We all love the idea of earning a great return on our investments, but how comfortable are we when the markets take a turn? For some, the ups and downs are just part of market life. Yet for others, the ebb and flow can cause a lot of sleepless nights.

If you are looking for a little security, a segregated fund may just be the right investment choice for you. Segregated funds are similar to mutual funds in that your investment is pooled with other investors’ assets and invested for you. A fund manager is responsible for selecting the investments that make up the fund. Where segregated funds differ is in the guarantee.

Only offered through insurance companies like Equitable Life, segregated funds include an insurance contract that protects your investment and even makes it easy and efficient to pass your assets on to a beneficiary. Here are just some of the advantages of investing in a segregated fund.

  • Death Benefit Guarantees: Seventy-five to 100 per cent of your premiums (less withdrawals) are guaranteed upon your death
  • Deposit Maturity Guarantees: Seventy-five to 100 per cent of your premiums are guaranteed upon reaching the contracts deposit maturity date. (Usually 15 years from the date of first deposit)
  • Growth potential of the markets with access to investments from around the world
  • Private and confidential beneficiary designations
  • Potential creditor protection in the event of bankruptcy or lawsuit

Still have a few questions about segregated funds? Check out some of the more frequently asked questions about segregated funds.

If I pass away before the maturity date, is there a death benefit guarantee?

Whether your contract reaches the deposit maturity date or you die before maturity, you (or your estate) would receive the higher of the guaranteed value or the market value. The guaranteed value may be 75 or 100 per cent of your premiums (less withdrawals), depending on the option you choose. Depending on the performance of the funds held in the segregated fund, the market value may be higher than what you’ve invested through premiums.

I have a will, why does it matter if my investment bypasses probate?

Probate can be a lengthy and expensive process. Instead, your segregated fund value is paid out to your beneficiaries quickly and there are no probate fees to pay, reducing the stress on your loved ones. Segregated funds are a great option for estate planning.

How do segregated funds protect against lawsuits and bankruptcy?

If you name a family member as your beneficiary, your assets may be protected from your creditors. This feature is especially important for self-employed professionals and small business owners who want to protect their personal holdings from professional liability.

What investments are available with segregated funds?

With Equitable’s Pivotal Select™ Segregated Funds, you have access to 34 segregated funds managed by six distinct Canadian fund managers including Dynamic Funds, Equitable Asset Management Group, Franklin Templeton, Invesco, Mackenzie, and MFS. 

Segregated funds can be used for a variety of saving needs, including:

  • Non-Registered Savings Plan
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Retirement Savings Plan (RSP)
  • Retirement Income Fund (RIF)
  • Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)

Can I choose my own level of protection against market downturns using Equitable’s Pivotal Select?

Equitable Life offers a variety of options to customize your contract to your specific needs. Choose your guarantee class with the level of protection that suits your risk tolerance level:

  • Investment Class offers a 75 per cent guarantee on contract maturity or death
  • Estate Class offers a 75 per cent deposit maturity guarantee and a 100 per cent death benefit guarantee
  • Protection Class offers a 100 per cent deposit maturity guarantee and a 100 per cent death benefit guarantee

Any amount that is allocated to a segregated fund is invested at the risk of the contract holder(s) and may increase or decrease in value.

Talk to your advisor about whether segregated funds are right for you.

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