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Pension Transfer Workshop

This is a tutorial workshop for a maximum of 12 people only.


There will be 12 PTS practitioners or managers of businesses or compliance people who provide guidance to PTS advisers.


There are also two special guests on the ”panel”:


  1. Rory Percival
  2. Trevor Williamson


Rory requires little introduction.

He is recently ex-FCA after 10 years. He’s a Chartered Financial Planner with over 400 credits and spent 8 years at the FCA on thematic supervision. He is uniquely informed of the FCA’s working and thinking (he spent a lot of time influencing both whilst he was there).


Trevor is a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and as well as leading the MSc in Business Management and Financial planning, also spends a lot of the year travelling globally facilitating accountancy and finance-based  case-study workshops in universities in India, China and US.


His expertise is the development of critical thinking and critical evaluation, using case-study methodology – and he will help us with our critical thinking about DB pension transfers.


These two chaps will provide us PTS with all the guidance we need and we will also have a FOS view there as well.


I will be the ”third” person (think ”Question Time” – I’m going to be Richard Dimbleby, Rory and Trevor are on the panel and the ”audience” are the PTS).


I will be facilitating a tutorial workshop (a proper tutorial workshop where we will build something togther) where we will all be assessing, evaluating, analysing and building a DB pension transfer advice case-study.


This is a full working day – 12 people will mean we can ask questions and build something useful for us all to take away.


It will be a case-study we will all analyse from the bottom up – with informed comment and guidance from Rory. He will give us the FCA perspective (or as close as we can get….). And we’ll get the FOS input as well.


Guidance and help with structuring our thinking processes from Trevor – who will ensure we have a robust academic rigour about our analysis and our thinking.


And input from the 12 PTS practitioners.


Pull all this together and we’ll have some very useful output.


We’ll assess the factfind and data; we’ll think about risk assessment and behavioural finance; we’ll assess cashflow, sustainable income and TVAS reports; we’ll build a rigorous suitability letter and we’ll all come to different conclusions about the advice – but, all helped and informed from our collective experiences, our special guests and everyone in attendance.


There are three outputs:


  1. A better understanding of the FCA perspective and what ”good” could look like, to help us manage our risk and ensure a good customer outcome.


  1. A shared experience of what PTS practitioners are currently thinking and constructing as ”good advice” or good outcomes.


  1. A case study ”solution” based on best practice compiled from the best PTS brains practicing today.



If you’d like to join this workshop, here are more details:


Date: Wednesday 15 February

Venue: KentsHill Training Centre Milton Keynes

Time: 9/9.30 start to 4.30pm


This is a premium event and the cost is £900+VAT per person and there are two places available.


The case-study (based on a real-life scenario) will be sent out the week before to allow you to come prepared and familiar with the detail.


This is your personal invite to this special workshop.


Please email if you’d like to be considered for this event.


27 thoughts on “5 tips for calculating annual allowance

  1. Great article, I was thinking along these lines as well.

    One question though, is it possible to pass AF5 without having done AF1 or AF2, just AF3 and AF4?

    Would there not be quite large knowledge gaps?


  2. Yes it is possible, if you understand the AF5 exam.

    1. Thanks John

  3. I was braced to buy into your full AF3 package (starting in Jan 17) but the changes have got me thinking. Shorter term, I want to be able to transact pension transfers (sooner rather than later actually); longer term, I want to get to Chartered but no huge rush.

    Diploma is all in place (incl R04 and R08), also PMI Auto Enrolment exam.

    Should I just crack on as planned or hold off for the new exam in July……

    It would be unfair to ask you for an answer but what factors should shape my decision making?

  4. Graham,

    If I was you – I’d maybe try the AF3 in April? It’ll be great prep for the AF7….and even when you pass the AF3 in April, I know you’ll want to have a go at the AF7?

    Buy a package that gives you access to AF3 and AF7 over 12 months?
    Who’ll be doing that come 1 December 2016?

  5. Come back and see us on 1 December for a look at the options.
    But, seriously, if the permissions is what you are after – then get started asap; don’t think sitting AF7 means you’ll pass?

    Start getting prepared asap.
    2017 = pension permissions and sooner rather than later, means giving AF3 a shot, with AF7 on the horizon ….

