Forget alphabet soup or fly-by-night industry designations. The Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) has partnered with Boston University’s Center for Professional Education to add academic heft to its latest designation, the Retirement Management Analyst (RMA). According to the association, the partnership with Boston University “will ensure the RMA curriculum continues to grow and expand, providing industry professionals with the intensive, cutting-edge training needed to earn the designation.” Boston University will offer the Certificate in Retirement Management as an interactive, Web-based program starting September 2010.
To earn an RMA designation, a financial advisor or other professional must complete a rigorous educational and ethics training curriculum that focuses on:
1.Building the retirement pan to mitigate risks. The objective is to learn to create complete plans for retirement income that assure the client a floor of retirement income and provide appropriate exposure to upside potential, based on each client’s unique goals and circumstances.
2.Mastering the advisory process. Using a simple, but powerful “hub and spoke” approach, the client is at the center and the process looks at the client in a holistic frame that includes the household balance sheet; creating a life-cycle profile; assessing retirement risks; risk management allocation; and choosing the right products. The objective is to expand the focus from traditional Financial Capital to now include Human Capital and Social Capital in every retirement income plan.
“When the bottom dropped out of the economy and our financial markets in 2008, it became clear that traditional retirement planning didn’t work for millions of Americans whose retirement security is at risk,” said Francois Gadenne, chairman and executive director of RIIA, in a statement. “The RIIA leadership decided to address this need for a more comprehensive approach to retirement income management and developed the education and training framework to help advisors better assist their clients. That is how the RMA? came into being.”
“Boston University has a long tradition of innovation in education,” says Ruth Ann Murray, director of BU’s Center for Professional Education, where the program will be developed and administered. “As was the case with many of our existing programs, Boston University will be the first institution of higher learning to offer the educational component leading to what we believe to be an important industry credential.”
For more information about the RMA designation, criteria, and requirements, visit the RIIA website, www.riia-usa.org.