Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist℠

Professional Designation Program

PFPL583: Retirement Plan Studies

CRPS® Program

Program Summary:

The Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist℠ or CRPS® designation is the nation’s premier credential focusing on retirement plan administration. Master the process of designing, installing, and maintaining company retirement plans while earning this unique designation.

New for 2017, the CRPS® program has been updated to include new modules that focus on ERISA and the new DOL fiduciary standard. The program focuses on providing in-depth knowledge of these rulings so that advisors can truly focus on what is best for their clients.

Why choose the CRPS® Program?

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 Topics:

Module 1: Introduction to ERISA and the Fiduciary Standard

Chapter 1: Fundamentals of ERISA

Chapter 2: The Fiduciary Standard and ERISA

Chapter 3: Advisers Working with Plan Participants

Module 2: Employer-Funded Defined Contribution Plans

Chapter 1: An Overview of Defined Contribution Plans

Chapter 2: Profit Sharing Plans

Chapter 3: Stock-Based Plans

Chapter 4: Cross-Tested Profit Sharing Plans

Chapter 5: Defined Contribution Plans Compared

Module 3: Participant-Directed Retirement Plans

Chapter 1: 401(k) Profit Sharing Plans

Chapter 2: 403(b) Plans

Chapter 3: 457(b) Plans

Module 4: Retirement Plan Solutions for Small Business Owners

Chapter 1: SIMPLE Plans

Chapter 2: The Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)

Chapter 3: SEP vs. SIMPLE Plan Selection for Business Owners

Chapter 4: Defined Benefit Plans for Small Business Owners

Module 5: Retirement Plan Selection, Design, and Implementation

Chapter 1: Selecting the Appropriate Employer-Sponsored Plan

Chapter 2: Designing ERISA-Compliant Plans

Chapter 3: Approaches to Implementing Qualified Plans

Chapter 4: Plan Amendments

Module 6: Administering ERISA-Compliant Plans

Chapter 1: The Role of a Plan Administrator

Chapter 2: Complying with IRC Qualification Requirements

Chapter 3: Avoiding Noncompliance Penalties

Chapter 4: Plan Termination

Module 7: Working with Plan Participants

Chapter 1: Designing Effective Participant Education Programs

Chapter 2: Administering Preretirement Distributions

Chapter 3: Administering Post-Retirement Distributions

Chapter 4: Distributions Following the Participant’s Death

Chapter 5: Approaching Other Plan Participant Issues

Course Details:

The CRPS® program is delivered via the College’s exclusive MyChoice learning platform. PFPL583 and the CRPS® curriculum are worth 3 graduate semester credit hours and up to 28 hours of continuing education credit with some organizations.

Students typically complete their studies within 9-11 weeks, although your completion time may be faster or slower than the duration cited.

To complete the program, students have to successfully pass the course’s final exam at one of our approved testing centers: PSI,  Prometric , or ISO Quality Testing. 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. Full enrollment details can be found here.

Additional requirements exist to obtain and maintain authorization to use the designation.

Live Course Dates

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.

  • Mon

    CRPS Online Classroom

    Our online instructor-led eCampus at

    Classes meet each Monday & Wednesday.

  • Tue

    CRPS Online Classroom

    Our online instructor-led eCampus at

    Classes meet each Tuesday & Thursday.

A complete list of classes can be found here.