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October 18, 2001
New Program Offers 401(k) Certification
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response to the changing needs of the retirement plan industry, the American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA) has unveiled a training program specifically designed for those who administer 401(k) and related defined-contribution plans.

The program features five comprehensive courses that address issues such as events processing, daily valuation, laws and regulations. Upon successful completion of the program's five exams, participants receive a Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation that increases their credibility within the retirement plan field.

"Completing the program and earning the QKA designation will enhance a person's role and prestige as a 401(k) professional, as well as contribute to the continued enrichment of the private pension system in this country," explains Sarah Simoneaux, CPC, ASPA marketing chairwoman. "We want to help ensure the highest level of training and professional knowledge for plan administrators, no matter where they work and no matter what their level of experience."

The QKA designation requires successful completion of these examinations: PA-1 A and B (Pension Administration), Daily Valuation, C-1 (Administrative and Qualification Issues of Retirement Plans), and C-2(DC) (Administrative Issues of Defined Contribution Plans).

Intended for the entry-level professional, the first three are take-home, self-study exams that can be ordered and taken at any time. The two exams for the final, more advanced courses are administered at a local Prometric Technology Center in the fall or spring.

Participants in the QKA program need not be members of ASPA to qualify for this training, although ASPA membership will entitle them to discounted registration fees. Current ASPA members who have already paid dues for this year must submit a Membership Addition/Upgrade Application and two letters of recommendation after completing the required exams.

ASPA is a national organization of retirement plan professionals dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the private pension system in the United States. ASPA offers education and professional credentials for actuaries (MSPA, FSPA), pension consultants (CPC), pension administrators (QPA), and other benefits professionals (APM). Its 4,300 members provide consulting and administrative support to over 30 percent of the private retirement plans in the country.

For more information, refer to the online information kit on ASPA's Web site at You can also contact ASPA's exam department by calling 703- 516-9300 or faxing an inquiry to 703-516-9308.

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