Posted by Catriona Standingford on September 10, 2019 in Newsletter
10 September 2019
Many of us will be heaving a huge sigh of relief as our kids are now back at school, and we can get back to a routine. September also means the end of Brand Financial Training’s crazy Summer update period where all our resources are updated for the 19/20 tax year, which the CII examine from 1 September. All our resources are up to date, and we are now working hard to finalise a new R03 resource. More on that when we have it!
This Thursday, our Director, Catriona Standingford, will be discussing Qualifications at Money Marketing Interactive in Harrogate. As part of the Smarter Business Track, the panel will be discussing a wide range of issues relating to exams and qualifications. Do come along. You can find out more here.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
How to Calculate Pension Input Periods (PIPs)
In this article, we look at pension input periods – or PIPs. This is the period of time where total pension contributions are calculated to see if the annual allowance or money purchase annual allowance has been exceeded. Read on to learn more as you prepare for any of the CII AF7, J05 or R04 exams.
Since 2016/17, PIPs have been aligned with the tax year (prior to this date, they could start and end at any point).
Total Pension Input for Money Purchase Scheme
This is pretty straightforward; the calculation is done at the end of the PIP and is the gross amount of pension contributions paid (either by the member or their employer or someone else) and includes any part that does not get tax relief. This amount is entered on the self-assessment tax return to see if an annual allowance tax charge is due to be paid.
What’s not included is:
Contributions paid by an individual or someone other than the employer after age 75
Investment income or returns
Total Pension Input for Defined Benefit Schemes
This is not quite as straightforward. For active members of DB schemes, total pension input is calculated as the increase in capital value of pension rights over the PIP. The annual pension is multiplied by 16 to give it a notional value and any lump sum is added.
We know. You’re not at school or college anymore. And organising your study notes is hardly the most exciting of subjects. Equally, it never seems urgent, so it’s one of those things – such as clearing out that terrifyingly full hall cupboard – that’s all too easy to keep putting off. Read on to learn some ways to get those revision notes in order.
The reality is that organising your paperwork and digital folders properly can make a real and surprising difference to the speed and efficiency with which you progress your studies.
We appreciate it can sometimes seem hard to know where to begin. So, here are a few thoughts and suggestions to get you started. The good news is that once you get into a routine, filing and admin will become second nature, and you’ll do it automatically, without even thinking about it. This isn’t something you need to spend huge amounts of time or money on, either. Just a few minutes and perhaps a few pounds’ worth of stationery are all it takes.
Start as quickly as you can and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits, for example when you’re grappling with the next big deadline (while still juggling the day job…) or you need to revise in earnest for imminent exams.
To state the extremely obvious, to have some notes to file, you need to take some in the first place! Even in this screen-bound age, you’re still likely to need to take at least some paper-based notes. Everyone will do this in their own way, but you should be able to quickly strike a balance – capturing the information you need without missing points or gathering unnecessary detail.
If your notes are all electronic, give your online folders an ordered structure without too many sub-folders. You can, of course, always print and file the paper versions.
For handwritten notes, one of those ruled A4 pads you may have used earlier in your academic career should do the job (or for better retention, you may consider plain paper). It means you can easily remove the pages each week and store them in the appropriate module folder. Equally, even if you are working on separate topics simultaneously, you can still write everything in one book. Just write the relevant module details in the top right-hand corner for easy identification.
...“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 or R06 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/case studies. 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 sittings for R06 and AF5, we email in PDF format, a full detailed analysis of the fact-find/case studies issued by the CII for the next exam sitting plus types of questions and examiner’s comments, exam technique, past paper analysis and generic questions, AND it includes access to email support for 1 working day before the exam (9am-5pm). The AF5 fact-find analysis also covers potential objectives and likely questions based on assumed objectives.
Pre-order our analysis (plus email support) before the discount disappears in the last week of September!
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
...“Your R06 case study analysis was great & definitely helped significantly – it was good to know that you are revising the right areas & hi-lighted some areas which I hadn’t anticipated – it covered the vast majority of the questions … I have used your resources on RO1, RO2,RO3, RO4,RO5 & RO6 & passed them all first time so would recommend them to anybody taking these exams.”...
Jonathan Woodman, Boroughbridge
New R03 Resource
We’re not going to give away too much but we’ll soon be launching a brand new resource for R03.
We think it will help make your studies a little easier. We’ll send you full details very soon!
Did You Miss These Posts on Our Blog?
Articles and Help for All Your Exams
You’ll find that there’s something for everyone when you check out our blog:
specific topics and how-to articles;
reviews of recent CII exam papers;
our Friday Five – a weekly quiz to give you a fun break from reading the study text;
study techniques that help you to retain your revision and keep your brain working for you, when you need it
Here are the blog posts you might have missed since our last newsletter:
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
..." The path to success is to take massive determined action. "...
"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!
Here’s a reminder 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 find out if you have the most up-to-date information, visit the CII website, navigate to your chosen exam and click on ‘learning solutions update’ in the ‘Unit updates’ section in the sidebar.
Note that we keep our resources up-to-date with any updates from the CII.