Save your spot now. 1pm on Wednesday 19 June 2024. Is there a recipe for successful retirement income advice? With Gareth Davies of Scottish Widows

Join us online at 1pm on Wednesday 19 June 2024 when Gareth Davies from Scottish Widows will share the latest thinking on retirement income advice following the FCA’s thematic review.

Because, 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 transformed the way that clients could 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’s changed and what can paraplanners do?

Today, high interest rates and stubborn inflationary pressure, coupled with greater regulatory scrutiny courtesy of the advent of The Consumer Duty and the conclusions of 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?

What you’ll gain from this Assembly

During this lunch-hour Assembly, Gareth will not only explore these issues but dig into other considerations that will 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 will offer insights that can help you navigate the retirement income advice landscape today, plus ideas that you can apply when you’re thinking about designing a successful and sustainable plan for income in retirement for your clients.

So don’t miss out. Save your spot now!

Save your spot now. 1pm on 29 May 2024. 'When should AIM be in the frame for IHT planning?' featuring Paul Parker of Canaccord Genuity

Guess what? We were scouring our library of previous online Assemblies recently and realised something: we’ve 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. And if you join us online at 1pm on 29 May 2022, we will.

After all, whether you’re new to paraplanning and in search of a primer or you’ve been paraplanning for ages and want to make sure you do know what you’re talking about, a whistle-stop tour of why investing in AIM is right up there as a strategy for IHT planning is well worth taking.

And we’ve got the ideal guest as a tour guide for the topic.

Because we’re going to be joined by Canaccord Genuity’s senior investment director and head of IHT investments, Paul Parker. During the lunch hour gathering we expect to explore:

As ever, the chat will be open for you to pose questions, or share ideas and observations.

Fancy joining in? Then save your spot right now.

Parmenion’s head of strategic partnerships, Patrick Ingram, joined host Richard Allum for a lunch-hour Assembly to explore how paraplanners can approach the art of cashflow forecasting these days.

Why?  Because two years ago, the Bank of England raised interest rates to break a 1% ceiling that had been in place since February 2009.

Ten more rate rises followed. Inflation peaked at 11.1% in October 2022. The result for many investors, savers, borrowers and anyone who bought anything, quite frankly, was a cost of living shock.

What’s more, the already unfamiliar effect of rising living and housing costs have been compounded by a fiscal drag that’s set to squeeze the spending power of many taxpayers: any gains in pay evaporate as personal allowances remain stubbornly static.

So the chances are we’re all living in a ‘new normal’ – and many would say we’re experiencing a reversion to pre-2008 financial crash ‘normal’.

Cashflow forecasting in the ‘new normal’

What does all that mean? Well, after 15 years of low rates and barely perceptible cost of living rises, predicting the future with any confidence suddenly feels a lot more…unpredictable.

Once ultra-reliable features of a paraplanner’s toolkit don’t seem half as straightforward as they once did. And that includes one of the foundational elements of any financial plan: cashflow forecasting.

So in a world that continues to be beset by economic, political and environmental uncertainty, what does a paraplanner need to know to produce a cashflow forecast that won’t dissolve on contact with reality?

What you’ll gain from this Assembly

In this lunchtime gathering, Patrick explored ways of thinking about cashflow and forecasting which relied less on predicting the future and more on preparing for it. We covered concepts including:

It was a 60-minute session that offered a stack of insights and practical ideas that could be applied to client cases right away – plus a discussion that underlined just how vital conversations about cashflow with clients could be.

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.

AI, eh? (That’s artificial intelligence, obvs.) It seems to be everywhere these days doesn’t it?

From virtual assistants on our smartphones to advanced algorithms in the workplace, AI is becoming increasingly prevalent.

But what does this mean for you as a paraplanner? How will AI impact your day-to-day work and the financial advice world as a whole?