  6. Thanks John. Okay count me in, I shall be in touch on 1 December.

  7. As ever, John’s encouraging comments to help Graham were spot on: likewise the resulting good intent of Graham.

    Too little supply by advisers, too great a demand and good advice needed out there for DB holders means many a financial planner should up their game and cease the opportunity to help the public while the going is good.

  8. Do I have time to register and sit AF3 by the April Deadline?

    1. Very unlikely – not impossible, but a lot of work.

  9. Hi John

    I am Diploma level 4 but want to get licenced for pension transfers and to be honest understand them better too. What single exam could I take to do this through the IFS or should I take a combination or wait until 2018 exams set up?

  10. Neil, you can do this through the iFS AwPETR exam ….but, that is now closed for June – next exam is December.

    The AF7 in October (CII) is the next chance..

  11. John, I’ve just done my AF1 and AF5, hoping for positive results in June to add to my AF4 and AF6 and complete my level 6. I too am looking to get the pension transfer specialism, but have been a bit put off AF3 by its hideous c 35% pass rate over the last two years. What would you suggest for a route? I was thinking of going down the IFS road due to the part coursework assessment and lower pass mark, plus the fact that I’m a bit wary of sitting a brand new exam with no past exam guides to provide a reliable guide on content. What do you think?

    1. Hi Andrew.
      The iFS AwPETR is a great little exam. The next intake is August for the exam in December.

      The AF7 is going to be very similar to the iFS: lots of critical evaluation and critical analysis AND some good strong technical questions.
      It’s going to be a great little exam.

      The first sitting is on 10th October.

      Why don’t you do both?

  12. Truthfully, I’m not sure I want to bother sitting two exams which are effectively a duplicate of one another as there’s unlikely to be any practical benefit. Would rather just pick the best bet and get it done. Which was why I was thinking IFS as the pass mark is lower and there are (I assume) past papers to go off. Do you have any idea of the approximate pass rates for the IFS one – they don’t appear to publish them like the CII do.

    1. Indeed.
      It depends how important it is for you. I’ve seen a few people ‘double-up’ to give them a double chance.

      There are no pass rates issued by iFS, nor any past papers (apart from the odd exemplar) – and the pass mark is low to mirror a more academic marking schedule. I’d forget that: a pass is a pass.

      The absolute key thing you need to pass the iFS AwPETR exam is an ability to critically evaluate and analyse a pension transfer – across the whole syllabus…

      Good luck, Andrew.

  13. HI John

    im bit confused here. i hold a MSc in Finance. Please let me know where should i start. Do I need to complete the Diploma and Advanced Diploma both prior to the charted status?? sorry if i sound stupid..

    1. Ravin

      email me at this address and let me know how many financial services exams you have sat?

  14. Please can you send the 1st weeks study guide for AF4 please?

    1. What specifically can’t you find?

  15. I’m looking at purchasing AF3/7 study plan but notice it says notes are released weekly. Will I automatically have access to notes released previously as I’m doing exam in October so need to make sure I can access everything before then

    1. Hi Michelle, yes if you purchase you will have access to the previous study notes together with the full study workbook. Give us a call if you need any more information. Thanks. The Expert Pensions team.

  16. Hi there,

    I have recently started studying for R08 but I haven’t done RO4, my thought was to do RO8 and then JO5 – pension income options – as it will equal 30 Diploma credits, rather than 20 – is this a good way of going about it?


  17. Amy,

    yes – that makes good sense. But, R04 is the bedrock of all your pension studies; R08 and J05 are mainly about retirement benefits.

  18. Hi,

    Does that route work if you have no prior exams. I have the Level 4 Investment Management Certificate with the CISI, but don’t believe this gives me any exemptions and would need to have some credits from level 3. Clarification on this would be greatly appreciated.


  19. Hi Russell, you’d need to ask the CII what the CISI IMC gives you in terms of credits and then come back to me for a detailed reply – happy to do so if you email me on

  20. Hi John, I am interested in signing up for af7 support, I know it’s probably difficult to say but how’s many hours do you think is required to really give me the best chance possible and over what time scale? I can see the exam date is April, I am currently traveling the world so would not be able to attend the workshops but would the study plan (the 2nd option) work for me if I’m going to study it abroad?

    Thank you in advance


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