Why careful tax planning is needed to combat The Lifetime Allowance

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We recently obtained figures from HMRC through a Freedom of Information request which show the Government’s tax take from the lifetime allowance tax charge in 2016/17 is more than 1000% greater than it was in 2006/07. The lifetime allowance (LTA) affecting more people isn’t really a surprise. But the scale of the increase, along with...

5 Client communication lessons from the work we’ve done so far in 2018

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There’s been no more visible indicator recently of how online interactions change than GDPR. GDPR has forced us all to do a level of thinking on how we communicate with clients and prospective clients and, as individuals, we’ve all had the opportunity to address how we feel towards online privacy (and all of those updated...

IHT Exemption for Military Personnel

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When you are talking to a client about planning legacies, is the first question you ask, ‘Have you had military service?’ If not, it should be from now on. November 2018 will be the centenary of the end of the First World War. It is therefore fitting to now highlight a much overlooked IHT exemption...

Five things to know about the FCA Defined Benefits Transfers publications

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Just before Easter, the FCA delivered its package of publications on advice on defined benefit transfers. Chief amongst them was its response to its consultation last summer, shaped by its recent supervisory work.  As well as the policy statement, FCA also issued a new consultation to cover areas raised from the previous work, as well...

Your website’s team page: Why it’s so important you get it right

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Almost every adviser or planner’s website will have a team section. Our research shows that, aside from your homepage, your team page will be one of the most popular three on your website. It’s hardly surprising; after all, people buy people. Understanding who is behind a business will be one of the most important things...

New proposals do nothing to educate retirees on pension withdrawals

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It’s now three years since the pension freedoms were introduced, and in that time we have seen millions of people withdraw billions of pounds from pensions. That outcome isn’t a great surprise as the intention behind the freedoms was to let people do that very thing. So it is interesting to read that a number of providers...

Retirement outcomes review

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It seems to be universally accepted that the announcement of the pension freedoms caught most regulators on the hop, with the FCA worst affected. Perhaps less widely accepted is the view that the lack of consultation and tight timeframe between the freedoms’ announcement and the go-live date meant that those same regulators were forced to...

3 recent Google changes advisers need to be aware of (and what to do about them)

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Even if Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not one of your primary routes to market, it is always worthwhile keeping one eye on what Google are doing. If you’re not found by new clients on a daily basis, you might be surprised how many current clients type your firm’s name into Google every time they...

Learn from our mistakes: The biggest lesson we’ve learnt this year

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Sat watching the final of The Apprentice a few days ago, my attention was caught by someone (I forget who) saying that 90% of all new businesses fail in their first year.  I don’t know whether that statistic is true or not. I suspect the failure rate is remarkably high though.   Well, as we approach our...

Pensions outlook 2018

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Ironically as the World became destabilised by the twin forces of Brexit and Donald Trump – not to mention a UK general election, mounting global tensions over North Korea and an emboldened Vladimir Putin – 2017 was a year of relative tranquillity for pensions. Aside from the illogical and unnecessary cut in the amount savers...