x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Keep your bank advised if you change employers

Have you received your final salary payment? Usually employers mark this as final salary and include end-of-service gratuity so the bank is alerted.

I have left my current employer and I'm starting a new job in Dubai. I'm being taken off my existing visa (I have been told that this will probably be finalised in the next couple of weeks) and then applied for a brand new visa, as the new company is not in a free zone. I have a credit card and car loan. I hope to have my new visa within the next few weeks. My current employer has told me that they have not informed my bank that I have left. My new employer will be paying my first salary in a couple of weeks and I have enough money to tide me over in between. Should I inform the credit card company and bank that I am changing jobs? If so, should I do this immediately, or once I have my new visa? DEDubai

Have you received your final salary payment? Usually employers mark this as final salary and include end-of-service gratuity so the bank is alerted. This usually means they will freeze your current account, but it will be immediately unfrozen once you demonstrate that you have a new job, usually by providing a copy of the offer letter. You need to check the terms of your loan agreement, as it may say that you have to inform the bank of a change in circumstances. If not, provided you have regular salary payments made to the bank where you have the loan and credit card, and no payments are missed, there should not be an issue. Some banks, however, require confirmation of your employment and residency, so you may want to provide copies of your new contract and residency visa to the bank to prevent any future issues.

My husband has life insurance which is arranged by the company he works for. I have some details of the plan, but the main documents are held by the company. How can I make sure I will receive the money if anything happens to him? AC Abu Dhabi AC's husband is a member of a group life assurance scheme set up by his employer. This pays out a multiple of his basic salary in the event of his death while employed by this company. As the company set up the policy they are the owner and can pay the death benefit to whomever they see fit. In most cases, the death benefit is payable to the employee's dependents, but the best advice is that all employees should nominate one or more specific beneficiaries. I suggest your husband asks his employers about completing some kind of "nomination of beneficiary" form so that in the event of a claim the situation is clear.

I have only been with my employer for nine months, but due to economic issues he has decided to make many of the staff redundant. My contract has been terminated without giving me prior notice. I was asked to leave the office immediately just after payday. The boss has said that he is not going to pay me the notice period salary. I was on a 12 month contract and he says that, as I have been there for less than a year, I have no rights and I'm not entitled to be paid. My contract says there is a notice period. NK Abu Dhabi

You are entitled to be paid for the remainder of your contract period. This should be your salary in full, plus any other payments due, provided the total does not exceed three months salary or the remaining period of the contract (whichever is a shorter duration). So in this case, a simple figure of three month's salary, as per your labour contract, would suffice. Unfortunately, because your period of service is less than 12 months you are not entitled to an end-of-service gratuity. I suggest that you tell your employer that you have checked the legal position, and if they will still not comply you should contact the Ministry of Labour on 800 665. They will assist with following up the complaint.

I have a query regarding my UK pensions. I receive a pension income of £8,500 (Dh48,869) per year from a previous employer and later this year I am due to take a pension from another company that I worked for. I completed and returned all the forms, and as the value of the plan is just £6,500, I asked for it all to be paid to me as cash, or what they call a "trivial" payment. But I have been told they cannot do this. Can I argue the case? CW Dubai

@Body-Answer2 :Under the Triviality Rules pertaining to UK pensions, it is possible to give up your pension rights and receive a cash sum if you're between the ages of 60 and 75, but only provided the total value is below a specified level. The total value of all your pension rights must not exceed 1 per cent of the lifetime allowance, which in the 20010/11 tax year stands at £1.8 million. So the triviality limit currently stands at £18,000. Your existing pension started in 2004, so in order to calculate its capital value we have to use a factor of 25:1. This means that the "value" is considered to be £212,500. Slightly different calculations apply for personal and occupational pension, depending on when benefits are taken. You will see, therefore, that using the correct government guidelines the real value of your pensions are considerably in excess of the triviality limits, and thus you have no option but to take the monies from your second pension plan under normal rules, being a tax-free cash sum plus an annual income.  Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai. Write to her at keren@holbornassets.com with queries for this column or for advice on any other financial planning matter.

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