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Dictionary of Financial Terms - S

Salary Definition
Used in group insurance to agree the definition of employee salary to be applied in calculation of insured benefit.

Sealing fee
A charge made by some lenders when they release their legal charge over the deeds.

another name for stocks and shares but also applies to any approved or registered financial instrument, such as bonds.

Securities & Futures Association (SFA)
A regulatory body which polices investment businesses like stockbrokers.

Securities and Investments Board
The overall regulator of financial services set up under the Financial Services Act 1986.

Seed Money
A grant or contribution used to start a new project or organisation.

The option to take a proportion of the investment and leave the rest invested, i.e. to take 10% of your pension and leave the other 90% still invested.

Self Administered Scheme
Occupational pensions scheme where the assets are invested and managed by the trustees or an in-house investment manager.

Self Insured Scheme
A program financed entirely by the employer for insuring employees instead of purchasing coverage from an insurance company.

Self Regulating Organisation
A body authorised by the Securities and Investment Board to regulate and supervise investment business or financial service activities.

Self-select PEP
A general PEP where you can choose which funds you'd like to invest in.

If you're employed, part of your National Insurance contributions go towards the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme, which is paid on top of your basic state pension when you retire. You can choose to contract out of SERPS, in which case the Government will pay the money that would have gone into SERPS into a personal pension of your choice.

See: State Earnings Related Pension Scheme.

Shares are issued by a company to raise money. Unlike bonds, which are a straightforward loan, shares give you ownership of part of the company. Most shares are listed on a stock exchange, which makes them easy to buy and sell, although dealing costs may be expensive, which is another attraction of investing in a unit trust as the costs are shared with lots of others.

Securities and Investments Board.

Sickness and accident
Pays you a benefit if you're unable to work through sickness or accident. Normally pays out for a set period, i.e. one or two years.

Simplified Administration
The system most often used to administer group insurance. Designed to keep administration overheads to a minimum. Normal changes in membership and benefit need only be advised to the insurer on a periodic (usually annual) basis.

Single company PEP
A tax efficient investment where you invest in the shares of only one company.

Single Premium Costed
A method of cost calculation used for group insurance schemes with a small number of members (typically less than 20). The overall premium is based on the costs calculated in detail for each member and based on age, sex and other factors.

Single Premium Policy
A Life Insurance policy paid for in advance by one single premium rather than in periodic premiums.

Small Caps
another name for smaller companies, as measured by their market capitalisation. Our definition of a smaller company is one which has a market capitalisation of less than US$500 million, which is still quite sizeable by most standards. Usually a switch discount of up to 3% off the offer price is given.

Society of Financial Advisers. A professional body linked to the Chartered Insurance Institute. Membership is open to those who have passed the Institute's examinations for the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate.

Special presentations
A service to inform a customer paying in a cheque that the payer's bank will make the payment. This does not reduce the time taken for the cheque to clear - this will still take three working days.

Self Regulating Organisation.

Small Self-Administered Scheme. A self-administered occupational pension scheme with usually less than 12 members.

Stakeholder Pension
The name given to the new personal pension, which will be introduced by the government in two years' time. The details are not yet finalised, but it promises to be one of the biggest shake-ups of the pensions industry for years.

Stamp Duty
A tax levied on certain legal transactions, these include share dealing and the purchase of property.

Standard Variable Rate
A lender’s standard mortgage rate. This goes up and down with interest rates generally.

Standing Order
Pre authorised payment in which the customer gives instructions to their bank to pay fixed sums at regular intervals or on defined dates.

State Earnings Related Pension Scheme
The earnings related part of the state pension scheme, which provides benefits which are additional to the basic state pension.

State pension
The basic state pension is paid to everyone. The level of pension you get depends on the amount of National Insurance contributions you pay over your working life.

Stock Exchange
A forum for the trading of stocks, shares and other securities. The London Stock Exchange is the main stock exchange in the United Kingdom.

Stop-Loss Insurance
Protection purchased against the risk of large losses or a severe adverse claim experience.

Substandard Risk
Where the risk of a claim against a policy is higher than average.

Successor Election
The designation, in writing by a donor, of a person to be assigned the rights and duties associated with the donor's account at the Charitable Gift Fund upon the donor's death. Successors are eligible only after the deaths of all donors named on the account. The donor designates an individual as the successor, or the donor may choose to recommend that one or more charitable organizations receive the proceeds of any remaining units in the account upon the donor's death.

Where you cancel an investment or policy and usually receive a reduced payout, due to the impact of charges.

Surrender Value
The amount of money paid to the policyholder by the insurer when certain types of life policy are discontinued before the full benefit becomes payable.

refers to moving an investment (or part of it) out of one fund and into another. When you switch you sell at the bid price and sell units in the new fund at the offer price.

Switch card
A card linked to the UK Switch network. If you pay for goods and services with a Switch card, the money leaves your account straightaway. You can use your One account Switch card in just about every cash machine in Britain and tens of thousands of Cirrus machines worldwide, and to pay for goods abroad wherever you see the Maestro sign.

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