The National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) hopes to get its members ahead of the retiree demand curve by launching a new certification that advances an advisor's skills in evaluating, explaining and implementing retirement income solutions for their 401(k) plan clients.

The Retirement Income for 401(k) Plans Certificate—abbreviated as "Ri(k)"—is designed to help advisors transform their roles so that they can move from focusing only the accumulation side of retirement preparedness to embracing a more holistic approach that includes participant outcomes on the decumulation side, NAPA said in a press release.

According to a JPMorgan Asset Management survey of retirement plan sponsors, 90% said they believed it was vital to offer investments that would help their participants generate retirement income when they separate from service, the statement said.

Retirement plans like 401(k)s "are tremendously successful workplace savings programs, but they are not yet truly retirement plans,” Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association and executive director of NAPA, said in the statement. “Retirement income solutions have the promise of addressing this gap, enabling participants to receive income in retirement from plan investments. The goal of Ri(k) is to give plan advisors the tools to help plan sponsors and participants effectively utilize these burgeoning retirement income solutions.”

The certificate program is free to NAPA members, who can set their own pace on the course requirements. Advisors will progress through five modules designed to ensure certificate holders have a holistic understanding of retirement income solution needs, can explain key ideas and terminology, can assess the various risks embedded in retirement income solutions, can identify the best option for a given situation and can monitor a solution’s progress to ensure the desired outcome.