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Stopping regular payments

You may decide to stop any regular payments you make, to save money.

Savings

If you’re putting money aside in a bank or building society account, there’s usually no problem or penalty if you stop saving. You simply stop your payments. You can either leave the savings that have already built up in the account or cash them in.

A few accounts are designed for regular monthly saving over a year or so. You’ll lose some interest on these accounts if you don’t make all the payments.

Pension

You may belong to a pension scheme. If this is a scheme at work, contributions are usually taken directly from your pay. You can choose to opt out of the scheme but you may lose any contributions your employer is making to the scheme for you.

With some employers, you carry on building up a pension even if you’re off work sick. Check your contract of employment. Pension scheme benefits often include life insurance cover and survivor pensions, so check how these would be affected if you stop contributing. Talk to your pension provider or HR department.

Penalty charges

With a few investments (in particular investment-linked life insurance), you agree to save a set amount each month. If you stop, there may be penalty charges that reduce the value of the money you have saved so far. Some policies include a ‘waiver of premium benefit’ that makes your payments for you if you can’t work because of illness.

Be very careful if you are thinking of stopping payments to an endowment policy or other investment that is intended to eventually pay off a mortgage. If there isn’t enough money to pay off the mortgage at the end of its term, you may have to sell your home. Consider whether there are other ways to reduce your monthly mortgage payments.

Before you stop any regular payments, check the terms and conditions for the savings account or investment. You could also contact the provider to discuss it. Our financial guides can talk to you about your situation and give you information about stopping regular payments.

Thinking about the important issues in this chapter will help you work out what next steps you need to take, and whether you need further information, support or advice.

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