New pension freedoms see launch of CPD series

BirthStar, a research and advisory firm for asset managers and intermediaries, has launched a new CPD research series on rethinking retirement. The research is designed to help advisers navigate with their clients, the new pension freedoms scheme.

The Government announced pension freedom in their 2014 Budget to start in this 2015/16 tax year. So far, the scheme appears to be a popular one, following the recent announcement that £1.8 billion has been withdrawn since the scheme began two months ago.

One upshot of these changes is that consumers approaching retirement will be encouraged to obtain greater guidance on their options, and may seek legal counsel from a solicitor in a relevant practice area. Financial firms have already received up to four times their normal volumes of calls since pension freedoms were introduced on 6th April 2015.

The BirthStar CPD series can therefore help provide any practising solicitor a greater understanding for clients who are seeking information and advice regarding pension freedoms. The series is designed to provide an overview of pension planning and where pension freedoms can fit in. The series will assist with the theory and practice underpinning retirement planning, from both an investment and behavioural perspective. It covers topics such as understanding the theory behind target date funds, as well as designing and managing them.

The CPD series is introduced with a paper entitled ‘Rethinking Retirement Investing’, which focuses on the concept of asset/liability investing, making sure that both remain aligned to clients’ objectives. The paper expresses that financial advisers have a key role to play in combining the building blocks of retirement: state pension, defined benefit schemes, target date funds, annuity contracts and life insurance.

The series is triple accredited by the Personal Finance Society, the Institute of Financial Planning and the Pensions Management Institute.

Henry Cobbe, Head of Research at BirthStar, said:

"The underlying principle of launching the CPD series is because with the new pension freedoms the responsibility of managing decumulation has shifted from the insurers to the advisers.

"Pre the Budget reforms, advisers were just worried about equities and bonds; the building blocks are quite different and much more complex now and need to get brought together in a holistic way."

The BirthStar CPD Research Series is complemented by a series of CPD-accredited workshops in London, Guildford, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh led by BirthStar’s research team: Shweta Agarwal PhD, Henry Cobbe CFA and Ranye Lu MSc.

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