How do I become a Certified IRA Specialist (CIS)?
In the highly competitive world of financial services, you need the knowledge and skills that will make you indispensable to your financial organization. Earning and maintaining a professional certification is not only an excellent way to obtain proficiency, it’s also a visible reminder of your dedication to your career.
Ascensus offers the opportunity for Ascend or IRA University participants to earn the professional designation of either the Certified IRA Specialist I (CIS I) or Certified IRA Specialist II (CIS II).
Earn the Certified IRA Specialist I (CIS I) Designation
This level of certification is geared for those who are new to IRAs, back up the IRA specialist, or want an IRA basics refresher. Earning this certification demonstrates proficiency in completing basic IRA transactions. Traditional and Roth IRA topics you will be tested on include opening an IRA, contribution rules and deadlines, distribution rules, federal tax withholding, and basic IRA reporting.
To ensure adequate preparation for the Certified IRA Specialist I (CIS I) exam, it is highly recommended you meet the following.
- attend Ascensus’ IRA University
- have a minimum of one year of IRA compliance or operations experience
A candidate who has passed the CIS I exam with a grade of 80 percent or better will be registered as a Certified IRA Specialist I.
Register for IRA University
Ascensus offers the opportunity for IRA University participants to earn the professional designation of Certified IRA Specialist I (CIS I).
This six-week blended course (webinars and eLearning) provides the tools to build a solid IRA knowledge base and become a certified IRA Specialist at the CIS I level. Throughout the course, you will have one 90-minute weekly webinar session and 24-hour access to the on-demand training portions of the course. This blended approach gives you the flexibility to build skills for your IRA success today, and into the future, without the travel expense.
Registration Fee: $1,199
The cost of the CIS I exam is included in the IRA University registration fee. Exam retake fee: $299
Earn the Certified IRA Specialist II (CIS II) Designation
This level of certification is geared for those with a solid IRA knowledge base who want to expand their skills or get up to speed on regulatory information. Earning this certification shows expertise in a broad range of IRA transactions, including excess contributions, recharacterizations, rollovers and transfers, required minimum distributions, and conversions. You will also have a clearer understanding of death claim processes and withholding.
To ensure adequate preparation for the Certified IRA Specialist II (CIS II) exam, it is highly recommended you meet the following.
- attend Ascensus’ Ascend conference
- have a minimum of two years of IRA compliance or operations experience
Candidates are not required to earn the CIS I in order to earn the CIS II certification. A candidate who has passed the CIS II exam with a grade of 80 percent or better will be registered as a Certified IRA Specialist II.
Register for Ascend
Ascensus offers the opportunity for Ascend participants to earn the professional designation of Certified IRA Specialist II (CIS II).
Ascend Registration Fee: $1,399
CIS II Exam Fees: $299 each
Exam Retake Exam: $299
Looking to fast track your career? Earn both the CIS I and CIS II in less than 12 months.
Become a Certified IRA Specialist II in less than one year. Put your career on the fast track and become CIS level II certified. Save $402 by registering for IRA University and Ascend in the same year.
Step 1 – Register for IRA University and the Certified IRA Specialist (CIS I) exam.
Step 2 – Register for Ascend and CIS II exam. Using a special coupon code, save $402 on your Ascend registration (coupon code provided in your IRA University registration confirmation email)
Step 3 – Participate in the IRA University six-week blended course and pass the exam to receive your CIS I certification.
Step 4 – Attend Ascend in the same year and pass the exam to earn your CIS II certification.
- Staff wanting to become a Certified IRA Specialist II
- Staff new to IRAs
- Staff at financial organizations just beginning to offer IRAs
- Front-line employees who provide back-up support to your IRA specialist
How to Maintain Certification
You must earn credits toward renewing your CIS designation. Recertification requires 24 credits earned over the three-year certification period and extends the certification another three years. Those who do not complete the recertification process by December 31 of the year certification expires must begin the original certification process again.