Menu Close

Category: Become a CRC

Register to Become a CRC®

Get Started Today by Completing the Registration Form

Register to Become a CRC®

There is no charge to register for the CRC® program.

 

After completing this registration form, you will receive an email confirmation with information about the CRC® exam and upcoming exam dates. We will also keep you informed about other important information via InFRE NewsBriefs.

 

* Indicates a required field.

Salutation*: Mr. Mrs. Ms.
Name*
(First & Last):
Company*:
E-mail*:
Home Address 1*:
Home Address 2:
Home City*:
Home State*:
Home Zip*:
Work Address1*:
Work Address2:
Work City*:
Work State*:
Work Zip*:
Home/Cell Phone*:
Work Phone*:
Mailing Preference*: Home
Work
Education Please select the highest level of education completed
Current Designations and Licenses

Please select all that apply (hold down the Ctrl button to select more than one)
Association Memberships

Check all that apply (hold down the Ctrl button to select more than one)
Business/Professional

What is your primary business profession/occupation?

If applicable, what is your broker/dealer affiliation?

What is your primary title/position/area of responsibility?

How long have you been employed in the financial service/retirement industry?

How did you hear about the CRC designation®?

Disclosures*

Have you ever been a defendant in a criminal proceeding? (You are not required to disclose juvenile offenses, traffic, or similar nuisance offenses).

Yes
No

Have you ever been subject to a regulatory, licensing or inquiry/investigation proceeding conducted by a state or federal agency, or civil/professional organization with respect to your professional or business activities?
Yes
No

If you answered yes to either of the questions above, please provide relevant facts and outcomes of any such proceedings in the space provided.

Exam Preparation

The CRC® exam contains 200 questions that will test your knowledge and understanding of compentencies and tasks relevant to the retirement counseling profession. An outline of these compentencies and tasks can be found on InFRE’s website and will also be forwarded to you after completing this registration form. You may prepare for the exam by using your own study materials and other available resources. InFRE also offers educational resources to help CRC® candidates prepare for the exam. If you would like more information about InFRE study materials, or to purchase now click here.

Statement of Confidentiality

Individuals applying to become a Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) candidate are required to adhere to InFRE’s CRC® Examination confidentiality policy. As such, when submitting this registration form you are agreeing to uphold the confidential nature and content of the CRC® Examination and further agree that you will not jeopardize the integrity of the CRC® examination process by revealing content in the CRC® Examination to any others. CRC® candidates or certificants found to be in violation of this agreement will be subject to immediate revocation of their CRC® candidate or certificant status.

Questions?​ Call InFRE Customer Care Manager at 847-756-7350 ext. 134.

Become a CRC®

For Recognition as a True Retirement Planning Professional,
Become a Certified Retirement Counselor® Certificant

The International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit education foundation devoted to raising the retirement readiness of the American worker.  Since 1997, we have accomplished our mission by operating as a highly respected independent and objective educational resource for retirement planning focused professionals.

As an independently accredited program, the CRC® was created to fulfill the need for a retirement specific certification program that demonstrates a mastery of subject matter, a commitment to the retirement planning profession, adherence to a code of ethics and continuing education. Becoming a CRC® will tangibly convey that you have the knowledge and skills needed to provide the guidance your clients and plan participants are looking for. Now more than ever, it is a significant differentiator to have the real and perceived knowledge that comes with CRC® certification.

Read What CRC®s Have to Say About the Program
“The breadth and depth of knowledge I gained through the CRC® program has helped me become a better advisor for my clients’ retirement planning issues.”
“The CRC® helps improve my credibility when talking about retirement related topics.”
“The CRC® certification has enabled me to articulate my specialization in retirement income planning.”

“The knowledge gained during the CRC® Certification process has helped me develop into a well-rounded retirement counselor.”

5 Reasons to Become a CRC®

Independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies

Developed by professionals for professionals and is continually kept up-to-date and relevant

Demonstrates a mastery of both retirement accumulation and distribution planning concepts

Tangibly conveys your commitment to the retirement planning profession

Requires Certificants to adhere to a Code of Ethics.

Review the Four Steps to Becoming a CRC®

To earn the CRC® certification and the right to use the marks, Candidates are required to pass a comprehensive 200 question, multiple-choice exam and have two years of experience with a college degree (five years of experience required with a high school diploma or equivalent). Optional print and online exam preparation resources are available to help Candidates prepare for the exam. Register online or by faxing or mailing your Registration Form.  If you have any questions about the CRC® program or would like to register by phone, call 847-756-7350 ext. 134.

Become a CRC®!

If you have any questions about the CRC® program or would like to register by phone,
call 847-756-7350 ext. 134.

Why Become A CRC®?

Why Become a Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) Professional?

A high percentage of American workers who are still saving for retirement, have a real risk that their retirement savings will not last as long as they do. At the same time, the burden of preparing for retirement continues to shift more and more to the individual. They need and want help from a qualified retirement professional to provide counseling they can rely on.

 

The CRC® was created to fulfill the need for a retirement specific certification program that demonstrates a mastery of subject matter, a commitment to the retirement planning profession, adherence to a code of ethics and continuing education.  CRC® certification is appropriate for:

  • Early career retirement planning professionals who require a solid foundation of retirement planning knowledge and skills 
  • Retirement specialists who work with retirement plan participants to help with both retirement accumulation and distribution planning needs
  • Experienced advisors who would like to enhance their understanding of retirement planning concepts and principles while also improving their client communication skills and understanding of behavioral finance issues
  • Public sector retirement plan counselors employed by state or local government retirement plans to provide counseling and education to employees.   

When asked “How valuable is the CRC® program for helping improve your ability to counsel clients or retirement plan participants on their retirement planning needs?”, 91% of CRC®s indicated it was “valuable” to “extremely valuable”.  

 

Certificant Comments about the CRC® Program:

  • “The breadth and depth of knowledge I gained through the CRC® program has helped me become a better advisor to my clients facing retirement plan issues.”
  • “The CRC® helps improve my credibility when talking about retirement-related topics.”
  • “The CRC® certification has enabled me to articulate my specialization in retirement income planning.”
  • “The knowledge gained during the CRC® Certification process has helped me develop into a well-rounded retirement counselor.”

5 Reasons to Become a CRC®

Independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies

Developed by professionals, for professionals and is continually kept up-to-date and relevant

Demonstrates a mastery of both retirement accumulation and distribution planning concepts

Tangibly conveys your commitment to the retirement planning profession

Requires Certificants to adhere to a Code of Ethics.

Reason #1: The CRC® is independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The CRC® is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Achieving accreditation status is a rigorous process specific to the certification.  It includes creating an up-to-date comprehensive retirement planning practice analysis, linking the practice analysis to a psychometrically valid and reliable assessment instrument/exam and meeting extremely detailed requirements in regard to governance, responsibility to stakeholders, exam process and recertification.  As an accredited program, you can be assured that the CRC® has been evaluated by an independent group of experts to ensure the program is meeting best practice standards on an ongoing basis. An independently accredited retirement certification program with a holistic retirement planning curriculum can be at least one answer to helping advisors provide services under a duty of care standard in our new fiduciary world.

Reason #2: The CRC® program was developed by professionals, for professionals and is continually kept up-to-date and relevant.

The Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification is a one-of-a-kind retirement designation  program that enables financial professionals to address the challenges facing today’s retirees. The CRC® program was developed over a two-year period of original research and analysis by a team of 100 highly-respected retirement practitioners in partnership with the academic guidance of the Center for Financial Responsibility at Texas Tech University, one of the leading financial planning universities in the country. The CRC® Test Specifications address retirement planning and income management issues from multiple perspectives—including those faced in both private and government sector employer-sponsored retirement plans. The CRC® is InFRE’s only certification, allowing us to focus full attention on ensuring that the program stays relevant and up-to-date.

