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Day 5 of Exam Q&As: AF7 questions

21 January 2021

Professional Paraplanner has teamed up with Brand Financial Training to answer your questions around the exams scheduled for 2021 and to offer some top study, revision and exam preparation tips.

In our last Parameters survey we asked you for the questions you would like to ask the experts around exam and qualification training. Over the course of this week we tackle a range of those questions.

For Day 5, we answer your questions around AF7 examinations.

Paraplanner Question:

  • What common types of questions appear in AF7 exams?

The Brand Financial Training member answers:

This is a great question and particularly timely from our point of view as have just finalised our new resource for AF7 called ‘Core Knowledge’ which focusses on exactly this – the most common questions asked for AF7.

The reason we have specifically designed this resource for the AF7 exam is there are only so many questions the CII can ask about pension transfers. Having analysed the questions asked since the first sitting of AF7 in Oct 2017 it was clearly evident (more so than for any of the other AF exams) that certain questions come up time and time again and this accounts for a large percentage of the exam and so we developed ‘core knowledge’. We feel that focussing on these areas is absolutely key to revision for AF7.

A summary of the most common AF7 questions are:

  • There has been at least one fact finding question in every sitting of AF7. The question may ask for additional information from either the scheme OR from the member – it’s vitally important you get that distinction right as this will lead to two very different answers!
  • It goes without saying that candidates must be prepared for questions on the benefits and drawbacks of:
    • Transferring/not transferring
    • Transferring full or partial benefits
    • Transfer now or delay the decision
  • Factors questions are becoming increasing popular across the AF exams (e.g. Factors to consider before advising the member to transfer). It’s worth practising these – they can be tricky!
  • Transfer advice process – timescales/documentation/responsibilities of trustees/adviser or member
  • CETV/TVC calculation process
  • Reasons for a reduced or increased CETV
  • PPF – level of benefits/criteria for entering
  • Death benefits (including tax treatment of death benefits) – this is sometimes a standalone question e.g. death benefits in the scheme compared to FAD but you will be expected to include death benefits in some of the other questions eg benefits/drawbacks of transferring.

A full breakdown of AF7 questions asked can be found in our latest AF7 exam review article.

Question:

• If AF7 is taken in Feb-21 is it likely to contain the ban on contingent charging and the changes made in the recent Policy Statement?

The Brand Financial Training member answers:

The CII exams are based on the regulatory position three months before exam sittings so you could be examined on any of these reforms from 1st January 2021. In summary, the changes include triage services, contingent charges, abridged advice and the use of workplace pensions.

We have updated all our resources to include the reforms and you will note in the CII study text there is considerable additional text on the reforms. We have added questions to our mock papers and ‘core knowledge’ questions as we feel it is likely the new legislation will be tested sooner rather than later.

For full details of all our AF7 resources CLICK HERE.

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About Brand Financial Training

Brand Financial Training provides a variety of immediately accessible free and paid learning resources to help candidates pass their CII exams.  Their resource range ensures there is something that suits every style of learning including mock papers, calculation workbooks, videos, audio masterclasses, study notes and more.  Visit Brand Financial Training

Professional Paraplanner