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Frequently Asked QuestionsOn topics we think will be important to you

QUICK ANSWERS

Our website contains various information about our products and services but we know that time is precious and it’s helpful to have information to hand. Here are quick answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Important information

Investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you originally invested.

Laws and tax rules may change in the future without notice. This information takes no account of your personal circumstances which may have an impact on tax treatment.

All investments carry an element of risk which may differ significantly. If you are unsure as to the suitability of any particular investment or product, you should seek expert advice.

OPENING AN ACCOUNT

How do I open an Account?

If you are interested in opening an Alliance Trust Savings Account, please speak to your financial adviser.

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can locate one near you at unbiased.co.uk.

CHARGES

What are the charges?

We charge flat Account fees for our platform services. These cover the basic ongoing cost to us of managing an Account for you and charges for other services you may ask us to provide - buying and selling investments for example. You can download our Charges Guide which can be found in our Literature page.

Is there a price difference to trade online or by post?

It’s cheaper to trade online, £9.99 a trade compared to £50 by phone or post. You can also benefit from a loyalty discount for online or telephone trading after 5 years. Full details can be found in our Charges Guide which can be found in our Literature page.

PAYING IN

What payment methods do you accept?

Debit card, Direct Debit (for regular payments), transfer from your bank account and cheque.

How do I pay money into my Account?

We’ll send you a password and Personal ID to use on our secure online service, where you (or your financial adviser) can manage your Account, including the payments you make. If you prefer, you can also give us payment instructions over the phone or by post. For the detail of how to pay using the different methods we offer, read our Platform Guide which you can find in Forms and Literature.

Who can pay into my Account?

For ISAs only you can pay into the Account However, for GIAs you can authorise a named donor. You can set up regular monthly or quarterly payments online by direct debit at any time. You can also send us your instructions by post by completing an Instruction Form.  These are available from your financial adviser.

For SIPPs, anyone, including your employer, can pay into your Account but you can only get tax relief on your personal payments. These include payments you make from your own pocket or that anyone else, other than your employer or former employer, makes on your behalf.

PRODUCT SPECIFIC

ISA

Who can open an ISA?

If you are 18 or over and resident in the UK you can apply for a Stocks & Shares ISA.

If you are not a UK resident you can still open an ISA if you are performing duties as a Crown servant overseas (for example, serving in the armed forces or a diplomat) or married to / in a civil partnership with someone who is.

You must hold your Stocks & Shares ISA in your own name and you can only pay in to one Stocks & Shares ISA, one Innovative Finance ISA, one Lifetime ISA or one Cash ISA each tax year. Alliance Trust Savings only offer a Stocks & Shares ISA.

Are there tax advantages?

ISAs shelter your savings from tax. You can invest up to £20,000 (2019/2020 tax year) and access your money any time.

Who can pay into my Account?

Only you can pay into the Account. You can set up regular monthly or quarterly payments online by direct debit at any time. You can also send us your instructions by post by completing an Instruction Form. These are available from your financial adviser.

Can I transfer other ISAs to ATS?

Yes, you can transfer your Cash ISAs or other Stocks & Shares ISAs into a Stocks & Shares ISA with Alliance Trust Savings. We charge flat Account fees that don’t grow with your investments, making our charges very competitive for larger ISA pots. See how we compare.

Transfers from previous tax years won’t count towards your ISA allowance for this year. But if you transfer an ISA that you opened this tax year the amount you’ve already paid in to it does still count.

Your current manager might charge you for transferring. We may not offer the same investments they did so you could be out of the market for a time during the transfer process.

If you are interested in transferring to Alliance Trust Savings, please speak to your financial adviser.

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can locate one near you at unbiased.co.uk.

SIPP

Who can apply?

You can apply if you are 18 or over, a UK resident and:

  • have earnings that count for UK income tax; or
  • are resident in the UK at some point during the tax year; or
  • want to make a transfer from another registered pension scheme

Can I transfer other SIPPs to ATS?

Yes. You may be able to transfer from another registered pension scheme to your SIPP Account. We charge flat Account fees that don’t grow with your investments, making our charges very competitive for larger pension pots. See how we compare.

Your current registered pension scheme might charge you for transferring and you should work out the impact of any charges on your investment before going ahead.

Before initiating a transfer you should seek professional advice on the merits of the proposed transfer that is specific to your circumstances. Your existing pension may have valuable benefits which you might lose when you transfer.

