The Administrative Issues of Defined Benefit Plans (DB) exam builds on the material learned from the RPF Certificate Program, which deals with basic terms and definitions within operation of a private employer’s qualified retirement plan, and includes fundamentals such as: nondiscrimination, coverage, preferential tax-treatment, reporting and disclosure, and vesting. The DB exam concentrates on basic issues of defined benefit plans and is primarily meant for the administrator rather than the plan actuary.
Download the full syllabus for the DB program. Anyone seeking to take this program must read the ASPPA CE Policy and the ASPPA Exam Policy.
It is presumed that a candidate sitting for the DB examination will have the knowledge of material covered in the Retirement Plan Fundamentals (RPF) Modules. In addition to testing the knowledge of the material included in the syllabus, the DB examination is intended to test the candidate’s knowledge of the underlying principles and the candidate’s ability to apply those principles when solving problems encountered in practice.
Due to the current social distancing guidelines, the DB exam will be offered exclusively online with a self-attestation of compliance with the code of conduct and exam policies. You do not need an approved proctor present to take the exams. Please know that this change is temporary, and you will be given ample notice before the policy resumes as normal.
Register for the DB online exam
Purchase the exam from the ASPPA marketplace here.
ASPPA now allows candidates to take the DB exam online through the ASPPA learning management system (LMS). You do not need an approved proctor present to take the exams. This change is temporary, and you will be given ample notice before the policy resumes as normal.
The DB examination consists of 60 multiple choice questions, and candidates have 2½ hours to complete it. Candidates will receive a grade immediately upon completing the exam. Exams will be delivered at Prometric Testing Centers as soon as they reopen.
- DB Study Guide (PDF version) (print version)
Purchase publications with the Publications Order Form.
Candidates receive 20 CE credits with a passing grade on the exam, and no credits for a failing grade. Credits will be applied to the CE cycle in which the score is issued. For more information on CE, click here.