Platform updates

Here you’ll find all the latest updates to our Zurich Intermediary Platform. These recent 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.

Improving the Zurich Intermediary Platform

On occasion, the changes we introduce centre on improving the back office services of our Platform and these don’t significantly impact advisers, their clients or the services we are providing.

In this latest release and 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 Release introduces 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.

Tax Year End 2019

Ahead of the end of the 2018/19 tax year, we have updated the Platform ready for the new 2019/20 tax year.

MiFID II costs and charges -ex-post disclosure

From April 2019, there will be an additional statement included with the April quarterly statement. The annual Charges Information Summary will cover 12 month disclosures from April 2018-April 2019.

One summary will be produced for each account in a portfolio. The summary will show the total cost and charges deducted from the accounts as a pound value. In addition it will display a percentage value, based on the average value of the account over the statement period.

The calculations include all:

  • Money in
  • Money out
  • Switches
  • Rebalances
  • Phased investments
  • Daily cash fluctuations
  • Discretionary Fund Managers (DFM) costs and fund charges
  • Adviser charges
  • Platform fees
  • Fund Management fees.

Accordion Section FCA inflation assumptions in illustrations

The FCA inflation assumptions have reduced from 2.5% to 2%. This has the effect of increasing the projected value. If you have any illustrations already in progress within the Platform and would like to reflect the new 2% assumption, please regenerate your illustration, by going back into the wizard and a new illustration will generate.

New pension scheme

From 6th April 2019, following an internal restructure of our pension schemes all Retirement Accounts will be part of the new scheme. When any additional money is added to an existing Retirement Account and the client hasn’t already been notified of the change, a declaration will be included in the client’s summary of plan changes.

Client Summary updates

We have implemented a series of system fixes to the client summary document of the platform.

Changes to Lifetime Allowance

The life time allowance will increase on 6th April to £1,055,000.

Increase to Junior ISA Allowance

The Junior ISA Allowance will increase on 6th April to £4,368.

Improved illustrations for Re-registrations

You will now be able to add more than 35 funds for re-registration illustrations.

Introducing the Junior Portfolio

In this release we have launched our Junior Portfolio for under 18s. The Portfolio will include a Cash Account and can also include a Junior ISA and/or Junior Retirement Account.

Junior Portfolio

To set up a Junior Portfolio, click on the menu and select New junior portfolio.

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New Client Summary

In order to try and make it easier for you to find information about your client’s portfolio we have introduced a Client summary PDF to the dashboard screen. Click on the PDF link and enter the date range (maximum 12 months) that you wish to view.

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Costs and Charges and Dual Priced Funds

As part of this release we have amended our approach to the calculation of Costs and Charges and it is now able to accurately reflect the cost of dual priced funds.

Other Changes

As we continue to improve the user journey through the platform a number of other changes have been made as part of this release:

  • A confirmation messages on submission of new business will now display.
  • The product provider address is now pre-populated on the transfer authority form, if it has been entered manually.
  • Portfolio name will now accept “&”.
  • Investment Life Cover will now only show in the new portfolio journey.

Improving the Zurich Intermediary Platform

In this release we have made some significant enhancements to the way the platform looks and feels and taken on your feedback about the way you want to use the platform with your customers. This is the first phase of the changes we are making, and in this release we have updated the dashboard and the screens that you use to submit new portfolios and top-ups to existing portfolios.

New dashboard

dashboard

In this release we have made some significant enhancements to the way the platform looks and feels and taken on your feedback about the way you want to use the platform with your customers. This is the first phase of the changes we are making, and in this release we have updated the dashboard and the screens that you use to submit new portfolios and top-ups to existing portfolios.

Search Function

A new search function at the top of the dashboard page allows you to search more quickly for a customer’s portfolio.

Quick Links

On the firm dashboard pages and the portfolio dashboard pages we have introduced quick link functions which will enable you to quickly access areas of the platform that you use most often.

User Names

We have introduced the ability for the platform to automatically remember user names to ensure that signing in is quick and hassle free. The next time you log in tick the, “remember me on this computer” box and your user name will be pre-populated next time you come to our site.

