Financial advisors looking to earn their Retirement Management Analyst (RMA) designation can do so through a new online course offered through Salem State University in Massachusetts, the Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) has announced.
The online course, which begins Oct. 26 and runs through Dec. 18, increases accessibility to earning an RMA.
Michael Lonier, CEO of Lonier Financial Advisory LLC in Ramsey, N.J., is listed as the principal instructor of the course, the RIIA also said.
“This online course significantly increases the accessibility of the RMA, while maintaining the rigor and comprehensiveness of the curriculum we have developed over the last decade,” said Francois Gadenne, chairman, co-founder and executive director of the RIIA.
Earning an RMA requires completing two nine-week courses, a Level-1 course and a Level-2 course.
Level 1, which can be complete entirely online, incorporates live and recorded expert presentations, discussion groups and “interactive engagement,” the RIIA also said. The Level 1 class program fee is $995.
Completing Level 2 requires attending RMA “boot camp,” as well as completing material online, Gardenne said in an interview with InsuranceNewsNet.
Earning the RMA designation requires passing both levels.
“Some like Level 1 and it’s enough and they are happy with it,” Gadenne said. “Then they can take Level 2 if they want later, but those that pass both are RMA graduates.”
Salem State is the latest accredited university to offer the course online.
Patricia Meservey, president of Salem State University, said in a news release that the Level 1 course is an example of the university’s ability to take advantage of distancing leaning expertise to meet specific needs of financial planners, “while also helping us support the need in our community of the type of client-focused advice RMA’s provide.”
Retirement income planning, or how to generate income during the period in which an investor draws down on his or her assets, represents a relatively new discipline within the financial industry, which has traditionally focused on strategies geared to accumulating assets.
RIIA was founded in 2005 and the RMA designation launched in 2009. Since then, the RMA curriculum has grown from a five-week course to two nine-week courses and the retirement income discipline has evolved.
Financial advisors looking to anchor their retirement expertise in a professional designation have other options. They can follow courses to become certified retirement counselors (CRC), or retirement income certified professionals (RICP).
The CRC is sponsored by the International Foundation for Retirement Education and the RICP by The American College.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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