Tax-free investors help charities the easy way

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The Independent Online
INVESTORS aiming to build a tax-free nest egg have the chance to do so while helping a range of charities.

The offer comes from Family Assurance Friendly Society, which is offering to forgo all its normal sales and other commission payments, worth 3.5 per cent, and give them to one of four national charities.

The four that stand to gain are Guide Dogs for the Blind, Mencap, Country Landowners' Association and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

They are among a range of investors, both charities and private individuals, on whose behalf Family Assurance manages some pounds 2.5m in its United Charities Unit Trust. Charities also receive a 0.25 per cent discount on the friendly society's annual management charges, normally 1 per cent.

Family Assurance is now opening the unit trust, which invests primarily in UK equities, to Pep investors, allowing for an additional tax-free benefit to accrue to their funds. Gill Alderton, a senior executive at the society, said: 'Most investors seem utterly confused by the tax rules on charitable gifts and in the end some charities miss out on donations. Our solution is very straightforward. Investors get the benefit of the Pep, while charities gain by the rebate in the management charge. As the fund grows, we will rebate an even greater proportion of the fund management charge.'

Family Assurance Friendly Society: 0800 616695.