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CEBS V/S ASPA study program


Guest hugo
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Guest hugo

Could anyone make a comparison between the pension study programs sponsored by the International Employee Benefit Plans and ASPA. Anyone with insight in both programs may responds. thanks

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To get an QKA designation through ASPA you only need to take 5 exams. They are: PA-1 (2 parts) and Daily Exam (both take home exams), along with C-1 and C2-(DC)) both multiple choice exams.

The ASPA designations are pension plan specific (Profit Sharing and 401(k) included).

To get the CEBS designation there are 10 exams and they cover a much broader range of employee benefits (Human Resources, pension plan, economics, etc.)

I hope this helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

True, but the QKA is the least test-intensive ASPA designation. Three additional tests are required to obtain CPC, QPA, and QKA designations, meaning a total of eight.

I say this only because the CEBS program also has certificate-type programs that are short of the CEBS designation, so apples to apples means less than 10/8 exams in each case, but 10/8 to reach the end of each program.

And the more advanced ASPA tests recommend a considerably greater amount of study time than do the CEBS exam material that I have read.

As Stephen said, they are more focused and specific exams.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest kowen

The CEBS program has recently added 2 new designations, the RPA & GBA (Retirement Plans Associate and Group Benefits Associate) These are actual designations rather than the certificates. Each can be attained by passing 4 exams. Since there is some overlap, you can get both by passing a total of 7 on the way to the CEBS designation. I' taken 7 CEBS exams so far and plan to go for the ASPA designations next. I've looked over the course descriptions for the PA1, C1, C2, and C3 exams. I sort of wish that I took those exams around the same time I took the CEBS exams covering pensions.

I've also heard that ASPA may be planning to split up the C1 and/or the C2 exams. Has anyone heard any news?

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Steve Nolan

I just received the 2002 catalog from ASPA. It looks like the C1 is remaining as 1 exam. Does anyone know of any good study classes on line or otherwise that may be good preparation? I could use some help on trimming down the reading list to that which is truly important.

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I took this three or four years ago and work with some people who have taken this more recently. I do not recall any of the reading material being more emphasized or important than any other. I recommend that all of the reading material be covered for C1 and C2-DC. There are some materials for C2-DB that could be skimmed (FAS#87/FAS#132), however.

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Guest Steve Nolan

Thanks Andy. I recognize that the material all needs to be covered for this particular exam. I was hoping that there were a class or practice exams other than just the official ones to bring me up to speed in a little more concise and organized manner. I tried the exam last year and was a bit overwhelmed by all of the reading without any practice questions to break things up or reinforce the knowledge.

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many years ago I compiled some questions, arranged by chapter.

at this point in time, I suspect some of the questions are outdated (e.g. min partic only applies to DB, so you might have to read the question as pertaining to DB rather than DC), but old questions are still good practice. you might take a look at the enclosed file. I am for anything that will encourage someone to study more.

If I am in a real good mood I might even provide some of the answers.

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At the earliest it seems the exams will be broken up into parts in 2003 or 2004.

Regarding the readings ASPA made the Pension Answer Book suggested reading. I would encourage you to read the ERISA Outline Book readings.

ASPA used to offer a C-1 teachers guide that had 4 practice exams along with an outline for teaching the class you might find useful. (i'm not sure if this publication is still available)

I believe Cheryl Morgan offer's an online class through pensionedunet.com (maybe).

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Guest Steve Nolan

Thank you very much. That file is very helpful. The more practice the better. I'm looking forward to working through the problems. If you have the answers handy, I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

Does anyone have a used 2002 PA-1A book they would like to sell. I had the 2001 edition but did not have time to take the exam last year. I would like to take the december exam. Send me an e-mail or post a reply on this thread. thanks

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