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Administrative Issues of Defined Benefit Plans

The Administrative Issues of Defined Benefit Plans (DB) exam builds on the material learned from the RPF Certificate Program, which deals with basic terms and definitions within operation of a private employer’s qualified retirement plan, and includes fundamentals such as: nondiscrimination, coverage, preferential tax-treatment, reporting and disclosure, and vesting. The DB exam concentrates on basic issues of defined benefit plans and is primarily meant for the administrator rather than the plan actuary.

Download the full syllabus for the DB program. Anyone seeking to take this program must read the ASPPA CE Policy and the ASPPA Exam Policy.

It is presumed that a candidate sitting for the DB examination will have the knowledge of material covered in the Retirement Plan Fundamentals (RPF) Modules. In addition to testing the knowledge of the material included in the syllabus, the DB examination is intended to test the candidate’s knowledge of the underlying principles and the candidate’s ability to apply those principles when solving problems encountered in practice.

DB Exam

The DB examination consists of 60 multiple choice questions, and candidates have 2½ hours to complete it. Candidates will receive a grade immediately upon completing the exam. Exams are given at Prometric Testing Centers during the examination window.

Register here or by:

Fax: Complete the proctored exam registration form with credit card payment and fax to 703-516-9308. Allow 5-7 business days for processing. If faxing your registration please do not send a copy via mail.

Mail: Complete the proctored exam registration form and mail with payment to ASPPA, P.O. Box 34725, Alexandria, VA 22334-0725. All forms of payment are accepted: credit card, check or money order. Allow 7-10 business days for processing.

Once registered, eligibility emails will be sent to the candidate. The eligibility email has detailed instructions on scheduling an appointment with Prometric. It is the candidate’s responsibility to schedule an exam. We strongly recommend scheduling an appointment upon receipt of the confirmation letter as testing centers fill up quickly. To find a Prometric testing center visit

Required Reading

Recommended Reading

Supplementary Material

Purchase publications with the Publications Order Form.

CE Credits

Candidates receive 20 CE credits with a passing grade on the exam, and 15 credits for a failing grade. Credits will be applied to the CE cycle in which the score is issued. For more information on CE, click here.