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Credentials and Certificates

Credential Programs

The Qualified 401(k) Specialist (QKS) (Coming 2024)

The Qualified 401(k) Specialist (QKS) credential equips client-facing professionals in the retirement industry with essential knowledge about 401(k) plans. This focused credential enhances your career, enabling you to bring expertise to plan sponsors.

Prerequisite: 3 years of experience or RPF

For more information contact Tiffany Hanks at [email protected] or submit your information here.

Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA®)

Earn the QKA® credential, the national standard for all professionals working with 401(k) retirement plans. Show your commitment to the retirement plan industry and demonstrate your competence in DC plan administration.

Prerequisite: 3 years of experience or RPF

Qualified 401(k) Consultant (QKC)

Attain ASPPA's  newest credential to illustrate your advanced knowledge of 401(k) plan design. 

Prerequisite: QKA® credential requirements 

Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)

Expand your retirement plan knowledge. Earn the QPA, which covers defined benefit plan administration topics. 

Prerequisite: QKC credential requirements

Certified Pension Consultant (CPC)

Demonstrate your mastery of all aspects of qualified plans. Earn the CPC, which covers the detailed knowledge necessary to serve as a plan consultant in areas of plan design and administration. It also prepares you to fulfill departmental leadership roles for compliance, relationship management, plan documents and operations.

Prerequisite: QKA® , QKC, and QPA credential requirements  

Certificate Programs

Introduction to Retirement Plans (IRP)
ASPPA's Introduction to Retirement Plans (IRP) certificate course is designed for employees with no retirement industry experience. This course provides important foundational knowledge, concepts, and language to help all new employees get oriented during their onboarding process.

Retirement Plan Fundamentals (RPF)

Learn the basics of retirement plan administration — what you need to know to get started in the industry and the vocabulary to go along with that knowledge. RPF serves as the starting point for all ASPPA professional development.

Defined Benefit Administration (DB-A)

Pursue the DB-A certificate to master the ability to administer defined benefit plans, including determining contributions, applicable deadlines, calculations for termination and retirement benefits, and other critically important aspects of these plans. The course is ideal for you if you provide defined benefit plan administration support and wish to improve your skill in consulting with defined benefit plan clients, or develop actuarial skills.  

Additional Programs

American Society of Enrolled Actuaries

The American Society of Enrolled Actuaries provides a wide variety of programs to pension actuaries including webcasts, conferences, resources, and the Fellow, Society of Enrolled Actuaries (FSEA) program.

Member, Society of Enrolled Actuaries (MSEA)
Associated Professional Member (APM)

NTSA Professional Development

ASPPA's sister association, the National Tax-Deferred Saving Association (NTSA), offers certificates, credentials, and resources for administrators of 403(b) and 457(b) Plans. 

NAPA Professional Development

ASPPA's sister association, the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), offers certificates, credentials, and resources for financial advisors and retirement plan sales teams. 

Additional Resources