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R04 Exam: Pensions and Retirement Planning

R04 Exam: Pensions and Retirement Planning

The R04 Exam covers pensions and retirement planning and is a compulsory step towards achieving the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. Upon successful completion of the unit, candidates are expected to demonstrate sound knowledge of a wide range of pension and retirement planning issues, and to be able to analyse those issues within the context of specific case studies. For example, candidates may be asked to answer questions relating to withdrawing benefits from a personal pension scheme, annual allowance charges and lifestyle investment techniques.


  • Pension planning in relation to political, economic and social environment factors
  • Pension planning in relation to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tax regime
  • Applicable pensions law and regulations
  • How an individual’s pension planning is affected by state schemes and benefits
  • Defined contribution and defined benefit pension schemes
  • When to draw pension benefits and relevant considerations
  • Investment issues relevant to retirement planning

Key Facts:

There are no prerequisites for this exam, which is fully RDR-compliant for pensions and investment planning. The exam lasts for one hour and consists of 50 multiple choice questions. It is held on a daily basis throughout the year at sixty UK-wide city centre locations, including London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham. R04 is worth 10 credits towards the Diploma of Regulated Financial Planning.

Brand Financial Training Study Aids:

Brand Financial Training can help you prepare for and pass your R04 Exam. Our Mock Exam Papers include 3 complete sets of 50 questions in the style of the CII’s questions (but not duplicates of the CII mock papers). Another useful training aid for this exam is the Calculation Workbook, which includes over 75 pages of calculation questions and answers, and cross-references the CII study text. Brand Financial Training’s R04 Exam Study Notes are a condensed, focussed version of the CII study text. For your convenience, all learning resources are provided electronically in PDF format, allowing you to print them out and complete them at your leisure. They also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Information in this article is correct as at July 2011