers.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI)

This is now the key official measure of inflation. It is calculated each month by taking a sample of goods and services that a typical household might buy including food, heating, household goods and travel costs, but excluding mortgage costs. The size of the rise (or fall) in the index determines the rate of inflation (or deflation). The previous key measure was the Retail Price Index (RPI).

contracting out

A term used to describe policyholders who are contracted out of the State Second Pension (S2P). The Government pays a rebate into a pension arrangement of the policyholder’s choice (company scheme, personal pension plan or stakeholder pension). From 6 April 2012, this option will no longer be available to members of a money purchase pension scheme, such as a personal pension.

conventional with profits

A type of with-profits policy which has a sum assured or guaranteed cash sum (in other words, an amount we promise to pay you, so long as you pay all the premiums due for the term of your policy).

conventional with-profits

A type of with-profits policy which has a sum assured or guaranteed cash sum (in other words, an amount we promise to pay you, so long as you pay all the premiums due for the term of your policy).

critical illness

A type of insurance policy that will pay you a fixed amount, usually as a lump sum, if you are diagnosed with one of a number of certain severe illnesses (specified in the insurance policy).

Crown copyright

The format of official documents like birth, marriage, death and civil partnership certificates are protected by ‘Crown copyright’. As such, the UK Government (the ‘Crown’) places restrictions on how you can reproduce these documents and how they can be used. For example, the rules say that you cannot use reproductions of these certificates to provide evidence of birth, death, marriage or civil partnership. This is why we ask for original certificates when you are claiming on your policy, looking to change your name etc. More information is available on the Government’s National Archives website.

Customer Friendly Principles and Practices of Financial Management (CFPPFM)

We refer to these documents as ‘guides to how we manage the with-profits funds’. They give you information about how with-profits funds are managed and have been available to with-profits policyholders since 2006.

Customer Impact Scheme

This is a scheme that was run by the Association of British Insurers from 2006 to 2010 as part of our industry’s commitment to monitor and improve customer satisfaction.

daily bonus

A regular bonus that may be added each day which usually represents 1/365th of an annual bonus rate.

Data Protection Act 1998

An Act of Parliament that sets out the rules an organisation has to follow when they store or use information about people. This act also gives a person certain rights to see information about them and to have incorrect information corrected.

death benefits

The amount paid out on death if an insured person dies.

decreasing term

Some life insurance policies are for a fixed length of time (term) and pay you a fixed lump sum if you die during that time. With a decreasing term policy, the amount paid out if you die reduces over the term. At the end of the term, the policy typically has no value.

deed poll

A legal document that can be used in the UK to change your name.

deed of assignment

A document that transfers benefits or rights from one party to another. Once signed, it becomes legally binding.

deferred benefits

The delayed payment of a pension. This is delayed until the policyholder is ready to start taking it.

deferred period

For income protection policies, the period after the policyholder first becomes ill or unable to work and has not recovered before any income is paid.

defined benefit (pension scheme)

A type of company pension provided by some employers. The amount you receive at retirement generally depends on how long you have been a scheme member and how much you are earning shortly before you retire. These are also called final salary schemes.

defined contribution (pension scheme)

A type of pension scheme where the pension amount at retirement depends on the amount of money paid into it, and the investment growth. Also known as a money purchase pension scheme.

demutualisation

The process by which a mutual company (one that is owned by its members) becomes a publicly-traded company (one that is quoted on the stock exchange and is owned by shareholders).

 

dependant

An individual who is financially dependent on another person.

dependant’s pension

An annuity may allow for the income you are receiving to continue to be paid to your spouse or dependants after your death, though usually at a lower level.

direct debit

Payments you make direct from your bank account under the authority of a direct debit instruction.

disclosure of costs

An investment company is required to tell you the total cost of taking out a product or policy with them, including any commission paid to an adviser.

diversification

The practice of spreading investments across different asset classes to create a balance of risk and return in an investment portfolio.

drawdown pension

The option, under some money purchase pension schemes, to draw an income directly from the pension fund while leaving the fund invested, instead of buying an annuity. It replaced both alternatively secured pension and unsecured pension, from 6 April 2011. There are two types of drawdown pension, a flexible drawdown and a capped drawdown.

emolument

Payment of some other kind of benefit instead of money.

endowment assurance / policy (with-profits)

A savings product that usually includes life cover. It pays you at least a fixed amount if you die before the policy matures or, at maturity, the sum assured (in other words, the amount we promise to pay you, so long as you pay all the premiums due for the term of your policy) plus any bonuses that may have been added over the term.

endowment assurance / policy (with profits)

A savings product that usually includes life cover. It pays you at least a fixed amount if you die before the policy matures or, at maturity, the sum assured (in other words, the amount we promise to pay you, so long as you pay all the premiums due for the term of your policy) plus any bonuses that may have been added over the term.

enhanced allocation rate

An increased amount of premium used to buy units in a unit-linked policy, usually because the policyholder’s adviser has given up some of their commission.

enhanced annuity

Some companies offer better annuity rates and higher than normal levels of income to people who have made certain lifestyle choices (e.g. smoking), followed certain occupations, or who have had certain medical conditions. Also known as an impaired life annuity.

enhanced protection (pensions)

An option to help protect pension rights built up before 6 April 2006 from the lifetime allowance charge. The option was open until 5 April 2009, but only to people who stopped building up additional pension rights after 5 April 2006. Protection must be registered with HM Revenue & Customs.

equities

A general name for company stocks and shares.

