CRPS® or Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist

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*If you are currently employed in the financial services industry you may be eligible for a discount. Call our enrollment specialists now to find out.

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Course Description: As retirement plan options evolve and tax complexities increase, many companies seek professional plan administrators to design, install, and maintain their company retirement plans. Firms of all sizes recognize the unique skills needed to implement and oversee these internal retirement plans— skills within your reach with the CRPS® designation. Your CRPS® mark will set you apart from other advisors with the knowledge to recommend implementation techniques that can be executed into well-structured, company-appropriate retirement plans. Plus, you’ll be able to effectively administer retirement plans for businesses and their employees.

What benefits does the CRPS® Program offer?

  • The CRPS® designation is the industry-benchmark for credentials related to retirement plan creation/maintenance and is encouraged by the industry’s top firms.
  • Graduates report a 17% increase in earnings in addition to increases to their number of clients and even their job satisfaction.
  • The program offers unique insights into areas very few advisors have experience with.
  • Master a wide variety of retirement plan types including SEP, Simple, 401(k), Defined Benefit, and more
  • Graduates can test out of 2 (of 6) courses in our CFP Certification Professional Education Program.
  • In addition to plan implementation, discover the ins and outs of plan claims, penalties, and termination.
  • Obtain up to 45 hours of CE credit for completion.

"I found the CRPS® program to be an excellent, comprehensive course that covered the basics of retirement planning and helped me increase my knowledge of concepts such as Defined Benefit Plans and 457 Plans. At my suggestion, this course will be mandatory for all associates at my firm who aspire to become Retirement Specialists." – Anne F.

Course Details

How does the CRPS® Program work?

The College’s professional designation programs all feature open enrollment. You can enroll and begin whenever you like. While we offer periodic live classes, these are completely optional and are available to all students at no additional charge.


When you enroll you will receive immediate access to the College’s exclusive online student portal. Within this portal you will find copies of your written study materials, streaming video lectures, downloadable MP3’s, interactive quizzes, and even access to live classes when they are in session. You will also be able to contact your professor with questions or issues.


All of these things are included with your enrollment and we pride ourselves on not charging for additional 3rd party books, online functionality, access to professors, etc.

Course Topics:

Students must successfully pass the course’s single final examination within one year of their enrollment date. Final exams can be administered at our approved testing centers: PSIPrometric, or v. The first examination is included as part of your enrollment. Subsequent examination attempts are $100 each. Students must  attempt the exam within six months of enrollment and have one year to complete the program.

A complete list of requirements, testing information, and the College’s complete list of Policies & Procedures can be found here.


Policies & Procedures:

Live Course Dates:

There are additional requirements to obtain and maintain authorization to use this designation.

Conferment Requirements

  • Module 1: Types and Characteristics of Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

    Chapter 1: Retirement Plans: The Big Picture


    Chapter 2: Qualified Plans


    Chapter 3: Rules and Provisions of Qualified Plans


    Chapter 4: Plans for Nonprofit Organizations

  • Module 2: Defined Benefit Plans

    Chapter 1: Basic Characteristics


    Chapter 2: Cash Balance Pension Plans


    Chapter 3: Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution


    Chapter 4: Determining Retirement Benefits


    Chapter 5: Funding Defined Benefit Plans


    Chapter 6: Case Analysis

  • Module 3: Defined Contribution Plans

    Chapter 1: An Overview of Defined Contribution Plans


    Chapter 2: Profit Sharing Plans


    Chapter 3: Stock Bonus Plans


    Chapter 4: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)


    Chapter 5: Money Purchase Plans


    Chapter 6: Target Benefit Plans


    Chapter 7: Age-Weighted Profit Sharing Plans


    Chapter 8: Cross-Tested Profit Sharing Plans


    Chapter 9: Defined Contribution Plans Compared

  • Module 4: 401(k) Plans

    Chapter 1: Basic Characteristics


    Chapter 2: Types of Plans


    Chapter 3: SIMPLE 401(k) Plans


    Chapter 4: Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans


    Chapter 5: Plan Decision Factors


    Chapter 6: Case Analysis

  • Module 5: SEP and SIMPLE Plans

    Chapter 1: The Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)


    Chapter 2: SIMPLE Plans


    Chapter 3: SEP vs. SIMPLE

  • Module 6: Nonprofit Organization and Government Plans

    Chapter 1: 403(b) Plans


    Chapter 2: 403(b) and 401(k) Plans Compared


    Chapter 3: 457 Plans

  • Module 7: Retirement Plan Distributions

    Chapter 1: Distributions From Qualified Plans


    Chapter 2: Preretirement Distributions


    Chapter 3: Distributions During Retirement


    Chapter 4: Rollovers


    Chapter 5: Penalties: Too Late, Too Little


    Chapter 6: Distribution at Death


    Chapter 7: SEP, SIMPLE IRA, and SARSEP Distributions


    Chapter 8: Compliance Issues

  • Module 8: Plan Installation and Administration

    Chapter 1: Qualified Plan Appropriateness, Design and Installation


    Chapter 2: Qualified Plan Design and Related Issues


    Chapter 3: Plan Administration


    Chapter 4: Plan Amendments

  • Module 9: Plan Claims, Penalties, and Termination

    Chapter 1: Plan Termination


    Chapter 2: Penalty Taxes


    Chapter 3: IRS and DOL Programs for Resolving Plan Defects


    Chapter 4: Claims of Plan Participants & Nonparticipants 63

  • Module 10: Fiduciary Responsibilities, Prohibited Transactions, and Investment Issues

    Chapter 1: Fiduciary Responsibilities


    Chapter 2: Prohibited Transactions


    Chapter 3: Investment Objectives, Investment Policy, and the Role of Trustees


    Chapter 4: The Asset Allocation Decision

The next live course will be offered during these dates. Remember that you can enroll and begin at any time using pre-recorded course lectures.

Classes meet each Tuesday & Thursday

Classes meet each Tuesday and Thursday

Start Date:

End Date:

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Start Date:

End Date:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Visit the College Calendar

Enrollment Process

How do I enroll in a program?

It’s incredibly easy to enroll and begin your studies immediately! By clicking Enroll Now, you will be prompted to create a user account and enter payment information. Within just a few minutes of enrolling you will have full access to all of your course study tools.
Get started today!

What payment options are available?

The College for Financial Planning accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.  If you would like to pay by check or money order contact an enrollment specialist for more information.

If you are currently employed in the financial services industry you may be eligible for a discount. The best way to learn more about any potential discounts or additional enrollment options is to contact our enrollment team at 1-800-237-9990 x 3 or at


The College has a wide variety of program scholarships available. Visit our Scholarships Page for more information.

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Course Details

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Why Enroll?

Enrollment Process

CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, and CFP (with flame logo)® are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. The College for Financial Planning does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM or CFP (with flame logo)® certification marks. CFP® certification is granted only by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to those persons who, in addition to completing an education requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met its ethics, experience, and examination requirements. Earnings amounts and increases cited relate to individuals already employed in the financial services industry.  They do not constitute guarantees of future results.


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