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Qualification launched to help avoid straying into advice


The Pensions Management Institute has launched a new qualification to help stop people straying into regulated advice when giving information to pension scheme members.

The Certificate in Pension Scheme Member Guidance is aimed at consultants and administators with customer facing roles but without advice permissions.

Topics include transfers and how pensions interact with divorce.

Final assessment will be over the phone via role-pay conversations with the rest of the course completed online.

The first successful candidates will be qualified by the end of 2016.

PMI president Kevin LeGrand says: “The industry has an ongoing issue that is extremely difficult to reconcile – the ability to fully explain and help members and pension savers on their pension and retirement options, while at the same time not straying into the financial advice trap.

“It is a travesty that people might not be getting the help they need because pension professionals live in fear of making a mistake. Our new certificate in pension scheme member guidance will provide a firm basis of knowledge from which pension consultants and administrators can speak with confidence and do their very best to help people achieve the best retirement prospects possible.”


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. You must be having a laugh. A qualification in how to not do something? Whatever will they think of next? Amazing

    • I think I might do it. I like being helpful and explaining things like advantages and disadvantages of any course of action, but donlt really want to loose my property as a result of trying my best to help.

  2. Alternatively, they could give us back the Longstop 🙂

  3. Couldn’t agree more Marty Y. Bit like the FCA, “we exist, so we must find something to do”.

  4. All extra revenue for them.

  5. Spot on Mart Y.

    “A qualification in how to not do something?”


  6. ….’If it looks and feels like advice, it probably is advice’

  7. The very idea that those providing guidance need now to be tested to ensure that they steer clear of saying anything that might be construed as advice rather suggests that the whole guidance thing has raised people’s expectations that they can get at somebody else’s expense something that they can’t. It encourages them to walk down what can only be, ultimately, a cul de sac.

    What it boils down to is that pensions (above all other subjects) is a complex area within which there’s a myriad range of options through which only a qualified and regulated adviser can navigate on a case by case basis towards the most appropriate solution for each individual. All the guidance, information and explanatory documentation, etc cannot bypass that fundamental reality.

    Hence my suggestions that pre-retirement packs should be fronted by a single, bullet point Fact Sheet and that OM should be the default option funded by a redeemable voucher for the initial consultation with an adviser. Surely that would be so much more cost effective than all these guidance bodies and the shortest route to getting members of the public engaging face to face with someone in a position to explain to them the most appropriate course of action and then help them actually see it through to completion. Guidance organisations simply cannot do those things.

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