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Retirement Advantage launches Equity Release Exam Workshops aimed at supporting mortgage advisers

Retirement income provider Retirement Advantage has announced it is establishing a new series of Equity Release Exam Workshops. Retirement Advantage have teamed up with training and consulting firm Fortica Ltd to deliver the Workshops, which will provide a training opportunity aimed at tackling the shortfall in advisers qualified in the equity release market.

The initiative comes off the back of record-breaking growth in the industry in 2017. UK homeowners released over £3bn in value from property through equity release last year, breaking an already record total of £2bn lent in 2016.

As the industry builds on this momentum, there is an opportunity to grow the market further by adding to the number of advisers actively operating within equity release.

Alice Watson, Head of Marketing for Retirement Advantage, said:

“As customer interest in equity release continues to grow, it is more important than ever that the industry is equipped to offer the information and advice that customers require to make an informed choice.

“Mortgage advisers that are not qualified to offer equity release run the risk of not giving holistic advice to clients who are in, or approaching, retirement. Many clients are realising that the value in their property vastly exceeds that in their pensions, investments and savings, and recognise that tapping into that property wealth could be a sensible solution.

“Providers have a central role to play in educating advisers about the benefits of equity release. We are thrilled to be launching the Equity Release Exam Workshops to support mortgage advisers who want to add the equity release qualification to their toolkit and become proactive advisers in the market.”

The training programme will involve advisers being provided with three distance-learning modules, before attending a day-long training course. Jon Dunckley, Managing Director of Fortica, will be delivering the Workshops in conjunction with Retirement Advantage. Dunckley is a Certified and Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of both the PFS and CISI. Having been both an IFA and a senior technical manager, he now specialises in helping candidates pass financial services exams first time, both as a trainer and technical author for several textbooks.

The course will help advisers breakdown and review the syllabus, and is designed to support them passing the ER1 exam. This will enable mortgage qualified advisers to engage with the equity release sector and deliver better customer outcomes for their client base.

Donna Bathgate, Chief Operating Officer at The Equity Release Council said:

“Housing wealth is playing a greater role in the future of retirement funding as it is increasingly viewed alongside other types of investments by consumers. Advisers therefore need to ensure they have a greater understanding of equity release in order to provide a structured approach to financial planning in retirement.

“Any industry initiative that is able to help join the dots, to the benefit of the consumer, between mortgages and financial planning is welcomed.”

Advisers can register their interest in the scheme with Retirement Advantage at