Why you should consider the RICP®

RICP® designation holders report having more confidence in their ability to serve senior clients, have a broader perspective of the field, and immediately use what they learn in their professional roles.

The program enables you to make better, more informed decision-making regarding retirement financial planning. Research from Morningstar found that better decision making can increase retirement income by as much as 31 percent. Demand for retirement expertise is strong: Current projections indicate that 10,000 Baby Boomers retire daily, a trend expected to continue through 2030.

By serving their clients better and growing their business, RICP® designation holders do well by doing good.

"As the Managing Director, I encouraged many of our advisors to earn the RICP® designation. Our firm's life and investment revenue increased by 50% as a result of this course of instruction."

The American College New York Life Center for Retirement Income provides finance professionals with expertise to improve their clients’ retirement security.

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What You’ll Learn

The RICP® designation provides comprehensive instruction on building integrated and comprehensive retirement income plans. A key focus is understanding, choosing, and executing a strategy for generating sustainable income from available resources—whether that means using systematic withdrawals from a portfolio, building an income floor with bonds or annuities, or using a bucket strategy.   

The program, developed by more than 45 of the nation’s top retirement planning experts, provides students with best practices in areas including:

  • Social Security claiming
  • Evaluating and addressing risks faced in retirement
  • Choosing distributions from employer sponsored plans
  • Medicare and other health insurance choices
  • Planning for long-term care needs
  • Choosing appropriate housing
  • Income tax and legacy planning

Do you know the 18 risks your clients face in retirement?

Who Should Take the RICP®

  • Experienced and credentialed (i.e. CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®) financial advisors wanting to learn best practices from the nation’s leading experts in retirement income planning   
  • Financial advisors looking to learn a comprehensive, systematic approach to building efficient retirement income plans for their older clients
  • Annuity wholesalers, call center employees, and professionals who support financial planners
  • Lawyers, accountants, and bankers who interact with retirement planning
  • Individuals looking for a deeper understanding of retirement income planning for their own planning or for other personal or professional reasons.

Program Delivery

Designed for the working professional.

The RICP® is an online, self-study program, which allows you to move through the program at your own pace. Course materials include:

  • ​Video lectures
  • Expert interviews
  • Practice exams
  • Assessment questions
  • Faculty-led webinars
  • Detailed course outlines

A four-month testing window gives you ample time to prepare for exams. Plan to spend approximately 45-60 hours per course.

Tuition & Fees

  • Individual course: $950
  • Three-course package: $2,450 (savings of $400)

Tuition includes all required study materials, access to on-demand online learning tools, and your examinations. RICP® does not include or require any physical textbooks.


Required RICP® courses:

  • HS 353 Retirement Income Process, Strategies & Solutions
  • HS 354 Sources of Retirement Income
  • HS 355 Managing the Retirement Income Plan

View Course Details Below​


Required RICP® Courses:

HS 353 Retirement Income Process, Strategies & Solutions:
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand the steps in creating an effective retirement income plan
  • Identify retirement income needs, objectives, and goals by evaluating the client’s current situation
  • Determine how to choose the appropriate retirement income strategy for your clients
  • Evaluate income tax, estate issues, retirement risks, and other threats to an effective retirement income plan
  • Integrate risk management tools, products, and strategies to create an effective retirement income plan

HS 354 Sources of Retirement Income:
The second of the program's three courses explores sources of retirement income in depth. After completion, you should be able to:

  • Recommend the optimal age to claim Social Security benefits as appropriate for each client's situation
  • Help the client evaluate the factors to consider when determining an appropriate retirement age
  • Understand the role of annuities in a retirement income plan
  • Have a better understanding of how executive benefits and retirement benefits for federal and military employees fit into the plan
  • Understand the different ways that life insurance can be used in planning and how to address the retirement needs of the small business owner
  • Understand how to build a retirement income portfolio
  • Become more familiar with the latest research on strategies for ensuring that retirement assets last a lifetime

HS 355 Managing the Retirement Income Plan:
The third course in the RICP® series focuses on initial and ongoing retirement income plan management. This knowledge will help you:

  • Choose the appropriate tax-efficient distribution options from a retirement plan
  • Help a client create a health expense budget and navigate the many decisions regarding Medicare and other health care options
  • Help a client prepare for their long-term care needs
  • Navigate retirement housing decisions and address home equity strategies
  • Identify the key ethical issues in retirement income planning
  • Create and manage retirement income portfolios appropriate for each client’s situation

To receive the RICP® designation, you must successfully complete all three courses, meet experience requirements, and agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures. Participation in the Professional Recertification Program is also required.

See the Student Resources and Policies page for comprehensive details on refund policies, learning policies, recertification information, and more.

Program Faculty

Professor Wade Pfau
Wade D. Pfau

Professor of Retirement Income

RICP® Program Director

Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income

Professor David Littell
David A. Littell

Professor of Taxation

Joseph E. Boettner Chair in Research

Colin Slabach, Assistant Professor of Retirement Income
Colin Slabach

Assistant Professor of Retirement

Assistant Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income

Adjunct Professor Steve Parrish
Steve Parrish

Adjunct Professor of Advanced Planning

Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income