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The CancerIFA Service

….is an administrative service for individuals who have a terminal illness, or their employers.

Buried in the Finance Act 2004 is a provision that allows undrawn pension funds to be paid out tax-free up to a generous £limit, where life expectancy is 12 months or less. This is the “Serious Ill-health Lump-sum Payment” provision, and is not affected by recent Budget changes.

Provided a doctor confirms the medical situation, the whole fund can be paid out once the paperwork is completed.

But pension paperwork is of little interest to most people at the best of times, so the CancerIFA service has evolved to help with this. With the pension monies paid into their bank account, this allows the person concerned to sort out their own financial affairs now. Sometimes we are approached by other financial advisers to handle this.

We do not provide regulated financial advice - for two reasons.

Firstly, the founder has retired from giving regulated financial advice. Secondly, with less than 12 months to live, most of my clients don’t need it.

Regulated/professional Advice when needed can be given by:

i) Solicitors/will writers – nearly always the case. This might be for writing a will or setting up an appropriate trust where there are young children.

ii) Financial advisers where regulated investment advice is needed.

iii) Both the above where bad advice has been given previously.

We provide a sympathetic ear for anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness based on my own direct experience of cancer in 2007. And indirectly, from family members, friends and clients who have had to face this - not to mention my 20 years as a financial advisor.

Dealing with the pension paperwork lifts a huge burden from someone diagnosed with a serious illness and their families. This allows them to spend more time giving comfort and support.

A large lump of money from a pension scheme usually alleviates any immediate money worries.

George Emsden ACIB, DipPFS

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