There’s a new credential that benefit advisers will want to know about.

Released this week at the National Association of Plan Advisors 401(k) summit, NAPA’s Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor credential gives advisers the ability to show they have the expertise needed to serve as a plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries with their responsibilities. Sarah Simoneaux, founding partner of Simoneaux and Stroud Consulting Services, who assisted in the course creation, elaborates on this new credential.

What is the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor credential?

The CPFA is a robust credential that demonstrates advisers’ knowledge, expertise and commitment to working with retirement plans.

What was the motivation for its creation?

Although there are other credentials in the industry, NAPA's advisers asked for a course and designation that focused on ERISA issues, from fiduciary requirements to plan design to investment and fiduciary best practices.

Why should advisers obtain this credential?

The CPFA was created by retirement plan advisers for plan advisers. By obtaining the credential, advisers demonstrate their expertise required to act as a plan fiduciary or help plan fiduciaries manage their roles and responsibilities.

How can they obtain it? 

Advisers study the material through an online interactive course and then take a 75-question proctored exam. For more information on what the exam covers, visit

How can advisers study for it?

The advisers study for the credential through online modules, which present the content covered in the exam using case studies, interactive practice activities based on real-life situations and links to IRS and DOL resources.

How much does it cost? 

Exam is $237; the course is $595 for NAPA members and $895 for non-members.

Where is the exam administered?

The 75-question exam is proctored and delivered at Prometric testing centers nationwide.

How can advisers sign up?

Advisers can register for the course and the exam at

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access