Occupational Pension Transfer Locum/Mentoring arrangements


Since last April, there is no doubt that interest in occupational pension transfers has increased. Those with defined benefit occupational pensions have asked more questions of their advisers; the market is asking advisers to provide assistance.

For those who are qualified, but not yet proven competent pension transfer specialists, I am now regularly asked, how do they get there?

I’d recommend you consider something along these lines to provide evidence of competence as a pension transfer specialist within your firm and I’d schedule the training in three phases:

  1. Theory
  2. Competence with TVAS/CETV reports
  3. Case reviews
  4. Theory

Online learning or study module on TVAS/CETV

This is the start of the learning and the theory behind the building of the TVAS report, before progression on to the first day of F2F 1:1 training. Ideally, advisers will already be G60/AF3/AwPETR qualified, but even those qualified some years back will want to provide evidence of up-to-date understanding and competence on the theory.

  1. Competence with TVAS/CETV reports

Ideally, before you start building cases and presenting to clients, you practice it first in a safe environment and prove your competence. I normally suggest two days:

First day (1of2) training F2F

The schedule for the two days can be run as two consecutive days or two days separated by a gap to reflect on the first day.

Day one is explaining and joining up the theory from the online module with the practical TVAS and CETV reports.

Second day (2of2) assessment F2F

On the second day it’s formally the skills and competence to articulate a verbal and written understanding of the TVAS, the CETV and the advice rationale, as well as sustainable income options outside the scheme pension delivered from (normally) the SIPP. It should all be all open book and nothing we haven’t covered in day one.

Ideally, you’d want an independent compliance manager and supervising manager observing alongside a technical expert, but that can be discussed individually, within each firm. Independence is the key.

Once that is completed successfully, then you could safely move on to client cases. Which in a large firm, would be mentored within the incumbent PTS. But for those smaller firms, without an in-house PTS, then locum arrangements/mentoring has to be done externally.

  1. Locum/mentoring arrangements and case reviews

The firm will draw up an individual locum arrangement with compliance approval for the external to sign.

It is very practical and very much focused on ensuring that your advice in each case is ‘water-tight’, secure and safely held within your firm.

Case reviews would then take place to review, analyse and provide guidance on with the adviser or as part of a group discussion on specific or particular issues or complex cases, with the external support.

The training naturally extends onwards to the real case work.

It is very practical and very much focused on ensuring that your advice in each case is ‘water-tight’, secure and safely held within your firm.

Next time, I’ll explain a little bit more about what I mean when I talk about ‘’sustainable income options outside the scheme pension delivered from the SIPP’’; this is a fast-developing topic and one which provides a huge opportunity to ensure that the advice given is robust.



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Dubbed by friends and colleagues “The Pensions Professor”, John Reynolds is widely acknowledged as one of the country’s leading experts in the financial services education sector. He has spent 20 years teaching, consulting, mentoring and writing on the subjects of pensions and investments. John’s unique ability to take his years of experience and technical knowledge and present it in an easy to understand format, has resulted in his talents being very much in demand. His portfolio of corporate clients include CII, Lloyds, Scottish Widows, Santander and Wesleyan; as well as numerous IFA clients whom he provides technical consultancy, mentoring and training on client case studies and staff training.. He has put his extensive expertise (and heart and soul!) into developing the expertpensions (EPL) proposition. EPL is a structured and interactive technical exam training programme for IFAs. It's designed to give financial advisors the required technical knowledge, study strategy and exam technique to confidently sit and pass the AF1, AF3, AF4 and AF5 exams. Its online, it's fully supported, structured and designed to help advisers reach Chartered Financial Planner status quicker. It's ready to help your advisers reach chartered status

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