It’s been just over a year since the arrival of The Consumer Duty.

So, whether you’ve been neck-deep in its implementation or still feel like you’re getting to grips with it, now seems like a good time to see how we’re all getting on with it.

That’s why you’re invited to join us online at 1.00pm on Wednesday 14 August 2024 for a lunch-hour Assembly that’s all about The Consumer Duty.

To explore the topic, we’ll be joined by founder of Compliance and Training Solutions (CATS), Mel Holman, and Tom Lloyd-Read, technical planning manager at Stonehage Fleming.

Mel has been providing advice and implementation support to a range of organisations while Tom has been deeply involved in implementation of the Duty within his firm.

Over the course of the lunch-hour Assembly, we’re bound to cover:

What’s more, if our pre-event prep is anything to go by, there’s every chance we’ll touch on cashflow modelling assumptions, dashboards and gap analysis too.

Of course, being an Assembly, not only are you invited to tune into the conversation, we’d love you to share your thoughts and ideas on what’s working, what’s not, and where firms are still figuring things out in the chat.

So if you’re up for an hour’s worth of thoughtful insights and practical takeaways, join the conversion and save your spot now.

Working out what to do with your client’s wealth after their death is all part of a paraplanner’s life.

But settling on the best strategy can be complex – especially when missing a vital detail can have costly consequences.

So what can you do about it?

Stay up to date with the latest thinking, that’s what.

Which is why Neil Macleod, senior technical manager at M&G Wealth, joined us to explore death and trusts and paraplanning.

During this lunch-hour Assembly, Neil covered:

What will I learn from this online Assembly?

By the end of this Assembly, you’ll be able to:

No matter how complex the cases you deal with, this is a great chance to tune in to Neil’s expertise, and get up to speed on death and trusts.

Believe it or not, it’s already been nine years since the introduction of pension freedoms. And while it’s fair to say that the arrival of drawdown has transformed the way that clients can plan income in retirement, when the new measures were announced back in 2015, they were made against the backdrop of a generally benign economic climate.

What had changed and what could paraplanners do?

Today, high interest rates and stubborn inflationary pressure, coupled with greater regulatory scrutiny courtesy of The Consumer Duty and the FCA’s retirement income review, make for altogether more changeable weather.

So how are paraplanners expected to make forecasts and hatch plans that will deliver sustainable incomes for clients in their retirement? Plans that stack up under scrutiny – and against the demands – of The Consumer Duty?

During this lunch-hour Assembly, Gareth not only explored these issues but dug into other considerations that could influence paraplanners, advisers and clients when thinking about accumulation and decumulation strategies including:

No matter what your experience or expertise as a paraplanner, this 60-minute session offers insights and ideas when considering options for successful and sustainable income in retirement for your clients.

Once upon a time, we were scouring our library of previous online Assemblies and realised something: we had never covered the topic of inheritance tax (IHT) planning using the alternative investment market (AIM)!

So we thought it was high time to fix that with a whistle-stop tour to discover why investing in AIM is right up there as a strategy for IHT planning.

Whether you’re new to paraplanning and in search of a primer, or you’ve been paraplanning for absolutely ages and want to make sure you really know what you’re talking about, tuning into this Assembly will be well worth your while.

To help us navigate the topic we were joined by the ideal tour guide: Canaccord Genuity’s senior investment director and head of IHT investments, Paul Parker. During our lunch-hour gathering we explored:

As ever, the chat was open for paraplanners to pose questions, or share ideas and observations – and the quality of contributions was great!

Watch Case Study Investigation: getting to the bottom of top slicing relief featuring Steve Sayer from Utmost International

It’s no secret that top slicing relief offers a powerful method of reducing tax liability by spreading bond gains across each year of the lifetime of the bond. 

But no matter how experienced a paraplanner you may be, working out the best way to make use of the relief, and getting the top slicing calculations right, can be tricky.

Join Steve and Richard as they crack the case

That’s why we think this case study investigation (CSI) on top slicing will be right up your street.

In this 45-minute special on top slicing, Utmost International’s technical sales manager, Steve Sayer, joins The Paraplanners’ Richard Allum, to pick his way through a case study featuring fictional client, David. 

Designed to give you the chance to consider the financial planning opportunities from all sorts of angles, this CSI will help you:

Watch or listen now

Whether you’re new to top slicing relief or are a seasoned pro, it never hurts to top up your knowledge and know how – especially when it can make such a big difference to a client’s financial plan.

Video cover image features a head and shoulder picture of Les Cameron. Text reads: Recorded on 24 April 2024. Les Cameron's guide to the new allowances landscape featuring Les Cameron of M&G Wealth

In a world where even HMRC doesn’t seem too sure what the score is, how can paraplanners get to grips with the new allowances landscape so clients know what they need to know right now?

Well you could tune into this recording of our Assembly with Les Cameron on 24 April 2024 for starters.

Because M&G Wealth’s head of technical took us on a guided tour of the new allowances regime following the abolition of the lifetime allowance (LTA).

What you’ll gain from this Assembly

During this lunch-hour event, hosted by Richard Allum of The Paraplanners, Les explored what has changed, what matters, and what it all means for you and your clients.

