The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) is ASPPA's highest credential. CPCs are an elite group of benefits professionals who have demonstrated a mastery of all aspects of qualified plans. The CPC program prepares you to fulfill departmental leadership roles in compliance, relationship management, plan documents and operations — drawing on your accumulated retirement plan knowledge and experience.
This is for individuals who want to develop the detailed knowledge necessary to serve as a plan consultant in areas of plan design and administration.
The Fall 2023 CPC Exam will be delivered on November 8, 2023. Registration will open soon.
To obtain the CPC credential individuals must:
- Pass 6 CPC Modules (4 core and 2 elective)
- Pass the CPC Credential Exam
- Have passed the QKA, QKC, and QPA Credential Exams
- Agree to abide by the ARA Code of Professional Conduct
- Apply for an additional credential
Candidates must have earned the QKA, QKC, and QPA Credential before sitting for the CPC exam.
CPC Candidate Handbook
Click here to download the Candidate handbook for a complete overview of the CPC Credential education program. This resource includes the following information, along with additional, in-depth information regarding the exam process.
CPC Online Modules
Candidates must pass 6 online Modules (4 core and 2 elective).
Core Modules (4/4)
- Fiduciary Topics
- Distributions and Loans
- Related Groups & Business Transactions
Elective Modules (choose 2/4)
- Governmental & Tax-Exempt Plans
- Nonqualified Plans
- Cash Balance
Super Scoring Policy
CPC Candidates are permitted to combine results of two unsuccessful exam attempts to earn a passing score on the CPC exam. To be eligible for super scoring, the candidates must score at least a 5 on each attempt. ASPPA will calculate total points using the greater section scores from the two exams and award a passing grade if the combined points are equal to or greater than 700.
Until July 2023, CPC exam candidates may combine scores for exams completed between January 2016 and July 2023. This is a transitional policy and will expire in July 2023. After July 2023, exams must be taken within a 19-month period (three consecutive CPC exams) to qualify.
- Purchase the new CPC Bundle
- Your purchase includes CPC Core Modules (4), CPC Elective Modules (4), CPC Study Guide (PDF), CPC Practice Exam.
- The PDF Study Guide and Practice Exam are intended to help candidates prepare for the CPC Proctored Examination.
- Candidates should register for the CPC Proctored Exam separately (links on this page).
- Registering someone else? Download the order form here.
- Already started the CPC Modules and just need to purchase a single module? Download the modules order form here.
CPC Spring Exam Registration
The CPC exam is offered twice per year in the spring and the fall months using a proctored online examination system.
The Spring 2023 CPC Exam will be delivered on June 7, 2023. Register here
Candidates sitting for the CPC Exam should be the requirements and have the knowledge of materials covered in the CPC Modules. In addition to testing the knowledge of material included in the CPC Candidate Handbook, the exam is intended to test the candidate's knowledge of the underlying principals and the candidate’s ability to apply those principals when solving problems encountered in practice.
- Who would benefit from CPC?
Anyone who performs the technical and administrative functions of qualified plan administration. CPCs assist employers, actuaries, and consultants in performing functions such as determination of eligibility benefits, computation of benefits, plan recordkeeping, trust accounting and disclosure, and compliance requirements. seeking an advanced DC designation, especially client-facing and technical personnel, (i.e., compliance testers, relationship managers and implementation team members).
- I’m ready to take the exam. Where can I take it?
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this exam will be delivered online using a proctored online examination system. To participate, candidates will need access to a laptop or desktop computer with webcam. The exam will be monitored by video and exam results will be valid only if the proctor determines that the candidate followed all exam guidelines when completing the exam.
- How do I apply for the CPC credential?
ASPPA credentialed members may apply for an additional credential.
- Once earned, how do I maintain the CPC credential?
All ASPPA credentialed members must earn 40 hours of continuing education (CE) credits (two of which must be ethics) within a two-year cycle, and renew their ASPPA membership annually.
- Do I have to take the exam or can I just take the educational program?
Anyone can complete all or part of the education without taking the exams. However, we encourage you to take the exams to confirm your mastery of the subject matter and be eligible to earn the credential.
- Can I earn ASPPA CE from the CPC modules?
Yes, you can. The CPC Modules offer 3.0 ASPPA CE each.
- What is the ASPPA Exam policy?