New Portfolios and Top-ups to existing portfolios

Placing new business onto the platform will now be easier, more flexible and quicker. We have changed the journey from a fixed input basis through a number of screens to a single page application with expandable sections.


portfolios

GDPR Changes

As part of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented on 25 May 2018, we’ve made changes to the Zurich Intermediary Platform to remain compliant.

Client Data

To ensure the Zurich Intermediary Platform is GDPR compliant we have amended the Portfolio Declaration to provide your clients with clearer information on how their data is used. We have also updated our Data Protection Leaflet – Your Privacy is Important to us. These are available in the document library on Zurichintermediary.co.uk and available as an appendix to the Zurich Portfolio Terms and Conditions.

Data Retention

GDPR also means changes to our data retention policy. For any Portfolios that are closed we will hold onto personal data relating to that Portfolio for 10 years after the Portfolio closure date. After that the data will be removed from the system and we will not be able to identify the Portfolio holders, Third party payers or anyone else associated with the Portfolio (for example a Power of Attorney).

For any Portfolios that are submitted but not activated we will remove the personal data after six months. In the next few months we will have a cleaning up exercise to remove any that are over six months old.

In addition we will delete new business work in progress wizards once they are six months old to ensure the personal data is no longer held in the Zurich Intermediary Platform. As part of this release all work in progress wizards have been deleted.

Platform Tools

You should also be aware that when you use the E-Value and FE Tools on the Zurich Intermediary Platform, the platform shares your Client’s personal data with some of the tools; including the FE Portfolio Report. You should make your clients aware of this when using the tools.

Tax Year End 2018

With the new tax year that started 6 April, 2018, we’ve updated the Platform to remain in line with changes made by the HMRC.

Lifetime Allowance Changes

In the 2017, Autumn Budget the Chancellor announced that the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) would increase annually in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).  As a result of this change the Lifetime Allowance will increase from £1million to £1,030,000 from 6th April 2018.

Any crystallisations into drawdown or any uncrystallised fund pension lump sum (UFPLS) from 6th April 2018 will be based on the new allowance.
For any policies that have already had crystallisations in previous tax years, the percentage of LTA used remains unchanged.

Some of your clients will of course need to take pension benefits in this tax year, but for other clients it might be advisable for them to wait for the higher LTA in the 2018/2019 tax year.

We will not be deleting any work in progress crystallisation wizards, so if you have saved a partially completed wizard in the 2017/2018 tax year you can submit it. However, you should be aware that the figures for the LTA displayed on the screen during that wizard may not have been correct.  The percentage of LTA used and any tax on excess LTA will be recalculated on submission of the wizard using the 2018/2019 LTA.  If you want to see the correct figures on the screen before submitting the wizard you should start the wizard again.

Scottish Rate of Income Tax

From 6th April, we will be required to hold an indicator on the platform confirming whether the portfolio holder is subject to Scottish Rate of Income Tax or the Income Tax rate applying to the rest of the UK.

We will obtain this information from HMRC by way of our end of year tax reporting.  We send HMRC our RSPComm100 report and they return it to us with the tax status for each Retirement Account holder. This information will then be used by HMRC to determine the amount of PRAS reclaim for the following tax year.

As the PRAS reclaim for Scottish tax residents will remain at 20% for the tax year 2018/19, you will not notice any difference this tax year. If, however, this changes in the future you will see a different rate of PRAS claim for Scottish tax residents.  At that time, we will also ensure that we have the functionality to access the HMRC Gateway from the platform to look up the tax residency status of any new Retirement Account customers to ensure the correct PRAS reclaim rate is reflected in illustrations.

Changes to Output

As part of this release we are making some small wording changes to illustrations. We have changed the words pension income to annuity, to ensure we clearly differentiate between annuity payments and drawdown payments from a pension.

In addition we have added the some declaration words to the Transfer forms required by Origo for electronic transfers.

ISA tax advantages after death of an account holder

From 6th April 2018, the savings of a deceased person in an ISA will continue to benefit from tax advantages during the administration of the estate, up until the earlier of:

a) The completion of the administration of the deceased’s estate,

b) The day falling on the third anniversary of the death, or

c)The closure of the account.


