CFP Board works in the public interest to support initiatives that promote broad access to ethical and competent financial planning. We also move forward on issues that advance the financial planning profession. Sometimes working alongside coalition partners, we focus on:
- Fiduciary Standard of Conduct
- Retirement Security Issues
- Investor Disclosure and Testing
- Recognition of the Financial Planning Profession
- Private Certification
Fiduciary Standard of Conduct
Consistent with our mission to benefit the public, CFP Board supports a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct for all personalized investment advice. This fiduciary standard of conduct should put the interests of the client first, and should include both a duty of care and a duty of loyalty. Our position is grounded in the real-world experience of more than 95,000 CFP® professionals and the revised Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, effective October 1, 2019. The Code and Standards contains a genuine fiduciary standard of conduct that is broadly applicable yet business model-neutral, and includes both a duty of care and a duty of loyalty.
Retirement Security Issues
Most policy experts agree that the American retirement system is in urgent need of repair. We know that substantial numbers of American households are not saving enough for retirement. Many Americans don't have access to saving plans at work, and those who are saving need better options for ensuring those savings will fund a secure future. There are serious gaps in available products and services to help people save and plan for their retirement years.
To further explore these and other retirement issues, and to propose comprehensive policy recommendations, CFP Board teamed up with retirement law expert Fred Reish of Drinker Biddle to convene a Retirement Issues Working Group. This Working Group harnesses the real-world knowledge and experiences of 11 highly skilled CFP® professionals who work with a diverse range of clients preparing for and in retirement. Their insights and on-the-ground client experiences will inform Mr. Reish’s report to policymakers and others with recommendations for improving the retirement system.
Investor Disclosure and Testing
CFP Board recognizes that clear and understandable disclosure is critical to informed investor decision-making. Together with the Financial Planning Coalition, CFP Board has found that conveying even the most basic concepts in a way that investors understand is difficult. Surveying retail investors about what they like about a proposed disclosure document is different than showing they understand the implications of that document. That is why CFP Board supports qualitative testing in the form of cognitive interviews of retail investors to determine whether disclosures meet their regulatory purpose of helping investors make decisions.
Recognition of the Financial Planning Profession
Along with our partners in the Financial Planning Coalition, CFP Board believes in advancing financial planning as a distinct profession valued by the public. The hallmarks of a profession include accountability, knowledge, and awareness. Toward that end, we embrace a code of professional conduct that includes a robust fiduciary standard, which CFP Board has achieved through revising its Code and Standards, effective October 1, 2019. We emphasize a broad body of knowledge based on research and practice, which is available through CFP Board's Center for Financial Planning. We are committed to taking steps to develop a financial planning workforce that reflects the diversity of the American population. In this respect, the Center seeks to effect systemic change across recruiting, training and retention practices to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce of CFP® professionals that reflects the changing demographics of wealth in the United States.
CFP Board strongly believes in the power and authority that private credentialing can bring to a profession. In the face of recent state efforts to institute occupational licensing reforms, it has become clear that some of these otherwise well-meaning legislative initiatives will have the unintended consequence of undermining private certification organizations, such as CFP Board. That is why CFP Board has teamed up with more than 100 other private credentialing organizations to form the Professional Certification Coalition. We aim to advance the collective interests of those who rely on professional certification as well as of individual professionals who earned these certifications.