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Platform updates

Here you’ll find all the latest updates to our Advance Platform. These changes are aimed at supporting you through the most recent regulatory change as well as using your feedback to improve our platform experience for you and your clients.

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Enhancing your Platform experience – 3rd August 2020

We have now launched the second phase of our screen improvements; these are the latest developments in our project to update all the screens by the end of 2020.

What’s New:

Managing Clients in retirement

  • A new Retirement Account dashboard to bring your retirement account needs into one place, allowing you to easily view and administer One consolidated view of all pension arrangements including arrangement type, value and income in payment
  • Top ups, illustrations and income changes can all be processed from the same dashboard
  • New summary of changes before submitting income, including timescale for payment
  • More intuitive processes making it easier to manage your clients

When making changes to a Retirement Account you will now need to navigate to the Retirement Account dashboard.

Investment withdrawals

  • New summary of changes stating the full details of a withdrawal before you submit along with a timescale for payment

The benefits to the changes we have made are;

  • Easier and wider accessibility for tablets
  • More intuitive and simplified menus
  • Summary of changes, to help reduce risk
  • Time saving; plan information is more easily accessible

And we are not finished yet, more changes are planned for Autumn and Winter 2020.

If you have any further questions about any of these updates and how they will impact you, please speak to your Business Account Manager.

Changes to drawdown illustrations; Tax year end tweaks

We have made a few changes to the Zurich Intermediary Platform following the FCA’s Retirement Outcomes Review and the end of the 2019/20 tax year.

Changes to drawdown illustrations

The Retirement Outcomes Review sought to investigate how consumers and providers were responding to the pension freedoms introduced in 2015. Among the changes the FCA made was an obligation on providers to make the cost of drawdown products clearer and more comparable for consumers. As a result, we will be making some changes to Illustrations.

What is changing?

Currently we use nominal terms in our drawdown illustrations but, from 6 April, we will use real terms (inflation adjusted). When a client requests it for either drawdown or UFPLS, the first page of an illustration will also provide a summary, including details of their first-year charges in monetary terms and the projected date of when their crystallised pot within their Retirement Account will run out.

What does this mean for my client?

This adjustment means customers in drawdown will see a reduction in the projected figures in the illustrations in their April quarterly statements. The changes will also apply to any drawdown Illustrations produced on the portal after 6 April.

Is anything else changing as a result of the ROR?

There are further changes recommended by the regulator coming into effect in July 2020. One of these is to supply MiFID-style costs and charges for any customers invested in a drawdown arrangement. As we have been supplying this information since 2019, there is no additional disclosure we will be providing.

Budget 2020: An update on allowances

Any changes to allowances made as a result of Budget 2020 will also be included on the Zurich Intermediary Platform at the same time as the changes to illustrations. This includes changes to the lifetime allowance and income tax bands, as well as the increase in the Junior ISA limit to £9,000.

Confirmation of payee

From 31 March 2020, there will be changes within the banking system for payments made by CHAPS or TT.

Banks will check that the name of the account holder matches the name we have provided on the payment. This is the name entered when the bank account is added to the platform, and is to aid prevention of fraudulent claims or payments.

For every payment, the banks will determine if the bank account holder’s name is an exact match, a partial match, or no match.

We will then have a procedure in place to check we are paying the correct account. This means there could be a delay in the payment reaching the client if we do not hold the exact account name for TT or CHAPS payments.

Scottish and Welsh Rate of Income Tax

With both the Scottish and Welsh now being able to set their own Tax rates, we have made some changes to the new business journey, when a Retirement Account has been selected. This is in readiness for when we are able to instantly look up the clients UK Tax Jurisdiction with HMRC. The link to HMRC to establish the client’s tax residency is not yet available, so currently the new business journey will show and use the rest of the UK rate. The client’s tax residency is based on where they lived when the first PRAS claim was made in the current tax year and will apply to the rest of the tax year. The tax jurisdictions are Scottish, Welsh, Rest of the UK and unknown. If no National Insurance number has been input at the point of selecting PRAS, unknown will be returned from HMRC (when the link is established) and we will use the rate for the rest of the UK. Currently rates are all the same so there will be no difference for the gross payment amounts.

HMRC will send updates at the start of each tax year, confirming the UK Tax Jurisdiction that we will need to use for each client for that tax year.

We will confirm when the link with HMRC is fully operational.

 

Pensions Illustration Wizards

We have removed Pension Illustration wizards. The use of this wizard has reduced so significantly since the changes to the new business journey was implemented in 2018 that they are no longer required.

GDPR

Following the introduction of GDPR last year, we will no longer hold client data that has been collected on the Platform for which we do not have a signed declaration from a customer and there has been no activity for six months.

This includes a rolling programme of deleting un-submitted plans which have been sitting in Work in Progress (WIP) for more than six months when we do not have a signed contract with a customer and there has been no activity for 6 months.

It is important to note the six month period starts when the WIP is last saved. If the Account/Wizard is opened and resaved the clock is reset and there is no deletion of information when we have received a signed declaration, even if no money has been received.

These changes have been made to ensure we meet with GDPR requirements.


We’d love to hear more from you. Please do get in touch with your Advance Account Manager if there is anything you feel could be improved about our service. We ensure all your comments are captured and used when prioritising developments.

If you have any further questions about any of these updates and how they will impact you, please speak to your Advance Account Manager on 0345 607 2013.

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