You can’t transfer money to us from a private defined benefit scheme unless you have taken advice from a financial adviser with the right qualifications and they confirm it is in your best interests. The only exception is when the total transfer value of all your benefits in that scheme is less than £30,000.

If you are interested in transferring to Alliance Trust Savings, please speak to your financial adviser.

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can locate one near you at unbiased.co.uk.

Is a SIPP a stakeholder pension?

No. Stakeholder pensions have to meet government set standards covering payments, charges and other terms and conditions. The charges for a SIPP may be higher than for a stakeholder pension.

How do I know if a SIPP is right for me?

We cannot give you financial advice. You should understand the risks and commitments of a SIPP Account before you invest.

If you feel that you need advice to decide if a SIPP Account is right for you please speak to a financial adviser. You can search for one near you at www.unbiased.co.uk.

How does tax relief work through my SIPP?

Read our guide to Getting the most from your pension savings for information on pension tax relief and how it works.

Where applicable, we will claim monthly tax relief for net contributions made by the 5th of each month.

We then pay your tax relief into your Account on or around the 25th of the following month.

Examples:

  • Mr Smith makes a contribution on 2 July. He will receive his tax relief on/around 25 August.
  • Mrs Jones makes a contribution on 10 July. She will receive her tax relief on/around 25 September.

We will pay your tax relief into your SIPP’s Cash Deposit Account unless you post us a signed, written instruction asking us to pay it into another of your SIPP’s Cash Management Accounts.

What are my options when it comes to accessing my pension savings?

You can:

  • Take all of your savings in one go
  • Take smaller lump sums and/or
  • Take regular income

You’re in control and there are no limits to how much you can access at any one time. But only a quarter of your savings can ever be paid tax free. The rest is taxed as income in the tax year (or years) it’s paid out.

Read our Accessing Your Pension Savings Guide to find out more.

You can also get free, impartial guidance on your options at Pension wise.

Do you have guides that can help me plan for my retirement?

Yes, as well as our Getting the most of your pension savings and Accessing your pension savings guides, we also offer a Guide to planning your life after work all of which can be found here.

What can I expect from you as I approach retirement?

We will contact you 2 years prior to your chosen retirement date (which you will have given us when you opened your SIPP Account) and again 6 months before, reminding you of your options or accessing your SIPP savings and providing an up-to-date valuation of your Account.

General Investment Account

Who can apply?

If you are 18 or over and resident in the UK you can apply for an GIA. Charities, clubs and companies can also open an GIA.

Who can pay into my GIA?

Eithery you or an authorised donor can pay into your Account. You can set up regular monthly or quarterly payments online by direct debit at any time, or send us an GIA Instructions Form. These are available from your financial adviser. We also accept signed, attached email instructions for BACs payments providing we have your email address on file, or you can make a payment over the phone.

Can I transfer other GIAs to ATS?

Yes, you can transfer investments from elsewhere to us without selling them first so long as we offer them through our General Investment Account. We charge flat Account fees that don’t grow with your investments, making our charges very competitive for larger investment pots. See how we compare.

Your current provider might charge you for transferring.

If you are interested in transferring to Alliance Trust Savings, please speak to your financial adviser.

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can locate one near you at unbiased.co.uk.

Are there any tax advantages to an GIA?

No, but there are no investment limits either.

Junior ISA

Who can open a Junior ISA?

You can open a Junior ISA If you are 18 or over, resident in the UK and the parent or guardian of the child. A child aged 16 to 18 can also open a Junior ISA.

Once the Account is open, anyone can pay in providing they are a registered donor and pass security checks.

The maximum amount you can pay in for the 2019/2020 tax year is £4,368.

Can I transfer a Junior ISA to Alliance Trust Savings?

You can transfer both Junior ISAs from other providers and Child Trust Funds into your Junior ISA with us. You may be out of the market for a time during the transfer.

If you are interested in transferring to Alliance Trust Savings, please speak to your financial adviser.

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can locate one near you at unbiased.co.uk.

Who does the Junior ISA belong to?

The child. They can control the investments from age 16 but can’t access them until age of 18 when the Junior ISA becomes an adult ISA in their name.

Are there any Tax advantages to Junior ISAs?

There is no tax to pay on income or investment growth inside a Junior ISA.

What happens when the child turns 18?

When a child turns 18 they become the legal owner of the Junior ISA and the Account transfers over into their name. We require an ISA Declaration Form to be signed and returned to us. Once this has been received, the child will receive a Personal ID and password and be able to access the Account.

Child SIPP

Who can open a Child SIPP?

You can open a Child SIPP If you are 18 or over, resident in the UK and the parent or guardian of the child.

Once the Account is open, anyone can pay in providing they are a registered donor and pass security checks.

The maximum amount you can invest for the 2019/2020 tax year is £3,600 including tax relief.

Can I transfer a Child SIPP to Alliance Trust Savings?

You may be able to transfer child savings from another registered pension scheme to your Child SIPP with us. You may be out of the market for a time during the transfer.

If you are interested in transferring to Alliance Trust Savings, please speak to your financial adviser.

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can locate one near you at unbiased.co.uk.

Who does the Child SIPP belong to?

The child. They can control the investments from age 18 but, based on current tax and pension rules, won’t be able to access them until they are at least 55.

Are there any Tax advantages to Child SIPPs?

There is no tax to pay on income or investment growth inside a Child SIPP.

Payments in also benefit from tax relief. To reach the £3,600 maximum payment in each year, only £2,880 has to be paid in directly. The rest (£720) is paid in as tax relief which we claim on your behalf.

First Steps GIA

Who can open a First Steps GIA?

You can open a First Steps GIA If you are 18 or over, resident in the UK. You don’t have to be the parent or guardian of the child to open a First Steps GIA.

Once the Account is open, anyone can pay in providing they are a registered donor and pass security checks.

There is no maximum payment amount.

If the Account is to be held in a Bare Trust you will have to tell us about this. You will need to send us the original or certified copies of your Bare Trust documents with your application. The Account will also incur our Supplementary Account charge. Please read our Charges Guide for the details on this.

Can I transfer a First Steps GIA to Alliance Trust Savings?

You can transfer investments from elsewhere without selling them first so long as we offer them through our First Steps GIA. You may be out of the Market for a time during the transfer.

If you are interested in transferring to Alliance Trust Savings, please speak to your financial adviser.

If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can locate one near you at unbiased.co.uk.

Who does the First Steps GIA belong to?

The adult who opens the Account. You can think of a First Steps GIA as a way to hold and track investments you are making for a child separately from your own.

withdrawals

How do I withdraw cash from my ISA or GIA?

You can request a withdrawal from your ISA or GIA online at any time using the following steps:

  1. Login to your online Account
  2. Select Payments and Withdrawals from the top toolbar
  3. Select Online Form
  4. Next select Withdrawal Form
  5. The following page will ask if you need to sell investments. If you already have cash available you just need to click continue on this screen
  6. If you need to sell investments, please provide complete details
  7. Submit form
  8. Your instruction will then be sent to us to process

Alternatively you can complete a Withdrawal Form. These are available from your financial adviser. All Account holders are required to sign the form if you are withdrawing cash from a jointly held GIA.

How do I access my pension savings in my SIPP Account?

You can only access your pension savings in your SIPP Account from age 55. How to access those savings may be one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. Before you do anything, please read our Accessing your pension savings guide. It explains your options, how to access the advice and guidance you may need and how to give us your instructions once you’ve made up your mind.

Is there a charge for withdrawing money?

For ISA and GIA Accounts there is no charge for withdrawals by cheque or transfer to your bank account by BACS (which is the standard method). If you ask us to pay you by CHAPS we will charge you £20.

When you start taking money out of your SIPP Account we may either increase your annual Account charge of make a one off charge depending on the instructions you give us. You will find the details in our Charges Guide.

How do I close an Account?

If you withdraw or transfer out all the cash and investment(s) from an Account, we will automatically close it, as explained in our Terms and Conditions.

ATS services

Can you provide me with advice?

No we are unable to provide advice. If you are unsure of the suitability of our products or services, you should seek advice from a financial adviser. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can find one local to you through Unbiased or VouchedFor.

How do I choose where to invest?

While we can’t offer advice, our Investment Choices offers research tools and information to help you make informed investment decisions.

Can I research investments?

Yes. We provide in depth research information on a wide range of investments which can be found in the Investment Choices and within the Research tab in your online Account.

Do you offer Loyalty Discounts?

We offer a loyalty discount for online and telephone trading for Accounts which have been opened for 5 years or more. Full details on our loyalty discount can be found in our Charges Guide that you can find in Forms and Literature.

Do you help with information for my tax return?

Yes. For GIA Accounts, at the end of each tax year we’ll send you a tax certificate. This details any tax-relevant income payments received into your GIA during that tax year and you can use it as evidence of these with HMRC.

How often will I get a valuation and statement?

You will receive a valuation and statement covering all of your Accounts with us four times a year and you'll be able to check the current value of your Accounts online at any time by logging in to our secure online service.