Whether you’re an in-house paraplanner grappling with the implementation of AI within your firm or an outsourced paraplanner navigating various AI tools across multiple clients, the rapid evolution of AI can be both exciting and daunting.

That’s why we designed this online event – to provide a space for you to explore the realities of AI in paraplanning, learn from real-life experiences, and discover how to adapt and thrive in this new landscape.

Joining us online on 10 April 2024 for an insightful and practical discussion were two special guests:

As a paraplanner, staying informed about AI is crucial for your professional development. We encourage you to set aside an hour or two each week to familiarize yourself with AI – and this event is the perfect starting point.

To begin with, tune into this collaborative exploration of AI in paraplanning.

Save your spot now – we can’t wait to see you there!

Back in the days of pandemic restrictions, we would throw open the doors of a Zoom room for an hour on a Friday morning so – whether in-house or outsourced – any paraplanner who was working from home and fancied a natter could drop in (we called them Coffee Mornings).

Despite the return to a more traditional office hours for part of the week, the world of hybrid working and WFH continues to leave loads of us craving a bit of watercooler-style conversation once in a while – if only to stay sane.

Which is why we’re reviving our informal one-hour drop-ins once again.

Pop the kettle on, it’s Elevenses

We’re calling them Elevenses and we’ll be opening the Zoom room for the next one at 11am on Friday 15 March 2024

To join in, just click the ‘Book event’ button, fill out your details and you’ll receive a calendar invitation with the Zoom link in your inbox (so you don’t forget).

What to expect

There’s nothing to prepare or anything – although a frequent topic of conversation is ‘What’s for tea?’ so be ready for that – so just pour yourself a cuppa, grab a biscuit or two or three or four…and click the link.

Expect to be greeted by a friendly-faced paraplanner or two (Caroline Stuart will definitely be one of the hosts for this gathering).

There might only be two or three of us. And then there might be 20. 

You can stay for the whole hour. Or just five minutes. It’s entirely up to you.

See you there?

With the dust settling on the Chancellor’s Budget, Assembly favourite, Les Cameron from M&G Wealth, joined us to cast his expert gaze over the measures announced and what they mean for advice firms and their clients. 

Over the course of one lunch-hour, Les explored what Jeremy Hunt’s Budget statement meant for things like inheritance tax, non-dom status, national insurance, lifetime allowance, annual allowance and pretty much any other allowance you can think of.

How many of the Budget measures trailed in the media in advance of the Chancellor’s speech actually materialised or turned out to be Treasury sleight of hand?

As regular Assembly participants know, Les absolutely loves fielding questions on tax and investing (especially from paraplanners) so tune into to see what issues cropped up.

Finally, grab a record of attendance for your CPD visit the dedicated event page for this Assembly at M&G Wealth’s Tech Matters site.

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).

Save your spot now. New Forest Assembly. 10am-1pm on Thursday 25 April 2024. Grey friars Community Centre, Christchurch Road, Ringwood, BH24 1DW. Visit

If you’re a paraplanner who lives or works in Dorset, Hampshire and the New Forest, and south Wiltshire, then our New Forest Assembly at 10am on Thursday 25 April 2024 is just the thing for you.

Organised by Evelyn Partners’ Jackie Manning and Sarah Lees from Mazars, the Assembly, which is being hosted at Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood, Hampshire, is your chance to catch up with paraplanners from your neck of the woods. (Why a community centre? Take a look at our recent blog post.)

When you book your spot, you’ll be invited to shape the agenda by suggesting topics that you’d like the Assembly cover during the get-together.

But to give you an idea of what to expect, at last October’s gathering of paraplanners at the equivalent event in London (The Other London Assembly), we exchanged ideas and perspectives on:

The New Forest Assembly is the ideal chance to learn what’s going on in each other’s worlds, share ideas, and discover practical tips and illuminating insights – and tackle any other paraplanning topics that are on your mind when we gather.

See you on 25 April 2024? Then save your spot now.