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ASPPA Service Provider Certification

The Standard of Practice for Retirement Plan Recordkeepers and Administrators

Click HERE to view a list of CEFEX Certified Firms

The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Certification for Service Provider Excellence was developed to recognize firms providing recordkeeping and/or administration services to retirement plans that adhere to a standard of excellence and a dedication to best practices. The program, which requires an annual certification renewal, encourages a culture of good governance and oversight at certified firms.  The certification allows firms to distinguish themselves in a competitive marketplace and establish credibility with current and prospective clients and advisors. This document contains the Practices that are used to assess the qualification of firms for the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (“ASPPA”) Certification program.

The practices form a uniform standard of excellence for firms providing various levels of recordkeeping and/or plan administration services.  The practices were developed by the ASPPA Certification Task Force, whose members comprised broad representation from the industry.

The program offers two distinct registrations.  A firm may be assessed for Recordkeeping Certification or Administration Certification or as a combination of both. A certificate and seal awarded would indicate the Certification(s) covered. 

The Certifications are as follows:

Recordkeeping Certification
Scope: In house daily recordkeeping services.

Bookkeeping for retirement plans’ trading transactions and individuals’ accounts (the major activity in recordkeeping)

Administration Certification
Scope:  Administration services.

Administrative functions, including compliance testing required by relevant pension and tax laws and filing of government reports such as Form 5500. 

The Standard of Practice presumes that ASPPA-certified firms are not considered fiduciaries; however, they provide essential services to fiduciaries and their plan participants. These firms help fiduciaries meet their fiduciary obligations and provide increased assurance to fiduciaries that the industry’s best practices are in place.


The certification program is delivered by
CEFEX Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC.