Investments & Wealth Institute FAQs for RIIA Members

Thank you for learning more about RMA's new home.  We hope that the following FAQs will be helpful in answering your questions.


Q:  What is Investments & Wealth Institute?
A:  The Investments & Wealth Institute (formerly IMCA) is a professional association, advanced education provider, and standards body for financial advisors, investment consultants, and wealth managers who embrace excellence and ethics. Today we serve more than 11,700 members and certificants in 38 countries.

Q:  Why did the Investments & Wealth Institute acquire the RMA designation?
  The Investments & Wealth Institute made this strategic acquisition to augment our growing catalog of educational offerings for advanced investment and wealth management professionals. The RMA program content enhances our existing education by offering an advanced, practical curriculum for retirement income planning and retirement management. 

The Investments & Wealth Matrix defines the bodies of knowledge for the CIMA (investments) and the CPWA (wealth) designations. Much of the retirement planning educational options available to advisors today were developed with a tilt toward specific product solutions. The RMA curriculum touches many of the knowledge domains within our Investments & Wealth Matrix, so including this program into our offerings is a natural fit.

Q:  What does this mean for me as an RMA holder?
A:  Current RMA holders in good standing may continue to use the RMA designation provided they renew their use of the marks, adhere to the Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility, and maintain continued competency.

Q:  What is changing with the RMA program?
  Nothing changes within the RMA program prior to January 1, 2018.

After January 1, 2018 the RMA program will be administered as a “stackable” program. Participants may elect to earn just the advanced certificate of completion through the online course, or progress further and earn the right to use the RMA certification by completing additional education and a comprehensive examination.

Salem State University will no longer host the learning platform. The online course will be hosted on the Investments & Wealth Online Learning Center.

New practitioner faculty will teach in the program, along with new academic faculty from premier U.S. business schools.

New learning methodologies will be incorporated into the online course, and the capstone education.

The program will now include a level 2 RMA Education Capstone, which will be offered in a live, executive education format. The program will engage participants in analysis and application of RMA concepts and knowledge, facilitated by leading industry practitioners, with top-tier university partners providing additional content.

Candidates who have completed BOTH the level 1 and level 2 education requirements are eligible to sit for the RMA exam.

Q:  Are there any changes to the rules regarding the use of the RMA marks? 
A:  The rules regarding the use of the RMA marks are the same as before, with one exception – the RMA designation has been updated to stand for Retirement Management Advisor (previously Retirement Management Analyst). The new usage is consistent with the purpose of the RMA designation and usage of other Investments & Wealth Institute certifications, CIMA and CPWA.

Q:  How should my involvement in the RMA program and the Investments & Wealth Institute be communicated to my firm or clients?
A:  Since 1985, Investments & Wealth Institute (formerly IMCA) has built a reputation of elevating members’ competency by combining academic rigor with practical application. The Institute’s goal is to continue to improve upon the RMA’s strong foundation and also raise its visibility in the financial industry, therefore increasing the value of the RMA professional to his/her firm and clients.

Q:  Will the RMA program still be administered through Salem State University (SSU)?
A:  No. The RMA program will now be administered through the Investments & Wealth Institute’s Online Learning Center. To maintain the academic rigor of the program, the Institute plans to coordinate with its Ivy League university partners.

Q:  Will RIIA still exist after the acquisition?
A:  No. RIIA members and RMA designees will now be served by the Investments & Wealth Institute.

Q:  Did the Institute acquire RIIA?
A:  No. The Institute acquired assets from RIIA, and will be operating several initiatives that came from RIIA. RIIA members and RMA designees will now be served by the Investments & Wealth Institute. RIIA is transitioning toward operation as a 501(c)3 research foundation.

Q:  Will the website still exist after the acquisition?
A:  The website will remain available through the end of 2017 and elements from the site will migrate to the Investments & Wealth Institute’s new site  which will launch in mid-November 2017.

Q:  What does this mean for RIIA’s founder Francois Gadenne?
A:  Francois Gadenne will remain active and serve as a consultant for the Investments & Wealth Institute in the area of retirement income. 

Q:  If I am an institutional member of RIIA, what does this mean?
A:  The Investments & Wealth Institute has a corporate partnership program similar to the RIIA Corporate Membership Program. We welcome all current RIIA corporate members and encourage them to join the Investments & Wealth Institute’s Corporate Partnership Program. The annual fee is $15,000 and charter partners who were former RIIA institutional partners will also receive a table at the January 17, 2018 Gala Event in New York City. For more information, contact Tim Whiting

Q:  Will there be a retirement conference in 2018?
A:  RIIA members who become Investments & Wealth Institute members will have access to a number of events throughout 2018 at preferential member prices. We have a Retirement Management Forum scheduled for December 2018. We will also have a retirement track at our Annual Conference Experience, May 6-9, 2018 in Nashville, and we will be developing new online programs available on-demand through the Institute’s Online Learning Center. You can learn more as new information becomes available by visiting

Q:  What does this mean for the Retirement Management Journal
A:  The Investments & Wealth Institute will take over publication of the Retirement Management Journal, with an issue planned for 2018.

Q:  What is the cost of membership in the Investments & Wealth Institute?
A:  Membership in the Investments & Wealth Institute for individuals is $395 per year.

RMA designees may renew their certification for $395 per year or $700 for a two year renewal. The RMA renewal fee includes Investments & Wealth Institute membership.

Investments & Wealth Institute does not offer a membership program for retirement industry companies or firms. We encourage retirement companies or firms who want to support the retirement income industry to join the Investments & Wealth Institute’s Corporate Partnership Program and participate in the Institute’s Strategic Retirement Advisory Council.

Q:  What do I get as a member of the Investments & Wealth Institute?
A:  There are many membership benefits that previously unavailable to you as a RIIA member. Visit our Institute Membership page for more details.

Q:  What is the cost to renew my RMA license?
A:  RMA designees may renew their certification for $395 per year, or $700 for a two-year renewal. The RMA renewal fee includes Investments & Wealth Institute membership.

Q:  What if I used to hold the RMA designation and I want to reinstate?
A:  Former RMA designees may apply for reinstatement to use the marks, and if accepted, must meet all ongoing requirements to use the marks.

Q:  Where can I find access to the Virtual Learning Center?
A:  Content from the Virtual Learning Center will eventually be migrated to New content will be developed and available through the Institute’s Online Learning Center.

Q:  Will there still be RIIA Awards?
A:  The Investments & Wealth Institute will be hosting an invitation-only Gala Event in New York on January 17, 2018, to acknowledge the contributions of industry firms to the advancement of the investment, wealth management, and retirement bodies of knowledge. The event will celebrate the past, present, and future of the RMA designation. The event will be held at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, following the Institute’s Investment Advisor Forum. Please contact for additional information.