Reason #3: The CRC® program demonstrates a mastery of both retirement accumulation and distribution planning concepts.

Today’s other retirement credentials typically cover only accumulation planning OR only distribution planning – not both. The CRC® program is the only retirement-specific certification that prepares financial professionals for meeting today’s comprehensive retirement planning needs.  The CRC® content also covers how to offer counseling based on behavioral finance tendancies, different communication styles and gender/generational considerations. 

The CRC® Test Specifications outline in detail the knowledge and task proficiency needed for Candidates to pass the CRC® examination. The five domains of practice are as follows:

  • Domain 1: Identify Needs, Concerns and Goals in Terms of Quantitative and Qualitative Factors by Career Stage/Phase of Retirement
  • Domain 2: Design Retirement-readiness and Post-retirement Strategies within the Context of the Regulatory, Operational and Structural Environment
  • Domain 3: Facilitate the Implementation of the Retirement-readiness and Post-retirement Strategies
  • Domain 4: Evaluate, Adjust, and Document Retirement Strategies Across Career Stages/Retirement Phases
  • Domain 5: Provide Education Materials and Programs

Reason #4: The CRC® will tangibly convey your commitment to the retirement planning profession.

Now more than ever, it is a significant differentiator to have the real and perceived knowledge that comes with CRC® certification. As one valuable component of your personal professional development, becoming a  CRC® will tangibly convey your commitment having the knowledge and skills required to help your clients or retirement plan participants make better and more informed retirement planning decisions. 

CRC® Certificants also make a commitment to ongoing education. To maintain certification status, CRC® Certificants must earn and submit fifteen (15) hours of continuing education (CE) annually. CRC® CE requirements may be fulfilled with firm element training and other required internal training programs. Insurance license and other license/certification CE may also apply. All CRC® CE is self-reporting and does not require pre-approval. More than 90% of CRC® Certificants renew their certification each year.

Reason #5: The CRC® requires Certificants to adhere to a Code of Ethics.

At the time of certification and each year thereafter, CRC® Certificants indicate adherence to the CRC® Code of Ethics

 

Importantly, and as it pertains to today’s new fiduciary environment, the CRC® Code of Ethics includes “Acting in the best interest of the client or retirement plan participant” as one of its principles.  A CRC® Certificant also agrees to follow within his or her professional activities both traditional ethical principles and the letter and spirit of the state and federal laws that regulate retirement advice, records, and transactions.

Become a CRC®!

If you have any questions about the CRC® program or would like to register by phone,

call 847-756-7350 ext. 134.

 

InFRE is committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all certification applicants, employees and outside contractors. InFRE does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its policies, employment and other administered programs and activities.

The CRC® meets the accreditation standards of the NCCA

The Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC) certification is independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Of over 100 financial designations, the CRC® is one of only a very few retirement and financial planning-related certifications independently accredited by the NCCA.

CINDY – ADD NCCA LOGO CLOSE BY

Why is it important to choose an accredited credential?

There can be a substantial difference between what may be a non-academically based certificate offered by an accredited institution of higher learning, and an academically-based certification that meets rigorous independent third-party, “program accreditation” standards. Although “institutional accreditation” is an appropriate and valid means of ensuring the public that institutions of higher education meet certain standards, “program accreditation” is a long and rigorous process specific to the certification program itself. It may take up to two years for a certification program to become accredited while completing a process that includes creating an up-to-date comprehensive practice analysis, linking the practice analysis to a psychometrically valid and reliable assessment instrument/exam and submitting a comprehensive application.

The Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification meets the highest of these standards, including, but not limited to:

  • Exam design that assesses the competency of the professional (versus knowledge only), using psychometrically acceptable and defensible testing instruments and procedures
  • Adherence to a code of ethics
  • A disciplinary process overseen by an independent Board of Standards
  • Recertification requirements that require professionals to keep their knowledge current

Why did InFRE pursue higher standards to achieve accreditation for the Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC®) certification?

