Certificate Programs

ASPPA has designed a variety of certificate programs that meet the educational and training needs of retirement plan professionals. Successful completion of a certificate program yields continuing education credits and often counts toward the requirements for ASPPA’s credentials. There are no specific education or background requirements for individuals seeking certifications. Anyone interested in retirement plan consulting, administration, or employee benefits may pursue. 

ASPPA and its sister organizations offer the following certificates:

Basic Education:

  • The Retirement Plan Fundamentals (RPF) Certificate program was completely redeveloped in 2016! Earn the certificate by completing the RPF Modules, a set of six components to quickly teach the basics of retirement plan administration. The RPF Modules are perfect for individuals new to retirement plan administration field and those preparing for ASPPA credentials.  
  • Tax-Exempt & Governmental Plan Administration Certificate is earned after successful completion of the Tax-Exempt & Governmental Plan Administration (TGPC-1) exam. The TGPC-1 exam also serves as a gateway to the TGPC credential, ASPPA’s credential for retirement plan professionals specializing in the 403(b) and/or 457 marketplace as well as other plans maintained by tax-exempt and governmental entities.

Intermediate Education:

  • Defined Benefit Administration Certificate - is earned after successful completion of the Defined Benefit Administration (DB-A) examination. It is designed for entry level to intermediate level DB administrators. Many firms that administer defined benefit plans rely heavily on non-actuarial staff to interact with defined benefit plan sponsors and to partner with the plan’s actuary to prepare the plan valuation and tax filings. It will allow the non-actuary with an understanding of the administration of a defined benefit plan, including the basics of determining contributions, the applicable deadlines, calculations for termination and retirement benefits, and other critically important aspects of these types of plans. The DBA Certificate is valuable to administrators interested in expanding their knowledge of defined benefit plans; providing full defined benefit plan administration support to their plan’s actuaries; improving their consulting abilities with defined benefit plan clients; developing basic actuarial skills; and becoming a more valuable asset to their employer.
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan Administration Certificate - is earned after successful completion of the ESOP Administration (ESOP-A) examination. It is designed for entry level to intermediate level ESOP administrators. The administration of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) requires knowledge of unique allocation and compliance testing requirements. The knowledge gained from the ESOP Administration certificate is extremely valuable to firms that administer ESOPs. The ESOP Administration certificate will provide an understanding of critically important aspects of ESOPs, including the basics of determining contributions, the applicable deadlines, and calculations for termination and retirement benefits. The ESOP Administration certificate is valuable to professionals interested in expanding their knowledge of ESOPs; providing full ESOP administration services to their clients; improving their consulting abilities with ESOP clients; and becoming a more valuable asset to their employer.

Certificate program exams are administered online in open-book, multiple choice format. Upon successful completion of these exams, ASPPA will issue the appropriate certificate online.