Equity Backing Ratio (EBR) of a with-profits fund

The variable proportion of an investment fund that is invested in equities and property.

Equity Backing Ratio (EBR) of a with profits fund

The variable proportion of an investment fund that is invested in equities and property.

equity release

A way to release some of the value of your property to spend while you are alive. It is generally only suitable for people who own their property but have little in the way of other assets or income.

escalating annuities

Regular increases to pension income by a fixed percentage or an increase linked to an index or a measure of inflation.

estate (of a deceased person)

When a person dies, their ‘estate’ is everything they own (except, in most circumstances, anything owned jointly with another person), less any liabilities, including their main residence, the value of any assets and most money given away by them within the seven years before the date they died. The estate also includes all bank accounts, insurance policies, unit trusts, individual savings accounts (ISAs), personal equity plans (PEPs) and annuities, but not personal pensions, unless we advise you otherwise. More information is available from HM Revenue and Customs.

estate (with-profits funds)

Some of our with-profits funds have an ‘estate’. The estate is a pot of  money or ‘surplus held in a particular with-profits fund which is over and above the amount needed to pay the total value of the policy benefits due to policyholders when the policies mature or are surrendered or transferred. For some funds, we have started to distribute the estate to eligible with-profits policyholders.

estate (with profits funds)

Some of our with-profits funds have an ‘estate’. The estate is a pot of  money or ‘surplus held in a particular with-profits fund which is over and above the amount needed to pay the total value of the policy benefits due to policyholders when the policies mature or are surrendered or transferred. For some funds, we have started to distribute the estate to eligible with-profits policyholders.

Estimated Maturity Value (EMV)

A projection of what you might get back from an investment. It is worked out based on assumed growth rates and future charges you may have to pay. This is an example amount and is not guaranteed. The amount you actually get back may be higher or lower than the EMV, depending on the investment returns and the period invested.

exclusions

certain conditions and/or events that a policy does not cover.

executor

Someone named in a person’s will to look after their affairs after they die. Executors’ duties can include claiming the proceeds from a deceased person’s estate and using the assets to carry out their wishes as set out in the will.

executor dative (Scotland)

The term used to refer to an administrator in Scotland i.e. a person appointed through confirmation to look after a deceased person’s estate, if they haven’t left a will.

executor nominate (Scotland)

The term used in Scotland to refer to an executor i.e. someone named in a person’s will to look after their affairs after they die. The executor nominate’s duties can include claiming the proceeds from a deceased person’s estate and using the assets to carry out their wishes as set out in the will.

final bonus

A bonus that may be added to a with-profits policy when it is surrendered or matures. The amount of bonus paid (if any) depends on the performance of the investments (and other profits and losses of the fund) over the term of the policy and is not guaranteed. This is sometimes known as an annual, maturity or terminal bonus.

final salary pension scheme

A type of company pension provided by some employers. The amount you receive at retirement generally depends on how long you have been a scheme member and how much you are earning shortly before you retire. These are also called final salary schemes.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

An independent body that regulates the financial services industry within the UK. Visit the FCA’s website at www.fca.org.uk

Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service is an independent public body that helps settle individual financial disputes between customers and businesses. For more information, visit their website at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

fixed interest securities

Financial products that promise the lender one or more fixed cash payments in the future. They may be issued by central or local Government or a company in order to raise capital.

fixed protection (pensions)

The ability to protect pension funds built up before 6 April 2014 from a lifetime allowance charge. You are given a personal lifetime allowance of £1.5m which will apply until the standard lifetime allowance (currently £1.25m) exceeds that amount, at which point your personal lifetime allowance will be increased. You must apply to HM Revenue & Customs for fixed protection by 6 April 2014 and must agree to stop accruing further pension rights, for example by making contributions, from 6 April 2014 onwards.

flexible drawdown

One of the types of drawdown pension, available under some money purchase pension schemes, that allow you to take an income directly from the pension fund while leaving the fund invested, instead of buying an annuity. Under this type, there is no limit on the amount you can draw down (take out) each year – in fact the whole fund can be withdrawn as a one-off income payment, subject to an income tax charge. You must meet the minimum income requirement to be eligible for flexible drawdown. The other type of drawdown pension is capped drawdown.

Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions (FSAVC)

If you are in your employer's pension scheme, you may be able to build up a bigger pension pot by paying extra amounts into a separate, independent scheme which is known as an FSAVC scheme.

FRS17 (Financial Reporting Standards)

The accounting standard that, from 2005, requires companies to put a market value on any pension deficits.

FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) / FTSE 100 / FTSE All-Share

Indexes showing the relative increase or decrease in the price of selected shares on the London Stock Exchange.

fund

A fund pools together the money from many individuals and then the fund manager uses it to invest in a broad range of assets.

fund manager

A fund manager invests the money investors have paid into a fund in various asset types such as cash, bonds, equities and property and depending upon on the investment objective of the fund.

fund value (of a pension)

The pot of money you have saved while you are working, to provide income after you retire. This pot is normally used to purchase an annuity to provide an income for life.

General insurance

General insurance can include home, contents, motor, travel, unemployment and accident and sickness cover.

guaranteed bonus

Once a bonus has been added to a with-profits policy it is guaranteed to be paid at the end of the policy, so long as all the premiums due under the policy are paid. It also refers to where bonus rates are guaranteed to be fixed or at least a minimum amount.

guaranteed cash sum

The minimum amount to be paid when a policyholder with a with-profits policy retires or dies, so long as all the premiums due under the policy are paid.

guaranteed fund

The minimum amount to be paid when a policyholder with a with-profits policy retires or dies, so long as all the premiums due under the policy are paid.

Guaranteed Annuity Option (GAO)

The minimum amount to be paid when a policyholder with a with-profits policy retires or dies, as long as all the premiums due under the policy are paid.

Guaranteed Annuity Rate (GAR)

The minimum amount to be paid when a policyholder with a with-profits policy retires or dies, as long as all the premiums due under the policy are paid.

guaranteed growth bonds

A policy where you can invest a lump sum for a fixed term (typically 3 to 5 years) usually with a guaranteed minimum return.

guaranteed income bonds

A policy where you can invest a lump sum for a fixed term (typically 3 to 5 years) usually with a guaranteed income of a specified amount for the length of the term.

guaranteed investment bond

A fixed term stock market linked investment with a built-in guarantee to return at least the original investment if held to maturity. This offers investors the chance to share in stock market growth potential without risking their original investment.

guaranteed minimum death benefit

The minimum amount a policy will pay out if the policyholder dies during the term of the policy, as long as they make all the payments due.

Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP)

Where a member of an earnings related pension scheme has been contracted out of the state Second Pension (S2P)pension, the pension scheme must guarantee that, at state pension age, the member’s benefits from the scheme will be at least as much as the additional pension they would have received from the state had they remained within S2P. This is known as the Guaranteed Minimum Pension or GMP.

hedge funds

These are exclusive funds with a high minimum investment level and are generally not open to the general public. They are unregulated and exempt from many of the rules surrounding a collective investment. This allows them to follow aggressive investment strategies that are unavailable to Financial Conduct Authority authorised funds. While some hedge funds operate a conservative strategy, others take risky positions on market and share movement.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

A government department formed in April 2005 following the merger of Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise. Visit the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk

illustration

A projection of what you might get back from an investment. It is worked out based on assumed growth rates and future charges you may have to pay. This is an example amount and is not guaranteed. The amount you actually get back may be higher or lower than the illustration, depending on the investment returns and the period invested.

impaired life annuity

Some companies offer better annuity rates and higher than normal levels of income to people who have made certain lifestyle choices (for example, smoking), followed certain occupations, or who have had certain medical conditions. (Also known as an enhanced annuity).

income protection

This type of policy aims to replace part of your income if you fall ill or become sufficiently disabled that you cannot carry on working. Full details of the benefits are given in the policy terms and conditions.

income tax

The tax you pay on your income each tax year. The amount of tax you pay depends on the amount of money you earn and receive from your investments and savings and on your individual tax allowances.

income withdrawals (pensions)

Until 5 April 2011, this option allowed you to draw an income directly from some money purchase pension funds while leaving the fund invested, instead of buying an annuity. This has now been replaced by drawdown pension.

increment

Extra contribution or premium on top of the original premium or contribution.

independent financial adviser

The only type of financial adviser who can choose from all the products available on the whole of the market. Phoenix Life does not provide financial advice. However, if you don't have a financial adviser, our Customer Care Team can help you find one. Call 0845 938 0515. (Low call rates apply, although costs can vary between telecom providers. Opening hours are 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday).

index-linked

An increase to annuity payments, pension benefits or premiums you pay, linked to a government index (typically the Consumer Prices Index or Retail Price Index). The purpose of index-linking is to attempt to protect you against rising costs as a result of inflation.

index tracker

An investment fund that follows a selected market index, for example the FTSE 100 index. The value of the investment will go up and down in line with the index that it is based on. There are no guarantees.

Individual Savings Account (ISA)

An ISA is a product that invests your savings in cash, equities (bonds, gilts and shares), life insurance or a combination of these. You do not pay tax on the income from an ISA, or on any money you may gain when you sell it. There are limits on the amount you can invest in ISAs in each tax year.

industrial branch

If you have a life policy and used to make (weekly) payments to a collector, you have an ‘Industrial Branch’ policy. All other life policies are classed as 'Ordinary Branch’ policies.

 

inflation

A rise in the price of goods and services meaning that the same amount of money will buy less in the future than it does today.

inheritance tax

If a person dies and the value of their estate is over the threshold or ‘nil rate band’ for inheritance tax (currently £325,000), inheritance tax may be payable on any amount over that figure.

initial units

Units that can be allocated to a unit-linked or unitised with-profits policy in the first one or two years, which  have extra charges to cover the selling and set-up costs for the policy.

intermediary

A financial intermediary is someone, such as an independent financial adviser, who arranges or organises a financial product or service for you.

intestate

A person dies ‘intestate’ if they do not leave a valid will. There are rules, laid down by law, which set out how the person’s estate must be handled.

investment performance

Returns from investments and profits and losses (growth and falls in prices) on investments.

investment return

Returns from investments and profits and losses (growth and falls in prices) on investments.

joint life

A life assurance product that provides life cover for more than one person and pays benefits either on the first or second death.

land register

A record of the registered owner of land and of whether there are any mortgages or other restrictions affecting it. The record is held by the Land Registry.

lapse / lapsed

If a policyholder stops paying a regular premium on a life assurance policy, the policy may ‘lapse’. This may be ‘with value’ or ‘without value’ depending on the type of policy and the length of time the policy has been in force.

If the policy lapses ‘with value’ the life cover may continue for a limited period, but will ultimately end if premiums are not paid. The policy will normally have some cash in value. If the policy lapses’ without value’ all life cover ceases and there is no cash in value. Full details of what happens when policyholders stop paying premiums are given in the policy terms and conditions.

