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Flexible Content

RPA 1 - Directing Retirement Plans Part 1

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This course initiates a discussion of the strategic importance of retirement plan design in addressing an organization’s need to systematically replenish its workforce, as well as in competitively rewarding its talent. The course provides context for understanding retirement plan design by outlining the defined contribution and defined benefit structures afforded preferential tax treatment as qualified plans. While providing a comprehensive overview of these structures, the course looks at which employer situations warrant use of various plan types and the compliance and operational issues that accompany use of these plans. In addition to commonly known plan types such as 401(k)s and profit-sharing plans, other specialty types of plans are introduced that are relevant for rewarding executive talent, nonprofit employees and governmental workers. Key plan issues such as fee transparency, legal risks and encouraging plan participation are also addressed.

Course Details

RPA 1 - Directing Retirement Plans Part 1

Your purchase includes on-demand access to the digital study guide and practice exam.

Course Level
Average Completion Time
14-15 Weeks
  • Private Retirement Plans: Background and Context
  • Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Structures
  • Alternate Defined Benefit Approaches
  • Overview of Defined Contribution Plan Structures
  • Profit-Sharing and Money Purchase Pension Plans
  • Foundations of 401(k) Plans
  • Defined Contribution Practice Issues
  • Special Purpose Plan Use: 403(b)s/457 Plans/ESOPs
  • Designing Registered Pension Plans
  • Small Employer Retirement Plan Alternatives
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Various Types and Multiple Uses
  • Executive Retirement Arrangements
  • Stock Compensation Plans

Required Course Materials

To successfully complete the course, you must purchase and pass the exam. Other optional but recommended purchases include the textbook, printed study guide and online study group with instructor support. To place your order, please visit the International Foundation of Employee Plans website at

When ready, purchase your course exam from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans at