JLT Employee Benefits and the Pensions Management Institute have launched a new qualification for people guiding members about their retirement choices to coincide with the new freedoms taking effect from April next year.
The Certificate in Pension Scheme Member Guidance will test “theoretical and practical knowledge on pension options” and includes a final oral exam. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation has certified it as Level 4.
It is aimed at anyone helping defined contribution and defined benefit members understand their retirement choices such as administrators, paraplanners and HR professionals.
JLT Employee Benefits director Margaret Snowdon says: “Whilst much has been discussed about the practicalities and adequacy of the Government’s free guidance service for DC members at the point of retirement, we felt strongly about the need for a tangible qualification, so that scheme administrators and others can evidence the right skills in guiding members.
“This is necessary whether the guidance is provided by the free guidance guarantee or through valuable “guidance plus” support, paid for by schemes and employers.”
Pensions minister Steve Webb says: “I welcome this new qualification, which will help to deliver one of the key requirements of the pension reforms, namely that those who provide guidance can show that they have the knowledge and skills to help scheme members understand their pension options and make more informed and therefore better decisions.”