Letter Of Authority (LOA)

Sent by third parties (typically independent financial advisers, or banks and building societies), to confirm they have a policyholder’s permission to get information about their policy.

letters of administration

The legal process of distributing an estate for someone who has died without leaving a will.

level term assurance

The simplest type of life assurance. If you die during the time you are covered, it pays out a specified sum of money. The premiums stay the same throughout the term. There is normally no cash surrender value.

life cover

If you have a policy that provides life cover, the policy will pay out a sum of money if the life assured on the policy dies.

Life Assurance Premium Relief (LAPR)

Tax relief on payments paid into life policies taken out before 14 March 1984.

life assured

The person on whose death the proceeds of a policy will be paid.

life expectancy

How long a person is expected to live.

life insurance

An insurance policy that pays out if you die.

lifetime allowance charge (pensions)

The tax that needs to be paid on any pension benefits that are above the standard lifetime allowance (or your personal lifetime allowance, if higher).The tax charge is 55% if the excess benefits are taken as a lump sum, or 25% if the excess is used to purchase a regular pension income.

lifetime annuity

When your pension policy matures, you will usually use the money built up in your pension fund to buy an annuity that will give you a regular income in retirement. A ‘lifetime annuity’ gives you a regular income for the rest of your life.

Limited Price Indexation (LPI)

This is a pricing index used when calculating increases to certain pensions (either in payment or deferment). The LPI is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) capped at either 5% or 2.5%.

low cost endowment

A savings product that always includes life assurance. It pays out a fixed amount, known as the sum assured, plus any bonuses at the end of a fixed term. It is designed to help pay off the capital of an interest only mortgage but doesn't guarantee to do so. The amount payable if you die during the term is normally sufficient to pay off the mortgage covered.

Market Level Adjustment (MLA)

See market value adjustment (MVA)

Market Value Adjustment (MVA)

For unitised with-profits policies, we may apply a market value adjustment (MVA) if you decide to cash-in your policy (or start taking pension benefits) early, transfer it to another company or switch it from the unitised with-profits fund into another investment fund. Full details of when an MVA may apply are given in your policy terms and conditions.

The MVA is the amount by which the cash-in value is less than the fund value. It is used to help ensure that policyholders who cash in some or all of their with-profits investments before the end of their policy term do not disadvantage the policyholders remaining in the fund.

MVAs are not normally applied when the policy is due to end, if you retire at your chosen retirement date or if you die during the term. For unitised with-profits bonds, there may also be guaranteed dates where we guarantee not to apply a MVA if you cash-in your policy.

The MVA is also sometimes known as a market value reduction (MVR)

Market Value Reduction (MVR)

For unitised with-profits policies, we may apply a market value reduction (MVR) if you decide to cash-in your policy (or start taking pension benefits) early, transfer it to another company or switch it from the unitised with-profits fund into another investment fund. Full details of when an MVR may apply are given in your policy terms and conditions.

The MVR is the amount by which the cash-in value is less than the fund value. It is used to help ensure that policyholders who cash in some or all of their with-profits investments before the end of their policy term do not disadvantage the policyholders remaining in the fund.

MVRs are not normally applied when the policy is due to end, if you retire at your chosen retirement date or if you die during the term. For unitised with-profits bonds, there may also be guaranteed dates where we guarantee not to apply a MVR if you cash-in your policy.

maturity

This is when the policy has reached the set number of years originally agreed. For pension policies, the maturity date is usually called the selected retirement date.

maturity bonus

A bonus that may be added to a with-profits policy when it is surrendered or matures. The amount of bonus paid (if any) depends on the performance of the investments (and other profits and losses of the fund) over the term of the policy and is not guaranteed. This is sometimes known as an annual, final or terminal bonus.

Minimum Income Requirement (MIR)

The minimum level of guaranteed annual income an individual must have in order to be eligible for flexible drawdown pension. This income level is currently £20,000 per year but will be reviewed periodically. Only pensions and annuities in payment that are guaranteed for life can count towards the MIR.

money purchase (pension scheme)

A type of pension scheme where the pension (income) amount at retirement depends on the amount of money paid into it, and the investment growth. Also known as a defined contribution pension scheme.

mortgage deed

The legal document you sign giving the lender the legal right to use your property as security for a mortgage.

mortgage endowment

A type of endowment policy usually linked to an interest only mortgage. The benefits are used to pay off some or all of the mortgage at the end of the term.

national insurance rebates

If you contract out of the State Second Pension (S2P), the part of the national insurance contributions paid by you and your employer to fund S2P is refunded and paid into your pension plan.

 

National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) provides financial management services to the Government in Ireland. This includes looking after the value of any unclaimed life assurance policies. For more information, visit www.ntma.ie

national insurance contributions

These are a form of tax which you pay on your earnings and are deducted at source. The money raised is used to help fund the social security system including the state pension, unemployment and the National Health Service.

net income

Income after deductions (such as tax).

net interest

Interest received from a bank or building society account after basic rate tax has been taken off. Higher rate taxpayers have to pay more tax. Non tax payers can normally reclaim the tax through their local tax office.

next of kin

Your next of kin is your closest relative, usually a spouse or registered civil partner, but if no such person exists, may be a blood relative (i.e. someone who is related to you through a common ancestor, rather than by marriage or adoption, e.g. if you have shared parents or grandparents). 

