Retirement Planning Graduate Certificate

13 semester hours of credit (5 courses)

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The College for Financial Planning’s Graduate Certificates provide you with the depth of knowledge necessary in subject areas that are relevant for the true professional, enabling you to not only better serve your clients, but to also have more confidence in the guidance that you do provide. Develop real-world critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are immediately applicable in your practice.

The Retirement Planning Graduate Certificate provides a well-rounded approach to the entire retirement planning process, covering a broad range of topics on the graduate level. Each course is eight weeks in length and the certificate can be earned in less than one year. The College for Financial Planning is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member North Central Association. This ensures that all of our graduate programs deliver the highest level of academic rigor possible.

Required Courses:


PFP504: Studies in Retirement Planning

Major retirement-related issues are covered in this course. Discussions and assignments impart knowledge of retirement savings needs analysis, IRAs, qualified retirement plans for large and small employers, Social Security retirement programs, and nonqualified deferred compensation. You will compare and contrast a variety of retirement programs by designing a comparison table. You will also write a paper on retirement plan administration issues, and apply your learning as you prepare a proposal for a hypothetical client as a term project.

PFP570: Pre-retirement Financial Planning Topics

You will use a hypothetical couple planning to retire in 15 years. In designing their retirement plan, they want to analyze a wide range of issues facing individuals who are preparing for retirement. The course also presents a variety of methods for approaching the issues to better assist clients in resolving the issues that may be faced when preparing for or after retirement.

PFP574 401(k) Plans & Salary Deferral Topics

Provides an understanding of most of the important characteristics of cash or deferred arrangement (CODA) retirement plans, particularly 401(k) plans. It covers funding of CODAs, profit sharing, and hybrid plans; plan design, installation, administration, and operation; investment objectives; fiduciary issues; and prohibited transactions. Case analyses are used to simulate actual situations. You are required to research questions involving tax-deferred retirement plans.

PFP581: Estate Planning for Retirement Benefits

This course focuses on estate planning for retirement distributions from qualified plans and IRAs, while providing you with essential information regarding tax and other laws that govern retirement benefits and distributions. Among other things, the use of employer-sponsored retirement plans, IRAs, trusts, and charitable gifts to achieve client goals are covered. Also discussed are many important financial planning techniques used to help clients build a financially secure retirement.


3 Credit Hour Courses


Student Loans are available

The curriculum is based on a client-centered, problem-solving method using case studies to give you a hands-on approach to the material. The College’s highly qualified faculty is available via telephone or e-mail to support you in your studies.

Certificate Program Start Dates

  • Tue

    Graduate & Certificate Programs Session

    College for Financial Planning

For a complete list of Masters Program Start Dates click here.