How to Become a Registered Social Security Analyst®
Step 1: Sign Up for the Program
Associate Membership is free when you sign up to take the 5-module online self-study tutorial RSSA® program. Membership is open to professionals that currently work directly with individual clients and wish to expand their professional practice and expertise in the area of Social Security advisory services.
To become an Associate Member, you must have financial experience working with clients demonstrated in one of the following ways:
- Have an insurance license issued by the state in which you practice
- Are a FINRA registered securities professional or advisor
- Have registered with the IRS to prepare tax returns having a valid PTIN
- Are a CPA, a CFP®, an EA, a lawyer or have another professional license issued by a state agency
Professionals that wish to obtain their RSSA® designation and become Registered Members must first register with NARSSA as Associate Members. Associate Members are provided access to the entire educational platform which currently includes five self-study modules. Passing the RSSA® Competency Final Exam is not a requirement of membership. Professionals may sign up for access to the educational study platform for continuing education purposes, to learn about Social Security laws, and are not required to become a Registered Social Security Analyst®.
To become a Registered Social Security Analyst®, you will be required to take and pass the 5-module online self-study tutorial program and then take and pass the RSSA® Competency Final Exam.
Step 2: The 5-Module Self-Study Tutorial Program
Before you can take the RSSA® Competency Final Exam, an Associate Member must first pass all five self-study modules which must be taken in a specific order. The modules are designed so that you can study and pass them at your own pace. It is estimated it will take you 15-25 hours to take these modules. Each module is divided into chapters. You must take the chapters in order. Each chapter will have practice questions, which you must answer.
Each module will have its own exam of 40 multiple-choice questions. To pass the module exam, you must answer at least 30 of the 40 questions correctly. Module exams are open-book and have no time limit. You cannot begin the next module until you pass the exam of the previous module.
The five self-study courses are accepted as interactive self-study for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in all states and meet the NASBA's QAS requirements. Certified Public Accountants receive 15.5 CPE credits. Tax topics qualify for Enrolled Agents (EAs) and Other Tax Return Preparers (OTRPs). Enrolled Agents receive 10 CE credits. All five self-study courses are accepted by the CFP Board. Certified Financial Planners receive 8.5 CE credits. See the CPE Credit Requirements page for sponsor information.
Step 3: The RSSA® Competency Final Exam
After passing all five courses you are eligible to sit for the RSSA® Competency Final Exam. The final exam is given once a month online on the second Tuesday of the month. You must register in advance to sit for this exam. Since the exam is 4 hours long and proctored by a live person, there is a proctoring fee of $175.00 that must be paid at the time of registration.
The RSSA® Competency Final Exam is a two-part exam. Part I includes 80 multiple-choice questions, and Part II includes a case study whereby Associate Members are required to use financial software to generate what-if scenarios for maximizing a client's Social Security benefits. Associate Members are provided access to this software and learn to use it in Module V of the program. Grading of Part II of the final exam takes 7-10 business days. See the RSSA® Competency Final Exam page for more information.
When you pass the RSSA® Competency Final Exam, you will have demonstrated that you have a foundation of education and understanding of issues related to Social Security and Medicare. Those who have passed the final exam may proudly display the RSSA® designation after their name, and will be sent the initial RSSA® Credential Certificate for framing.
Mandatory Annual Continuing Education
Every calendar year Registered Members are required to take 4 credits in continuing education. Your annual renewal membership fee of $179.00 includes access to these courses on our website. If you pass your final exam in 2020, you will need to take your continuing education by December 31, 2021. Annual ongoing continuing education is required for you to continue to use the RSSA® credential.
RSSA® Credential Certificates
Every year after you pass your mandatory continuing education, you will be sent a new updated RSSA® Credential Certificate. Personalized gold seal RSSA® Credential Certificates are included at no additional cost with your membership.