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In This Issue
Taming the CPE Beast
Commiting to Lifelong Learning - A Holistic Approach
SCS e-xpress
Mar/April 2012

learningA Message from Sarah & Chris:

The theme of this issue is "lifelong learning."

If we stop learning, we stop growing personally and professionally - so making a personal commitment to lifelong learning makes good sense. 


One example of lifelong learning is Continuing Professional Education (CPE).  Credentialed professionals are required to earn CPE credits for a reason.  CPE keeps their knowledge up-to-date and helps them become well-rounded professionals.  In addition to gaining industry expertise, employees can seek additional knowledge by honing their interpersonal skills, increasing their proficiency in technology, and becoming better problem solvers - all resulting in overall improvement in job satisfaction and performance.


We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  Have a great day!  


 Where We'll Be

Las Vegas, NV
04/29/12 -0 5/02/12

Las Vegas, NV
05/03/12 - 05/04/12

Security Benefit 403(b) Advisor Training
Phoenix, AZ - 05/10/12
Albany, NY - 05/15/12

DFA Advisor Advanced 401(k) Symposium
Chicago, IL
05/23/12 - 05/24/12

John Hancock TPA Leaders Conference
Los Angeles, CA
05/31/12 - 06/01/12


ExpertPlan's Annual Conference

Naples, FL

06/13/12 - 06/15/12


Dimensional Annual Defined Contribution Conference
Chicago, IL



 SPARK National Conference

 Washington DC

06/17/12 - 06/19/12


Wolters Kluwer Retirement & Benefits Compliance Customer Conference

Chicago, IL

08/12/12 - 08/14/12


Matrix Get Connected

Keystone, CO

08/19/12 - 08/22/12

ABC Orlando Meeting
Orlando, FL

National Harbor, MD
10/28/12 - 10/31/12

Today's Tips

ASPPA's current CPE cycle runs from 2011-2012.   

Today's Quotes


I am learning all the time.  The tombstone will be my diploma.

  - Eartha Kitt, singer/actress


Today's Laughs


"The easiest job in the world has to be coroner. Surgery on dead people. What's the worst thing that could happen? If everything went wrong, maybe you'd get a pulse."

  - Dennis Miller, actor/comedian

                                               lion tamer 

Taming the CPE Beast



In today's world, there are many free opportunities to learn about our industry and keep growing professionally.  Online resources available include blogs, LInkedIn, Twitter, and other forums.  You can use Google Alerts to automatically notify you when resources featuring certain key words that you defined are indexed by Google's search engine.  You can take advantage of the many free industry e-subscriptions, such as  Less experienced individuals can seek out a mentor within the firm who can help direct their career and also share valuable insight and information about the company.  Employees who have the opportunity to meet other industry professionals face-to-face can build a networking group with whom they can share information and consult on industry-related questions.  Fortunately, there are also ways to obtain free or relatively inexpensive CPE.


CPE does not always have to be "purchased" to be valid. The IRS and DOL occasionally host free webcasts that can be used to satisfy CPE.  Industry professionals may host free or relatively inexpensive webcasts. Training on technology (perhaps from your administration or recordkeeping software vendor) can often qualify for CPE.  Study group sessions can qualify for CPE. Internal training sessions or "lunch and learn" sessions held within your firm, delivered or facilitated by your firm's employees or by outside consultants, can help to fulfill CPE requirements if you follow ASPPA's guidelines for "Qualified Inhouse Training Programs."  If you speak or author an article, you may be eligible to earn CPE.  Every ASPPA member receives ASPPA's Plan Consultant magazineand each issue offers an inexpensive online quiz for CPE (3 CPE credits per issue for $50).  Check ASPPA's CPE Guidelines to learn more about available CPE opportunities and guidelines for reporting CPE.    


Be sure to check out Sarah's article - "Ten Real-world Tips for Taming the CPE Beast" - to learn how to get the most out of conferences, webcasts, seminars, etc. while fulfilling your CPE requirements.

                                               set goals 

Committing to
Lifelong Learning
A Holistic Approach


A holistic approach to learning is preferable in order to help employees achieve success in all aspects of their jobs - and even in their personal lives.  Managers and employees should work together to set professional growth goals as part of the review process.


ASPPA's CPE Guidelines outline the following ten broad categories as acceptable CPE topics:


* Qualified Plans

* Nonqualified Plans

* Tax-Exempt & Governmental Plans  

* IRAs

* Actuarial Issues

* Investments & Insurance

* Participant Issues

* Business Management, Operations & Development

* Personal Development

* Technology


Since the guidelines include industry-specific technical categories, as well as categories like technology, personal development, and business management, operations and development - a more holistic appoach to learning can be taken.  Firms can offer communication and customer service training that addresses real-world issues for retirement services professionals. Managers and prospective managers can obtain the management and leadership training they need to be successful managers while earning valuable CPE. When firms and consultants use creativity to design learning experiences, they can help individuals improve their technical skills and their "soft skills" at the same time - earning valuable CPE and getting more "bang for the buck."  The case study type of learning described in our Jan/Feb 2012 issue is a good example of a method that allows multiple skills to be reinforced.   


SCS specializes in unique CPE opportunities - including case study training, advanced technical topics, communication, customer service, and management and leadership training.  All of our training is relevant to what retirement services professionals need to know to perform their day-to-day jobs.  



What our Customers are Saying... 



"This was one of the most useful and informative seminars I have been to. It was full of practical information and updates that were presented in an easy to understand manner."

       - Terrie Plewes, SI Group Hawaii

(Industry Update and Communication/Customer Service session attendee)


"It was very beneficial to have customer service training that relates to our retirement plan business. SCS did an outstanding job with their presentation and their training has made a positive impact on our company."

      - Janet Hanson, Alliance Benefit Group - Minnesota

        (Customer Service session attendee)


"SCS customized their training to meet our needs and concerns with managing. Training session was very beneficial for old and new managers."

       - Management and Leadership session attendee

Power of 3 Retirement Industry Update Workshop

ASPPA Member

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