Managing Retirement Plans Part 1

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Required to Earn



Part of

RPA Designation

(Updated January 2022)

Retirement plans can be designed, funded and administered by plan sponsors in any number of ways. The overall plan management function (e.g., who makes key decisions, legislative requirements that apply, who is accountable for results) varies depending on the type of vehicle used to provide pensions—registered or nonregistered, defined benefit or defined contribution, or a hybrid. Regardless of the type of retirement plan, some common principles and processes apply. RPA 1 examines what is entailed in retirement plan management decisions and factors that impact design, funding and administration options available to plan sponsors and governance requirements. Text-based reading is supported with regulatory guidance and industry-based practice guidelines.

Topics Covered:

  • Designing Registered Pension Plans
  • Designing Non-Pension Registered Retirement Plans
  • Leveraging the Tax Regime in Plan Design
  • Complying with Pension Standards Legislation
  • Establishing Effective Governance
  • Administering Retirement Arrangements
  • Optimizing Plan Funding and Financial Reporting
  • Managing Retirement Plan Assets
  • Addressing Special Provisions—Multi-Employer Pension Plans
  • Managing Special Situations—Plan Terminations, Surplus in Ongoing Plans and Business Reorganizations
  • Other Employer-Sponsored Plans
  • Capstone Case: Managing Retirement Plans in Accordance with Organizational Goals

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Please note: If you are enrolling in a Canadian course, you must purchase your course study guide and textbook(s) through Books for Business. The exam and online study group are purchased through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

Resources For RPA 1


Successful completion of comprehensive exam    


RPA 1 Study Guide, 2nd Edition, including online access to the modules and practice exam

* Readings Updates


Morneau Shepell Handbook of Canadian Pension and Benefit Plans, 17th Edition
ISBN 978-0-433506-99-7


Online Study Group With Instructor Support
12-week sessions offered in spring, summer and fall


Success Package - Save 20%

Save 20% when you purchase the Online Study Group and RPA 1 exam.