Member Update 5th April 2019
Written by Charlie Palmer on 04/04/2019

TEST QUESTION

Q: What is the more common description of the Additional Permitted Subscription (APS) allowance for ISAs? 

A: ISA plus allowance

B: Deceased spouse allowance

C: Additional personal allowance

D: Inheritance allowance

B is the accepted terminology (from HMRC)


Pension Scams

Pension access and Scammers, by Niel Gavin

Any observer of the financial press will see, on a fairly regular basis, notifications and warnings regarding potential pension scams.

A pension scam is typically where someone is encouraged to transfer out of a UK Registered pension and into some offshore fund/account with the promise of accessing all their funds tax free. Often this is suggested as being possible before the age of 55, the normal earliest retirement age under UK regulations.

The aim of the “fantastic solution” being touted is usually to let you get hold of some or all of the value of your pension fund as cash, possibly through a loan facility of some kind, maybe even described as being similar to an equity release mortgage perhaps.  The end result being that the investor escapes the restrictions and tax liabilities associated with drawing a UK Registered pension.

Typical scams involve you transferring your pension fund to some offshore investment, using various “loopholes” or fantastic funds associated with new investment methods.

BUT

Let’s clear something up.

The only ways to get to your UK Registered pension funds earlier than 55 are under the following circumstances:

  1. Through ill health early retirement (this has to be approved by the scheme trustees in every case)
  2. When you have a protected earlier retirement age (50 for example) and this would have been authorised.
  3. When you have a protected occupation, such as Military Personnel or Professional Sportsperson (those lucky footballers!)

Any other way is not permitted and so is unauthorised.

Unauthorised withdrawals attract heavy financial penalties on you the policyholder, typically 55% of the total fund but could be up to 70%!

But that is not all. 

Most scammers charge high fees to get you to transfer your money to their “miracle” schemes, in the region of 20% of the fund value. 

So if caught out you could lose anything up to 90% of your funds…..

What tells you it might be a scam?

Fortunately most scammers of this type use the same tactics.

Look for the following warning signs:

  • Being approached out of the blue often by e-mail or text message
  • The salesperson/adviser being very pushy, being unregulated by the FCA or located outside the UK
  • Any reference to a “loophole” especially if it has “never been challenged” (film schemes anyone?)
  • If the solution is a loan/savings advance or cashback
  • The solution is not in the UK
  • If it simply sounds too good to be true

If in any doubt, the best course of action is probably to say a polite “No thank you” and if you are concerned to report your concern to the FCA, after all you are better to be safe than sorry.

niel.gavin@ifac.eu


BAT New Upgrades!

We have listened to you, we have improved notably the way to edit your Fact Find, besides that now you can create different fact find to use with your clients!

Now it is much easier to edit your fact find, it is intuitive and easy to use, in the image you can see that all the options for editing and creating questions are visible and below you have the list of questions ready to be ordered as you want by drag and drop.


 This is the first change for a big project we are building for you. Hope you liked!

Any question about the change or any issue with BAT, please fell free to contact us through our ticket system.

The BAT IT Team

Next project?  Message centre – for you to speak to us, us to speak to you and you to communicate with your clients, and vice versa.

We aim to produce an auditable trail on BAT of your communications with your clients.  Replace formalised SR reports by getting you


BAT FEEDBACK

Good morning and I hope you are well, thank you for your help and support yesterday everything is fine, Daniel and George helped me a lot yesterday to get it sorted. 

BAT, is a great system and we have embraced it totally for commission runs, compliance, fact find and your great suitability reports.

The guys In my Brockworth office are working completely on BAT, so far they have made 8 sales this week, having the whole sale process on BAT together with the telephone system it is quick and simple way to keep an eye on the whole operation.

Thank you.

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