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CFP Board Boosts Annual Fee by $100

The CFP Board said the annual increase will go toward public awareness and diversity initiatives.

The CFP Board is increasing its annual CFP certification fee by $100, the organization’s first increase in five years.

The new annual CFP certification fee will be $455, and will take effect for people who become certified on or after Oct. 1 of this year. The new fee will also apply to those annual renewals of certificants whose certification periods end after October. The CFP Board last boosted its fees by $30 in 2017

In a statement, the Board tied the new price increase to the implementation of the board’s approved Strategic Plan for 2022–2026. The Board “committed significant funding” from the organization’s reserves but determined more was needed.

“After careful review of the work needed to accomplish the CFP Board’s important mission and our new strategic priorities, we explored the investment required to achieve these,” the statement read. “For additional investment funds, we made changes to the fee structure associated with the value that the CFP certification brand delivers to CFP professionals and to CFP Board’s partners in its certification program.”

In the statement, the CFP Board detailed how the $100 fee increase would be allocated. According to the Board, $15 of each $100 would go toward its public awareness campaign, marking the first increase in fee funding for the campaign since it began in 2011. The highest percentage ($35) will go toward workforce development, to promote financial planning as “an attractive career choice” for high school students entering college, as well as expanding its baccalaureate program. 

“These will raise recognition of financial planning as a profession on par with established professions like accounting, law and medicine,” current CFP Board Chair Kamila Elliott said in a Tuesday afternoon webinar on the fee increase. “It will also facilitate growth of CFP professionals to meet the needs of the public and strengthen the pipeline of talent available to your practice or firm.” 

$10 of the fee increase will go to the Center for Financial Planning for a variety of causes, including supporting initiatives to boost diversity in the industry, while $20 will go to “client impact research/practice resources” to boost funding for studies into the benefits financial planning has for clients. Finally, $20 will go toward funding enforcement initiatives. 

“The investment of your annual certification fee in these programs ensures the long-term relevance and sustainability of the financial planning profession and the value and importance that your CFP certification communicates to your clients and prospects,” the statement read.

In a Twitter thread about the fee increase, XY Planning Network co-founder Michael Kitces wrote that the CFP Board and CEO Kevin Keller had “a good track record for deploying dollars for impact,” but urged them to be transparent about how the new funding from the fee increases would produce clear outcomes.

“In the end, a $100 fee increase from (the) CFP Board is not trivial,” he wrote. “And it will be interesting to see if that impacts other membership organizations like (the Financial Planning Association) and (the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), as advisors will only spend so much on ‘the profession’ in the aggregate."

TAGS: Industry
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