A group representing pension professionals recently underwent a name change in order to better represent the retirement plan professional. The new American Retirement Association will focus on education and advocacy efforts.
There’s a new association for those in the retirement industry. Well, kind of new.
After almost 50 years as the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), the 20,000-plus member organization announced last week that it was rebranding, along with three other associations, and will henceforth be known as the American Retirement Association (ARA). The announcement reflects the growth and change in the types of professionals the industry now encompasses.
“Our membership base has expanded dramatically over the past several years,” Brian Graff, ARA executive director and CEO said in a statement. “This new name and structure allows us to better acknowledge and represent the distinct perspectives of an expanding array of retirement plan professionals in a dynamic and complex legislative and regulatory environment.”
Along with ASPPA, the newly launched association also includes the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries, the National Association of Plan Advisors, and the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association, all three of which will operate under the ARA umbrella. All together, ARA membership includes business owners, actuaries, consultants and administrators, to insurance professionals, financial advisors, accountants, attorneys, and human resource managers.
Membership growth in all four organizations has more than doubled over the last 10 years, Graff told InsuranceNewsNet. This expansion reflects an increase in the types of retirement plans available and the number of Americans saving for retirement through a work-sponsored program, as well as a growing acceptance of the “retirement plan professional” as a distinct job within the industry.
The increase in formality and recognition has led to greater expectations around the knowledge, education, and credentials of these professionals, Graff added.
Education and advocacy are two of ARA’s major goals. Along with its sister associations, ARA will work to address retirement issues with regard to the “dynamic and complex legislative and regulatory environment,” Graff told InsuranceNewsNet.
In addition to the name change, the associations’ rebranding efforts include a new website and logo, featuring the proverbial nest egg.
“Our new brand incorporates the image of that retirement nest egg as well as a protective shield representing our members’ work in protecting and preserving that nest egg,” ARA Chief of Marketing and Communications, Nevin Adams, said in a statement.