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Article Contents (Estimated Reading Time - 4 mins 27 secs)

Summary

Brite Advisors investors stunned by strict new withdrawal rules. Can you still access your funds? What's allowed and what's not? Get the full scoop on the changing landscape to safeguard your financial future.

There’s important news for Brite Advisors’ clients regarding their pension or Investment Account. At Cameron James, we want to make sure you’re up-to-date with these changes. For more context, be sure to read our previous blog.

Understanding the New Withdrawal Process

Following the appointment of McGrathNicol as Corporate Receivers, Brite Advisors has established specific protocols for processing withdrawal requests. These include:

  • Submitting requests through Corporate Trustees, where such arrangements exist.
  • Direct investors without Corporate Trustees must send their requests via email to a designated address.
  • Only those who had submitted requests prior to November 9th i.e., those who were actively already drawing from their pension, are able to access their funds at this point in time, and requests made after this date will not be considered
  • Withdrawals are limited to maintaining at least 70% of the total investment value as of 9th of November 2023. I.e., you can withdraw a maximum of 30% of the value you had on the 9th of November.
  • Complete withdrawal or surrender of investments is not currently permitted under these new guidelines.

Request Submission and Processing

For those with pension schemes, continue to liaise with your usual scheme administrators for withdrawal requests. Direct investors with Brite Advisors should adhere to the new email process. The Receivers are diligently working to gain access to necessary systems and anticipate beginning the processing of qualifying requests in the upcoming weeks.

Whilst the Receivers’ official announcements don’t explicitly state this, we have seen correspondence from pension trustees indicating that it may actually be possible to submit a request after the 9th of November cut off, and get the withdrawal approved, but there will need to a bulletproof reason for doing so, such as financial hardship without it.

The statement received from the Trustee was that “requests made after 9th November will require special consideration by the Receivers and must be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum, perhaps describing the purpose of the withdrawal and the hardship that may ensue if the request is not acceded to, which must be duly signed by the requesting member.”

Please note, this option should only be considered under genuine circumstances. Be aware that any requests for full withdrawal or similar actions are likely to be rejected.

The Broader Impact on Investors

These recent changes have significant implications for a wide range of investors, affecting both short-term liquidity and long-term financial planning. It’s crucial for investors to reassess their strategies and possibly adjust their financial plans in light of these new withdrawal protocols.

Our Opinion

These updates from Brite Advisors are significant, and after many weeks of confusion and speculation around when members would be able to start drawing again from their pensions, it finally appears like there is movement.

Whilst this may feel like an opportunity to secure some of your funds and get them off the Brite Platform, making withdrawal requests is unlikely to be a sound strategy unless you have a genuine reason to need the funds. Any funds withdrawn at this time will invariably be taken into account when they work out what is owed to each Brite member via whatever mechanism they apply if there are insufficient funds to make the members whole.

So taking funds now, which will likely be taxable, especially if not from any sort of lump sum allowance, is likely to be poor financial planning, so you should not rush and make any impulsive decisions, but rather seek the advice of a qualified and regulated financial adviser.

Also, if you are in a strong financial position, and do not need any access to funds at this time, then all your request is doing is clogging up the admin capacity of the Receivers for those who genuinely do have a strong need for the funds, so you will be impacting your fellow Brite members negatively.

If you already had a withdrawal request put in, or were in receipt of a regular income stream, prior to the 9th November then please carry on liaising with the Receivers, whether directly in the case of investment accounts, or through your Trustee in the case of pension accounts, and hopefully the payments will be forthcoming.

For those of you who have made, or are looking to make, withdrawal requests post 9th November, please make sure you only do so if you are in desperate need for the funds, as your request will unlikely be successful. And, if you do need the funds, make sure you put together a thorough reasoning for why you need the funds when submitting the request, as otherwise they will also likely reject your request, so take the time to be thorough.

Navigating Changes with Confidence

As the situation evolves, staying informed and adaptable is essential. Cameron James is dedicated to providing guidance and support during these times. For personalised advice and assistance, we encourage you to contact us or other qualified and regulated financial advisers.

Whilst there is still potentially a long way to go before the entire situation is resolved, and the ability to transfer out is possible, that does not mean you have to sit idly by waiting for that time. Getting out ahead of the process, and finding a professional, honest and regulated adviser to work with now, to prepare for that moment, will all but certainly be valuable down the road, whilst also helping you obtain some peace of mind, no matter how insignificant, that you are doing what you can to help get yourself into a better position.

Author

Jonathan Laws

My journey at Cameron James has been exceptional. I am something of a sponge for knowledge, which has made me extremely well suited to the complexities and constantly evolving UK Pension Transfer system. This in-depth knowledge and experience of Final Salary Pension Transfers allows me to be at the very top of my game and protect my client’s best interests.

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