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Death in service benefit

If you’re in a company pension scheme when you die, your spouse, children or other dependents may get a payout under this benefit.

Debit card

This is a card linked to your current account, used for paying for goods and services. Debit cards can also be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Debt

An obligation to repay an amount you owe.

Debt management plan

A method of arranging to repay your debts without resorting to bankruptcy. It is not a legal arrangement, unlike IVAs and bankruptcy.

Decreasing term insurance

This is usually sold to run alongside a mortgage, with the aim of paying it off should you die while it still has years to run. The amount covered falls in line with the decreasing size of the mortgage. It is usually cheaper than standard term insurance.

Defined benefit scheme

Another name for a final salary pension scheme. The amount you will receive depends on the number of years you have worked for the firm and your salary.

Defined contribution scheme

Another name for a money purchase pension scheme based on how much you and your employers have paid into it, rather than being based on your salary and years of service.

Deflation

The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is decreasing - the opposite of inflation.

Deposit

A sum of money saved in a bank or building society account, or the amount put down as security for a property or other transaction.

Depreciation

Accounting procedure that spreads the cost of an asset over the lifetime of the asset.

Derivatives

An investment contract, such as futures and options, which involves the right to buy or sell the underlying instrument at an agreed price.

Direct debit

Authority given by you to a retailer or other service provider - such as an energy supplier - to take a sum directly from your bank account. Direct debits should always be cancelled with your bank, not just the service provider. They are like standing orders, but with direct debits the merchant can alter the amount taken from your account, which is why they are used for bills which change regularly.

Discounted rate mortgage

A mortgage which guarantees the interest rate charged will be at a set discount to the lender’s usual variable rate. The discounted rate is usually set for a specified period of time and reverts to the standard rate after that period.

Discretionary management

A broker who has authority to execute all decisions regarding stocks and shares on behalf of his client, without getting prior approval.

Dividend

The distribution of part of the company's profits to the shareholders. Dividends are usually paid twice a year as an interim and final dividend. There is no guarantee a company will pay a dividend.

Dividend yield

The dividend yield is the return that you get for investing in a company. It is calculated by dividing the dividend by the current share price, expressed as a percentage.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

'The Dow' is one of the main USA share indices which monitors the performance of 30 industrial companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

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