Competency Framework: pensions

Technical Domains

11. Pensions

This domain is about issues relating to pensions, including: retirement planning; different types of pension; auto-enrolment; the State Pension; pension statements; pensions Law; sources of support; sources of detailed information; scams. The domain comprises Tiers 1, 2 and 3. 

It is important that you are aware of where the regulated boundaries are and do not go beyond them (please refer to ‘The boundaries of the service and of your role’ and the description of advice and guidance).  Guidance can provide information and/or options around choice of pension scheme or withdrawal but not make an explicit recommendation.

11.1.1 Awareness of the importance of retirement planning
11.1.2 Awareness of what a pension is and how to distinguish between different types
11.1.3 Awareness of what auto-enrolment is and how it works
11.1.4 Awareness of when and how the State Pension can be claimed and that it is based on an individual’s National Insurance contributions
11.1.5 Signpost or refer customers to appropriate sources of information on pensions and/or support for retirement planning
11.1.6 Awareness of scams and what to do if a customer has been the subject of a scam
11.2.1 Knowledge of the features and main differences between types of pension (e.g. State Pension, defined benefit, defined contribution etc.)
11.2.2 Knowledge of when and how the State Pension can be claimed and that it is based on an individual’s National Insurance contributions
11.2.3 Knowledge of the advantages of retirement planning, including how to obtain a pension forecast
11.2.4 Knowledge of how to read a pension statement
11.2.5 Knowledge of the potential implications and effects of auto-enrolment on an individual’s circumstances
11.2.6 Knowledge of pensions eligibility criteria
11.2.7 Knowledge of the effect of deferring retirement pension
11.2.8 Knowledge of entitlement to Additional State Pension
11.2.9 Understanding of the factors to take into account when considering investing in a pensions scheme
11.2.10 Understanding of pensions law
11.2.11 Understanding of how the State Pension is calculated, its qualifying period and how to claim
11.2.12 Understanding of how to increase a State Pension
11.3.1 Knowledge of how to use specialist pensions and retirement calculators
11.3.2 Knowledge of how to check on how much has been accrued in an individual's pension pot
11.3.3 Knowledge of how to resolve issues which arise during the claims process
11.3.4 Knowledge of access to specialist support (e.g. MoneyHelper, Pensions Ombudsman, etc.)
11.3.5 Knowledge of how and when the Annual Allowance (AA) and Lifetime Allowance (LTA) rules apply, including knowledge of how the Tapered Annual Allowance applies, and the protections available to customers with benefits in excess of the LTA

Training and qualifications

Find out about external training for the pensions domain.

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