 

nominated beneficiary

A person, named by a policyholder, as someone they would like to receive benefits from a policy following their death.

non forfeiture

Non-forfeiture is where the policyholder/customer is not paying the premiums but some of the benefits are continuing at their full value. There may be an additional cost to maintaining a policy in this way, and it may only be able to continue for a limited time or while there is still a surrender value. Sometimes the unpaid premiums are expressed as a 'loaned' amount.

non-protected rights

The benefits built up in a money purchase pension scheme from contributions made by the policyholder or their employer.

non-qualifying policy

These are life assurance policies (typically single premium policies) which do not satisfy specific HM Revenue & Customs requirements and therefore do not qualify for certain tax reliefs. As a result a chargeable event will normally arise when the proceeds are paid.

Normal Retirement Date (NRD)

This is the assumed retirement date we use when we set up a pension policy (for an occupational pension scheme this will be set in the scheme rules).

Notary Public

An individual who is authorised to swear oaths, certify the execution of deeds and who can authenticate signatures, documents and facts with such authentication being relied upon.

occupational pension scheme

A pension scheme set up by an employer for its employees. It usually provides life insurance as well as pension benefits. The pension it pays out can be based on a proportion of the employee's final salary, or on the amount paid in, together with investment growth (see money purchase). Occupational pension schemes can be ‘contributory’, where employees pay into the pension fund as well as their employer, or ‘non-contributory’, where the employer pays all the pension contributions into the fund.

offer price

The price at which you buy units in a unit-linked fund.

Ombudsman

An ombudsman is an independent person or organisation that can help settle some disputes between an organisation and their customers. The main ombudsman for the financial services industry in the UK is the Financial Ombudsman Service.  If you purchased your policy in the Republic of Ireland, our useful ombudsman selection tool will help you identify the right ombudsman to contact.

Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICS)

A collective investment vehicle in company form. They provide a way for individual investors to pool their money and invest in a broad selection of shares from a range of other companies, with the aim of reducing the risks of investing in individual shares.

open market option

When you retire, you can use your pension fund to buy an annuity from your pension provider, or you can use the ‘open market option’ to ‘shop’ around for an annuity from another provider that may provide you with a higher level of income.

ordinary branch

Most life policies are classed as 'Ordinary Branch’ policies. However, if you used to make (weekly) payments to a collector, you have an 'Industrial Branch' policy.

ordinary rights

The benefits built up in a money purchase pension scheme from contributions made by the policyholder or their employer.

overlap

This is where a dependant’s annuity begins on the death of the annuitant (that is, the person who took out the annuity originally) within the annuity guarantee period. As a result two annuities may be paid until the end of the guaranteed period.

paid up

For some types of policy (such as endowment policies and pensions), if you stop paying your regular premiums, the policy may have a reduced value that will be paid either when you die or at the end of the policy term, whichever is earlier.

payment increase

Extra contribution or premium on top of the original premium or contribution.

payment in kind

Payment of some other kind of benefit instead of money.

pension commencement lump sum

The amount of tax-free lump sum available to you when you start taking your pension benefits at your selected retirement date.

Pension deficit

When the liabilities of an occupational pension scheme are greater than the assets.

pension income

‘Pension income’ is another term for an ‘annuity’, which provides you with income in retirement.

pension liabilities

For an occupational pension scheme, an estimate of the employer’s future costs of providing retirement benefits already earned by staff.

pensions input

The actual, or deemed, amount of pensions savings made by a member of an occupational pension scheme in a year. For a money purchase pension scheme, it is the total of the contributions paid by, and for, the member. For a defined benefit pension scheme, it is the capital value of the increase in the member’s defined benefits from one scheme year to the next.

Pensions Input Period (PIP)

The period over which a member’s pensions input is measured. For many pension schemes, the PIP is aligned with tax years, so it runs from each 6 April and ends on the following 5 April.

Permanent Health Insurance (PHI)

See ‘income protection’

personal lifetime allowance (pensions)

Your personal lifetime allowance will be either the standard lifetime allowance or a higher amount granted to you by HM Revenue & Customs, for example if you have been given fixed or primary protection.

personal pension

A type of money purchase pension scheme which offers a tax efficient way to save for retirement.

personal rights

The benefits built up in a money purchase pension scheme from contributions made by the policyholder or their employer.

plan

A ‘plan’ or policy is the contract you hold with us as a ‘planholder’ or ‘policyholder’.

planholder

The legal owner of a plan or policy. This may include trustees of a pension scheme.

Policies
 

A policy is the contract you hold with us as a ‘policyholder’.

policy

A policy is the contract you hold with us as a ‘policyholder’.

policy charge

An amount we charge each month, or each time you pay a premium, for managing the fund.

policy fee

An amount we charge each month, or each time you pay a premium, for managing the fund.

policyholder

The legal owner of a policy. This may include trustees of a pension scheme.

policy terms and conditions

These are contained in the policy document and tell you more about your policy benefits.

Policy Value Adjustment (PVA)

See market value reduction (MVR)

Power of Attorney (POA)

A person who has the authority to make decisions surrounding assets or property on behalf of another party. This person is now often referred to as an ‘enduring power of attorney’ or ‘lasting power of attorney’.

premium

The amount you pay for your policy.

premium holiday

Where a policy allows you to take a temporary break from paying your premiums.

primary protection (pensions)

An option to help protect pension rights built up before 6 April 2006, from the lifetime allowance charge. The option was open until 5 April 2009 if you had pension rights worth more than £1.5m at 5 April 2006. If the value of pension rights increases at a faster rate than the increase in the standard lifetime allowance, then you may have to pay some tax under the lifetime allowance charge. You must have registered for primary protection with HM Revenue & Customs.

Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM)

This is a detailed document that describes how we manage the with-profits fund. A shorter guide called ‘How we manage the with-profits fund’ (sometimes called the Customer Friendly Principles and Practices of Financial Management or ‘CFPPFM’) is also available for policyholders.

private medical insurance

A policy that will pay for some or all of the cost of private medical treatment, as long as the medical condition is covered by the policy.

probate

The legal process of proving a will, appointing an executor and distributing a person’s estate in accordance with that will.

Probate Registry of the High Court

The office in England and Wales responsible for issuing letters of administration to appoint an administrator for a person’s estate, if they die without leaving a will. For more information, visit www.justice.gov.uk

product provider

This refers to the insurance company who issued and is responsible for the administration of your policy.

Projected Maturity Value (PMV)

A projection of what you might get back from an investment. It is worked out based on assumed growth rates and future charges you may have to pay. This is an example amount and is not guaranteed. The amount you actually get back may be higher or lower than the projected maturity value, depending on the investment returns and the period invested.

projection

A projection of what you might get back from an investment. It is worked out based on assumed growth rates and future charges you may have to pay. This is an example amount and is not guaranteed. The amount you actually get back may be higher or lower than the projection, depending on the investment returns and the period invested.

proposal

An application form signed by you.

proposer

This is the person who took out the policy and was the original owner of the policy. This does not need to be the life assured.

protected rights

Benefits that have built up in a money purchase pension scheme from contributions paid by the Government as a result of being contracted-out of the State Second Pension (S2P). As they replace some state pension benefits, they are subject to special rules. From 6 April 2012, protected rights will cease to exist. Any which exist on 5 April 2012 become non-protected rights, so will no longer be subject to special rules.

protected rights annuity

The part of your annuity bought with the value built up from payments the Government has put into your pension plan, if you chose to contract out of the State Second Pension (S2P).

protected rights fund

The value built up from payments the Government has made into your pension plan if you have contracted out of the State Second Pension (S2P).

Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)

This is part of the Bank of England. It is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of financial institutions.

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)

An overseas pension scheme that meets certain requirements and is registered with HM Revenue and Customs to receive benefits transferred from a UK pension scheme without incurring an unauthorised payment and scheme sanction charge.

qualifying policy

These are life assurance policies which satisfy specific HM Revenue & Customs requirements in order to qualify for certain tax reliefs. If taken out before 14 March 1984, they benefited from life assurance premium relief (LAPR). The proceeds of such policies are normally paid free from any further tax liabilities. See also non-qualifying policy.

Q&As
Questions and answers
quotation

A document showing you the cost of insurance cover, or a policy value.

redemption penalties

A financial penalty typically charged by a lender if you choose to repay a loan early.

reduction in yield

The difference between the return that a fund earns on its investments and the return that you receive. The difference represents the effect of expenses and other charges, such as for death benefits and the fund’s other profits and losses.

registered civil partner

Someone who has entered into a formal arrangement (known as ‘civil partnership’) with a same-sex partner.

registered pension scheme

A pension scheme that has been registered with HM Revenue & Customs so it is bound by, and benefits from, the tax rules and advantages available through registration.

regular bonus

A bonus that may be added to conventional with-profits policies once a year. However, the allocation of bonuses depends on the performance of the fund and we can’t guarantee that a bonus will be added every year but once a bonus is added, it cannot be taken away. For more information on annual bonuses, visit our customer centre, select your former policy provider and look in the ‘general information’ section.

remuneration

Pay or salary.

renewable term insurance

Life insurance which pays out if you die during the time you are covered for. At the end of the term, you have an option to renew the cover.

repayment mortgage

With a repayment mortgage, you repay part of the money you have borrowed each month together with interest. At the end of the mortgage term, you will have repaid the money you borrowed in full and all the interest accrued throughout the term.

Retail Price Index (RPI)

RPI is a measure of inflation. It tracks changes in the prices of a basket of goods and services, taking a large sample of retail goods including food, tobacco, household goods, transport fares, motoring costs and clothing. An increase in the index means prices have on average increased. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is now more commonly used.

Retirement Annuity Contracts (RAC)

Pension policies that were taken out before June 1988 by self-employed people or employed people who were not in an occupational pension scheme.

reversionary bonus

A bonus that may be added to conventional with-profits policies once a year. However, the allocation of bonuses depends on the performance of the fund and we can’t guarantee that a bonus will be added every year but once a bonus is added, it cannot be taken away. For more information on annual bonuses, visit our customer centre, select your former policy provider and look in the ‘general information’ section.

reversionary pension

An annuity may allow for the income you are receiving to continue to be paid to your spouse or dependants after your death, though usually at a lower level.

S2P (State Second Pension)

This is an earnings related pension which is paid to you by the Government when you retire, on top of your basic state pension. If you're employed, and are not contracted out of the S2P to your employers’ pension scheme, some of your National Insurance contributions go towards S2P. The S2P replaced the State Earnings Related Pension (SERPS) in 2002.

schedule

Specific details of what is and isn’t covered by a policy.

scheme administrator

A pension scheme administrator fulfils various functions for a pension scheme including communicating with scheme members and reporting to HM Revenue and Customs.

