Why Become a CRC® Professional?

Become a Certified Retirement Counselor® so you can be recognized as a true retirement planning professional.

5 Reasons to Become a CRC®

InFRE created the CRC® in 1997 to raise the retirement readiness of the American worker by advancing recognition among retirement professionals of the need for a retirement specific certification program that demonstrates a mastery of subject matter, a commitment to the retirement planning profession, and adherence to a code of ethics and continuing education requirements. CRC® certification is appropriate for early career retirement planning professionals who would like to increase their knowledge and skills, as well as for more experienced professionals who would like to enhance their retirement planning expertise.

Many baby boomers, along with the rest of the American workforce 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. As such, below are five reasons why retirement professional should consider becoming CRC® certified.

The CRC® program:

  1. Is independently accredited, by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies
  2. Is developed by professionals, for professionals and is continually kept up-to-date and relevant
  3. Demonstrates a mastery of both retirement accumulation and distribution planning
  4. Will tangibly demonstrate your commitment to the retirement planning profession
  5. Requires certificants to adhere to a Code of Ethics.

For more information about the CRC® certification, click here for a short prerecorded presentation by Kevin Seibert, Managing Director.

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

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).

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.

As a result of independent accreditation, the CRC® mark is 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.

Many compliance departments have approved the mark for use as well. If you are an advisor and restricted by your current employer or broker/dealer from using your CRC® mark, please contact us for help. We are happy to work with your Compliance/Advertising Review Department to provide the documents they need to approve the use of the CRC®.

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

Reason #2: 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.

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® programs’ 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.


CRC® Study Guides

The CRC® Study Guides help advisors meet the comprehensive retirement planning needs of clients by covering both accumulation planning and distribution planning.

Note: 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. When purchasing InFRE study materials, there is no advantage given to CRC® Candidates related to meeting eligibility requirements, scheduling an exam or any other certification related policies and procedures.

Purchase your study guides and pay your exam fee now to save time and money!

The CRC® exam fee is $550 and may be paid at the time you are ready to take the exam.  The total fee when paying for your study guides and the CRC® examination fee separately is therefore $1,070 ($520 study guides + $550 exam).  You can save $100 by paying only $970 for both the study guide and exam fees now.

Print version $970 Add to Cart Button

CRC® 1: Fundamentals of Retirement Planning – Course #1 provides techniques for understanding the broad variety of factors that can affect a client’s retirement goals. You will also learn methods for motivating and educating clients on the need to save for retirement.

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CRC® 2: Fundamentals of Investments – Course #2 teaches the basic investment concepts and terminology you need to help your clients with goal-appropriate investing.

Print version
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CRC® 3: Fundamentals of Retirement Plan Design – Course #3 teaches you the concepts needed to guide your clients in maximizing assets within different types of retirement plans.

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CRC® 4: Fundamentals of Retirement Income Planning – This guide presents a well-developed retirement planning process that encompasses the entire spectrum of retirement planning from the individual’s point of view of accumulation as a worker to distribution as a retiree.

Print version
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CRC® 5: Principles of Retirement Counseling and Education – Provides the finishing touches for becoming a true retirement “counselor” by exploring how to communicate with various personality types and deliver educational content using a variety of media.

Print version
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SAVE over $90 when you buy the complete set of five Study Guides

Print version
$520 Add to Cart Button

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 38 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 #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® 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, 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 distribution planning needs of the mid-market, look no further than the CRC®!

Reason #4: Tangibly demonstrate 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. The CRC® program uniquely enhances a professional’s understanding of retirement planning concepts and principles to help their clients and 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.

Reason #5: CRC® Certificants commit to adhere to a Code of Ethics

All CRC® Certificants must complete an annual renewal of their certification, which requires signing a Certificate Holder’s Statement that indicates 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.

Register to Become a CRC
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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.