Accreditation of designations with required professional standards is the best approach to ensure protection of the public interest, but it is a challenging process and many organizations may not achieve the high standards that are required.

InFRE is keenly aware of its responsibility to maintain its role as the pre-eminent certification in the field of retirement counseling. In light of this responsibility and recent regulatory developments regarding the use of “senior designations”, InFRE has recognized that independent accreditation is the right thing to do to distinguish the CRC® among other retirement-oriented designations. After successfully completing the lengthy accreditation process, InFRE was able to demonstrate that the CRC® met the professional standards determined by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Accreditation is also an indication to consumers that all who hold an accredited certification possess an appropriate level of knowledge and competency pertaining to their profession. Independent accreditation is an important way to distinguish between a “certification” designed to help prepare retirement counselors to competently address retirement issues and a “designation” that may only indicate completion of a course.  InFRE’s independent third-party “program” accreditation signifies that CRC® Certificants are an elite group of qualified retirement professionals among the array of retirement-related designations available today.

What do accreditation standards include?

Accreditation requires a certification to be structured and governed in a way appropriate for the profession and that ensures autonomy in decision making over essential certification activities. The exam is based on the domains of knowledge and tasks determined in an industry practice analysis and generally accepted psychometric principles. The certification program must also demonstrate that its recertification requirements measure or enhance the continued competence of Certificants. NCCA uses a peer review process to establish accreditation standards, evaluate compliance with the standards, and recognize organizations/programs which demonstrate compliance.

The InFRE Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification continues to lead the retirement profession

InFRE’s purpose is raising the retirement readiness of American workers through retirement-specific, accredited certification and training for professionals. Texas Tech University, recognized nationally for their outstanding undergraduate, graduate and PhD financial planning programs, is a key partner. By having obtained independent third-party accreditation of the CRC® program, InFRE continues to lead the retirement profession as it has done since its inception in 1997.

Testimonials

What CRC®'s are Saying About the Program

The following comments are from CRC® certificants who recently completed a survey asking how their certification has increased their credibility as a retirement professional and how the training has helped them address the retirement planning needs of clients and retirement plan participants.

  • “The CRC® is acknowledged as a legitimate recognition of pertinent knowledge and a discipline of ongoing study.”
  • “The CRC® helps improve my credibility when talking about retirement related topics.”
  • “Others in my organization know they can look to me for answers to questions they have”.

  • “We all know that a certification is not a guarantee of competence, but it is a helpful way of saying that I have at least mastered a body of knowledge.”

  • “The breadth and depth of knowledge I gained through the CRC® program has helped me become a better advisor to my clients facing retirement plan issues.”

  • “It is a privilege to be able to say that I have this certification and it gives me credibility.”
  • “The knowledge I gained for the CRC® certification has greatly increased my ability to educate our members on what to expect in retirement and how our plan can best fit their needs.”

  • “The CRC® certification has enhanced my ability to attract prospects and has enabled me to articulate my specialization in retirement income planning.”

  • “The knowledge gained impacts most of my client appointments.”

  • “I have had certain clients that are more willing to discuss their retirement plans once they know I’m a CRC® advisor.”

  • “Being aware of the different communication styles of plan participants has helped me.”

  • “My CRC® training helps me almost every day in my dealings with retirement plans, rollovers, and lifetime income planning.”
  • “I helped a soon-to-retire person look at bigger picture before looking at specific strategies and solutions.”

  • “Knowledge gained during the CRC® certification process has helped me develop into a well rounded retirement counselor.”

  • “I have on many occasions referred to retirement lifecycle stages. This has helped my clients address their income needs in early retirement vs. late retirement.”

  • “The CRC® curriculum addresses both quantitative and qualitative issues that affect retirement planning. It has reinforced and increased my confidence as I discuss retirement planning issues with clients and prospective clients. This knowledge has helped make conversations go more smoothly.”