By: Kimberly Martin, APA, CPC, QPA, Education Director, NIPA
Maybe you’ve been in the retirement plan industry
for years, having survived multiple use testing in 401(k) plans and the combined
415 limit calculation of DB/DC plans.
Or, perhaps you are somewhat newer to this business, having recently strengthened
your personal and professional value by earning a NIPA APA or APR
designation. Possibly you are
established in your career, but you want to help others learn the tools of the
trade. Either way, your experience brings
an important perspective that is needed in our industry.
The strengthening and expanding of NIPA’s
educational offerings and resources is due to many people. One group of individuals vital to the success
of NIPA’s educational programs is our volunteers. Many of NIPA’s educational programs rely on
volunteers, and I’d like to thank all of our many volunteers who donate their valuable
time and expertise! I encourage you to
get involved and become a volunteer on NIPA’s Designation Committee. Your input is extremely valuable to our APA/APR
The Designation Committee is responsible for
developing the study materials and examination questions for NIPA's Accredited
Pension Administrator (APA) and Accredited
Pension Representative (APR) designations. Specifically, Designation Committee volunteers
write and review examination questions related to their assigned topic(s), as
well as an explanation of the answers. Volunteers
also review the related textbook assignment, verifying that the material is
relevant, practical and understandable, and that all answers to exam questions
can be found in the text.
The Committee is divided into five
sub-committees which correspond to the five APA and APR courses under the
designation program. Designation
Committee volunteers are assigned to one of these sub-committees based on
experience and areas of expertise. Each
volunteer is given one or two topics to work on from that course.
A good share of the committee work is done
individually (rather than as a group), at a time and location (office, home,
etc.) that is convenient for you.
While these tasks may sound interesting to
you, I know your time is limited, and my guess is that you are wondering how
much time is actually involved! Typically,
the time commitment to review the textbook assignment and to write and review
the examination questions is approximately 8 to 12 hours, but can be more if
you request a more complex topic! And,
the required tasks can be completed at your own pace over a period of 2-3
months, depending on the sub-committee you are assigned.
For your significant contribution to the
designation program, what will you receive in return? Designation Committee positions give you the
opportunity to share your expertise, enhance your industry knowledge, gain new
skills, and work with other industry professionals. In addition, you will earn NIPA Continuing Professional
Education (CPE) credits. Depending on
the number of questions you review/write, you may be able to earn up to 15 CPE
If you have not yet experienced the rewards
of being a NIPA volunteer, I encourage you to get involved with NIPA and become
a volunteer on our Designation Committee today!
If you are interested in volunteering, click
here to learn more or apply for a volunteer
position. As always, please
feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
you may have.