What Is a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS)?

A Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) designation is for professionals whose primary focus is the design and administration of retirement plans. This designation identifies you as an expert in your field who can communicate effectively with other health care professionals, financial advisors and plan participants about the analysis and selection of benefit solutions.

Why Do You Need a CRPS Designation

A CRPS designation shows that you are committed to providing quality retirement plan design and administration. It also demonstrates your knowledge of retirement plan rules and regulations, allowing you to help clients maintain their tax-advantaged status. In addition, the CRPS designation can help you build relationships with financial advisors, who are often responsible for recommending retirement plan solutions to their clients. To earn the CRPS designation, you must pass a comprehensive exam that covers all aspects of retirement plan design and administration. You must also agree to abide by a code of ethics and maintain your designation through continuing education.

How to Get Your CRPS Designation

To qualify for the Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) designation:

  1. You must meet educational requirements
  2. You must pass a comprehensive exam covering all aspects of retirement plans and be willing to abide by a code of ethics
  3. Maintain the designation through continuing education

The CRPS designation is valid for three years. To maintain your designation, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education during each three-year cycle. The first step towards earning your CRPS designation is to choose which pathway you wish to pursue:

  1. The Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) Pathway – for professionals whose primary focus is the design and administration of retirement plans
  2. The Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist- Health Care Professional (CRPS-HC) Pathway – for professionals who specialize in retirement plan design and administration for health care organizations
  3. The Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist- Financial Advisor (CRPS-FA) Pathway – for professionals who specialize in retirement plan design and administration for financial advisors

Once you have met the education requirements, you are ready to take the CRPS exam. The exam is offered at testing centers throughout North America. The exam is a three-hour, closed-book test that covers all aspects of retirement plan design and administration. You are allowed to bring a calculator and one sheet of notes. After passing the CRPS exam, you must agree to abide by the CII’s code of ethics. This code of ethics requires you to maintain your designation through continuing education. After you have completed the educational requirements and successfully passed the exam, it will take four to six weeks for your designation credentials to be processed and mailed to you.

Benefits of Having a CRPS Designation

Benefits_of_Having_a_CRPS_Designation

  1. The CRPS designation demonstrates your commitment to providing quality retirement plan design and administration.
  2. It also demonstrates your knowledge of retirement plan rules and regulations, allowing you to help clients maintain their tax-advantaged status.
  3. The CRPS designation can also help you build relationships with financial advisors, who may be responsible for recommending retirement plan solutions to their clients.
  4. The CRPS designation is an excellent addition to your professional credentials and can help you stand out from the competition.

The Bottom Line

The Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS) designation is a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates your knowledge and commitment to providing quality retirement plan design and administration. If you are interested in pursuing a career in retirement plan design and administration, the CRPS designation is the perfect starting point. 

The CRPS designation is the CRPS certification. It's a hard designation to earn that shows you are knowledgeable in CRP rules and regulations, it also helps you understand CRP tax advantaged status.
You can get CRPS designation by meeting educational requirements, passing a comprehensive exam, and agreeing to abide by the CRPS code of ethics.
The CRPS designation requires 30 hours of continuing education during each three year cycle, as well as a CRPS exam which you must pass to earn your CRPS certification. Most CRP prerequisites can be completed online.
The CRPS designation can help you build relationships with financial advisors by demonstrating CRP knowledge, it also shows your commitment to CRP.
Four to six weeks is the time frame it takes for CRPS designation credentials to process and mail, once you have completed all CRPS program prerequisites and passed the CRPS exam.

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.