Posted by Catriona Standingford on March 12, 2019 in Newsletter
12 March 2019
I’m sure it was only January ten minutes ago, but apparently, it’s less than a month until the new tax year. Do remember that for CII financial services exams tax year 18/19 is examined until 31 August 2019. The CII do not examine tax year 19/20 until 1 September 2019. Don’t be tripped up!
Some great news now – something we’ve been working on for quite some time… As you are probably aware, here at Brand Financial Training we focus entirely on providing learning resources for your exams. This is what we have been doing for 11 years and is what we do best. However, we often hear from our customers asking about face-to-face training. Because we like to be helpful, we’ve been looking for a trustworthy provider, who is someone we can absolutely recommend. The great news is that we have found Bespoke Training Solutions (BTS) and are very pleased to be able to let you know about their R01 and R06 workshops. See below in ‘Our Now’ for all the information.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
How to Do a Primary Protection Calculation
The Pensions legislation isn’t easy, and it makes taking the CII pensions exams all the more challenging. In this article, we take a look at primary protection, introduced to protect those people who had total pension benefits of £1.5m or more on the 5th April 2006 (A day) and who still wanted to make pension contributions. It is very likely to appear in any of the pensions exams so it’s worth spending some time understanding the legislation.
The calculation became a bit more complicated since a quirk in 2012/13, when the LTA decreased to £1.5m, and those with primary protection retained the protected amount based on an underpinned amount of £1.8m.
An Example from Our Calculation Workbook
Here’s an example from our calculation workbook:
Maureen had benefits at A-day valuing £1,875,000, giving her a primary protection factor of 0.25. In October 2009, she crystallised benefits worth £900,000; at this time, the lifetime allowance was £1.75m. Maureen now wants to vest the remaining pension benefits, valued at £1,450,000.
Calculate whether Maureen is liable to the lifetime allowance charge.
How to Make Yourself Study When You Just Don’t Feel Like It
Muhammad Ali liked to say he went to the gym when he felt like it. AND when he didn’t. The reality is we all have days when we simply do not feel like doing whatever we need to do. That gym class. Cooking dinner. Going to work. Studying… Learn some strategies you can use when study is the last thing you want to do.
You need to fight that feeling of ‘I don’t want to today’, not least when there are exams or other deadlines looming. Often, you may not have the luxury of telling yourself ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to rediscover your revision mojo. Here are some of our favourites.
Change your view
If you’ve been stuck at the same desk forever, no wonder you’re flagging! A change of scene can ignite your brain, whether you take a break and return to the grindstone refreshed or take your laptop out and about with you.
If you’re fortunate enough to live on the coast, find a beachside café. If not, a park bench could do just as well. Fresh air is an instant mood booster, and there’s no shortage of evidence of its health benefits.
With spring appearing to be on its way at last, getting outside should become easier. But if that’s not possible, think about basing yourself in a library or coffee shop.
Even if there are people around you, sometimes it can be easier to focus on your notes amid the hubbub of a café than if you’re stuck at home staring at the same four walls, acutely aware that there’s a pile of dishes beside the sink requiring your attention…
You could also try varying the time of day when you escape from your desk if you prefer a less rigid approach to scheduling.
Most R06 candidates do all they can to ensure a pass, because why would you want to sit it more than once? Knowledge and understanding of the subject matter is key, as is being well-prepared for what may be asked in relation to the case studies. One area that is often overlooked is exam technique and applying that to the relevant knowledge areas.
Here at Brand Financial Training, we already provide our hugely popular analysis, which is a full detailed analysis of the R06 case studies issued by the CII, types of questions that could come up, generic questions that could come up, past paper analysis and an email support day.
However, we have been searching for some time for a provider of a face-to-face workshop who can help you with the exam technique aspect, and we are now very pleased to be able to recommend a two-day face-to-face workshop provided by BTS to complement our analysis.
The CII R01 exam is not just based on regulation and ethics but also requires good understanding and application of many other areas, including different types of products and investments, taxation and DWP benefits.
Here at Brand Financial Training, we already provide R01 learning resources such as mock papers, study notes and audio masterclasses, but some candidates have also been looking for a workshop to help them focus and get some intensive training. BTS now provide just the workshop we’ve been looking for! It’s an intensive two-day face-to-face workshop, concentrating on exam key areas and using exam-style questions and crib-sheets to aid key learning.
Note : Whilst Brand Financial Training recommend BTS, we do receive a fee for promoting their workshops. These workshops are run by Bespoke Training Solutions and are booked directly with Bespoke Training Solutions. Your training contract is with Bespoke Training Solutions. Any queries relating to the workshops, pre or post booking, should be sent to email@example.com (don’t hyperlink the email address). These workshops do not include Brand Financial Training resources, which must be purchased separately from Brand Financial Training.
...“Brand’s Fact Find Analysis for AF5 was instrumental in my obtaining a pass. Furthermore, I found the friendly and engaging approach of Catriona evidenced a genuine interest in my successfully navigating this level 6 paper.”...
Marius Hampden, Consultant, Hopwood Ash Financial Planning, Newbury
Passing AF5 isn’t only about having the necessary knowledge and understanding, it’s about being able to apply that knowledge exactly as needed and in a timely manner.
It is essential that you have fully prepared for the exam and are ready to answer questions relating to the fact-find. If you go into the exam unprepared, you will lose vital time and marks. Our full analysis covers the areas that you are likely to see in the exam. However other questions may be asked, and we strongly advise you to think around other potential areas of questioning.
At least 10 calendar days before the exam sitting for AF5, we email in PDF format, a full detailed analysis of the fact-find issued by the CII for the next exam sitting plus types of questions and examiner’s comments, exam technique and past paper analysis, potential objectives and likely questions based on assumed objectives, AND it includes access to email support for 1 working day before the exam (9am-5pm).
Improvements to R01, R02, R04, and R05 Mock Papers
Studying for any of the above exams? You’ll be pleased to know that we’re adding detailed explanations of correct answers to all our R01, R02, R04 and R05 Mock Papers. We’ll let you know when the resources have been revised to include the new section – keep an eye on future editions of this newsletter.
Updates to CII Study Texts
Are you aware that the CII update their study texts throughout the examinable year to either incorporate new legislations, correct errors or clarify information? Many candidates aren't aware of this, which can result in candidates studying out-of-date information. To make this easier for you, we have collated the most recent CII study text updates.
There’s such a variety of information on offer to help you as you tackle your CII exams, that you won’t want to miss a single post. We’ve made it easy for you; just click the button below and enter your email details. Be ‘in the know’ with CII-exam-related tips and info – straight to your inbox!
Quote of the Month
..." If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem… break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.
"5 Questions in 5 Minutes Every Friday"
This is a bit of Friday Fun where we provide you with 5 questions (and answers) relevant to a mix of CII exams. The challenge is for you to answer the questions in 5 minutes.
Where do I find the Friday Five?
We post each week's Friday Five to our blog first thing every Friday. You can either visit our blog every Friday at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ or you can simply go there now, and click on the subscribe button in the top right-hand corner of the blog and sign up to receive notifications of our Friday Five posts.
Note that we don't email the Friday Five out to everybody every Friday, so we recommend you sign up to our blog at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ so that you receive an email notification when it is posted. It will only take you a minute to sign up.
A bit of Friday Fun, but with the added benefit of testing your exam knowledge!