What Is a CRPC? (With Benefits, Average Salary, and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 1, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A chartered retirement planning counsellor, also known as a CRPC, is someone with a certification to provide professional financial assistance to clients who are planning their retirement. A professional with a CRPC certification may also seek additional certifications to broaden their clientele. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of a chartered retirement planning counsellor can help you decide if it's the right career path for you. In this article, we define what a chartered retirement planning counsellor is, outline what duties this role performs, discuss the benefits of getting a certification, and review tips for working in the role.

What is a CRPC?

A CRPC is a certified professional financial advisor for individuals seeking retirement planning assistance. They help retirees plan for their retirements by managing their personal savings, investments, insurance, and income taxes. To earn a certification, you can complete a program from a designated educational institution and pass the final examination. The curriculum often comprises 90 to 135 hours of course work, depending on the chosen educational institution. These certifications are valid for two years, and if you want to maintain the credentials, a financial professional can recertify by completing 16 hours of continuing education and paying a recertification fee.

Related: How to Become a Canadian Certified Counsellor?

What does a chartered retirement planning counsellor do?

Chartered retirement planning counsellors have a similar role to certified financial planners, but the two differ because a CRPC specializes in retirement planning. These professionals have a more in-depth knowledge of clients' needs before and after retiring. They help clients plan their journey for the future by designing ways they can accomplish their financial objectives and assessing a client's current savings and income taxes. Additional job duties of a chartered retirement planning counsellor may include:

  • Assessing a client's sources of income, savings accounts, and expenses

  • Meeting with clients and discussing their goals for the future

  • Determining attainable objectives for a client's retirement planning based on their preferences and financial capabilities

  • Creating financial plans for clients to help them meet their retirement goals

  • Advising clients on how to manage their assets, savings, and retirement accounts

  • Adjusting financial plans as needed if changes to a client's financial situation or their retirement needs occur

Related: What Does a Financial Advisor Do? (And How to Become One)

Benefits of earning a chartered retirement planning counsellor certification

There are several benefits to earning a chartered retirement planning counsellor certification. The training course offers many resources for those seeking professional financial planning experience, such as money management skills, ethical choice-making, and insurance options. The certification classes may contain live sessions, but many students perform their own study for the examination. Students in this program can also take the certification exam for the first time within six months of enrolling, but they're required to pass the exam within one year of enrolling. Some benefits of earning your certification as a chartered retirement planning counsellor include:

  • Improving your chances of being hired in a retirement planning position

  • Acquiring new clients by using your specialized certification

  • Enhancing your previous education in financial planning and retirement planning, allowing you to be more efficient

Related: A Review of the Top Financial Certifications in Canada

Average salary for a chartered retirement planning counsellor

The national average salary for a chartered retirement planning counsellor is $59,430 per year. It's important to note that these figures can vary based on your location, experience, and employer. The three highest paying cities for a chartered retirement planning counsellor position are Kingsville, ON, Richmond, BC, and Saskatoon, SK. Kingsville, ON is the highest pay rate at $88,756 per year.

Related: How Much Do Finance Majors Make? (With Examples and Salaries)

Tips for working as a retirement planner

The goal of a chartered retirement planning counsellor is to create a comprehensive plan that's suited for each client. This plan helps clients visualize their current finances so that they can understand their priorities and make decisions accordingly. It can be difficult assessing the situations of various clients with different backgrounds, but it's important for chartered retirement planning counselors to understand the possibilities for each client. If you're considering a career as a chartered retirement planning counsellor, these tips can help you maximize your chances for success:

Gain experience with an entry-level job

Typically, hiring managers prefer candidates that have financial planning experience, but they also consider customer service experience an asset. Having experience managing clients is important when entering the financial planning industry to demonstrate your real-life experience. When beginning in a competitive field like financial planning, the most important step is earning your first position. Experience is important in the financial planning industry, both for your ability to excel in the role and to sign new clients. An entry-level job at a small firm can provide the opportunity to build your experience and your reputation, which creates more enriching opportunities.

Related: How to Create a Financial Advisor Resume (With Example and Template)

Find a mentor

One of the most effective ways to develop your career as a retirement planner is to find a senior planner who's willing to provide guidance. You may consider finding a mentor to help offer advice, experience, and references when applying for financial planning-related positions. Spending quality time with professionals who work in the finance industry can help you learn more about the profession and find employment opportunities. An experienced mentor can offer you advice on your next professional steps while also sharing the tips they use when providing retirement planning services for their clients.

Make personal connections with clients

In business, networking and relationships can guide your career path. When working as a financial planner for retirees, it's helpful to make personal connections with your clients. Clients that trust you and have a positive perception of you are more likely to return for your services. By learning more about your clients, you can also gain a clearer understanding of their financial situation and offer the most suitable plan that fits their personal goals and needs.

Consider every client a unique case

When providing financial advice, it's important to accommodate every individual. Each client may react differently when discussing their financial situation. It's important to acknowledge the client's goals without overstepping or making any assumptions. While a retirement plan can have a basic structure, it's helpful to make your client feel they're receiving help that's unique to them. Providing a client with a retirement plan that considers their needs can show them you spent time focusing on them specifically. This also allows you to deliver the best possible retirement plan for them.

Related: How to Become a Financial Advisor in 4 Steps (With FAQs)

Offer realistic options

When providing financial expertise, you can help clients reach their goals by giving them honest advice that can help improve their future. While it's important for your client to be excited about their retirement plan, it's also necessary to give them a realistic option based on their financial situation. Asking meaningful questions to your clients about their life, such as where they want to live, can add clarity to their goals. If a client has unreasonable expectations, a retirement planner can explain the situation and compromise based on the options available.

Give your clients a choice

One of the best ways to keep your clients happy is to give them options when creating a retirement plan. It's important that your clients feel like they're making the choices for their future. By adjusting elements in a retirement plan that encompasses the elements that your client wants, you can generate several options. For example, you may suggest that your client spends less money now so that they have more savings later. These choices allow the client to gain more control over their retirement plan and help them achieve their priorities and goals.

Continue your education journey

Financial practices are always evolving, and it's important that financial planners also evolve with the trends. Staying up to date with the latest financial trends can help you grow professionally and personally. For example, you may consider advancing your career by taking additional courses to elevate your skills in financial planning. Besides following top financial publications, attending conferences is an excellent way to keep growing as a chartered retirement planning counsellor. Conferences can provide you with an opportunity to attend lectures that may expand your knowledge and skill set and generate fantastic networking opportunities within the industry.

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