What’s the Deal with the RMA?

Francoise Gadenne


The Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) offers the Retirement Management Analyst (RMA) certification program to advisors who work with clients seeking the highest levels of knowledge and expertise for retirement income planning. This book explains what the RMA program consists of and how to find an advisor who provides the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the area of retirement income planning.

Learn How to Use the RMA Signposts to Evaluate Advisors

The framework of the RMA curriculum serves as the core of the RMA training. RIIA uses four “signposts” to summarize the RMA curriculum in a way that highlights what makes it unique. (The glossary provides detailed definitions for the key concepts in that framework.)

The four signposts are: the Client Diagnostic Kit, the Retirement Allocations, the RMA Toolbox and RMA Practice Management. The Client Diagnostic Kit and the Retirement Allocations are what make the RMA designation uniquely differentiated in the marketplace.

Here is a brief overview of the four parts of the framework: The Client Diagnostic Kit firmly places the client, instead of investment products, at the center of the retirement management and retirement-planning process. Its major components are:

· Measures of Fundedness (overfunded, constrained, underfunded)

· Household Client Segmentation Matrix

· Fundamental Planning Strategies (investment, goals and product-based planning)

· Household Balance Sheet Analysis, View and BenchmarksThe Retirement Allocations are risk-management allocations that demonstrate that the retirement management and planning process must start with risk management instead of asset management or financial “product allocations”

This signpost includes several process and analytical steps including:

· Risk Retention by the client, addressed by diversification among risky assets

· Risk Management by the client, addressed by giving up future potential to limit downside losses in the future

· Risk Pooling by the client, addressed by entering into personalized contracts and agreements that create pools/groups

· Risk Avoidance by the client, addressed by building “cushions” of risk-free assets

The RMA Toolbox includes the analytical coverage of the complete Household Balance Sheet to ensure the inclusion of all process implementation approaches, account locations and products/solutions. It categorizes all products and solutions in the framework of the Retirement Allocations. Notable features include:

· Implementation Process Approaches (e.g. total return portfolios, systematic withdrawal plans, ladders, time segmentation, etc.)

· Account Locations (e.g. tax diversification)

· Product Selections (e.g. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, TDFs, annuities, etc.)

The RMA Practice Management section summarizes the RMA curriculum framework and topic areas covered in the broader education/designation marketplace. However, it is different from other designations because of the complete practice coverage provided by the Retirement Policy Statement and by its high eligibility standards and code of ethics. Major sections include:

· Ethics

· Implementation

· Monitoring with the RMA®

RIIA seeks to help solve what is perhaps the greatest financial issue facing a generation of Americans: the creation of durable, inflation-adjusted retirement income that can last 30 years or more in retirement. This book helps you become an active participant in the management of your own retirement income success.

NOTE FOR SECOND EDITION:This second edition adds the client-focused paper “Ah-ha Moments!” to its overall outline of the ways in which RMA’s help address one of the key financial issues facing retiring Americans: the need to create durable, inflation-adjusted retirement income that can last 30 years or more in retirement.

  • ISBN: 9780997345407
  • Published: February 2016

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