When should I expect to receive Account documents from you?
Account type Document type Date/timescale
Investment Dealing Account Consolidated Tax Certificates (CTC) Typically June each year
All Accounts Statements & Valuations Quarterly
All Accounts Contract Note Whenever you buy and sell investments, usually within 48 hours
SIPP Statutory Money Purchase Illustration (SMPI) Typically July each year

You can find out more about these documents in our Platform Guide.

Can I receive my Account documents by post?

Yes you can. We charge £25 plus VAT a year or this service, taken from your Account in two instalments of £12.50 plus VAT each. We also charge £10 plus VAT for any one off paper valuations you request, and £15 plus VAT for paper duplicates of any documents we have already issued to you in any form (online or paper).

Is my investment protected?

As a regulated firm, Alliance Trust Savings is required to maintain many controls and restrictions around the operation of its business to ensure the security of its customers’ investments and to mitigate the various risks faced by a financial institution.

For the detail on what this means and on how the Financial Services Compensation Scheme may apply to your investment and any money you have on deposit with us, please read Clarification on Investor Protection and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Trading

Do you offer real-time trading?

We offer real-time trading during the hours of 8am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Do you offer a Monthly Investing service?

Yes you can trade for as little as £1.50 on the Alliance Trust Savings platform.

How do I place a securities trade or a fund order

You can place a trade in securities or a fund order through your online Account. Full details on how to do this can be found in our Get Connected Guide.

income and dividends

How are my options for managing income from my investments?

These are explained in our Platform Guide. You should also read section 7.13.1 of our Terms and Conditions which explains the default process we will follow if you don’t ask us to do something else. Both of these documents can be found in Forms and Literature.

Do you offer a Monthly Investing service?

You can do this using the following steps:

  1. Login to your online Account
  2. Select Payments and Withdrawals from the top tool bar
  3. Select Income Management
  4. Select the option you prefer.

Unless you ask us to set a different amount, we will implement the instructions you give us each time the relevant income available reaches £100 or more. You can set a different amount using the Instruction Form for your Account type.

How do I place a securities trade or a fund order

This option is available for ISA and GIA Accounts. Please speak with your financial adviser for an Income Withdrawal Form.

We pay income out on the 12th of every month and can only guarantee to pay out income that’s been received into your Account by the 5th of the month.

SHAREHOLDER VOTING RIGHTS

How are my options for managing income from my investments?

These are explained in our Platform Guide. You should also read section 7.12.1 of our Terms and Conditions which explains the default process we will follow if you don’t ask us to do something else. Both of these documents can be found in Forms and Literature.

security

Do you have a Terms of Use for this website?

Yes, you can find the Terms here.

What is your Cookie Policy?

You can find details on how we use cookies here.

Where can I find your Privacy Policy?

You can find our Data Protection and Privacy Policy here.

Is my online Account secure?

Yes. When you are logged in, you are protected with AES 256 bit transport layer security – industry standard security that protects the web’s most important websites.

How can I safeguard my Account(s)?

Look after your security details – remember that our Customer Services Team will never ask you to tell us your Password in order to access your plans. Your Personal ID and Password are the key to accessing your Account(s) and information online. You should keep these in a safe place, never share them with anyone else, and change your password regularly to ensure its security.

How often is my Account updated?

Prices for any UK equities, investment trusts or ETF’s held within your Account will update every 15 minutes during market hours 8am to 4.30pm (market hours may vary for non-UK stocks). Fund prices update on a daily basis, overnight.

Can anyone other than myself access my Account?

If you would like someone else to have access to view and/or discuss your Account or trade on your behalf, you can complete a Third-Party Authority Form, available from your financial adviser.

Make a complaint

At Alliance Trust Savings we value your business and care about your experience with us. If, for any reason, you are not entirely satisfied with our service, we want to hear from you so we can put matters right, and where appropriate, take steps to prevent the problem happening again.

If you have a complaint about our service you can contact our Customer Relations Team in writing or by email or phone:

01382 573737

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Alliance Trust Savings Limited

PO Box 164,
8 West Marketgait
Dundee
DD1 9YP

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If you still need help

As our service is intended for people who work with financial advisers, your adviser should be your key contact if you have any questions about your Alliance Trust Savings Account(s). But if you don’t have an adviser, or they are not able to help, here is how you can contact us.

Phone: 01382 573737
Email: contact@alliancetrustsavings.co.uk
Post: Alliance Trust Savings Limited, PO Box 164, 8 West Marketgait, Dundee, DD1 9YP

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.