Professional Diploma in Retirement Planning Advice (RPA)

Why the RPA?


The RPA is a professional designation designed for pension specialists who want to take their Retirement Planning knowledge beyond minimum competency levels. The RPA is one of LIA’s specialist designations which surpasses minimum competency requirements and is designed for those who wish to take their knowledge in the area financial planning for retirement beyond MCC levels. This designation has been made mandatory in some companies while the course which leads to the RPA designation, has been enthusiastically welcomed by both the Pensions Authority and Pensions Ombudsman.

To be awarded the RPA designation by LIA, you must register for and successfully complete a two module educational programme offered by LIA’s academic education partner, the Institute of Banking which is a recognised college of University College Dublin (UCD). Those who successfully complete this programme are awarded the Professional Diploma in Retirement Planning Advice by UCD– a 10 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) qualification at level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications.

The programme content reflects the changing nature of private retirement provision in Ireland where customers are increasingly exposed to the risks previously carried by employers or insurers.

Students must have the QFA designation or APA (Pensions and Savings & Investment) designations prior to enrolling on the RPA modules.

Course Aims

The RPA will provide you with specialist knowledge and the ability to:

  • assess any aspect of retirement planning for any customer type
  • describe different types of charges in DC private pension arrangements, including being able to calculate the projected Reduction in Yield (RIY) for products, given specific explicit charges
  • communicate the charging structure of different schemes
  • describe the circumstances and requirements applying to the payment of a transfer value from one type of arrangement to another, including to overseas arrangements
  • illustrate to a consumer the potential risk of bomb out in an ARF or vested PRSA using simulations, and how such a risk may vary by the asset allocation adopted
  • describe and compare different options that apply to a customer when taking retirement benefits
  • make a personalised recommendation to a customer in relation to their retirement planning needs.

Benefits to you

The course has a strong practical case-study approach, focused on the pre and post retirement planning advice process in real life situations, from fact-finding, to analysis of retirement needs, to the formulation of personal recommendations.

  • You will hold a designation that is becoming mandatory in some companies and has been warmly welcomed by both the Pensions Authority and the Pensions Ombudsman.
  • You will join a rapidly-growing community of RPA Pensions Specialists in Ireland (500+) who have already recognised the value of holding the RPA designation.
  • You will gain access to a number of dedicated resources, made available by LIA exclusively to RPA Pensions Specialists in Ireland.

Brian Flanagan, RPA

Having the RPA has given me more confidence on client visits, I’m now taking a more complete view of retirement planning, assessing client assets as well as other streams of income that can be incorporated into a more complete retirement plan.The quality of material on the course is first class and I’ve been able to draw upon the RPA community taking on board their experience and advice to improve as a retir...

Next Exam Session:
September 2017
Close Off Date:
30 Jun 2017

Course Modules

Retirement Planning Advice I

  • State Pension Entitlement
  • Sole Traders and Partners
  • Proprietary Directors
  • Employees
  • Charges
  • Leaving Service
  • Transfers
  • Pension Adjustment Orders
  • Retirement Benefit Options
  • ARFs and Vested PRSAs


  • Written paper
  • 2 hours duration
  • Pass mark 40%

Next Exam Date:
02 Sep 2017
Close Off Date:
30 Jun 2017

Retirement Planning Advice II

  • Factfinding
  • Quantifying The Retirement Income Need
  • Investment
  • Risk Benefits
  • Succession and Estate Planning
  • Pension Limits
  • Making a Personal Recommendation
  • Case Study 1
  • Case Study 2
  • Case Study 3


  • Written paper
  • 2 hours duration
  • Pass mark 40%

Next Exam Date:
09 Sep 2017
Close Off Date:
30 Jun 2017