RMA® Certification Examination Information

The RMA® certification process requires candidates to pass a Certification Examination.


RMA® Certification Examination

Exam FormatRMA exam

  • The examination comprises 110 multiple-choice questions
  • Pass rate for the RMA Exam at the end of Q1 2023 was 57%.
  • Three-hour long examination offered in these formats:

    • The Retirement Management Advisor® Exam can be completed after successful completion of the Retirement Advisor Online Course and the Retirement Management Advisor® Education Capstone. The examination will be offered in a proctored setting.

    • The in-person exam at Capstone events is a paper and pen exam. The online proctored exam can be taken from any stable Internet connection that offers a webcam and microphone, through which the online proctor can observe the test-taker throughout the exam. Typically, we recommend that you test from home to avoid challenges related to corporate firewalls. Online proctors are available 24/7, for your convenience, and if you schedule with at least 72 hours notice, there's no additional charge.

Study Considerations

To successfully prepare to sit for the Certification Examination, the recommended study time is 10-12 hours of preparatory study.

Curriculum Review and Exam Prep

Instructors: Bob Powell, RMA, CFP and Mike Kurz, CIMA, CPWA, RMA, CFP Institute Program Director.
Curriculum review will include all 11 content sections with live quiz questions for candidates.
When: Monday, July 24, 2023 | 1:00 - 4:00 pm CT
Where: Live, virtual
How: Sign up below to request registration to Zoom event
Why: Accelerate your studies and shorten your exam prep time with this complimentary exam prep
Who: Available to current RMA candidates
Sign Up Today

The Retirement Opportunity:  ​

  • The Retirement Landscape: Knowledge of critical retirement demographics and current trends, and the role of the client and advisor   ​

  • Retirement Mindset and Behavior: Knowledge of the evolution of retirement approaches, and understanding the behavioral science related to finance, aging, retirement, cognitive decline and family dynamics to positively impact client actions ​

  • The Ethical Advisor: Knowledge of business standards, regulatory requirements, ethics concepts and the code of professional responsibility ​

  ​The Retirement Client:  ​

  • Client Discovery and Analysis: Understanding the essentials of a prudent, client-oriented advisory process, and ability to create, implement, monitor and adjust retirement plans ​

  • Assessing Retirement Readiness: Ability to create scenario planning models and an optimized retirement income plans, prioritizing essential issues, assessing available capital for funding goals, utilizing assets and liabilities for creating income ​

  • Retirement Risk Management: Knowledge of approaches to risk management, and risk concepts, categories, assessments and strategies​

​Retirement Technical Design:  ​

  • Retirement Portfolio Allocations: Ability to structure the appropriate planning approach, including goals-based planning to build a repeatable retirement income planning client engagement process ​

  • Key Retirement Planning Decisions: Key knowledge of strategies for Social Security and Medicare and withdrawal policies, rules and risks ​

  • Implementations Strategies: Knowledge of portfolio allocations, product selection, and insurance, lending and investment vehicles, specific to delivering sustainable retirement income plans ​

  • Life in Transition: Ability to prepare for and address special situations, considerations and aging issues ​

  • Retirement Policy Statements: Understanding , monitoring, communicating the Retirement Policy Statement to provide clients with a road map for taking actions for their retirement income plan 

Ensuring you have the right skills is why we exist

Our rigorous curriculum was developed to ensure you have the extensive knowledge you need to drive your career and business moving forward.  

If you are a candidate for RMA® certification, the exam will test the major topic areas below

Exam Percentage




The Retirement Opportunity

Chapter/Module 1—The Retirement Landscape: 5%
Chapter/Module 2---The Retirement Mindset: 8%
Chapter/Module 3---The Ethical Advisor: 5%


The Retirement Client

Chapter/Module 4--- Client Discovery and Analysis 15%​
Chapter/Module 5--- Assessing Retirement Readiness 13%​
Chapter/Module 6--- Retirement Risk Management 13%


Retirement Planning Technical Design

Chapter/Module 7---Retirement Portfolio Allocations = 10%
​Chapter/Module 8---Key Retirement Planning Decisions = 12%​
Chapter/Module 9---Implementation Strategies = 9%​
Chapter/Module 10---Life in Transition = 6%​
Chapter/Module 11---Retirement Policy Statement = 14%