This page details some differences between the Advance by Embark platform and the new Scottish Widows Platform.

We’ve introduced a wide range of enhancements to Scottish Widows Platform and we will continue with our programme of ongoing functional developments over the coming months.

We hope you’ll find that the move will improve you and your client’s overall experience.


Detail Key changes and differences between your new and current platform
New Account Numbers Your clients account numbers will be changed after the move. To work out the new number go to My admin, select Reports and then run the Client by Adviser Report. The column that shows Legacy Account Number will be the old ZR number
Customer and Account types
  • Your clients are now able to see all their Accounts in one easy-to-view dashboard. This removes the need for having separate logins for Individual, Joint and Trust Accounts.
  • Accounts for Corporate entities are available.
  • We also offer offshore bonds from Canada Life as well as Utmost in our Third Party Investment Account.
  • SIPP providers are also set up as third party investment accounts.
  • We allow investment in multiple GIAs available for individual and corporate entities. This allows for separate investment instructions per savings pot and the ability to take different remuneration per savings pot.
  • There are no Cash Accounts on the Scottish Widows Platform. Anyone that holds a Cash Account on Advance will have cash moved into a separate GIA on the Scottish Widows Platform.
  • Your client’s entire pension is held on the platform in one Account with a percentage detailing what is crystallised and uncrystallised, rather than under separate Accounts.
  • This also allows for a simplified crystallisation journey for you and your clients when investing in model portfolios from Discretionary Investment Managers, removing the need to deconstruct the model portfolio.
  • Whilst specific funds can be targeted for income payments, if different investment strategies are required for the crystallised and uncrystallised proportions these will need to be reviewed regularly with the client.
Platform charges
  • The Retirement Account charge will now be called the Pension Account charge and will be deducted monthly rather than quarterly.
  • The portfolio charges will remain the same on Scottish Widows Platform, but the yearly charge will apply on any cash held in any of the Accounts. The Scottish Widows Platform, like the Advance Portfolio, expects any cash held to be transient and not a long term investment.
Cash management
  • It is important to manage cash on the Scottish Widows Platform to ensure that platform and adviser charges can be paid.
  • The Scottish Widows Platform offers the facility to set up a regular disinvestment to fund cash.
  • If there is no cash available to deduct the charges then a debt will sit against the Account (rather than the cash in the Account becoming negative). The disinvestment strategy will then be used to offset the debt. If the disinvestment strategy fails, the debt will remain on the Account and be deducted when cash becomes available. Re-registration to another provider is not permitted until debt is cleared.
  • Regular payments out will not be paid if the income payment strategy fails or is not encashed in time. Regular payments will only be made when there is sufficient cash to make the payment.
  • All disinvestment strategies to offset any debt include model portfolios. The minimum encashment is £10 or 110% of the debt.
Adviser charges
  • Adviser charges are paid from Cash within the Accounts. If there is not enough cash within the Account, adviser charges will not be paid until there is. The disinvestment strategy will be triggered to pay the charges owed.
Assets The ability to restrict assets for individual adviser firms/networks/individual DIMs will be available for Mutual Funds.

  • DIM Model Portfolios will be available on all Accounts including Junior Accounts and third party bond accounts. DIM Model Portfolios will also be able to include Exchange Traded Investments (ETI’s).
Phased investment
  • Phased investment is changing and becoming regular buys which gives you greater flexibility when investing your client’s cash over a period of time. Within a product, a regular investment can be set up from cash to buy assets on a monthly basis. You are able to set a specific end date or no end date. Each month we will check the cash within the Account. If there is sufficient cash we will use this to buy assets in line with the investment strategy.
Natural income
  • Natural income payments out are available:
    •  At a set frequency – monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly.
    •  When it reaches a certain amount.
Money in
  • Payment in is by BACS, Direct Debit or cheques on the Scottish Widows Platform. Investment into assets will take place on cleared funds.
  • Junior ISAs cannot accept the transfers of child trust funds.
Money out
  • PCLS and one-off withdrawals will now be paid by CHAPS or Faster payment rather than Direct Credit, depending on the amount being withdrawn. All Pension income payments will be made by BACS.
  • Regular payments out on the Scottish Widows Platform are paid to the clients bank account the day after they are set up in the system. To ensure migrated clients receive the money on the date they expect, we have moved the payment date back a day. For example, if a migrated client is expecting a payment on November 20, it will still be sent to their bank account on the 20th, but we will move the payment date to November 19 in the system so that they receive it correctly on November 20.
Moving money between Accounts The Scottish Widows Platform permits cash to be moved within the same header account:

  • From a GIA to an ISA.
  • PCLS from a Pension into a GIA.
CRM integrations
  • Concert Hub will be supported on Openwork.
  • Scottish Widows Platform has:
    • Bulk valuations with intelliflo, IRESS, Sprint, Openwork Concert, Wealthcraft, Benchmark Capital/Enable, Dynamic Planner and AdviserCloud. We have recently added Moneyinfo, Fairstone and Synaptic to this service as well.
    • Bulk Transaction History with IRESS and a number of others in the pipeline.
    • This gives us >98% of market valuation coverage and we are happy to discuss any connections you may require that are not yet covered.
Third Party Bonds
  • We have added the Canada Life International bond to the platform, as well as Utmost.
  • Third party bonds can be invested in DIM Model Portfolios.
New business process
  • There is a no signature requirement on Scottish Widows Platform for Declarations or adviser charging.
  • Signatures are only required where a third party may ask for them e.g. transfer forms.
Death claims
  • Dependants drawdown is available for under 18s.
  • The additional death benefits or Investment Life Cover and Accidental Death Cover will no longer be offered on new business.
  • The Scottish Widows Platform is designed to be a digital platform and works best when clients are signed up to receive their outputs via the platform. You can reduce the amount of paper your clients receive by signing them up to receive online correspondence only using a valid email address.
Adviser Model Portfolios
  • There are no versioned model portfolios. All versioned model portfolios with AUA will migrate and the version number will be part of the name.
  • Different versions of the same model can be created using the ‘Copy’ function when creating a new model portfolio. There is no ‘upgrade’ function but you can use ‘bulk switch’ to move between model portfolios.
Disinvestment Strategy to pay charges
  • On Advance by Embark Platform the Adviser Firm sets their default disinvestment strategy. This can then be changed by the adviser at client level. On Scottish Widows Platform the Disinvestment Strategy can only be set up at firm level. On migration all clients will inherit the firm disinvestment strategy set on Scottish Widows Platform.
Proportionate Withdrawals
  • Proportionate withdrawals are not available on the Scottish Widows Platform from an ISA or GIA. If you have set up proportionate withdrawals on the Advance by Embark Platform these will be converted to an amount per fund (based on the value of each fund at migration) for future withdrawals.
  • If you have set up proportionate withdrawals for a Pension these will be set to proportionate going forwards but will be proportionate from all the assets in the account as the crystallised fund is no longer held in a separate sub account.