Electronic mail your inquiries to [email protected] or write to ‘Your Questions, Sunday Unbiased Enterprise, 27-32 Talbot Avenue, Dublin 1’.
hile we are going to endeavour to position your questions with essentially the most acceptable knowledgeable on your question, this column just isn’t meant to switch skilled recommendation.
Question: Now we have accrued a great deal of telephone chargers in our home through the years. I learn an article about telephone chargers happening fireplace and am a bit apprehensive. How can I inform which of them are secure and which of them aren’t? How can I be sure to solely purchase secure ones? Tracy, Co Kildare
Reply: Unsafe chargers and different electrical home equipment may cause main fires in properties. Though companies have obligations to make sure that merchandise they promote attain the required security requirements, lots of of doubtless unsafe electrical items are stopped from being placed on the Irish market every year.
A very powerful examine you are able to do is to search for the CE mark, which is a producer’s declaration that the product complies with the EU’s security rules and requirements.
It ought to seem on the product, within the instruction handbook or on the packaging, and should be straightforward to learn. If you cannot see it, do not buy it.
There are a variety of guidelines it’s best to observe to make sure you purchase secure telephone chargers. First: All the time purchase chargers from a good retailer and examine that the charger has the CE mark.
Second: Look out for inconsistencies – do not buy a charger if it feels very gentle, is provided with a two-pin plug, or if the USB port is the wrong way up. Be careful for labels the place the producer’s full contact particulars are unclear, not current, or if phrases on the label or packaging are spelt incorrectly.
Third: Low-cost is not all the time cheerful, so be cautious of low-cost chargers, even when they seem to have the brand of a widely known model. Poor-quality chargers pose a better threat of electrocution, fireplace or injury to the machine.
Fourth: When you have purchased a charger and have any considerations about its security, ask the vendor for proof that it meets Irish and European security rules and requirements. If the vendor cannot give this to you, ask for a refund.
You too can report any merchandise you imagine to be unsafe to the CCPC by calling its client helpline on 1890 432432 or 01 4025555.
Lastly, do what you’ll be able to round the home to minimise charger fireplace hazards.
Do not cost digital gear in a single day as it may overheat and turn into a fireplace hazard. It’s not uncommon for a tool to turn into heat when charging – nonetheless, this may turn into a critical fireplace hazard if you happen to depart your machine charging on a flammable floor. Subsequently, all the time ensure you cost on a tough floor and by no means cowl a tool with a blanket or cost it below a pillow. As soon as the machine is totally charged, unplug it.
Late pension starter
Question: I am almost 40 and have not began a personal pension but. I’ve determined that it is time for me to lastly begin paying right into a pension – however have I left it too late? What ought to I concentrate on? Tom, Co Westmeath
Reply: It is by no means too late to begin planning on your retirement. We live longer, so taking steps now to assist defend funds is essential.
No matter what stage in life you determine to begin your pension planning, step one is all the time to make a price range – that means, you know the way a lot you’ll be able to afford to save lots of in your pension every month. If you happen to discover budgeting tough, there’s a free and easy-to-use price range planner on ccpc.ie that will help you plan your funds. In addition to saving as a lot as you’ll be able to, you could take into consideration the type of way of life you prefer to in retirement. It will likely be necessary to get the suitable steadiness between the 2 as this can enable you to set sensible retirement objectives for the longer term.
The following step might be to determine on the kind of pension that is best for you.
There’s lots of details about pension plans out there and it may be tough to determine which one is the best choice for you. Moreover, what you want might fluctuate relying on numerous components. For instance, are you an worker or self-employed? Is that this your first pension plan or are you trying to high up an current pension?
One thing that’s typically missed is how tax-efficient pensions are as a saving software for retirement.
Tax aid is on the market on pension contributions, and any progress made in your pension fund is tax-free.
In case you are an worker, it’s best to contact your human assets division to search out out what pension companies, assist and recommendation it may give you.
In case you are self-employed, or you prefer to recommendation, contact an unbiased and certified monetary adviser.
Present account swap
Question: My financial institution simply introduced that it is going to be growing the transaction charges on my present account within the coming months. I had a go searching and there appears to be higher worth out there elsewhere. What ought to I keep in mind earlier than I determine to change – and what steps ought to I observe if I am going forward with the swap? Karen, Co Waterford
Reply: Switching your present account would possibly appear to be lots of time and onerous work however in your case, it’s often price it. The Central Financial institution has a switching code to make the method as fast and straightforward as potential. All banks should observe this code.
place to begin is to match present account charges and expenses. There’s a present account comparability software on ccpc.ie which will help you to do that. This easy-to-use on-line software compares the charges and advantages of all present accounts out there with the intention to discover one of the best one which fits you.
Worth will all the time be an necessary issue, however additionally it is necessary to take a look at the product options that are most necessary to you. For instance, chances are you’ll need to have good on-line banking services so that you would possibly determine to change to a digital financial institution, which is simply on-line or mobile-based. As well as, all these banks can have enticing charges and supply further companies that you just won’t get from all conventional banks.
Nonetheless, digital banks are unlikely to produce other kinds of companies – reminiscent of the flexibility to lodge money in your account. At this level, you could determine which present account most accurately fits your wants.
If you happen to determine to change, the following factor to think about is your switching date.
This date is agreed between you and your new financial institution for the switching course of to begin. Your new financial institution will need to have your new account up and working inside 10 working days of the agreed switching date. You’ve gotten the choice to maintain your previous account open or shut it.
However if you happen to preserve it open, you will have to pay charges and stamp obligation in your previous account and playing cards. You need to let your new financial institution know which choice you select earlier than you turn.
Select a switching date in the course of the month when the exercise in your account is low. For instance, keep away from deciding on a date on or close to whenever you receives a commission, when your mortgage or lease funds are due, or when there are lots of direct debits or standing orders.
The CCPC has developed a information on switching accounts, which is on the market at ccpc.ie.
- Doireann Sweeney is head of company communications with the Competitors and Shopper Safety Fee
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