What is the Retirement Advice Standard 

The SOLLA Retirement Advice Standard is a recognised evidence based award for advisers who wish to work with clients who are seeking FCA regulated retirement advice. This Standard is only available to qualified financial advisers who regularly practice in the retirement market, who are committed to keeping their knowledge up-to-date through structured CPD and who work in an appropriate environment to support their ongoing development. Those awarded the Retirement Advice Standard are listed on a register so that they can be found by consumers looking for quality assured advice on their retirement options.

Many people reaching retirement today have a wide range of different pension provisions, built up throughout their working lives. Coupled with the introduction of ‘pensions freedom’ following the Taxation of Pensions Act 2014 and the Finance Act 2015, the need for retirement advice is growing explosively. Most retirees have little experience in pensions and the many choices facing them can be daunting, so it is vital that they have access to high quality advice as quickly and easily as possible.

Our aim is to put people in touch with financial advisers who specialise in the financial needs of older people. By obtaining the Retirement Advice Standard, you receive an endorsement of your skills and experience in working with, and understanding the needs of people at, and in, retirement.

Mimimum requirements 

In order to apply for the standard you must:

  • Hold an appropriate (Level 4) financial planning qualification and a current Statement of Professional Standing (SPS).
  • Actively advise on pensions and have delivered advice to a minimum of 10 individual retirement clients in the previous 12 months. This includes recommendations for drawdown and annuities across a range of fund sizes. This may also include existing clients in retirement for whom ongoing advice and service is provided. (Please note that this related to the number of clients you have advised, and is not based on the number of products sold.
  • Offer a wide range of solutions from across the whole market.

The Standard 

The standard is consists of four parts: 

Standard 1 - Technical knowledge and Business Activity
An adviser must be regulated, qualified and assessed as competent under the FCA to give financial advice.

Standard 2 - Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The adviser must have, and continue to, maintain their competence and CPD directly related to at-retirement advice. Your CPD must demonstrate it covers both the technical knowledge and understanding of the issues faced by clients at all stages of their retirement planning.

Standard 3 - Maintain and work within a ‘Supportive Environment’
The adviser must demonstrate that they have a ‘supportive environment’ in order to resource and maintain their ongoing knowledge to ensure that the standards are maintained.

Benefits for standard holders 

SOLLA support with a range of benefits and resources to help advisers stay up to date and connected with later life advice: ​

  • A clear demonstrattion of having achieved a higher standard with the SOLLA RAS badge and designation
  • Your details will be available on the SOLLA RAS website
  • Use of the SOLLA RAS logo for your marketing purposes
  • Regular newsletters, communications, information, press releases and updates about the later life market, including industry and legislative updates, social care, health and welfare issues
  • Access to specific training courses on older client matters, at preferential membership rates
  • Access to your local regional SOLLA network and the LinkedIn discussion forum, giving support from peer group
  • Access to the members area of the SOLLA website, giving details about your membership, and other useful documents and information

Application process 

To apply for the SOLLA Retirement Advice Standard: ​

Application
Complete and submit the application form - you can save this as and return to it before submitting

Review
Your application will be subject to a review to ensure that the documentation and information supplied is satisfactory  

Confirmation
Once you have passed the online assessment you will have achieved the SOLLA Retirement  Advice Standard, and will recieve an email confirmation. Your badge and certification will follow shortly. 

Application fees 

Initial application: £200 plus VAT

Annual renewal:   £150 plus VAT 

Accredited SOLLA members will be awarded the Retirment Standard, at no cost, as a member benefit, subject to eligibility. 

Ongoing responsibilities

  • Maintain your retirement and pensions technical knowledge by evidencing you relevant CPD annually
  • Adapt your advice and communication processes for older and vulnerable clients allowing for any potential physical and cognitive limitations that may affect the way advice is delivered
  • Inform SOLLA of any change of firm details
  • Renew your RAS licence annually

Queries or questions? 

If you have any questions or require any further information before applying, please contact us at info@retirementstandard.co.uk or telephone 0333 2020 455.

Start Retirement Advice Standard application