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Product Disclosure Statements – what are they?

Do you know what a product disclosure statement (PDS) is?

Many people now use them, and various companies refer to them in their advertising, but from personal conversations about things I write, I know many people don’t know what the term means.

A PDS is simply a document listing the key features of financial products are described; it is the little booklet you got about your savings account, insurance policy, super account and so on. Basic topics covered by a PDS include fees, options, inclusions and joining/buying the product.

There are variations between industrires and companies but generally the company has to make a PDS available before you buy their product – they can’t make you read it obviously but they must have allowed you that opporutnity.

A PDS is a point of reference when deciding between products and when you need to know something later (eg does my house insurance cover rising water or just floods?) Many PDSs are long and may not be visually appealing, but they are worth holding onto.