An update from the Financial Planning Institute

by Lelane Bezuidenhout | 28,Feb,2024 | FPI, Industry Updates, Q1 2024

We’re already well into mid-quarter one of 2024, a year that began with robust hearings by the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) in Parliament, primarily focusing on the 2023 Tax Laws.

We have the budget speech on 21 February 2024 – by the time you read this article, the budget speech will have been delivered. The main elements of the speech were most probably the energy crisis, personal income and marginal tax rates (most likely no changes), wealth taxes, medical credits, VAT, Retirement Funds, to mention but a few current topics.

President Ramaphosa also announced on 20 February 2024, that the general election date was determined to be on 29 May 2024. The date coincides with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years of freedom and democracy.

As we can see, we are in for a year of a lot of changes, including but not limited to the two-pot (component) system, coming into effect on 1 September 2024. The FPI’s focus from now until September will be on creating awareness among members of funds (the consumer) that these changes are coming and that they must obtain professional financial advice before making any withdrawals from any part of their retirement funds.

High level update from the FPI’s side
This year marks the final year in which candidates can write the professional competency examination (PCE) in its current form. We are running four exam sittings – in February, April, July, and October. Starting from 2025, FPI will run the Capstone programme, linked to a Financial Plan assessment.

The main reason for these changes is the FPI updating its certification standards for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) designation, aligning them with international Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) requirements.

Beginning January 2025, the assessment process for becoming a CFP® professional member of the FPI will include a practical component, including a Capstone course and a financial plan assessment. This change aims to streamline the assessment process across the four E’s required for CFP certification (education, examination, experience and ethics).

Consequently, the current format of the CFP® professional competency examination will be discontinued at the end of 2024. Candidates on the CFP® pathway are encouraged to complete the FPI Professional Competency Examination (PCE) before the end of 2024 if they obtained their recognised underlying qualification during or before 2023.

If they do not attempt or are not successful in passing the PCE, they will need to complete the three components of the CFP® recognition of prior learning (RPL) pathway examination requirement from 2025 onwards. The FPI encourages all qualifying candidates to complete the examination and apply for CFP® membership as soon as possible. Registrations for the April exams are already open.

Reinstatements
FPI is also aligning its CFP® reinstatement criteria with the FPSB. Previous CFP® professional members could previously (and up to 2025) reinstate their CFP® professional membership within five (5) years from the cancellation and/or termination date. From 2025 onwards, previous members will only be eligible to reinstate within three (3) years.

Reinstatements after three (3) years will still be possible, but applicants may have to sit for the professional competency examination again or complete the Capstone course and submit a financial plan before reinstatement can take place.

Global CFP growth
The FPSB, on 15 February 2024, announced a worldwide increase of 5.1% in CFP professional numbers. The FPSB and its global network of organisations increased the number of global CFP professionals by 10 768 to a total of 223 770 as of 31 December 2023.

The FPI’s CFP professional numbers grew to 4 804 during 2023, and we hope to break through the 5 000 mark this year. As the demand for CFP professionals is growing, the need for a strong pipeline is also growing. For those interested in becoming a CFP professional, please visit our website to view the FPI Recognised Educational Providers.

Annual refresher
We are also kicking off our annual refresher sessions in Cape Town, Durban and Gauteng. We will also have an online session on 27 March 2024. For more details about the annual refresher, go to https://fpi.co.za/events/annual-refresher.

2024 FPI Professional’s Convention
We’re going to Cape Town this year! The 2024 FPI Professional’s Convention, themed ‘Cultivate: Nurturing Growth, Harvesting Excellence,’ will take place on the 14th and 15th of August 2024. The event will be hosted at Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.

Join us at this year’s event and supercharge your financial planning continuous professional development. Our speakers will guide you on a journey of personal and professional growth and you will have the chance to meet our esteemed local and international speakers face-to-face this year. Don’t miss this brilliant opportunity to collaborate with your peers and collectively drive our profession forward.

We thank you for your continued support and encourage you to make 2024 the year that you become a Professional Member of the FPI if you are not a member yet. Visit our website at www.fpi.co.za for more information regarding our different designations.

Lelane Bezuidenhout
 Chief Executive Officer at  Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI) | + posts