However, during this period:

a) No subscription or qualifying addition is to be made to the continuing account, and

b) No transfer is to be made of a continuing account, except in prescribed circumstances.

Additional Permitted Subscriptions (APS) into ISAs

Since 6 April 2015, a surviving spouse or civil partner has been able to inherit a one-off additional ISA allowance, equivalent to the value of the deceased’s ISA at the date of their death. This is known as an Additional Permitted Subscription (APS). However, any growth on the ISA after the date of death is taxable.

From 6th April 2018, in order to compliment the extension of ISA tax advantages after death of an account holder, this APS can include the growth on the ISA and will be known as a ‘continuing ISA’.

The amount of the Additional Permitted Subscription into the partner’s ISA can be the higher of the value at the date of death or the value of the continuing ISA.

We currently handle Additional Permitted Subscriptions through Customer Operations and we will continue to handle them in this way.

Supporting you through regulatory change

In 2016 the FCA introduced new rules affecting the advice process for pensions, including that advisers must show clients what effect a change to their retirement benefits would have before it is made.

We already have functionality to allow you to run an ad-hoc illustration to show benefits before any changes.

The changes were outlined in PS16/12, which followed a consultation on the pension freedoms introduced in 2015.

Illustrations available pre-submission

To help you meet these requirements we have made illustrations for drawdown accounts available prior to you submitting changes through the existing pension payment out options – income review, change payment and one-off payment.

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Within each function, you will be given the option to produce an illustration prior to submitting the changes being made. An example from the One-off payment function is shown below.

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Multiple income changes illustration (coming soon)

We are also working on a new illustration function that will be available soon. It will allow you to illustrate multiple income changes. For your clients who already have a Retirement Account in drawdown, you will be able to illustrate changes to regular income and ad-hoc income payments in the same illustration. This will allow you to show your client the impact of these changes and give them the clearest view of their options. This illustration will also be available to illustrate UFPLS on accumulation Retirement Accounts. Any changes you then wish to proceed with, you can make in the normal way.

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Adding flexi-access drawdown and UFPLS capability

You asked, we listened. We have made a number of changes in the drawdown illustration function, now renamed as ‘Crystallisation event Illustration’.

  • You can now Illustrate UFPLS through this function, allowing you to provide UFPLS illustrations without selling the investments to cash first.
  • We have removed the age restriction of 55 too, allowing you to illustrate drawdown and UFPLS in advance of your client’s 55th birthday.

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Illustration calculations

You may also notice a slight variation in illustration figures post PS16/12 implementation. This may affect those with particularly large holdings in cash or assets with high growth rates.

PS16/12 has introduced some regulations that mean:

  • The charge on cash interest rates has to be included in the illustration
  • Changes to the way we have to cap fund growth rates assumed in illustrations as specified by FCA maximum rates.

A reduction in the Money Purchase Annual Allowance

Building on the recent delivery of our ‘edit regular payments in’ function, you can now add cash to the asset strategy when you go to edit a client’s regular payment. This means you don’t have to stop and start the regular again if you wish to add cash as part of your asset strategy.

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Improving the customer journey

We've taken on board your feedback and done something about it. The changes we have made are all aimed at providing you with a smoother, more efficient service.

Adding cash option when editing regular DD

Building on the recent delivery of our ‘edit regular payments in’ function, you can now add cash to the asset strategy when you go to edit a client’s regular payment. This means you don’t have to stop and start the regular again if you wish to add cash as part of your asset strategy.

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Nomination of Beneficiary form

To prevent you filling in unnecessary paperwork and to make it clearer when you need to send this in, we have changed the point at which we present you with the Nomination of Beneficiary form. The messaging has also changed to be more informative, so you know exactly where and when in the process the form is required.

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Improving usability in disclose and authorise journey

We have improved the usability of our ‘disclose and authorise’ journey for bulk switches, rebalances and upgrades based on feedback we have received. Now you can see how many accounts you have selected to process to ensure all are authorised appropriately.

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Fixing reported issues

We also made a number of fixes based on feedback provided, and those who have reported it are in the process of being contacted.

We’d love to hear more from you. Please do get in touch with your Business 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 Business Account Manager on 0808 554 6546.