 

scheme insurer

An insurance company that provides a pension policy held by the trustees of the scheme.

scheme member

A person whose pension is part of a registered pension scheme.

scheme pension

A pension paid by the pension scheme or by an insurance company selected by the scheme administrator.

sealed copy

In connection with a deceased person’s estate if they have died without leaving a will, a ‘sealed copy’ is an extra copy of a grant of probate, letters of administration or confirmation that you can obtain from the Probate Registry of the High Court or the Sheriff's Court (in Scotland). Sealed copies are endorsed with an original stamped seal by the court official. 

selected benefit date (SBD)

The date you select when pension benefits from a pension scheme are intended to come into payment.

self-proposed

Where the person who took out the policy (the policyholder) is also the life assured.

serious ill health lump sum

A lump sum paid from a pension scheme to a member who has a life expectancy of no more than 12 months. It is not available to those who have already taken their benefits and, if paid after age 75 is reached, it is subject to a 55% tax charge.

SERPS (State Earnings Related Pension Scheme)

The predecessor of the State Second Pension (S2P).

shareholder

A shareholder holds one or more shares in a company and has part ownership of that company, and shares in that company’s profits or losses.

shares

A share of the ownership of a company. This also entitles you to share in any profits the company makes.

Sheriff's Court

The office in Scotland responsible for issuing confirmation, the type of grant of representation issued in Scotland if a person has died without leaving a will. To find out more including the address for a local office of the Sheriff’s Court, visit the Scotcourts.gov.uk.

 

short term annuity

A pension income that is payable for a set period of time up to a maximum of 5 years.

single payment

A lump sum investment.

smoothing

With-profits investments include a special feature known as smoothing. Smoothing is designed to protect investors from the direct impact of any sudden movements in the stock market. However, it can’t get rid of the strong link between underlying market returns and with-profits returns. 

spouse

A husband, wife or civil partner.

spouse’s pension

An annuity may allow for the income you are receiving to continue to be paid to your spouse or dependants after your death, though usually at a lower level.

stakeholder pension

A personal pension with restricted costs introduced by the Government in April 2001.

standard lifetime allowance

The Government limit on the total value of all pension benefits a person can take without having to pay tax (ignoring any special factors such as having enhanced protection or fixed protection). It has been set at £1.5m for the 2013/14 tax year and £1.25m for the 2014/15 tax year.

standard lifetime allowance charge

Define as per lifetime allowance charge

standing order

An instruction you give to your bank or building society to pay regular amounts to a third party.

state pension

The UK state pension is made up of two parts - the basic state pension and the Second State Pension or ‘S2P’. You will receive a basic state pension so long as you have paid or been credited with enough national insurance contributions by the time you reach the state pension age. The S2P is an earnings related pension scheme, and part of your national insurance contributions will go into the S2P unless you are contracted-out of the S2P to your employer’s scheme. The S2P replaced its predecessor the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) in 2002.

state pension age

The age at which you are entitled to draw your state pension

State Second Pension (S2P)

This is an earnings related pension which is paid to you by the Government when you retire, on top of your basic state pension. If you're employed, and are not contracted out of the S2P to your employers’ pension scheme, some of your National Insurance contributions go towards S2P. The S2P replaced the State Earnings Related Pension (SERPS) in 2002.

statutory money purchase illustration (SMPI)

An illustration of what the pension policy (or pension scheme) might provide at the normal retirement date. It uses assumptions which are generally set by the regulator. This illustration is normally sent to most pension policyholders each year, except in the year before the normal retirement date.

sum assured

If your policy has a sum assured, this is the amount we promise to pay you, so long as you pay all the premiums due for the term of your policy. For whole life policies, we will pay this amount when the life assured dies. For endowment policies, we will pay this amount when the life assured dies or at the end of the policy term.

surrender

If you cancel an investment or life assurance policy, this is known as a surrender. There may be penalties if you cancel the policy before the policy ends or ‘matures’. Pension policies cannot normally be cashed in and can only be transferred to another pension provider. You should think carefully before surrendering your policy. We recommend that you seek independent advice before you do.

surrender value (SV)

The amount you might get if you cash in or cancel an investment or life insurance policy. Pension policies cannot normally be cashed in and can only be transferred to another pension provider. You should think carefully before surrendering your policy. We recommend you seek independent advice before you do.

tax credit

Until April 2004, a fund manager could claim a 10% tax credit on UK share dividends from HM Revenue & Customs. This is no longer available.

tax-free lump sum (TFLS)

The amount of cash you can withdraw from your pension fund as a single lump sum when you retire, without paying tax. This is normally restricted to 25% of the value of your fund or its equivalent.

temporary annuity (policy)

An annuity that is paid for a fixed period only.

term

The length of time a policy is in force or, in the case of a mortgage, the length of time you have to repay what you have borrowed.

term assurance

Life assurance giving protection for a specific amount of time (the term).

terminal bonus

A bonus that may be added to a with-profits policy when it is surrendered or matures. The amount of bonus paid (if any) depends on the performance of the investments (and other profits and losses of the fund) over the term of the policy and is not guaranteed. This is sometimes known as an annual final or maturity bonus.

terminal illness

For life insurance, an advanced or rapidly progressing incurable illness where, in the opinion of an attending consultant or a Chief Medical Officer, life expectancy is likely to be no greater than 12 months.

accumulation unit
This is where any income earned from the investments held in the fund is reinvested, resulting in the unit price increasing.
The State

Generally, the present Government and the departments responsible for the administration of the UK. 