In a session that was jam-packed with examples, case studies and practical tips, Les covered all the essentials including

Among the nuggets that Les shared were his analysis of the winners and losers under the new regime, nine things you need to know about TTFACs, and planning opportunities for clients as a result of the changes.

What’s more, he recapped the legislative position as well as shared some good-to-know quirks that the changes are throwing up.

With the post-LTA world still in an apparent state of flux, this is a timely chance to take stock in the company of one of the Assembly’s most popular experts. Want to join in? Then save your spot now.

A special tax year end Assembly combining expert insights and Chat-powered Q&A.

Coming just a week after the Budget statement on 6 March, a little over a fortnight before tax year end, and while the Finance Bill from last October’s statement is still making its way through Parliament, it was the ideal time to tune in to what you really need to know as the tax year hits its paraplanning peak.

To help, we gathered together a stellar panel of experts to share their knowledge and know-how: Les Cameron from M&G Wealth, James Jones-Tinsley of Barnett Waddingham and Transact’s Brian Radbone. (Scottish Widows’s Tom Coughlan, was due to join us but technical gremlins proved too much of an obstacle.)

Expect a lunch-hour discussion laden with lashings of insights on allowances, reliefs and exemptions spanning pensions, ISAs, capital gains tax and inheritance tax (and everything in between).

Ever-popular Assembly regular, Les Cameron of M&G Wealth, joined us to answer the question ‘What’s going on with the lifetime allowance?’

Why? Because in his Budget statement to the House of Commons earlier this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, announced the removal of the amount you could hold in pension savings before becoming liable for tax.

And that’s quite the change. Because it’s not all that long since Hunt’s predecessors stood accused of levying ‘stealth taxes’ by freezing the LTA at to £1,073,100 – potentially exposing an influx of pension savers to tax liabilities thanks to the effect of inflation.

So with proposed legislation removing the LTA and introducing a rise in the annual allowance, doesn’t the future look rosey for pension savers and their pots?

Or do other proposed measures – like setting a limit of £268,275 on tax-free lump sums – muddy the waters a bit?

Well, that’s where Les came in. Because over the lunch-hour session he:

Be honest. This stuff is like catnip to a paraplanner isn’t it?

Listen now

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Video cover reads 'Investing for businesses these days. Recorded on 16 August 2023. Featuring Les Cameron of M&G Wealth.'

Popular Assembly regular, Les Cameron of M&G Wealth, joined us in something of a follow-up to last November’s online Assembly on financial planning essentials for small businesses.

As you’ll know if you tuned into that Assembly, there are already plenty of reasons for business-owning clients to consider investing surplus profits rather than, for instance, taking them as income. 

But April’s 6p rise in corporation tax could add impetus to business owners interest in weighing up their options.

Yet there’s so much uncertainty around these days – even about once relatively dependable vehicles like bonds – so what strategies should you be considering for clients with businesses?

During this lunch-hour online Assembly, Les explored investment options, discuss tax treatments and tackle the topic of demonstrating suitability.

So if you have clients with businesses – or run a business yourself – why not tune in?


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We recently teamed up with friend of the Assembly, Steve Sayer of Utmost International, to record a three-part series of special Assemblies. Each one-hour session explores the issues affecting tax and tax planning, and offers practical ideas that paraplanners can consider for their firms’ clients.

In the first part of the series, Steve looked back at the last two budgets – the ‘mini-budget’ in September 2022 and spring Budget in March 2023 – to demonstrate the cumulative effect of ‘stealth’ tax rises and explore strategies to alleviate their effects.

In the second episode, he explored the flexibility of loan trusts and their potential for inheritance tax planning – especially in the wake of the freezes in nil rate and residence nil rate bands announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer earlier this year.

In the final part of the trilogy, Steve considers discounted gift trusts as an alternative to loan trusts for inheritance tax planning.

In sharp contrast to loan trusts, the decision to execute a gift trust brings no flexibility but their appeal is the immediate inheritance tax advantages.

Whether they’re the right vehicle will depend on a number of planning considerations such as the ages of the applicants and the types of gift trust.

During his talk, Steve looks at the difference between absolute trusts and discretionary trusts, touches on issues like the consequences of pre-2006 flexible power of appointment arrangements, making gifts and insurance policies.

In the slides that you can download below, you’ll find two case studies:

Case study No 1: explores the issues a couple might consider when choosing between a joint settlor or single settlor discounted gift trust.

Case study No 2: a client who wants to invest in a discounted gift trust but wants to be able to secure a fixed level of withdrawals. By combining discretionary and absolute trusts they’re able to achieve their objective without exceeding their nil rate band.

Steve’s talk is ideal if you’re handling cases where clients are weighing up planning opportunities for inheritance tax, this is the special Assembly for you.

We’ve ‘chapterised’ the video above so you can navigate the video however you’d like – and provided the slide number/s too for easy reference.

To download a PDF version of Steve’s slidedeck, just tap the link below. You can also download a CPD certificate as a record of viewing the recording, and links to other resources mentioned during the recording.

CPD, downloads and links

Slides: Discounted gift trusts (opens a PDF in a new browser tab)

CPD certificate »

Utmost International