ASPPA, NTSAA Offer New Credential Program

The American Society of Pension Professionals&Actuaries (ASPPA) has begun offering education, including a new credential and certificate program, for professionals who specialize in the tax-exempt and governmental retirement plan market.

According to a release from ASPPA and the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA), the Tax-Exempt and Governmental Plan Consultant (TGPC) credential focuses on the technical knowledge and consulting skills required for those who work on retirement plans for tax-exempt organizations. These issues include eligibility, vesting, contributions types and limits, nondiscrimination rules, allowable investments, contract exchanges, transfers, and plan documents.

TGPC-credentialed members are subject to the same continuing education requirements as all other credentialed ASPPA members and are subject to the ASPPA Code of Professional Conduct, the organization said. A Tax-Exempt and Governmental Plan Administration Certificate program also has been created.

“In light of significant regulatory and administrative changes in 403(b) plans effective in 2009, ASPPA is pleased to be expanding its educational offerings to address the needs of this marketplace,”
 said Brian Graff, ASPPA executive director and chief executive officer.

NTSAA and ASPPA have agreed that ASPPA is to assume responsibility for the educational credentialing program on behalf of the NTSAA (which formerly offered the CRS and MCRS credentials). The new TGPC credential is obtained by passing a series of four examinations. The Source 403(b) & 457(b) Plans by Kristi Cook and Eleanor Lowder, was recently updated and will serve as the primary study tool for the TGPC program, according to the release.