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Dictionary of Financial Terms - O

Occupational Disease
Impairment of health caused by continued exposure to conditions inherent in a person's occupation or a disease resulting from the nature of an occupation.

Occupational Pension Scheme
A pension scheme set up by an employer for employees. It is run by Trustees and usually provides life insurance as well as pension benefits. The pension earned by the employees is usually based on a percentage of final salary or on the amount paid in (money purchase basis). An occupational pension can either be contributory (where members contribute to the fund) or non-contributory, which is entirely paid for by the employer.

Occupational Split
Used in relation to group insurance with reference to the occupational split of the company's workforce E.g. 50% clerical / 50% manual.

Pronounced as "oiks", this stands for Open-Ended Investment Companies. Although not dissimilar to unit trusts and investment trusts, an OEIC is basically a company which can be self-contained or it can form an "umbrella" over a range of individual funds (sometimes referred to as sub-funds). Instead of units, an OEIC issues shares and these can be of different classes - for example, for income accumulation, for income distribution, or classes where income is paid gross or net of lower-rate income tax. Save & Prosper's New Europe Fund is an OEIC.

Offer price
The price at which you can buy a security or a unit in a unit trust.

Offshore Funds
Collective investment funds that are based overseas, often in 'tax havens' or other locations with particular tax advantages.

An independent official to whom grievances can be aired, free of charge. Ombudsman is a Swedish word meaning citizen's representative. The Insurance Ombudsman Bureau aims to increase confidence in Insurance by offering an independent resource for resolving disputes between insurance companies and their customers.

Open-ended investment company
An investment company that works in a similar way to a unit trust except that an OEIC is a limited company. Most OEICS operate as umbrella funds, where the OEIC is authorised and can then set up multiple sub-funds without the need for individual authorisation of each sub-fund.

Operating Support
Contributions toward an organisation's day-to-day, on-going expenses, such as salaries or wages, utilities, office supplies, etc.

Opinion status enquiry
A reference given by a bank or building society to confirm a customer has run their account responsibly.

Opting Out
The decision by an employee to leave or not join an occupational pension scheme provided by his/her employer.

an agreement to buy or sell at a specific price at a specific date in the future. There are basically two kinds of option: a call option gives its buyer the right to buy a specified number of shares at a particular price before a specified date. The opposite of a call option is a put option, which gives the buyer the right to sell a specific number of shares at a particular price within a specified time period. In practice, call and put options are rarely exercised; instead, investors buy and sell options before their expiration, trading on the rise and fall of premium prices.

When the amount of money withdrawn from a bank account is greater than the amount actually available in the account the excess is known as an 'overdraft' and the account is said to be 'overdrawn'. If agreed in advance by the bank this is essentially a form of loan facility. If not agreed in advance by the bank penal charges may be incurred.

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