News 12/2013: Diploma video, R06, CPD, workplace pensions, free event

Posted Dec 05, 2013

Welcome to our monthly newsletter, keeping you up to date with industry news and developments, and reminding you about the latest products and facilities you have available to you on the Wizard Learning website.

1. Audiovisual on achieving diploma status
We are often asked about achieving Diploma Status with the CII, so we have created this 5 minute audiovisual presentation to take you through the key points:

For those looking to complete the advanced diploma and become chartered we have created this audiovisual presentation.

2. R06 Expected Solution
The R06 exam is a significant part of the CII Regulated Diploma. This is an application-based written exam that requires the drawing together of the skills and knowledge attained from the first five papers (R01 to R05), and it requires a totally different approach and exam technique. You may have passed the first five knowledge-based papers with flying colours but, unless you are familiar with the approach that is expected in this very important exam, you could waste valuable time and lose vital marks.

To make sure that you have the best possible chance of passing R06 first time, Wizard Learning have developed a study package in the form of an Expected Solution to help you to focus your exam preparations. This is an economical and effective form of exam preparation and counts towards your structured CPD requirements too.

The R06 exam requires you to analyse two client case studies, which are issued by the CII two weeks before the exam. You are required to answer 5 to 7 questions and a number of ‘sub-questions’ on each case study in a three hour period. Your responses to the questions will demonstrate your ability to identify client needs and recommend appropriate solutions, and your knowledge of the factors that are relevant when assessing each financial planning need, such as risk, taxation, health and timescales.

By purchasing the Wizard Learning R06 Expected Solution, your package includes:

  • Full access to the R01 to R05 online multi-media courses
  • The Expected Solutions from the last 7 exams
  • 2 self-marked online mock exam papers
  • A ‘Learning Skills’ Course
  • The Expected Solution for your exam

In the R06 Expected Solution we list the questions that are most likely to be asked for each of the case studies and provide model answers. The Expected Solution document is available as a pdf link on your Wizard Learning record on the Monday seven days before the exam and you will be notified by email when it is available to access.

See here for more details on our R06 Expected Solution Package.

3. Workplace pension reform
Statistics recently published show that 8% of small to medium-sized businesses in the UK have no pension provision in place for their employees. This is a shocking statistic.

By 2050, males and females are expected to live for 26 and 28 years respectively beyond their State retirement age and, by that time, there will only be two people working - and paying into the State pension pot - for every one person retired. These facts are confirmation of the pension crisis that is looming in the UK.

In an attempt to further encourage individuals to take more responsibility for their financial welfare in retirement, the current Government has introduced significant reforms to workplace pensions. The process began in October 2012, and is being rolled out over a five year period, the outcome being that all employers will eventually be required to auto-enrol all eligible jobholders in a qualifying pension scheme from a starting ‘staging date’, sometime between 2012 and 2017 given to them by the Pensions Regulator.

Those employers who already have pension provision in place will be able to continue using their existing scheme provided it meets the qualifying criteria of being HMRC registered. Those employers who currently do not offer any kind of pension provision for their employees will have to set up a new Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme (QWPS) or make use of NEST, a multi-employer registered occupational defined contribution scheme set up by the Government.

In addition to auto-enrolling all eligible jobholders, employers are required to make a minimum level of contribution, which is determined by the definition of ‘earnings’ that they choose to adopt and their given ‘staging date’. As a further incentive, the Government will provide tax relief on all contributions made by the individual employees.

Many employers are still unaware of the requirements and implications of this new system and will need advice. Not adhering to the new rules will result in large fines, so advisers need to understand the key facts and implications in order that they can provide advice and guidance to their corporate clients going forward.

Take a moment to consider the questions below:

  • How will an employer know when their ‘staging date’ is?
  • Who are ‘eligible’ jobholders?
  • What happens if an ‘eligible jobholder’ opts-out of the new provisions?
  • What is the minimum contribution percentage that the employer will have to make?
  • Who can provide a new Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme (QWPS)?
  • How does a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme differ from NEST?

Workplace pension reform online course
If you cannot answer these questions, you will benefit from studying our Workplace Pension online course which is one of the many courses available in our CPD system or it can be purchased separately see our information page. This online course provides study text and an end of course assessment which can be recorded as part of your annual structured CPD requirement.

4. CPD: Keeping up-to-date on changes and issues
The November CPD monthly update, published as part of our CPD system, included 47 articles covering 8 financial services-related subject areas: Compliance & Regulation, Economy, Miscellaneous, Mortgages, Pensions, Protection, Savings & Investments and Taxation & Trusts.

The biggest section was compliance and regulation with a total of 12 articles covering a range of items. One article from the Taxation and Trusts section that has a significant impact for employers is summarised below.

The countdown to a national insurance cut begins
The National Insurance Contributions Bill, was introduced in the House of Commons on 14 October, and will cut national insurance contributions by £2,000 for up to 1.25 million employers, with around one third of all employers being taken out of paying national insurance contributions. These changes will also apply to Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs, who will also benefit along with employers from the Employment Allowance, by around £45 million a year in total. This will enable them to employ four adults or ten 18 to 20-year-olds, full-time on the National Minimum Wage, without paying any employer national insurance contributions at all.

A new online calculator has been launched to enable employers to see the overall impact of the allowance on their payroll or of taking on an extra employee. Further information is also available at here.

CPD system overview - see here for full system details and free trial
Each month, the Wizard Learning CPD Update provides subscribers with 1.5 hours of structured CPD and a 10 question assessment to demonstrate firstly that the CPD activity has taken place and secondly that the information has been absorbed and understood.

For CPD system subscribers, the results of each monthly assessment are automatically recorded on their own personalised CPD Certificate; an official record of completed CPD activity and compliance with the FCA Training and Competence requirements.

Subscribers to the Wizard Learning CPD system are also given access to a range of online ‘test your knowledge packages’ for diploma exams, online courses for diploma exams, our compliance courses and other specialist online courses – Wizard Learning is your ‘one-stop-shop’ for your CPD.

5. Safeguarding the future of your business – life after trail
How will the removal of trail commission from your legacy book affect your business?

Panacea Adviser and NMBA have joined up to bring you a FREE exclusive Q&A event with key industry figureheads to address:

What they believe the removal of trail means for the industry
What the engagement of Adviser Charging means for the consumer
How best to prepare and succeed for life post-trail

The panel of industry experts includes: Keith Richards, CEO, The PFS; Neil Stevens, MD, Simply Biz; Chris Hannant, Director General at APFA; Garry Heath, former Director General of the IFA Association; Mike Morrow, Sales & Marketing Director, Ascentric

Date: 08/01/2014; Time: 09.30 – 12.30

Venue:  The Cathedral Room, Standard Life Investments, The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8EP

Visit for more information and to register.

Training modules
The costs and contents of all our training modules can be viewed here.


Wizard Learning Ltd

Provider of award winning online training and CPD system for financial advisers and financial services professionals

We are committed to helping you gain higher level qualifications and maintain this knowledge through effective continuous professional development.

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