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CFP Board Hikes Certification Cost, Adds New CE Fee

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What You Need to Know

  • The annual certification fee was increased by $100.
  • A new CE reporting fee of $1.25 per CE hour will be charged to continuing education providers, according to Michael Kitces.
  • The extra certification fee revenue will fund the CFP board's public awareness campaign and research, among other efforts.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has increased its annual certification fee by $100, the first fee increase in five years, and has introduced a new continuing education reporting fee.

CFP Board said in a statement on its website that “after careful review of the work needed to accomplish CFP Board’s important mission and our new strategic priorities, we explored the investment required to achieve these.”

Separately, the board notified CE sponsors Tuesday of the new “attendance reporting fee” of $1.25 per CE hour, Michael Kitces, head of planning strategy for Buckingham Wealth Partners, who is also a popular blogger and a CE provider, said Wednesday in a Twitter thread.

The fee, charged to CE providers, will likely be passed on to CFPs in the form of higher costs, according to Kitces.

“When CFP certificants need 15 hours of CE per year, that’s another $18.75 in annual cost,” he tweeted.

The increase of the annual CFP certification fee to $455 takes effect for individuals certified Oct. 1 and later, as well as for renewing CFP professionals whose certification periods expire in October or later, according to the CFP Board.

The new fee revenue, CFP Board said, will be invested as follows:

  • 15% to the board’s public awareness campaign, the first increase of certification fee funding for the campaign since its launch in 2011.
  • 35% to Workforce Development to support a national initiative to promote financial planning as an attractive career choice among college-bound high school students, as well as baccalaureate program expansion.
  • 10% to the Center for Financial Planning to support initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion in the financial planning profession, to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population, and to support development of new research and resources to support the practice of financial planners.
  • 20% to support development of research studies to assess the impact that financial planning has on clients’ well-being, other new research and resources for practitioners, and expanded access to pro bono services.
  • 20% to enforcement.

Kitces tweeted that while there was lots of buzz on Tuesday about CFP Board’s certification fee hike, the CE fee increase got “lost in the discussion.”

CFP Board “only talked about how they’re allocating the $100 increase in certification fee. Not where this other $19/year in new CE fees are going,” according to Kitces.

The CFP Board certification fee increase is the first in five years, “since late 2017, when the @CFPBoard implemented a $30/year increase in certification fees,” Kitces said.

The North American Securities Administrators Association, Kitces tweeted, “is rolling out an even-higher $3/CE-hour reporting fee for the new IAR CE requirement. Hasn’t hit the radar screen of most RIAs yet, as it’s only effective in 3 states so far.”

Pictured: Michael Kitces


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