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Excessive Designations in Professional signatures


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Sorry to be a traditionalist, but I don't think my kids deserve "participation" trophies (you need to actually win for a trophy!), and I wasn't aware that it has become acceptable to list every single designation you've ever earned, especially where they are requisites of another higher-level designation you've earned, ie Chadsworth T. Snobbyfellow, CPC, QPA, QKC, QKA, RPF.  After all, Dr.'s don't list their undergraduate degrees (do you really want to know that your trauma surgeon was a Journalism major?), and neither do attorneys or other higher-education professionals.  Since these are industry-specific, and really only within the industry because Plan Sponsors don't know or care what they mean, who do these people believe they're supposed to be impressing?  And why would an EA bother with listing any of them??

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I list CPC and ERPA.  The CPC implies the other ASPPA designations were achieved.

I add then for a few reasons.  One, it implies some sort of industry competence, even if the layman has no idea why it's there.

It's there to show other professionals in the industry that I've gone through the rigours of the training.

It's good for potential employers to see.

From time to time a client will ask me what the letters are for, and I'll tell them.  It helps garner some trust in my abilities.

If/when I get the Tax exempt/Govn't plans designation, I'll add that in there.  Maybe.  Not sure yet.  At least on these boards here and on my resume I'll add it.  It shows people that I might know what the hell I'm talking about.

QKA, QPA, CPC, ERPA

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

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I remember this from I think The Patton Papers, I read the book maybe 40-50 years ago.  General Patton received a letter from someone with most of the alphabet listed after his name in the signature.   He responded by addressing the letter to "Mr. John Smith, SOB".

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I carry stuff uphill for others who get all the glory.

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Not sure if this OP is from getting up on the wrong side of bed, or just trolling. Likely the latter. But why would you possibly care? Someone who is listing their professional credentials is, presumably, not also listing their B.A. or M.A., or whatever. Some clients, advisors, etc., etc., might not recognize what a CPC means, but they might know what an ERPA means. Etc., etc., etc. - where's the harm in listing them?  If no one is interested, the eye skims over them.

Have a nice day.

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I don't have designations and was never interested.  If you have them, use them, but all it means is you know how to study for a test.  I've worked with a lot of people with designations who know less than I do about plan administration...  But your point about doctors doesn't make sense, no one I know uses their undergraduate degrees under their signature, and doctors do in fact - at least some - use designations after their names. 

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4 out of 3 people struggle with math

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I suppose this ties into the argument as to whether or not to go back to get a designation that's newer but already superseded.  I had the QPA before the QKA came along, so what does that really "add on"?  (Is it a daily-val section, or something like that?)  At least the CPC felt like adding on to the QPA. 

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I agree with Belgarath and Bill, among others. The CEBS (I was in the first class of graduates in 1980 and there have been more than 30k since) designation was designed to let employers know of its existence as it was a valuable insight, especially in the early days, to someone's skillset--same with the ASPPA designations (and I was around when those began) which are great and were started for a purpose to help people learn the most complicated statute ever written --ERISA (Every Rotten Idea Since Adam). My law degree and CPA took 4 years and 3 years respectfully and I'm sure it's okay to list them---both my kids are doctors and neither they nor any doc I've ever worked with and for ever lists their undergraduate education--I don't know where that comes from. I have a friend tho who has 9 professional designations and he is a good man (I believe), but his business card has a pyramid of the designations which IS a little much IMHO.

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3 minutes ago, Dave Baker said:

I have a Juris Doctor degree, and would appreciate being addressed as "Dr. Baker" from now on.

So you're dropping the "Your Majesty" part?

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