Like many, the retirement industry has an extensive and growing list of commonly used terms and acronyms.  Though retirement plan providers and professionals try to refrain from using jargon, it many times slips into the conversation.  To help, I constructed the following lists to serve as quick reference when in doubt of the terminology being used.

The reference lists are divided into three categories:

  1. Designations, Accreditations and Titles
  2. Organizations and Entities
  3. Common Terms

This summary covers #1 and #2.  I will soon follow up with #3 (Common Terms) in a future posting.  To learn more on each one, simply click on the underlined abbreviation and the link will take you to their organization`s website.

Designations, Accreditations and Titles:

AIF ®– Accredited Investment Fiduciary
BD – Broker Dealer
CAIA– Chartered Alternative Investments Analyst
CEBS– Certified Employee Benefits Specialist
CFA®– Chartered Financial Analyst
CFP®– Certified Financial Planner
ChFC®– Chartered Financial Consultant
CIMA®– Certified Investment Management Analyst
CIO – Chief Investment Officer
CPA– Certified Public Accountant
CRSP– Certified Retirement Services Professional
ERPA– Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent
FSA– Fellow of the Society of Actuaries
QKA– Qualified 401k Administrator
QPA– Qualified Pension Administrator
QPFC– Qualified Plan Financial Consultant
RIA– Registered Investment Advisor

Organizations & Entities

ARA– American Retirement Association (includes ASSPA, PSCA and NAPA)
CIEBA– Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets
DOL– Department of Labor
EBSA– Employee Benefits Security Administration (an agency within the DOL)
ERIC– ERISA Industry Committee
IRI – Insured Retirement Institute
DCREC– Defined Contribution Real Estate Council
DCALTA– Defined Contribution Alternatives Association
DCIIA– Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association
NAGDCA– National Association of Government DC Administrators
NAREIT – National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts
NASRA– National Association of State Retirement Administrators
PBGC– Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
SEC – U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
SHRM – Society for Human Resource Management
SPARK– Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Recordkeepers

Stay tuned for #3 (Common Terms) in my next posting.