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PSCA Announces Innovative New Plan Sponsor Credential

Credential developed by plan sponsors and industry experts, supported by rigorous online program.

The nation’s private retirement system depends on the employers who take on the responsibility for creating and sustaining workplace retirement plans – and the nation’s leading information and advocacy resource for plan sponsors has developed a new program to help them do just that – at no cost.

On April 2, the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), part of the American Retirement Association (ARA), will launch a new and innovative education program and credential: the Certified Plan Sponsor Professional (CPSP TM). Developed by plan sponsors in collaboration with education experts at ARA and some of the nation's leading retirement plan experts, the CPSP credential demonstrates a level of expertise in the duties of a retirement plan sponsor, and attests that the holder possesses the knowledge and skills to evaluate, design, implement, and manage an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

“It’s ironic that individuals who find themselves in a job with personal liability for their actions, alongside an expectation of prudence that courts have described as the ‘highest known to man’ have had little in the way of practical, retirement plan-focused training,” notes Nevin Adams, chief content officer of the American Retirement Association, and one of the lead authors of the CPSP program.

The rigorous online credentialing exam is supported by a three-course, nine-module education program that incorporates the latest in adult learning technology and encompasses key subject matters including:

  • Considerations for Retirement Plan Design 
  • The Most Popular DC Plan: The 401(k) 
  • Other Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans 
  • Plan Fiduciary Obligations & Risk Management 
  • Investment Concepts 
  • Behavioral Finance & Employee Engagement 
  • Vendor Management and Selection 
  • Plan Operations 
  • Plan Audits and Compliance

Knowing that education budgets can be tight, even for this critical role, access to the CPSP education program is available online at no charge to plan sponsors through the generous support of founding CPSP education partners Ascensus, Franklin Templeton, OppenheimerFunds, PIMCO, and Wilmington Trust.

To be eligible for the CPSP credential, a candidate must have at least two years of experience in a retirement plan sponsor or related role, pass the CPSP credentialing exam, and ascribe and adhere to the Code of Conduct adopted by PSCA.

“Plan sponsors are an integral part of America’s retirement future, and we’re pleased to provide a program such as the CPSP that can support them in this critical role,” noted Jack Towarnicky, PSCA’s executive director.

More information about the CPSP education program and credential is available at