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Pension Transfers Specialist

The CII's pension transfer qualification is changing

 

The Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice has been withdrawn

The FCA announced in October 2018 that, from 2020, the requirements to be a pension transfer specialist would increase so that all pension transfer specialists will have to have a full qualification for retail investment advice alongside a pension transfer specialist qualification. Due to Covid-19, the FCA delayed the change in qualification requirements to be a pension transfer specialist until 1 October 2021. Since 2018 these announcements have been shared and updated, along with implications for CII qualifications and learners, on our qualification and unit webpages.

This page gives information on the CII’s changes in response to FCA announcements to pension transfers qualification requirements.  Many advisers working in pension transfer activities already meet these requirements but it is important that you review these if you are unsure.

Current Qualification Requirement

  • Unit AF7 Pensions transfers plus RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6
  • Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice (units R01, R02, R04, and AF7)
  • Unit G60 Pensions*
  • Unit AF3 Pension planning*
  • Fellow or Associate including 3 pensions related subjects as confirmed by the CII*

Qualification Requirement as of 1 October 2021

  • Unit AF7 Pensions transfers plus RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6
  • Unit G60 Pensions* plus RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6
  • Unit AF3 Pension planning* plus RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6
  • Fellow or Associate including 3 pensions related subjects as confirmed by the CII* plus RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6

*these unit/qualification routes have been withdrawn from the CII framework and are not available to new entrants
(For the full list of appropriate qualifications please refer to the FCA’s Appropriate Qualification tables).

Key questions

Will my old pensions units listed above still be valid from 1 October 2021?
Yes, but from 1 October 2021 they must be combined with an RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6 as per the table above.

What if I hold the Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice already?
If you have completed the Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice you must hold CII units R01, R02, R04, and AF7. Because you hold unit AF7, this in combination with an RDR compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6 will meet the Qualification Requirement as of 1 October 2021. 
(R01, R02 and R04 are three of the six units that comprise the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning which is an RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6.)

What if I am studying towards the Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice?

You have until 31st August 2021 to complete the qualification, please check the important exam deadlines. Once you have completed the qualification, because you will hold unit AF7, this in combination with an RDR compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6 will meet the Qualification Requirement as of 1 October 2021. 
(R01, R02 and R04 are three of the six units that comprise the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning which is an RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6.)

What CII qualification is available for pension transfer advice after 31st October 2021

From 1st September 2021, Unit AF7 will form the Level 6 Award in Regulated Pension Transfer Advice for those passing the assessment from this date. This qualification, or unit AF7 taken previously, when combined with an FCA approved RDR compliant qualification (such as our Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning), meets the new FCA requirements.

Which CII qualifications are RDR Compliant qualifications for Activities 4 and 6?

*these unit/qualification routes have been withdrawn from the CII framework and are not available to new entrants

Do I need to sit a separate investment exam?
The investment requirements are met through holding an RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6. If you do not already hold an RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6 you will need to satisfy this requirement by 1 October 2021.

Can I combine appropriate qualifications from two different awarding bodies?
Yes, you can combine a CII pension transfer qualification (e.g. the Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice or the Award in Regulated Pension Transfer Advice) with any RDR Compliant qualification for activities 4 and 6.
You may be able to combine a pension transfer qualification from another awarding body with a CII RDR Compliant qualification for Activities 4 and 6. Please refer to the FCA’s Appropriate Qualification tables for more information on pension transfer qualifications from other awarding bodies.

Do I need an SPS to undertake the activity of a pension transfer specialist?
No, Activity 11: Undertaking the activity of a pension transfer specialist is a non-RDR Activity and you are not required to hold an SPS for this activity.