Important: From 1 January 2019, the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017 will require new financial advisers to complete a bachelor or higher degree, or equivalent qualification, as approved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority. The new framework is still being established, however CPA Australia will continue to monitor its development. For further information, refer to professional standards.

Study guide: First edition

Superannuation and Retirement Planning explores the role of the financial adviser when dealing with the complexities of retirement planning and how they can establish credibility and demonstrate value to clients in this area. Key aspects of Australia’s retirement income policy will be addressed, including superannuation, income streams, social security and estate planning.

This subject will support candidates to develop the knowledge and skills to utilise integrated strategies to assist clients in maximising their retirement income and protecting their assets.

Candidates are reminded that you must have completed Financial Planning Fundamentals prior to enrolling in this subject. We strongly recommend that candidates have also completed prior learning in Australian taxation prior to enrolling in this subject.

Exam structure

The Superannuation and Retirement Planning exam is comprised of a combination of multiple-choice and written response questions.

The Superannuation and Retirement Planning exams will be held on two fixed dates in computer-based format only. Candidates must be available to attend an exam on this fixed date and prepared to travel to a computer based exam centre (pdf). Please ensure you read the related rules and regulations before you enrol in this subject.

General objectives 

On completion of this subject, candidates should be able to:

  • understand the value of financial planning in the areas of superannuation and retirement planning
  • understand Australia’s retirement income policy and analyse the complexities of the superannuation system
  • recommend superannuation types and products which may be appropriate for a client
  • analyse income streams that may be suitable for a clients’ needs
  • advise appropriate superannuation investment strategies for a client
  • understand when a client may be eligible to access social security and assist clients to maximise their entitlements
  • determine when estate planning may be appropriate for a client and outsource appropriately.

Subject content

The ‘weighting’ column in the following table provides an indication of the emphasis placed on each module in the exam, while the ‘proportion of study time’ column is a guide for you to allocate your study time for each module.

Module and study schedule Recommended proportion of study time (%) Weighting (%)
1. Retirement planning overview 5 5
2. Types of superannuation funds 20 20
3. Accumulation 25 25
4. Withdrawals 23 23
5. Pension and social security benefits 12 12
6. Estate planning 15 15

For further information, see the subject outline (PDF).