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Network gives members 7 months to pass at-retirement exam

Network gives members 7 months to pass at-retirement exam

Personal Touch Financial Services will require all its network members advising on the new pension freedoms to have passed the Chartered Insurance Institute’s pensions update exam (R08) by the end of March next year.

For all advisers who already hold G60 or AF3, the RO8 module is optional, although a new training support programme is available to all.

Simon Hewitt, wealth propositions manager at Personal Touch, admitted this may seem like “rather a progressive move on our part”, particularly after all the hard work many did for RDR in the past few years.

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“Above all we have a commitment to maintain the highest quality standards. In the same way we have linked member fees to quality criteria, we want our end clients to receive the highest level of professional advice in what is now clearly a very specialist area: incentivising members to upskill is therefore a very important investment for us in the future.”

Alex Lawrie, director of member firm Optimize Financial Solutions, said that the opportunities and variables in the at-retirement market are now vast, with professional qualifications being a key foundation to supporting clients in this new market.

“We are really pleased that the support program our network has developed will help us with our continued professional development as our industry continues to evolve post RDR.’

Any Personal Touch advisers who choose not to provide advice for at-retirement clients will continue to have the option to refer the business to advisers in the network’s central hub.

Those who currently provide pensions and retirement advice, but choose not to in the light of the recent industry changes, can continue to do so until 31st March 2016.

At the start of April, the CII made changes to its QCF level four pensions update programme to cover the impact of greater pension freedoms on at-retirement advice. By July more than 2,000 advisers had signed up for the new exam.

peter.walker@ft.com