October 26, 2011 14:24 ET

DALBAR Announces RF™ Curriculum for IRA Advisers

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Oct 26, 2011) - DALBAR's Registered Fiduciary ("RF™") program has been upgraded with the addition of the RF™ for IRA that qualifies advisers to meet the requirements of the final regulations on investment advice. These regulations require that investment advice given to any IRA investor or 401(k) participant must meet new fiduciary requirements by December 27, 2011.

The new RF™ for IRA includes online self study program, new compliance tools and a certification that documents the adviser's qualification. The self study program consists of eight modules that cover regulations, compliance requirements, practice management and fiduciary practices applicable to IRAs.

Compliance with final regulations allows advisers to serve their IRA clients using any one of four arrangements. The first permits only direct compensation from investors ("Un-conflicted"). The second option is a level fee arrangement, in which compensation from investments are permitted but may not be variable ("Level Fee"). The third is the exclusive use of a certified computer model and permits variable compensation ("Computer Model"). The fourth option is offer no investment advice which is not subject to compensation restrictions ("No Advice").

The RF™ for IRA supports advisers that choose the Level Fee option in which the adviser acts as a fiduciary and must perform an annual advice audit. The IRA self study program requires approximately 4 hours and costs $350 (Volume pricing available). The cost of the annual advice audit depends on the specific circumstances with an annual cost of $2,500 for a single adviser practice.

Connected to the RF™ for IRA is DALBAR's compliance for advisers and compliance oversight. The compliance for advisers is the technology needed to facilitate and track the decision making process so as to be able to demonstrate a consistent and prudent decision making process. The compliance oversight permits a compliance officer to monitor the use of the process.

DALBAR supports other IRA Computer Model arrangements through the existing Computer Model Certification that is currently used for 401(k) models.

In addition to the Computer Model Certification, 401(k) advice is fully supported by DALBAR's existing RF™ for 401(k) and 401(k) Advice Audit.

DALBAR, Inc. is the financial community's leading independent expert for evaluating, auditing and rating business practices, customer performance, product quality and service. Launched in 1976, DALBAR has earned the recognition for consistent and unbiased evaluations of investment companies, registered investment advisers, insurance companies, broker/dealers, retirement plan providers and financial professionals. DALBAR awards are recognized as marks of excellence in the financial community.

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