Public Sector Employers – Why the CRC?

Why have your retirement customer service, retirement or benefits counselors, or plan administrators become a CRC®? The changes being made in public sector retirement plan design today require employers to enhance the education and counseling provided to employees to help them shoulder increased personal responsibility for their retirement future.

InFRE’s Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) professional certification program is now used by over 60 retirement systems and is fast becoming recognized as one of the most comprehensive and informative programs that meets the training needs of public sector retirement systems using primary or optional defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, or hybrid plans. Retirement systems such as Colorado PERA, South Dakota Retirement System, PSRS of Missouri, Ohio STRS, and other state, county and local entities use the CRC® to enhance the professional skills and ongoing knowledge of their retirement counselors. See certification requirements for more information.

The Certified Retirement Counselor certification and related professional development programs are endorsed by the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) and the National Pension Education Association (NPEA).

What topics are covered in InFRE’s Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) professional certification program?

Public sector retirement counselors need to be more knowledgeable about retirement planning, investments, retirement readiness and income principles, and all types of retirement plans – including defined benefit, defined contribution, deferred compensation, Roth plans, and more – to better help employees be retirement ready.

Based on original research and analysis by a team of over 70 retirement practitioners in both the public and private sectors and in partnership with Texas Tech University, one of the leading financial planning universities in the country, the CRC® is a one-of-a-kind certification designed to enable public sector retirement professionals meet the increasingly complex decisions that need to be made by today’s government sector employees amid benefits changes, uncertain future health care costs, and retirement risks such as longevity, inflation, and market risks. See more information on the CRC® curriculum here.

Why Become a CRC®?

There are four reasons why public sector retirement systems should consider the more comprehensive, complete scope-of-retirement planning CRC® certification instead of one that narrowly focuses only on retirement income, retirement savings accumulation or retirement readiness. The CRC® program is:

  1. A comprehensive educational program that covers the complete-scope-of-retirement topics.
  2. Independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
  3. Developed by professionals, for professionals and is continually kept up-to-date and relevant.
  4. An indication of competency, credibility and high ethical standards.

Register nowRegister to Become a CRC
for the CRC® program.


Four Reasons to Become a CRC®

Reason #1: The CRC® program is a comprehensive educational program that covers the complete scope-of-retirement topics.

Other retirement credentials today typically cover only accumulation planning OR only distribution planning – but not both. The CRC® program is the only retirement-specific certification that prepares public sector retirement professionals for meeting today’s comprehensive retirement planning needs.

The CRC® Certification Test Specifications outline in detail the knowledge and task proficiency needed for Candidates to pass the exam. 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, Legal, 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

If you’re seeking one credential that is designed to help you best serve BOTH the accumulation and withdrawal planning of your plan’s participants, look no further than the CRC®!

Reason #2: 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).

Obtaining NCCA accreditation required the CRC® certification program be vetted to meet the highest standards regarding governance, responsibility to stakeholders, exam process, and recertification on the merits of the program itself – an important difference from designations being offered by accredited colleges. Hence, the CRC®’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.

As a result of independent accreditation, the CRC® mark is also approved for use in states that regulate senior designations, now allowing financial professionals in all 50 states the ability to use the CRC® mark in their communications with the public.

Learn more about CRC®’s program policies here: CRC® Program Policies manual.

Reason #3: The CRC® program is developed by professionals, for professionals

The Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification is a one-of-a-kind professional development 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.


CRC® Study Guides – $499

The CRC® program enhances a professional’s understanding of retirement planning concepts and principles. Many who have earned the CRC® certification comment that the CRC® curriculum’s focus on applying a retirement planning and income management process enhances their ability to tangibly demonstrate expertise and commitment to better serve clients’ retirement planning needs.

The CRC® Study Guides help advisors meet the comprehensive retirement planning needs of clients by covering both accumulation planning and distribution planning. You may determine your own study path to prepare for the CRC exam and are not required to purchase study materials offered by InFRE or any other source.

CRC® 1 Print - $125 - Add to Cart

CRC® 1 Print – $130

CRC® 1: Fundamentals of Retirement Planning – CRC® #1 features methods for motivating and educating clients on the need to save for retirement, and the importance of taking personal responsibility for their own financial futures. Read more!

CRC® 2 Print - $125 - Add to Cart

CRC® 2 Print – $130

CRC® 2: Fundamentals of Investments – In CRC® #2 you’ll gain familiarity with investment concepts that are critical to effective retirement counseling. Read more!

CRC® 3 Print - $130 - Add to Cart

CRC® 3 Print – $130

CRC® 3: Fundamentals of Retirement Plan Design – CRC® #3 helps the retirement professional translate the complex and often confusing information to clients/participants of various backgrounds need as they consider their retirement planning needs. Read more!

CRC® 4 Print - $130 - Add to Cart

CRC® 4 Print – $130

CRC® 4: Fundamentals of Retirement Income Management – CRC®#4 teaches you to coordinate the work you do as a retirement professional with other advisors essential to the retirement planning process. Read more!

CRC® 5 Print - $65 - Add to Cart

CRC® 5 Print – $65

CRC® 5Principles of Retirement Counseling and Education – CRC®#5 goes beyond what retirement planning concepts to communicate by helping you with how to communicate them to employees and clients. Read more!

SAVE $50 on the set/4 - Add to Cart


BUY THE COMPLETE SET of five Study Guides for $499

Hard copies of study guides are provided in a perfect bound format for storage and reference.  Individual study guides CRC 1 – 4 may be purchased for $130/study guide. CRC 5 is available for purchase at $65.

Free bonus worth $249! When you purchase the complete set of Study Guides, you will also receive access to the CRC® Elearning Review Courses to supplement your self-study preparation for exams.These 30 online sessions, totaling more than 18 hours of content, may be viewed by candidates at their convenience to clarify concepts and answer questions on the more difficult topics. Click here to view a sample.

Reason #4: CRC® Certificants commit to adhere to a Code of Ethics

All CRC® Certificants must complete an annual renewal of their certification, which requires continuing education and signing a Certificate Holder’s Statement that indicates adherence to the CRC® Code of Ethics. A CRC® Certificant 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.

Register to Become a CRCFortify your retirement expertise today – Register Now!