The Pensions Regulator

A UK regulator for work-based pensions, set up under The Pensions Act 2004. Visit their website at www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk

third party

A person or organisation who is not directly involved in a contract or relationship but has an interest in it.

top-up payment

Extra contribution or premium on top of the original premium or contribution.

traditional with profits

A type of with-profits policy which has a sum assured or guaranteed cash sum (in other words, an amount we promise to pay you, so long as you pay all the premiums due for the term of your policy).

traditional with-profits

A type of with-profits policy which has a sum assured or guaranteed cash sum (in other words, an amount we promise to pay you, so long as you pay all the premiums due for the term of your policy).

transfer

The transfer of pension in between products or from one pension provider to another. There may be a charge (transfer payment/penalty).

transfer payment

The amount received from another pension scheme or pension provider when pension benefits are moved from one provider to another.

transfer value

The amount of money that can be transferred to another pension plan or pension scheme.

trivial commutation lump sum

The option to take a small pension fund as a one-off lump sum, subject to an income tax charge, instead of buying an annuity. It is normally available if you are aged 60 or over and have a total combined value in your private and company pension schemes that is below a certain threshold.

For the 2013/14 tax year, this threshold is £18,000. Some pension schemes allow funds valued at less than £2,000 to be commuted, irrespective of funds held in other pension schemes.

trust deed

The legal document that transfers the legal ownership of a policy to the trustees to hold, subject to the terms of a trust.

trust / trustee

Where a policy is held by a person or persons (the trustee(s)), for the benefit of another person or persons (the beneficiaries), the trustees are the legal owners and will be the people entitled to make a claim under the policy. The trustees have the duty to make sure that the proceeds are paid to the named beneficiaries, or are managed on their behalf.

unauthorised payment

A lump sum payment made outside of the HMRC[JS1] ’s statutory two-year period for making a claim on a personal pension scheme following the death of a scheme member[IW2] . Unauthorised payments are subject to tax charges of up to 70%.

underlying investments

The assets money is invested in to build up the value in a policy.

underwriter

The person who assesses the terms we accept business on and whether a policyholder should be charged because they are at a higher risk of dying or becoming ill.

underwriting

Calculating the risk that a policyholder will make a claim on an insurance policy, based on information such as age, sex, health and occupation. Underwriters can then decide how much the insurance premiums should be.

unitised with profits policy

A with-profits policy that distributes any profits on a daily basis, typically at 1/365th of the annual rate. A market value adjustment may apply to these policies in certain circumstances.

unitised with-profits policy

A with-profits policy that distributes any profits on a daily basis, typically at 1/365th of the annual rate. A market value adjustment may apply to these policies in certain circumstances.

unit linked

A unit-linked policy is linked directly with particular investments (for example, stocks and shares). The amount you finally receive depends on the success of these investments, which can go up or down in value.

unit-linked

A unit-linked policy is linked directly with particular investments (for example, stocks and shares). The amount you finally receive depends on the success of these investments, which can go up or down in value.

unsecured pension (USP)

Until 5 April 2011, the name used for payments received from a pension scheme through income withdrawals or under a short term annuity. On 6 April 2011, this was replaced by drawdown pension.

variable rate

An interest rate that can move up or down at any time, usually when there are movements in the Bank of England Base Rate.

voluntary rights

The benefits built up in a money purchase pension scheme from contributions made by the policyholder or their employer.

waiting period

For income protection policies, this is the period after first taking out the policy when you are not fully covered.

waiver of premium / contribution

The policy may allow for regular premiums to be suspended if you become ill or unable to work.

whole life (assurance)

A life assurance policy which pays out whenever you die. Premiums might be paid for a specified period, up to a specified age or until you die.

whole of life (assurance)

A life assurance policy which pays out whenever you die. Premiums might be paid for a specified period, up to a specified age or until you die.

will

A legal document that allows an individual to specify how their assets are to be handled following their death, naming the person, or persons, responsible for carrying out those wishes.

winding-up lump sum

A one-off lump sum paid, subject to an income tax charge, under an occupational pension scheme which is winding up when the available fund is below a prescribed threshold. This threshold is £18,000 for the 2013/14 tax year. There are no age limitations on when it can be paid.

with profits plans / policies

A with-profits policy shares in the profits and losses of the fund it invests in, in the form of bonuses. The bonuses may be added each year and / or at the end or the policy.

with-profits plans / policies

A with-profits policy shares in the profits and losses of the fund it invests in, in the form of bonuses. The bonuses may be added each year and / or at the end or the policy.

with profits endowment

A with-profits endowment is a savings product which usually includes life cover. It pays you at least a fixed amount if you die before the policy matures, or the sum assured plus any bonuses that may have been added over the term, at maturity.

with-profits endowment

A with-profits endowment is a savings product which usually includes life cover. It pays you at least a fixed amount if you die before the policy matures, or the sum assured plus any bonuses that may have been added over the term, at maturity.

yearly bonus

A bonus that may be added to conventional with-profits policies once a year. However, the allocation of bonuses depends on the performance of the fund and we can’t guarantee that a bonus will be added every year but once a bonus is added, it cannot be taken away. For more information on annual bonuses, visit our customer centre, select your former policy provider and look in the ‘general information’ section.

Jargon Buster

All highlighted words are explained

Scottish Mutual

Scottish Mutual Assurance Limited life and pensions policies moved to Phoenix Life Limited in 2009. If you have a healthcare or protection policy with Scottish Mutual, this moved to Royal London in 2008.

Transfer of protection policies to Royal London

Full Phoenix Life history

© 2014 Phoenix Life Limited