While the federal government is cracking down in bogus financial advisor designations, The American College of Financial Planning, recently launched the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation. While designation proliferation is a growing problem for consumers, regulators, and advisors with legitimate designations, The American College is a well-established educational institution for financial professionals.
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Its entrance into the retirement income specialty is likely to be looked upon skeptically by some fee-only financial planners, but The American College has for decades had the financial backing of the insurance industry and its professional education programs are credible. In fact, Wade Pfau, an award-winning Princeton-educated retirement income analyst, in April joined the faculty of The American College as Professor of Retirement Income in a new Ph.D. program on Financial Services and Retirement Planning.
In April, the college announced that it had awarded its first RICP designations to 11 individuals. “The RICP educational curricula is the most complete and comprehensive program available to professional financial advisors looking to help their clients create sustainable retirement income,” according to press release.
Candidates for the RICP designation must complete a minimum of three advanced college-level courses and pass six hours of proctored exams to earn the credential.
Consumer Financial Protection Board issued a report on April 25
recommending ways to address the problems posed to senior citizens by designation proliferation, since some designations are little more than cover for selling products to seniors. The American College, an 86 year old not-for-profit educational institution, might have the influence and financial power needed to make RICP a recognized and respected designation, as baby boomers begin to hit their retirement years and retirement income becomes more important than ever.