Happy new tax year! I hope you had a smooth tax year end and wishing you a productive rest of the year. Welcome to the first of a new series of blogs from me, taking a deeper dive into my thoughts and reflections on the last quarter. Without further ado, let’s get into it…

FCA Retirement Income Advice thematic review

Following the FCA’s Retirement Income Advice thematic review findings, we can now clearly see the regulator’s expectations – firms need to be able to provide evidence of the recommendation and of their ‘workings’, as well as the process and controls around the process that led to the recommendation.

Highlighted examples included:

  • Firms needing to justify and record the methods and assumptions used for determining income withdrawals.
  • Providing proof that risk profiling was undertaken and that capacity for loss was also considered.
  • When using cashflow modelling to demonstrate the suitability of retirement-related advice, needing to press for evidence from their clients that the information the clients provide is accurate. In a relationship built on trust, that has the unfortunate potential to introduce a tension where none was previously. 

It comes at a time when, as advisers, you’re already having to contend with the fallout of the legislation to abolish the lifetime allowance being rushed through – so rushed, that HMRC was left buffeted in its wake along with everybody else. The move is to be welcomed, but the speed with which it was implemented simply created more short-term uncertainty and a state of limbo for advisers. Neither of which is easily explained to clients.

Rethinking retirement

It’s against this highly charged and changing backdrop, that we’re looking to get fresh eyes on decumulation strategies and how others are approaching retirement advice and solutions for their clients.

It’s an important discussion, and it’s the reason why we’re running a series of Rethinking Retirement roadshows across 17 locations across the UK, inviting experts in our sector to give their view on the direction we’re headed.

In this new era for retirement, we want to hear your views on how we can best support your approach to decumulation advice. And we would like to explore with you how to get the most out of the Wealthtime platforms and our DFM, Copia.

In the past, we’ve kept these two sides of the business separate. However, after setting up a retirement working group last year and in response to feedback from our AX Board, we have been looking at ways in which we can bring them closer together to better support your decumulation strategies. We look forward to sharing our thinking – and hearing yours – at the roadshows which kicked off on 16 April.

We’d love the output from the roadshows to be a blueprint for making the response to the thematic review a happy one. We hope we get the chance to work with you at one of the events to make that happen.

What’s on at Wealthtime?


As ever, Q1 was a busy one with tax year end demanding more from both advisers and providers. Despite the usual flurry of activity, we saw our servicing teams respond positively with servicing times and quality improved on last year, despite a substantial increase in work volumes. Encouraging signs that our ongoing focus on service optimisation is paying dividends.

Other Q1 highlights for me include the launch of our new Notification Centre, giving advisers a one-stop shop for tracking client cases and submissions. We also launched our online verification process, saving advisers time when completing DPA checks.

What to expect in Q2

As you would expect, we’ll continue to explore areas where we can improve and where we can grow to expand the offering for you and your clients. Our Rethinking Retirement roadshows continue throughout April and May and we’ll be building on this area in the future. We’ll keep you informed of all improvements and growth opportunities as they arise.

I hope you have great Q2 and hopefully we’ll see you at one of our upcoming roadshow events.