Advisers need to prepare now for the ‘biggest’ change in pensions legislation

Amanda Jarvis

February 11, 2005

The changes being introduced represent  the biggest upheaval in the pensions industry since the introduction of  personal pensions in 1988. Taking effect in April 2006, these will result  in the eight current sets of pension rules being amalgamated into one  universal regime for tax-privileged savings. The new CII course – Pensions Simplification Update  Programme – will enable advisers to develop their understanding of the  new regime and test their knowledge of the changes.    CII deputy director general  Bob  Bullivant says, “Pensions simplification is  anything but simple and we have designed this course to help those who  have studied the old pension regime to update their knowledge. They will  receive a learning statement which they can use as evidence that they have  updated their knowledge.”    From April 6,  2006  (A-Day) pensions advice must be compliant with the changes and advisers  must be fully trained and competent. The CII’s course is designed for both  advisers and pensions administrators and is appropriate for the 125,000  people who have completed FP2 (Paper 2 of the Financial Planning  Certificate) and for holders of financial planning qualifications from  other UK awarding bodies.     The course comprises a  combined study guide, updates for 12 months and exam package. The first  exam will be held in April. The exam will be in multiple choice format and  candidates will be expected to answer 50 questions in one hour. The course  is designed to take no more than 40 hours and is available for £100  CII/PFS members / £110 non-members.    By the end of the course, candidates  should understand the new Inland Revenue pensions regime; the range of  permitted investments, retirement options and transitional protections  available under the new regime.    The course will sit within the CII’s  new Financial Services Qualifications and Competence Framework. Those who  complete it will receive a ‘Record of Achievement’ that can be produced  for the regulator as evidence of compliance, as well as counting towards  an advisers’ professional development.

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