Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist Designation Updated (For Good Reason)

It's 'on the advisor' to get education needed to provide sound fiduciary advice

401k, fiduciary, College for Financial PlanningThis guy's ready to be a fiduciary.

Get with the times, at least with the education and designations 401k advisors choose to better serve plan sponsors and advisors.

It’s the thinking behind the College for Financial Planning’s newly revised Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) designation, “which will help provide clarity for those confused by the on-again, off-again new fiduciary standards under review by the Department of Labor.”

The DOL’s fiduciary standard is the industry’s highest bar for responsibility and standardizes requirements within the industry, the college notes.

While some of the new rules have been put on hold, Jim Pasztor, vice president of academic affairs at CFFP, said, “For all intents and purposes, being held to the fiduciary standard when providing advice to retirement investors became the law on June 9, 2017.”

To help advisors navigate the new standard, the CRPS designation includes new content on the strict fiduciary requirements of DOL and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as well as additional coverage on small business owners using defined benefit plans, new plan design, and plan selection guidelines for plan sponsors.

“With boomers retiring in big numbers, and all the focus on the advice people are getting and the fees they are paying, it’s on the advisor to get the education they need to provide sound, fiduciary advice,” Pasztor adds.

Being a fiduciary not only requires advisors to always put their clients’ best interests first, it also requires that advisors have the competence and in-depth knowledge to truly look out for their clients.

The CRPS program consists of seven modules delivered via CFFP’s online learning platform. Advisors can attend live classes and review sessions, or view a series of on-demand course videos featuring four members of CFFP’s industry-expert faculty.

For the first time, the CRPS program will also feature MP3 recordings for podcast-style learning at the most convenient times.

Also new this year is a separation of the video courses by learning outcomes rather than full-length modules, meaning most videos fall into a 10- to 12-minute range that fit any viewer’s schedule.

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