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In This Issue
"Kicking Off" a Training Initiative - Boot Camp Essentials
ERISA Boot Camp: Basic Training
Retirement Advisor Boot Camps - Boots on the Ground
Educational Boot Camps for Retirement Services Firms - Putting Knowledge to the Test
SCS e-xpress

May/June  2013

A Message from Sarah & Chris:             bootcamp ready        

The theme of this issue is "educational boot camps."

Educational boot camps are technical workshops that provide intensive training in a classroom setting.  Boot camps provide an excellent opportunity for lively discussions and interaction among attendees and also between the instructor and the attendees.  When a boot camp format is used for retirement services training, case studies and real-world examples are often incorporated to reinforce the learning objectives and technical material being taught.  


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

SMART Conference 
Norfolk, NE 
06/12/13 - 06/13/13
Austin, TX
Naperville, IL
08/04/13 - 08/06/13
Keystone, CO
08/18/13 - 08/20/13

ASPPA Annual Conference
National Harbor, MD
10/27/13 - 10/30/13
Today's Quotes


"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal -- a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek."

    - Mario Andretti

"Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward."
    - Victor Kiam 

"Failure is not an option!"

    - U.S. Navy Seals


"No one ever drowned from their own sweat."

    - Lou Holtz


"Train like a pitbull on Starbucks!"    

     - Steve Auxier


Today's Laughs


Military Etiquette


Officer: Soldier, do you have    change for a dollar? 

Soldier: Sure, buddy.

Officer: That's no way to address an officer!  Now let's try it again. Do you have change for a dollar? 


Soldier: No, SIR!


Jeep in the Mud

During training exercises, the lieutenant who was driving down a muddy back road encountered another car stuck in the mud with a red-faced colonel at the wheel.
"Your jeep stuck, sir?" asked the lieutenant as he pulled alongside.

"Nope," replied the colonel, coming over and handing him the keys, "Yours is."
boots -female   

                                               bootcamp instructor        

"Kicking Off" a   Training Initiative
Boot Camp Essentials

Boot camps are a great way to "kick off" a training initiative. The first key to a successful boot camp is to create a short timeframe - one-half to one day - with an agenda that covers specific knowledge either tailored to an exam or to ERISA concepts helpful in administering or selling retirement plans. Secondly, educational studies have shown that interactive learning sessions improve students' retention of complex material. To have a vibrant interactive boot camp, limit the session to no more than twenty-five participants, and conduct the boot camp "live" with candidates and the instructor in a face-to-face environment. Thirdly, successful boot camps need instructors who can use real-world examples and link technical learning objectives to daily work. While some boot camps can be taught by internal staff members, advanced boot camps work best with a teacher/facilitator who has in-depth knowledge and experience in teaching in an interactive format.    

                                               bootcamp training     

ERISA Boot Camp

  Basic Training 



A half-day intensive interactive session can be a great introduction to ERISA, especially for customer service representatives, administrators, or advisors who need a basic - but in-depth - overview of qualified plans. The basic boot camp can cover the "whys" and "hows" of retirement plans, with a focus on how the industry got to where it is today. An introduction to the qualified plan "life cycle" is especially useful for attendees who may perform only one or two functions related to plans, such as distributions or payroll processing, and provides them with an understanding of the "beginning to end" processes. An overview of the terminology of qualified plans and a discussion of the various players involved in regulating, legislating, investing, and administering plans gives participants an essential introduction to the ERISA plan world.


SCS conducts a variety of boot camps and training sessions.  Click here to learn more...  

                                               bootcamp - sales        

Retirement Advisor     Boot Camps
Boots on the Ground

Boot camps can be used to provide advisors, brokers, and accountants with focused information on qualified plans and link that information to effective qualified plan selling. Institutional providers and TPAs who host the sessions are providing a value-added service that can be used to retain and develop referrals from retirement plan advisors and brokers.


CPI/CUNA and SCS offer half-day "ERISA Boot Camps" for retirement plan advisors and brokers presenting a snapshot of the past, present, and future of qualified plans, along with plan design case studies for different types and sizes of plan sponsors. Interactive discussions of plan types and plan design help advisors discover what their clients value, how to evaluate TPAs and recordkeepers, and how to capture more qualified plan assets.


Broadridge/Matrix offers a boot camp to a group of advisors through MatrixU, their educational division. These intensive review sessions are based on ASPPA's Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) first course - Plan Financial Consulting 1 (PFC-1). TPAs have the option to attend the boot camp to network with advisors committed to the qualified plan market. The interactive sessions not only help advisors learn more about qualified plans, they also give Broadridge/Matrix and the TPA attendees strong visibility with key advisors.

                                      bootcamp learning       

Educational Boot Camps for Retirement Services Firms 
    Putting Knowledge    to the Test  

For retirement service providers' staff, delivering education in a boot camp format is ideal for candidates who either take an online exam immediately following the session or for those who are taking a proctored exam after studying the material and attending the boot camp. The best boot camps provide an intensive learning environment with a focus on specific learning objectives and sample exam questions. Service providers can use successful exam results of the boot camp participants to tout their newly qualified staff as a competitive advantage, e.g., "100% of our customer service representatives recently earned ASPPA's Retirement Plan Fundamentals Certificate."


MassMutual Retirement Services (MMRS) undertook an initiative to educate their call center personnel, 401(k) compliance staff, and their sales and marketing group on 403(b) plans, which represented a growing market for their division. They conducted a one-day 403(b) boot camp using the ASPPA Tax-Exempt and Governmental Plan Certificate (TGPC) program's learning objectives with Sarah Simoneaux, CPC, of SCS as the instructor.  The session's participants took the TGPC-1 online exam at the conclusion of the boot camp. All attendees passed the exam and earned their TGPC-1 certificate, which MMRS cited in a press release shortly after the boot camp was held.


SCS conducts boot camps for the following ASPPA exams: RPF 1 & 2, PFC-1, PFC-2, TGPC-1, DC-1, DC-2, and DC-3.   



What our Customers are Saying...

"The instructor was excellent, and she was obviously passionate about what she was teaching, which resonated throughout the session and kept everyone engaged. It was fantastic to have her break down the past, present and future advances of qualified plans. She presented many real examples that applied the material to the work we do everyday."

- Insurance company attendee - "Evolution of Qualified Plans"


"We believe the 403(b) and 457 knowledge and concepts acquired through ASPPA's TGPC-1 curriculum, together with the TGPC 403(b) Exam Bootcamp we hosted [taught by Sarah Simoneaux, CPC, of SCS], will prove invaluable. With more than 20 client service associates receiving their certification, we believe Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is able to provide our 403(b)/457 retirement plan clients with consistent, superior service, as well as the security in knowing we understand their unique plan and participant needs."

   - Christian Jachym, Director,

Non Profit Account Management Team, 

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company - "TGPC-1 Bootcamp"


Power of 3 Retirement Industry Update Workshop

ASPPA Member

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