Retirement Income Industry Association

The View Across The Silos

Advanced Advisor Education

Learn about the Retirement Management Analyst Designation®.

Why the RMA® designation?

Your near-retirement age clients are looking for expertise in retirement income planning. If you don’t have it, they will find someone who does.

Retirement is a big life transition, and a scary one. The average financial advisor does not have the training and expertise needed to adequately assist clients going through this transition.

The RMA® designation equips you with the knowledge you need to speak the language of retirement focused clients and to learn how to build a plan that focuses on safety first — something the accumulation mindset does not address.

With the RMA® designation, you’ll find your age 50+ clients see you in a whole new light; as a trusted retirement advisor.

The result: a noticeable increase in client satisfaction, additional assets and more referrals.

Become proficient in the competencies of retirement income and watch your business grow because you will be learning about these four “signpost” areas that define the RMA® body of knowledge:


The key components of the Client Diagnostic Kit (Chapters 1, 2, 3 in the RMA® Curriculum Book available on Amazon) are:

  • Measures of Fundedness and the Client Segmentation Matrix
  • Fundamental Planning Strategies (Investment, Goals and Product-based)
  • Household Balance Sheet View, Benchmarks and Analysis


The Retirement Allocations are “Risk Management Allocations” (Chapter 4 of the RMA® Curriculum Book) and include:

  • Risk Retention by the client, addressed by diversification among risky assets
  • Risk Management by the client, addressed by giving up future potential to limit downside losses in the future
  • Risk Pooling by the client, addressed by entering into personalized contracts and agreements that create pools/groups
  • Risk Avoidance by the client, addressed by using a range of risk-free assets


The key components of the RMA® Toolbox (Chapters 5 and 6 of the RMA® Curriculum Book) are:

  • Implementation Process Approaches (e.g. SWP, Ladders, Buckets, etc.)
  • Account Locations (aka Tax Diversification)
  • Product Selections (e.g. Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, TDFs, Annuities, etc.)


The key components of Practice Management (Chapter 7 of the RMA® Curriculum Book) are:

  • Ethics
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring

Sign up for the RMA designation today.

Created to Help Financial Advisors Achieve the
Highest Level of Success in Providing
Retirement Income Solutions

To achieve the highest level of success in providing retirement income solutions to clients, financial advisors must go beyond today’s conventional wisdom to embrace a new and much more complete process.

Capitalizing on RIIA’s unique “View Across the Silos” perspective, the cutting edge RMA® designation is a rigorous educational and ethics training curriculum that focuses on building the retirement plan to mitigate risks and mastering the advisory process. For the complete details about the RMA® designation, please review the Manual for Compliance Officers.

RIIA congratulates its RMA® certificate-holders.

Kerry Pechter, Editor of Retirement Income Journal, offered his view on three things that characterize RIIA and the birth of the new designation, the Retirement Management Analyst RMA®.

Read about the Value, Opportunity, and Vision of the The Retirement Management Analyst Designation.

Prerequisites or experience required to obtain the RMA®

In general, RMA candidates already have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the practical application of basic retirement planning and investment principles. Typically, we would look for at least three (3) or more years experience as a financial advisor working with clients on retirement and non-retirement portfolios, or comparable experience in the financial services industry directly involved in the retirement and investments business. Holding various FINRA registrations, e.g. series 7, 24, 63, 65, or 66, as well as other designations, e.g. CFA, CFP, etc. will all be considered as evidence of prerequisite knowledge.

Candidates for the RMA® designation must:

  • Pass a RIIA Approved Education Program such as:
  • Complete the RMA® application and certify that the information in the application is accurate.Further, candidates must certify that they have not been fined nor sanctioned from practicing in the financial services field by any state or federal government, regulatory authority, by any industry self-regulatory body or by any employer.
  • Pay the initial RMA® certification fee of $395, which includes the annual certification fee, plus the one-time examination fee.
  • Sit for and pass the RMA® Examination.
  • Re-certification Requirements Include (see Manual for Compliance Officers.)
    • Subsequent annual certification fees are just $295, which includes an eSubscription to the Retirement Management Journal® (RMJ).
    • Completion of at least twenty hours (20) of continuing education defined as:
      • 10 mandatory hours staying current on the expanding body of knowledge (BOK) as updated for RMA® certificate-holders through the Retirement Management Journal.
      • 10 hours of continuing education through:
    •  Use this form to track hours. This is for your reference. Transfer info to online form below at time of renewal.
    • Renew here. Renewal date is based on RMA® Certification date. The date is separate from RIIA membership renewal date.

Three Universities Now Support Preparation for the RMA Designation:

Approved University Programs with Public Enrollment

  •  Salem State University (Salem, MA) offers:
  • Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Fort Lauderdale-Davie FL offers:

Approved University Programs Restricted to Institutional Enrollment

  • Texas Tech University offers a 5-day in-class Customized Retirement Mangement Seminar that includes lectures and lab assignments. The class is offered in Lubbock, TX on the TTU campus and runs Monday morning through Friday with the course exam on Saturday morning. The cost is $1,975 (includes hotel Sunday – Friday nights).For more information, contact Michael Finke, Associate Professor.

Upon successful completion of the RMA® program, graduates receive the following benefits:

  • Free subscription to the Retirement Management Journal (pdf) to keep current on RMA® Continuing Education requirements
  • Deeply discounted registration to RIIA conferences
  • Discounted full individual membership in RIIA. For more information…
  • Eligibility to join the Practitioners Peer Review Committee for the Retirement Management Journal