CPC Modules

 

Overview
Module Requirements for the CPC Credential
How Does a Module Work?
Registration Fees
Transition Rules and Module Waivers
Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Overview

As the culminating designation for the nonactuary ASPPA member, the Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) credential is intended as an opportunity for a successful candidate to demonstrate an ability to draw from his or her accumulated retirement plan knowledge and experience.

The modules will provide opportunities for analyzing and solving consulting problems that might be encountered in real-life client situations. In professional practice, more than one statutory provision or retirement plan consideration often applies and the pension consultant must be able to recognize and evaluate in depth each potential issue for his or her client.

Module Requirements for the CPC Credential

There are four core modules and four elective modules. ASPPA candidates that have completed ASPPA's QPA examination series will be required to complete 4 core modules and 2 of the 4 elective modules (in addition to the CPC proctored examination). ERPAs who have not completed ASPPA's QPA examination series will be required to complete 4 core modules and 2 elective modules, in addition to the DB and CPC examinations.

  Core Modules
 Elective Modules
 
- Distributions & Loans

- ESOPs
 
- Investments

- Governmental & Tax-Exempt Plans
 
- Fiduciary Topics

- Nonqualified Plans
 
- Related Groups & Business Transactions

- Cash Balance






Click the module to download the module syllabus.

*See the table below for a list of modules currently available for registration.

How Does a Module Work?

Each module is offered online. The module includes study materials and an online exam. Once registered, a candidate receive access information. The study materials are available in PDF format and are available to download and/or print from within the candidate’s learning environment.  While candidates must submit the exam online, a PDF of the exam is also included for those candidates who prefer to print the exam and use the hard copy while performing the research needed to answer the exam questions.

Each module exam consists of 20 multiple choice questions, each worth 5 points. A score of 70% or above is required to pass the examination. Candidates will receive their grades immediately upon submission of the online exam.

The CPC modules are offered twice a year, and candidates have up to 6 months to complete the module. You do not have to submit the online exam once you begin it. You may log out of the learning environment and return at a later time to complete the exam. You must submit the exam before the completion date associated with the module you are registered for (see table below).

If you do not pass the online exam, you may take the module the following semester. At that time, you will need to register and pay the registration fee. However, you are not prevented from completing other modules or taking the CPC proctored examination during this time. If you are pursuing the CPC credential, you can continue your professional development by focusing on these other requirements.

To register, a candidate must have an account with ASPPA. To create an account please click here. Candidates can register online or download the registration form and send via mail or fax to 703.516.9308.

Registration and Completion Deadlines

The registration fee for each module is $151 for ASPPA members and $180 for non-members. 

ASPPA offers a CPC Core Module Package, which includes registration for four core CPC modules* at a discount package rate of $456 for members and $541 for non-members. The CPC Core Package includes registration and access to the following modules:

  • Investments
  • Fiduciary Topics
  • Distributions & Loans
  • Related Groups & Business Transactions

*All four modules must be submitted by the completion deadline for the semester in which they are purchased.

Once registered, a candidate will receive access and login information via e-mail within 7-10 business days. Note: Candidates will not have access to the modules until the modules are scheduled to open; access will be provided on the first day of the testing period. CPC Modules cannot be postponed. Modules must be completed by the deadline.

Modules Currently Available for Registration


Registration Deadline

Completion Deadline

    1st Semester

June 15, 2017

June 30, 2017

    2nd Semester

Dec 1, 2017

Dec 8, 2017



Module

Register:

Distributions & Loans

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Fiduciary Topics

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Related Groups & Business Transactions

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Nonqualified Plans

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Investments

1st Semester

2nd Semester

ESOPs

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Governmental & Tax-Exempt Plans

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Cash Balance

1st Semester

2nd Semester

CPC Core Module Package:

1st Semester

2nd Semester

Includes registration for the following core modules at a discount package rate of $456 for ASPPA members and $541 for non-members:
• Investments
• Fiduciary Topics
• Distributions & Loans;
• Related Groups and Business Transactions

 

How to Prepare for a Module Exam

A list of required reading and recommended resources has been provided in the syllabus for each module. This information should be referenced while completing the module. A candidate is welcome to use any other publications and sources available to answer these questions just as a consultant would use all available reference materials to ensure a client is provided with the correct answer. These outside resources may include but are not limited to The ERISA Outline Book, various answer books, and online services to which a candidate may subscribe.

Additionally, candidates are not prevented from discussing questions with colleagues and other professionals who may be able to assist in the learning process. Candidates should exercise care in discussing the examination with other individuals who may be planning to take the exam. While discussing the facts and principles involved in a question is certainly allowed, and often important in the learning process, the examination submitted must reflect the knowledge of the candidate.

While study time varies, the average candidate spends 5-20 hours preparing for and taking the module examination, including reading the required materials, reviewing the examination, performing research, and answering the questions.

Transition Rules and Module Waivers

Transition Rules for Candidates Who Meet Exam Requirements for QPA Credential
A candidate who has met the exam requirements for the QPA credential will only have to complete four core modules and two elective CPC modules, in addition to the CPC proctored exam.

Transition Rules for Candidates Who Have Passed C-3 or C-4 Examinations
A candidate who has passed the C-3 exam only (not C-4) will receive credit for the Investments, Distributions & Loans and Fiduciary Topics modules. These candidates will need to complete the Related Groups & Business Transactions module, two elective modules and the proctored CPC examination, in addition to the QPA exam requirements to obtain the CPC credential.

A candidate who has passed C-4 only (not C-3) will receive credit for the Related Groups & Business Transactions and two elective modules. These candidates will need to complete the Investments, Distributions & Loans and Fiduciary Topics modules and the proctored CPC examination, in addition to the QPA exam requirements to obtain the CPC credential.

ERPA Designation & CPC Credential
An ERPA who has been awarded the QPA credential and wants to pursue the CPC credential will need to complete the four core CPC modules and two elective modules, in addition to the DB and CPC proctored examinations.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Candidates who have successfully completed an ASPPA CPC/Topical Education Module will earn 3 ARA CE credits. Credits will be applied to the CE cycle in which the score is issued. For more information on ARA examination CE credit click here.

ERPA CE
3 ERPA credits for successful completion of a CPC module exam may be awarded. The final decision as to the number of ERPA credits rests solely with the Internal Revenue Service.