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.

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: 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


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.

A complete list of classes can be found here.