The new qualification unit will be added from February and applications to join the first cohort to undertake the unit are now open.
The LIBF Financial Planning in Retirement qualification will be available as both a fifth module of the QFAS Level 6 offering and a qualification in its own right, with a separate designation for those who successfully complete it.
The FPIR syllabus will focus on holistic retirement planning and aims to develop knowledge of pension options as well as later life planning and Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning.
The Quilter Financial Adviser School has worked with the LIBF to develop the unit.
Students will be assessed in three ways, including assessed forum contributions, a video presentation and a timed assessment. Quilter says this means the unit may better suit those students who prefer to be assessed outside of an exam hall.
The first cohort to undertake the unit will start on a five-month structured study plan delivered by QFAS in February, which will include online study materials, weekly knowledge assessments, virtual catch ups and workshops, as well as access to a Level 6 tutor.
A total of 140 students have so far studied with QFAS towards a Level 6 unit, 51 of which have achieved Chartered status through the school.
Julian Hince, head of the Quilter Financial Adviser School, said: “We are proud to have worked closely with the LIBF to develop this unit, which complements and expands our current Level 6 offering and ensures those who undertake the unit are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to provide effective retirement planning advice.
“The FPIR also demonstrates an evolution in the way such qualifications are assessed. Unlike those currently available, timed, invigilated exams are not a requirement of this unit. Instead, the qualification embraces a unique assessment process developed in response to the needs of financial advice as a profession, as well as the feedback of previous students.”
John Somerville, head of financial services, professional education at LIBF, said: “Later-life planning has become increasingly complex and older clients now need a much more sophisticated level of advice. We’re living longer, which is great news, but income in retirement has become more uncertain. More people have defined contribution pensions, meaning they have to actively manage their pension pots in retirement, and they’re likely to have income from multiple sources – including potentially from property.
“Inheritance tax, gifting, equity release and long-term care are just a few of the other things advisers and their clients need to consider. This is an expanding market, but a much more bespoke market, meaning advisers need to have more sophisticated levels of knowledge and expertise to really be able to understand individuals’ needs. This new qualification recognises that, and uses case studies and ‘real-life’ evidence to really bring these subjects to life.”
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