Insider - Feb 2017

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Spring is in the air, bringing with it new life to tax-year end planning up and down the land! As this hectic period is fast approaching I have used this edition of Insider to remind you of some key deadlines, and I’m also pleased to introduce our new Due Diligence Hub and share some exciting news about the range of funds we will soon be launching. I hope you find this second edition of Insider interesting.


Tax year end payments and deadlines

Tax year end is a manic time for everyone in the financial services industry. With this in mind it is obviously important that we receive all the necessary forms relating to new applications and additional payments for SIPPs, ISAs and JISAs well in advance of the 5 April deadline.

Please also bear in mind that we will need to know by 31 March if you have any clients who are already taking benefits from their SIPP and who would like to take a one-off income payment prior to tax year end. You will need to ensure that sufficient cleared funds are available in the client’s SIPP cash account by this date too.

If any of your clients wish to convert to flexi-access from capped drawdown before taking an income payment from the SIPP, please ensure that a completed flexi-access conversion form is sent to us by 30 March 2017.

If you have clients who want to take pension benefits and require a pension commencement lump sum (PCLS) payment prior to tax year end, then please send us the completed benefit form by 20 March 2017.

If you have clients who are considering taking an uncrystallised funds pension lump sum (UFPLS) payment prior to tax year end, then please send us a completed UFPLS form by 30 March 2017.

Finally, please note that payment of a PCLS is dependent on the SIPP being valued, all transfers being received and cash being available to cover the payment. Funds will also need to be available to cover the corresponding income payment.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please email us or contact our Adviser Support Team on
0345 83 99 060.

Digital Strategy update

A tremendous amount of work is taking place behind the scenes at www.investcentre.co.uk as we progress with our wide-ranging Digital Strategy project. As a result of these endeavours we will be able to release a number of new features on our BETA website during March.

The first thing you will notice is a new dashboard, with improved navigation, an intuitive text search function and interactive filters to help you find clients and information quickly. There will also be a ‘platform enhancements’ area, with details of any future developments we introduce to the site. As more functionality is released in each BETA version you will be able to customise your dashboard with widgets, providing you with quicker access to the tools you use most often.

We will also release a new Funds & Shares Service dealing area that will allow you to quickly and easily move between client accounts, view comprehensive information on individual holdings and trade from the same screen.

Finally, you will be able to access our new Capital Gains Tax tool, offering a range of features to help you manage CGT liabilities in your clients’ GIAs. These will include:

  • Line-by-line data on gains and losses for client portfolios
  • The ability to view and download calculations
  • Editable book costs, to ensure that calculations are accurate
  • ‘What-if’ analysis

We would encourage you to explore all these new features when they become available. If you have any feedback for us, please send it to digital strategy.

As with any project of this sort, there will be some challenges posed by older browsers. If you use an earlier Internet Explorer browser than IE10, you may find that the new website does not render properly. This is due to the new website being built in-line with the most current version of Internet Explorer, as older versions are no longer supported by Microsoft and so will no longer receive security updates, compatibility fixes or technical support.

Regular security updates help protect computers from malicious attacks. For more information on the potential risks of using older versions of Internet Explorer and the benefits of staying up-to date with the latest browser, please visit Microsoft Support.

AJ Bell Indexx funds

Following on from the successful launch of our Managed Portfolio Service (MPS) in August 2016, we are now looking to extend our range of risk-targeted investment solutions by offering a choice of five AJ Bell Indexx Funds.

The funds are designed so that you can outsource asset allocation, investment selection and rebalancing, and package them all within a single investment solution. Delivered in the form of Open Ended Investment Company (OEIC) units, the funds will be competitively priced, with a capped ongoing charge of just 0.5% per annum.

The options available will range from ‘Cautious’ through to ‘Adventurous’, allowing you to easily choose the most appropriate fund for a given client’s risk appetite. Full details will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Changes to terms and conditions

We have altered our terms and conditions to make them clearer and easier to understand. We have added a new clause 25 to clarify how orders are transacted and settled on our Funds & Shares Service, and we have expanded clause 5.2 to make it clear that you can give instructions in relation to transfers-in on your clients’ behalf. You can see the updated document in full here. As none of these changes are disadvantageous to your clients, we will not inform them directly that the terms and conditions have been updated.

We have also made some minor alterations to the Adviser Handshake in order to clarify the extent of your responsibilities when giving instructions on your clients’ behalf. If you have any questions, please contact us.

ScamSmart

With investment fraud on the rise, the FCA has launched a new ‘ScamSmart’ campaign to educate consumers about the potential risks they face.

By working together as an industry and helping to raise awareness of the problem, we should be able to reverse this alarming trend. With this in mind, we have included some useful fraud awareness information on our website, along with a link to the ScamSmart website, which also features a wealth of valuable tips and other content that you may wish to include on your own client-facing literature or webpages.

Monthly service performance

To give you a flavour of our service delivery and how we are performing, our typical turnaround times for a number of key service areas are outlined below. We will update this in each issue and flag any hotspots which may occur, particularly in the lead-up to peak periods.

The information below is not provided as a formal measure of our service levels, but rather to give you a general flavour of how our Customer Services Team is currently performing. Looking across all of the areas listed below, we are hitting the indicative timescales provided in 96% of cases.



Key contacts

Adviser Support Team

Phone: 0345 83 99 060

Email: enquiry@investcentre.co.uk


Business Development Team

0345 40 89 100

Managing Director

Fergus worked at a major bank for over 20 years before joining AJ Bell in August 2000. Since then he has worked in many areas of the business, and is currently Managing Director of AJ Bell Investcentre. Fergus is also responsible for AJ Bell Investments and our Platinum SSAS/SIPP products.

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