While you are no doubt familiar with undergraduate and graduate degree designations such as B.S., B.A., MBA and PhD, and may have earned a few yourself, in the world of financial services, most professionals are required to undertake additional highly specialized post-graduate education from nationally accredited institutions to become better informed on the nuances of finance, actuarial science, investment strategies and much more.
FSA: Fellow of Society of Actuaries. An advanced actuarial degree.
AIF: The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation represents a thorough knowledge of and ability to apply the fiduciary Practices. AIF designees have a reputation in the industry for the ability to implement a prudent process into their own investment practices as well as being able to assist others in implementing proper policies and procedures..
ASPPA: The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries is a national organization for career retirement plan professionals. The membership consists of the many disciplines supporting retirement income management and benefits policy.
QPA: The Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) credential was created by ASPPA to recognize professionals who are qualified to perform the technical and administrative functions of qualified plan administration. QPAs assist employers, actuaries, and consultants in performing functions such as determination of eligibility benefits, computation of benefits, plan recordkeeping, trust accounting and disclosure, and compliance requirements.
ERPA: An enrolled retirement plan agent (ERPA) is an individual who has been approved by the IRS to practice before the IRS on certain retirement plan issues.
QKA: The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is offered for retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans.
Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC): A professional financial planning designation granted by The American College (Bryn Mawr, PA) to individuals who complete a comprehensive curriculum in financial planning. Prerequisites include passing a series of written examinations, meeting specified experience requirements and maintaining ethical standards. The curriculum encompasses wealth accumulation, risk management, income taxation, planning for retirement needs, investments, estate and succession planning.
Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU): A professional designation granted by The American College to individuals who complete a comprehensive curriculum focused primarily on risk management. Prerequisites include passing a series of written examinations, meeting specified experience requirements, and maintaining ethical standards. The curriculum encompasses insurance and financial planning, income taxation, individual life insurance, life insurance law, estate and succession planning, and planning for business owners and professionals.
AEP: Accredited Estate Planner, the AEP® designation is a graduate-level specialization in estate planning, obtained in addition to already recognized professional credentials within the various disciplines of estate planning who support the team concept of estate planning. It is awarded to estate planning professionals who meet stringent requirements of experience, knowledge, education, professional reputation, and character.
CFA: A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute, formerly AIMR, that measures the competence and integrity of financial analysts.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Practitioner: A credential granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (Denver, CO) to individuals who complete a comprehensive curriculum in financial planning and ethics. CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and federally registered CFP (with flame logo)® are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification.