Directing Retirement Plans Part 2​

Directing Retirement Plans Part 2

This course is required to earn the following designations: RPA, CEBS

This course provides strategic insights into today’s most pressing challenges that accompany the sponsoring of defined contribution plans in a volatile, global world. From the outset, the course seeks to impart the fundamentals of investment management that should be mastered in order to effectively design, administer and monitor an array of investment choices within a retirement plan. Benefits professionals will find the information on investment principles compelling both from an institutional perspective in their role overseeing plans and on a personal level as empowering, assuming their plan allows participant investment direction. In addition to its coverage of investment topics, the course also reviews research findings from behavioral finance and how these findings can be relevant in plan design and administration. Plan governance and how wealth can be enhanced through prudent retirement plan distribution planning are also topics covered by the course.

Topics covered in RPA 2

  • Retirement Plan Investing
  • Balancing Risk and Return
  • Portfolio Management Issues
  • Investment Managers and Plan Intermediaries
  • Active and Passive Investment Strategies
  • Insights From Behavioral Finance
  • Target-Date and Life Cycle Funds Hybrid
  •  Retirement Plan Approaches
  • Plan Sponsor Administrative Responsibilities
  • Participant Services
  • Fiduciary Oversight and Plan Governance
  • Distribution Planning and Wealth Management

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Resources for RPA 2


Successful completion of comprehensive exam
Exam opens April 15, 2018



RPA 2 Study Guide, including online access to the modules and practice exam
Available spring 2018



Retirement Plans
12th Edition 
Allen, Melone, Rosenbloom and Mahoney, editors, McGraw-Hill, 2017. 
(This text is also used in RPA 1.)  
Available spring 2018

Essential                                      $150

Retirement Plan Investing Essentials      
Mahoney and Maniaci, editors, XanEdu, Inc., 2018.
Available spring 2018



Instructor-led online class
12-week session begins fall 2018



Study Guide—Delivered in Print and Online!
The CEBS Study Guide is an essential component for mastering the CEBS material you will be tested on in the examination. Your Study Guide purchase includes both a printed study guide and access to an online environment.

  • Learning Modules provide structured coverage and highlight key elements and critical takeaways of the Assigned Reading. The learning modules draw on readings from Textbooks and journal articles written by leading academics and expert practitioners.
  • Applications are designed to make you think about how what you are learning translates to the work world. Two types of applications are provided throughout the CEBS courses—Benefits in Action and Integrated Cases (Capstone Cases).
  • Practice exam, accessible in the online environment, provides immediate results indicating the areas that may need additional study, along with page reference sources and an explanation of correct responses.


A textbook and/or supplementary readings are required for each course, providing the theory and content of the topics covered in the study guide.

Instructor-led online class​

Need a little push to stay on track or the security of expert and peer support? Online classes are for you. Guided classes provide access to instructors, a structured time frame and peer interaction.


Frequently Asked Questions

Still looking for more information? Check out CEBS FAQ for further details on curriculum updates.