Plan Financial Consulting Certificate Program

The Plan Financial Consulting (PFC) certificate program is designed to meet the needs of retirement plan professionals who want to specialize as financial consultants. The PFC certificate program provides the framework for a candidate to achieve core competency on the administrative and consulting issues commonly encountered by financial consultants who service the retirement plans market. Please refer to the syllabus for specific learning objectives and exam topic weightings.

Upon successful completion of the PFC-1 exam, the PFC certificate will be automatically issued. Successful completion of the certificate program also counts toward the requirements for the Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) credential. 

 PFC-1 Version 1 Exam    PFC-1 Version 2 Exam

Exam Details

  • Open-book, online, untimed
  • 85 multiple choice and true/false questions
  • Passing Score: 73 out of 85
  • Immediate grade notification

Average Estimated Hours of Study

40-60 hours study time per exam (depends greatly on the experience level of the student.)

Exam Versions

In order to allow candidates two opportunities each year to pass the PFC-1 exam, there are two versions of the exam. Candidates can only take the same version of the exam once per program year. If a candidate fails one version, he or she can purchase and take the second version in the same calendar year. If a candidate fails both versions of the exam in the same calendar year, the candidate will be required to wait to complete the exam until the next year.

Candidate examination records are aggregated; therefore, an exam(s) will be disqualified if a candidate completes the same version of the exam in the same calendar year.

Exam Errata, Policies and Procedures

It is the candidate’s responsibility to review all exam policies and procedures, which can be found on Candidate Corner.

It is also the candidate’s responsibility to check the errata before an exam. For updates and errata for exams and publications please visit Publications and Examinations Errata. Stop by regularly as new updates are posted. 

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Fees and Deadlines

Registration Fee

$205 (non-refundable)

Exam Submission Deadline  

December 15, 2014, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time. 

There will be no exceptions. Online and practice exams cannot be postponed to a future testing window or program year.

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Registration Process

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Study Materials

Click on the shopping cart icons to make a purchase. You may also order these products using the publications order form.

Required Reading

RETIREMENT PLAN CONSULTING FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS, 4TH EDITION. Arlington, VA: ASPPA, 2012 by Sarah E. Simoneaux, CPC

The following readings are provided at the end of the syllabus:

  • IRS UPDATES PLAN CORRECTION PROCEDURES. ASPPA ASAP No. 1302
  • ASPPA Code of Professional Conduct

Recommended Reading

  ELEGANT ETHICAL SOLUTIONS by Lauren Bloom

Additional Study Tools

PFC-1 Practice Exams

 Online - Single Attempt

 Online - 3 Attempts

 Online - Unlimited Users (3 Attempts Each)

 Distributable PDF

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Continuing Education (CE) Credits

NAPA CE

Candidates who have successfully completed a certificate program examination will earn 7.5 CE credits. Credits will be applied to the CE cycle in which the score is issued. For more information on CE credit click here.

ERPA CE

7 ERPA credits for successful completion of the PFC-1 exam may be awarded.

IRS ERPA Credit Program Number: CZTXU-Q-00008-12-S

The final decision as to the number of ERPA credits rests solely with the Internal Revenue Service.

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