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Relevance of the ASPA certification study programs. Career options o


Guest monica
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Guest monica

I am interesting in QPA certification sponsored by the ASPA. but I am concerned about the depth of the material covered in their P-1A and P-1B study program. Is it a good program for someone with a little over a year experience in the retirement industry? I have already gone though the Daily valuation Book and was not thrilled with the content.

Do you have much info on career advantage for those with an ASPA certification?

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Monica, I was in this business for 12 years before I ever took an ASPA exam, because I didn't know anything about them at first. Then, they were not pushed by the company I was with.

But, I changed companies and the ASPA program was strongly pushed, so I took all of them eventually. To this day I thank the boss who made me take them. To my surprise, I learned a great deal. I also became more valuable and much more informed.

I strongly recommend it. The PA exams cover material you should know at a minimum to be in this field. I took the daily val exam last year, and I hear what you're saying. The subject matter was not that easy, and some of it was very dry. But, I am glad that I took it, because I learned quite a bit (I do more work with DB plans than DC plans).

So, I'd strongly encourage you to take the PA exams now, then the other ASPA exams in a couple of years. You will be glad that you did.

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Be aware that the Daily Valuation Course covers a very small amount of the Qualified Plan knowledge you will be required to master to achieve your designation. AndyH is correct in that the Plan Administrators Course is the minimum you need to know to be truly useful to your employer.

Kristina

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go for it. any education is worth it. for what it is worth, I did things backwards. I took the C-1 and C-2 exams, and then went back and did the PA exams.

The comments noted above are very accurate. The PA courses are very introductory. The daily course is really new, and being so new needs some work, so don't take that as a guideline to what the other courses are like.

the c-1 and c-2 courses are not easy. I know people who have been in the pension field for years who weren't able to pass them. You will definitely learn something.(Some of this, of course, is related to test taking skills, so don't misinterpret things as if to say these people shouldn't be doing pensions) I am still learning, and forever open the books to verify stuff.

Is the QPA designation worth it? I think Andy summed it up well. It depends on what company you work for. But even more so - is it worth it to you? (Not as an ego kick, but is it really worth it to you?) I take a lot a pride in the designation, and as a result I continue to study and try to keep abreast on things. That ain't easy, believe me. I know others who have the designation and simply do the minimum to get the continuing ed credit.

so again, go for it. in the long run it is worth it.

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