Program’s history coincides with exponential growth in Cash Balance plans
Los Angeles, CA – Kravitz, Inc., an Ascensus company, is proud to announce the 10-year anniversary of Cash Balance Coach®, the nation’s first training and certification program for financial advisers and retirement plan professionals seeking to enter the fast-growing Cash Balance plan market.
The growth and success of the Cash Balance Coach program—which boasts 1,850 alumni—has coincided with a dramatic rise in the number of Cash Balance plans adopted nationwide, from just over 3,500 active plans in 2008 when Cash Balance Coach first launched, to almost 23,000 active Cash Balance plans today.
Also known as “hybrid” plans, Cash Balance plans combine the high contribution limits of traditional defined benefit plans with the flexibility and portability of a 401(k). Until the passage of the 2006 Pension Protection Act (PPA), the plans were largely unknown, limited in use, and needed legal clarification. The PPA and subsequent IRS regulations issued in 2010 and 2014 made Cash Balance plans simpler and easier for employers to adopt.
“We created Cash Balance Coach training and the Cash Balance Consultant (CBC) designation since we were spending a lot of time answering questions from financial advisers—helping them understand the Cash Balance concept and explaining how these plans are different from both 401(k) and traditional defined benefit plans,” said Dan Kravitz, head of Kravitz. “We were also speaking frequently at industry events and adviser meetings, and there was no educational option to meet this obvious educational need.”
“It made sense for us to consolidate all the informal training we were doing and offer a comprehensive educational program with a designation that can be a powerful marketing differentiator,”
Cash Balance Coach is a web-based training program with four modules covering everything from “Cash Balance 101” basics to an overview of compliance testing, plan design case studies, investment strategies, the impact of legislative changes, and many other topics. Each seminar is taught by a leading expert, including the top Cash Balance actuary at Kravitz, the firm’s plan design director, and leading sales consultants. An online exam follows with the opportunity to earn Kravitz’s CBC certification.
“Our goal is to empower advisers to bring all the benefits of Cash Balance plans to their clients, helping reduce the tax burden and catch up on delayed retirement savings,” Kravitz noted. “We continuously update the curriculum based on law changes, the tax environment, and other factors that impact the Cash Balance market. It has become so popular that many of our competitors have enrolled!”
Following the success of the program, Kravitz published a book on the topic, “Beyond the 401(k),” and expanded web-based training with frequent national webinars on such topics as tax reform and strategic plan terminations.
The latest live series starts October 16, with online registration at https://www.cashbalancedesign.com/
Since 1977, Kravitz, an Ascensus company, has delivered the latest in design, administration, and management of corporate retirement plans. The company designed its first Cash Balance plan in 1989. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company has offices in New York, Chicago and Atlanta, with satellite offices in 11 other states. Kravitz was acquired by Ascensus, Inc. in 2017. Visit CashBalanceDesign.com.
Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit ascensus.com. View career opportunities at careers.ascensus.com.