Proper Use of the Designation

This serves as current guidance from the CSSCS Board of Standards (Board) in the proper use of the CSSCS designation by designees on business cards, letterhead and other marketing material.  This guidance is not comprehensive as there may be other acceptable or non-acceptable uses not specifically covered here.  Any questions of use should be directed to the Board.

It is a standard of the Board supported by the CSSCS Code of Professional Responsibility (Code) that designees must follow Board and Code guidelines on the use of the designation as well as any additional guidelines or limitations imposed by regulators, supervising insurance company and/or broker/dealer compliance departments.  Misuse of the designation as proscribed by the Code, Board guidelines or supervisory compliance limitations will be considered a violation of the Code and can subject the designee to disciplinary action.


Use of the Mark

CSSCS is a professional designation.  It is properly used as “CSSCS”, all caps, no spaces or other punctuation or modifying words.  Any typestyle is acceptable as long as it is the same typestyle and size as the designee’s name or other printed material that the designation is used along with.  The designation may not be made bold or italicized so that it stands out from the designee’s name or from other information.  It may be used along with other professional designations in any order deemed appropriate by the designee as long as CSSCS is presented with the same typestyle and size as other designations.

Acceptable examples:

John A. Doe, CSSCS

John A. Doe, CLU, CSSCS


Use of the Title

CSSCS stands for “Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies”.  Any reference to the full title of the designation must be written exactly this way.  A designee may use the full title as long as it is preceded or followed immediately by the designation with the designation or title in parenthesis as appropriate to the context.  Other than immediately after a name as a professional designation presented as part of the designee’s full name, upon first use any editorial material the designation must be used with the full title.

Acceptable examples:

“CSSCS” (Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies), John holds the CSSCS (Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) designation.

“Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS)”, John holds the Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) designation.

NOT acceptable:

Certified CSSCS

Certfied in CSSCS

CSSCS Certified

Social Security Certified

Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (by itself without the designation as above)

CSSCS (or separately “Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies”) is not a job title but a professional designation.  A designee may NOT use the phrase “Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies” as a job title on a business card or in any marketing material.

For example the following NOT acceptable:

John A. Doe, CSSCS

Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies


John A. Doe

Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS)

John A. Doe

CSSCS (Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies)

The CSSCS designation by itself does not grant a right to market or claim any particular specialty or expertise.  Specific claims of a specialty or expertise in Social Security Claiming Strategies and “comprehensive” retirement income planning should be supported independently by other means including professional work experience, tenure and/or specific job duties and job title granted by an employer.  It should be noted that any claim of title of “specialist” or “expertise” in certain areas subjects a designee to a higher standard of professional behavior and scrutiny from the Board, compliance supervision and regulators.

Designees may NOT use the following or similar words in connection with, adjacent to or in contextual reference with the CSSCS designation or title: