What is a Segregated Fund?
A Segregated Fund (also known as Seg Fund for short), is a type of investment fund administered by Canadian insurance companies in the form of individual, variable life insurance contracts offering certain guarantees to the policyholder such as reimbursement of capital upon death or upon Maturity.
A segregated fund is an investment fund that combines the growth potential of a mutual fund with the security of a life insurance policy. Segregated funds are often referred to as “mutual funds with an insurance policy wrapper”.
Like mutual funds, segregated funds consist of a pool of investments in securities such as bonds, debentures, and stocks. The value of the segregated fund fluctuates according to the market value of all the securities held within.
Segregated funds do not issue units or shares; therefore, a segregated fund investor is not referred to as a unit-holder. Instead, the investor is the holder of a segregated fund contract. Contracts can be registered or non-registered. (held in or outside of an RRSP or TFSA). Registered investments qualify for annual tax-sheltered RRSP or TFSA contributions. Non-registered investments are subject to tax payments on the capital gains each year and capital losses can also be claimed.
Segregated Funds are only sold only by licensed insurance representatives. The monies in a Segregated fund must also be kept aside from all other company assets in the insurance company.
Segregated Funds offer the following guarantees. Maturity & Death Guarantees, Potential Creditor Protection, Probate Protection, and depending on the company, they have the Reset option of annual to every few years. A Segregated fund allows the contract holder to take a little more risk with their investment, because of the Maturity protection, or fear of downturn in the markets.
There comes an added cost to Segregated funds because of the guarantees and insurance added. This varies by company and contract, but most often can cost .5%-1% in additional MER fees that would normally be charged my a comparable Mutual type fund.
For more information on how Segregated funds can fit in your portfolio and the companies that offer them feel free to contact us.