Question - our most common question of 2016
Can I handle EPP with no added benefits without PTOO transfer permissions?
Answer: at bottom.
State pension top up deadline 5th April
For class 3 contributions the deadline to top up pensions for individuals over the age of 65 or 63 for women is subject to the deadline of 5th April 2017 state-pension-topup
Deadline for Pension Individual protection 5th April
Individual protection 2014 (IP14) is for those with pension fund value of £1.25m as of April 2016, and gets you to keep that value as a lifetime allowance, subject to a £1.5m cap. The deadline for applications for IP14 is the 5 April 2017.
Individual protection 2016 (IP16) is for those with pension fund value of £1m as of April 2016, and gets you to keep that value as a lifetime allowance, subject to a £1.25m cap. There is no deadline date for IP16.
You can have individual protection once only, if you don’t have primary protection or any other IP, and you can combine it with enhanced protection or any form of fixed protection. You also lose it if you get divorced via a sharing order.
See more docs here related to pension advice and suitability reports, including templates: Document Library
DB pension transfers
The above document is a summary of the £1.5trillion held in DB schemes.
Current FS deficits that need to be repaid is today estimated at just £200bn – although this is a notoriously variable figure.
Trust register and the 4th money laundering directive
Legislation dealing with the registers of persons with significant control over companies was introduced in the UK in 2015 and is now commonly seen on companies house entries. Now the legislation is being extended in the same way to trusts. In some ways the public bodies already have this information, because when an investment is made they are reported via FATCA compliance. The new legislation will force disclosure on trusts that submit tax returns. The timing is likely to be later this year, and the end result will be a central register of trusts. You will be all familiar with the requirement to report your clients who have offshore advice.
Your company needs you
Any firm of more than four individuals should look at a staff intranet to bind the team together. Get to twenty and you need a full time HR manager – unless you have an intranet. An intranet will record holidays, flexi time, store company documents and track individual clock in times etc. Here is a link to an Intranet demonstration
If you want to actually touch a demonstration then http://rands.ifacintranet.eu and we will forward details to you of user/pass.
Staff intranet available for Bat users
Responsible Life and Equity Release
Are doing a series of 7 events around the country to non-equity release advisers, where they may wish to either get involved in the Later Life Lending market or to refer. Their first event is in Southampton on the 28th February.
UK pension transfers to Canada have been effectively blocked after the three remaining Canadian recognised overseas pension schemes (Rops) were removed from HMRC list. Rops providers are required to comply with HMRC’s ‘pension age test’, which prevents savers from accessing their funds before the age of 55, except for cases of serious ill health. In Canada, however they can be cashed-in partly or fully at any time, regardless of age. As a result, the number of schemes approved by the UK tax office fell from 95 last year to nil today.
Terms of engagement letter
It is amazing how IFAs can continue on without using these terms letters for clients.
The High Court has struck out a claim made against an IFA who failed to say the client had a claim against a former adviser.
The Court said that the terms of engagement letter (presumably combined with the standard client agreement) did not require the adviser to consider past advice.
The judgment is an excellent example of the importance of engagement letters that limit the scope of an IFA’s retainer.
The decision also provides comfort to professionals that, even if they are provided with lots of information and issues arise when reviewing that information outside of their retainer, provided the engagement terms are sufficiently clear and concise, the professional will not necessarily owe a duty to advise on those wider issues.
IFAC Bat System integrates with Defaqto Engage Research
You can buy Defaqto half price via the Bat software that is free to IFAC members!
Every IFA needs a system and Bat risk management system will run your office for you and provides the front office automation required.
FCA concern over illiquid assets and open-ended investment funds
On 8 February 2017, the FCA published a discussion paper (DP17/1) considering some of the risks that arise when consumers use open-ended investment funds to gain exposure to illiquid assets I have covered this a fortnight ago, but it might be pertinent to point out that "Illiquid! assets" are not restricted to property funds. It could also include private equity,some smaller companies and markets,some bond funds etc. Also in turbulent market times...many other classes can become temporarily illiquid.
This strengthens the case for listed investment trusts over OEIC funds. Invesment trusts do not have to sell assets to provide investor liquidity, because there is generally a market price available for them. The shrewd IFAs and investors ones will actually be buying these at times of crisis for precisely this reason. For those stuck on OICS - use the liquidity warning in the SR templates in your client communications. “This fund may not be open for withdrawals at all times….”
And on the same subject...here is one that is worth looking at...
JP Morgan Chinese Investment Trust plc
MSCI China has outperformed both emerging markets and the S&P 500 over the last 15 years by a considerable margin
The current trust discount, near 15%, does not seem to reflect the longer-term market potential.
Answer: EPP are occupational…and were stopped post 2014…crazy really but they are occupational money purchase, so could take 100% TFC in the old days – so the answer is no.
from the IFAC team
Charlie Palmer, John Downs, Mark Ellis, Andy Smith, Alastair Frame, Dan Rey, Ken Baksh and Nick Hall.