Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC): Definition and Skills

The Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM , or CRPC® program, is a designation program for financial professionals. This program enables experienced advisors, who are focused on retirement planning for individuals, define a “road map to retirement.” There is a focus on clients’ pre- and post-retirement needs, as well as issues related to asset management and estate planning.

Our program now includes a course topic titled Understanding Social Security, Military and Government Retirement Benefits that helps students gain specialized knowledge to address the retirement planning needs for government and military employees.

The CRPC® designation streamlines the cost and time toward your next credential. As you advance your career, the College recognizes the time and investment it takes to earn industry-recognized credentials. Upon completion of the CRPC®, graduates earn direct credit for:

A Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) is someone with a professional financial planning designation awarded by the College for Financial Planning. Individuals may earn the CRPC designation by completing a study program and passing a final multiple-choice examination.

Sr. Adv. Rebecca John: Journey from Investigation to Trial (CrPC), NLSIU Bangalore

What do CRPCs do?

Although a CRPC has a similar role to a certified financial planner, the two differ because a CRPC specializes in retirement planning. Responsibilities that a CRPC may have include:

What is a CRPC?

A CRPC is a certification from the College for Financial Planning, and this acronym may also serve as a job title for a professional who has earned it. In order to earn a CRPC, a financial professional must complete a course and pass an examination. The curriculum for a CRPC often comprises between 90 and 135 hours of course work, depending on the institution.

A CRPC certification is valid for two years. In order to maintain a CRPC credential, a financial professional recertifies every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education and paying a recertification fee.

Benefits of earning a CRPC certification

These are the most beneficial reasons to consider earning your CRPC certification:

Education and experience requirements

In order to earn a CRPC certification a financial planner enrolls in a CRPC training course. Classes may contain live sessions, but many students perform their own study for the examination. An applicant takes the certification exam for the first time within six months of enrolling and must pass the exam within one year of enrolling.

Salary expectations

If you are considering a career as a CRPC, these tips can help you maximize your chances for success:

Secure an entry-level job

When getting started in a competitive field like financial planning, the most important step is earning your first position. Experience is important in the financial planning industry, both for your ability to excel in the role and your ability to sign new clients. An entry-level job at a small firm provides the opportunity to build your experience and your reputation, which can lead to more enriching opportunities.

Find a mentor

One of the most effective ways to develop your career as a retirement planner is to find a senior planner who is willing to provide guidance. An experienced mentor can offer you advice on your next professional steps while also sharing the tips they use when providing retirement planning services for their clients.

Make personal connections

When working in retirement planning, its helpful to make personal connections with your clients. A client who has a trusting relationship with you is more likely to retain your services. By getting to know your clients better, you also give them more reasons to continue employing you, because a personal understanding makes you better suited to identify the best plans for them.

Remember that no two clients are the same

Every client has their own unique circumstances, and it helps to consider what makes your client unique when considering financial planning options for their retirement. Providing a client with a retirement plan that accounts for their needs shows them that you took the time to focus on them specifically and allows you to deliver the best possible retirement plan for them.

The client is often right, but not always

Although it is important to create a retirement plan that your clients will be excited about, sometimes a CRPC must find the most realistic option given the clients financial circumstances. If a client has unreasonable expectations, a retirement planner may need to explain that reality and offer a compromise that gets as close as possible to their goals while remaining attainable.

Provide options

One of the best ways to keep your clients happy is to give them options when creating a financial plan for their retirement. By making adjustments to elements in your initial plan for a client, you can generate several options, such as a plan that calls for tighter spending now for more lucrative savings later, or a plan that has more freedom now but lowers retirement savings. These choices allow the client more control over their plan and let them assert their priorities.

Keep learning

The world of finance is always changing, and the best financial planners change with it in order to stay at their best. In addition to following top financial publications, attending conferences is an excellent way to keep growing as a CRPC. Conferences not only provide you with an opportunity to attend lectures to expand your knowledge and skill set, but they are also fantastic opportunities for networking within the industry.


Is CRPC designation worth?

The CRPC® designation is the industry benchmark for retirement planning credentials and is encouraged by the top firms in the industry. Graduates report a 9 percent increase in earnings in addition to increases in their number of clients and even their job satisfaction.

How long does it take to study for CRPC?

ADPA® designation program fulfills 22.5 hours. All other designation programs (except the FPQP®, WMSSM and LUTCF® programs) fulfill 28 hours.

How long is the CRPC exam?

There is a 3-hour time limit and candidates have a maximum of two attempts to pass the exam. The grade earned on the final exam reflects a candidate’s overall grade for the designation program. After passing the exam, the candidate may apply for authorization to use the CRPC marks.

How do I take the CRPC exam?

Both require applicants to pass an exam. However, you must have a bachelor’s degree and some college-level study in financial planning to become a CFP. CFPs must also have 6,000 hours of experience working in the financial planning industry, or 4,000 hours through an apprenticeship program.

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