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matth100

Best Education, Qualification, Conference?

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Hi,

I'm interested in offering several additional services to my financial planning practice, notably:

  • Benefits Administration (for things like section 105, section 125 plans)
  • Retirement/Pension Administration (including 401(k), cash balance, and other retirement solutions.

I'd like to know what education or qualifications would be best advised to be able to competently manage such plans. I'm currently acquiring the Enrolled Agent designation, and feel that I need some more niche specific training/certs.

Additionally, I'd really like the chance to see what software solutions are out there in a conference/expo format so that I could get a grasp for they are capable of. Are there any recommended conferences like this?

Best

Matt

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Hi, Matt. As for retirement plans (can't help you with the cafeteria/health stuff), ASPPA is good for education and credentials. I don't know of any trade show specifically for software. The main players for small TPAs are FTWilliam, Datair and Relius.

I'll point out what anyone else who posts here will likely point out - trying to "get in" to the pension administration business from a point of zero pension administration experience is ill-advised. You'd be better off hiring someone or better yet just forming a relationship with a consultant who can provide you the expertise in a way that you can pass through as a value-added service. If you do that (the latter) for a while and decide you want to push into that business, you can maybe then do it from a position of strength with a bit of support from someone already in the business.

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You might consider the CEBS from IFEBP. That at least would give you a basic book knowledge, although I agree with Lippy that coming from a zero experience is ill-advised...better to hire in someone with experience/knowledge.

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I am from the health side, so I cannot comment on retirement issues. Agree with comments made about hiring someone with experience if you do not already have someone. As a former CEBS instructor, I can tell you that "book learning" is only part of the equation. There is only so much that educational programs can provide. Over the years I have found that sites such as DOL, IRS, Law Firms, SHRM, etc. have provided better information because they tend to describe issues in terms of implementation and often times discuss the pitfalls to avoid.

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^ I agree with Ivena. and keep reading everything on BenefitsLink.

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