To achieve the Associateship grade, individuals would be required to have 6 AFPC (Diploma) units or equivalent. This shows a commitment to continuous professional development.
Having achieved the APFS designation, advisers can go onto to achieve this recognisable benchmark of quality and ethical practice for financial services professionals, elevating financial planning and advice in the public eye to the same standing as other Chartered professions. The holder must demonstrate a combination of experience, financial qualifications, ongoing educational activity (continuous professional development) and ethical behaviour.
This examination assessed a knowledge and understanding of the UK tax system, the law and practice of trusts, but also an ability to advise individual clients on the tax treatment of their investments and the use of trusts to meet their current and foreseeable future needs.
This examination enhanced general pension knowledge, particularly in pension transfers and opt-out business.
Associate members are those who have gone on to secure more advanced qualifications by completing the Advanced Diploma in Insurance or its predecessor the Associateship. This shows a commitment to continuous professional development.
This examination assessed a knowledge and understanding of investments and an ability to advise individual clients on the construction of investment portfolios to meet both their current and foreseeable future needs.
This examination assesses a knowledge and understanding of the different types of equity release products, risks to the consumer associated with equity release and application of suitable equity release solutions according to the circumstances of different customers.
At the end of this unit, candidates should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the: process of decumulating pension funds and the main issues for clients and advisers; main choices facing members of pensions schemes during decumulation; features, risks and tax treatment of the secured pension option; features, risks and tax treatment of the unsecured pension option; features, risks and tax treatment of phased retirement; features, risks and tax treatment of the alternatively secured pension option.
At the end of this unit, candidates should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the: main tax and legal frameworks that govern the accumulation phase of building up retirement benefits under registered pension schemes; features of defined contribution and defined benefit pensions; choices faced by early leavers and use of transfer value analysis; State retirement benefits available, including the risks and suitability of contracting out of the State Second Pension.
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