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Professional Designations

Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®)

AIF® is the first and only designation that illustrates knowledge and competency in the area of fiduciary responsibility, and is a credential awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Standards. AIF® designees have successfully completed a specialized program on investment fiduciary standards of care and subsequently passed a comprehensive examination. Designees must be able to understand and articulate the legal and regulatory environment surrounding the fiduciary, be able to develop and implement an effective investment management process applying the principals of Modern Portfolio Theory, document all due diligence and treat clients with the utmost prudence and care. An AIF designee has attended the required AIF® classroom-based programs, successfully completed the AIF examination and met the education and work experience prerequisites. Continuing education is required.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary Auditor (AIFA®)

AIFA® is a credential awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Standards. AIFA® designees have the knowledge necessary to understand and implement a prudent investment process for Investment Stewards and Investment Managers and can perform a fiduciary assessment to verify and certify an entities conformity to a “global fiduciary standard of excellence.” An AIFA designee has attended the required AIFA® classroom-based programs, successfully completed the AIFA examination and met the education and work experience prerequisites. Continuing education is required.

Accredited Pension Administrator (APA)

APA is a credential awarded by the National Institute of Pension Administrators. APA candidates are pension administrators, retirement relationship managers, and ERISA Compliance specialists. The APA designation is earned by the successful completion of six study courses covering all aspects of plan administration and after a minimum of two years plan administration experience. Continuing education is required.

Accredited Pension Representative (APR)

An APR has demonstrated experience in all types of retirement plans and engaged in advanced study of retirement plan topics ranging from fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transactions to minimum coverage testing and requirement plan distributions.

Associate Customer Service (ACS)

Associate Customer Service is a comprehensive introduction to customer service in a financial services environment.  It gives the knowledge and skills employees need to understand and deliver exceptional customer service.

Certified Pension Consultant (CPC)

CPC is a credential awarded by the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA). CPC candidates must demonstrate competence in specific areas of pension and related employee benefits consulting through completion of the CPC examination series offered by ASPPA. CPCs work with employers in the formulation, implementation, administration, and maintenance of qualified retirement plans and other employee benefit programs. Required examinations include PA 1, 2 and 3; DC-1, 2 and 3; DB; C-3 and 4. Continuing education is required.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) (inactive)

A CPA is a public accountant who has been certified by a state examining board as having met the state’s legal requirements which typically involve an in depth series of tests covering a broad range of accounting activities and functions. (Inactive) means the CPA is not involved in the “practice of public accounting” but is usually involved in a private business.

Certified Retirement Services Professional (CRSP)

CRSP is a credential awarded by the Institute of Certified Bankers, a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association. The CRSP must meet the experience, education, ethics and examination requirements determined to be competency measures for retirement services professionals. A CRSP must meet a minimum experience and education requirement in ERISA and IRS Code/Regulations; have a professional reference; sign an ethics statement and maintain professional expertise in Plan Type and Design, Laws and Regulations under ERISA, IRS, SEC, OCC, FDIC and PBGC; have knowledge of investments and performance measures, and pass a three hour final examination. Continuing education is required.

Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA)

CTFA is a credential awarded by the Institute of Certified Bankers, a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association. The CTFA must meet the experience, education, ethics and examination requirements determined to be competency measures for personal trust professionals. A CTFA must meet a minimum experience and educations requirement in wealth management; have a professional reference; sign and ethics statement; maintain professional expertise in Fiduciary Responsibilities and Trust Activities, Personal Financial Planning, Tax Law, Investment Management and Ethics, and pass a four hour final examination. Continuing Education is required.

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) is a professional financial advisor specializing in developing effective solutions for individuals, business owners and professionals in the areas of income replacement, risk management, estate planning, and wealth transfer. For more than 80 years, the CLU designation has been widely recognized as a mark of excellence in the industry.

Enrolled Agent (EA)

An EA has earned the privelege to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service.  Treasury Department Circular 230 outlines the Regulations regarding the EA.  EAs, like attorneys and CPAs, are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle and which IRS offices they can practice before.

Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA)

ERPA is a credential awarded and maintained by the Internal Revenue Service in conjunction with the American Institute of Retirement Education, LLC (AIRE), which is a partnership formed by the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA).

The new ERPA designation allows the designee to represent clients before the IRS on retirment plan matters under Title 26 of ERISA.  As outlined in Treasury Department Circular 230, these include the Employee Plans Determination letter program, Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System, Employee Plans Master and Prototype and Volume Submitter program, IRS Form 5300 and 5500 except for actuarial forms or schedules.

Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI)

The FLMI designation is awarded by LOMA is a 10-course, professional development program that provides comprehensive business education in the context of the insurance and financial services industry. LOMA is an international association through which over 1200 insurance and financial services companies from over 80 countries engage in research and educational activities to improve company operations.

Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Juris Doctor, or doctor of jurisprudence, is the degree commonly conferred by law schools. It is required in almost all states to gain admission to the bar which means obtaining a license to practice law in a particular state or federal court.

Qualified Plan Administrator (QPA)

QPA is a credential awarded by ASPPA. QPA candidates must be qualified to perform the technical and administrative functions of qualified plan administration. QPAs assist employers, actuaries, and consultants handling eligibility determination for benefits, benefit computations, plan recordkeeping, trust accounting and disclosure, and compliance requirements. Required examinations include PA 1, 2, and 3; DC-1, 2 and 3; and DB. Continuing education is required.

Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC)

QPFC is a credential awarded by ASPPA. QPFC candidates are financial and qualified plan professionals who sell, advise, market or support qualified retirement plans. QPFC was developed by ASPPA and the University of Michigan to allow candidates to demonstrate distinctive features of qualified plans, planning concepts, understanding the qualified plan marketplace, fiduciary issues, pricing models and fee disclosures to assist plan sponsors in fulfilling their plan and participant responsibilities.

Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

QKA is a credential offered by ASPPA. QKA candidates are retirement professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans. QKAs typically assist employers and consultants with the recordkeeping, non-discrimination testing and administrative aspects of 401(k) and related plans. Required examinations include PA 1, 2, and 3; DC- 1 and 2. Continuing education is required.

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