New Philadelphia – Rea & Associates, Inc., a regional accounting and business consulting firm, has been certified by CEFEX, Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, LLC, as adhering to the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Standard of Practice for Retirement Plan Service Providers. By successfully completing the independent certification process for service providers, Rea & Associates joins an elite group of firms.
“It is a remarkable achievement to be one of the 48 CEFEX-certified firms in the country. With this certification, it means Rea is in an elite class and puts its clients’ interest first and increases trust across the firm,” said Paul McEwan, CPA, MTax, AIFA, Rea’s director of benefit plan services. “The CEFEX certification fosters a culture of continuous improvement within the firm and increases transparency and accountability of the management team.”
The ASPPA Standard of Practice describes how a service provider of any size or type can help plan sponsors fulfill their fiduciary obligations. CEFEX uses 2 classifications: 1) in-house recordkeeping services and 2) administration services (i.e. third-party administration). The Standard includes best practices for governance, organization, human resources, operations, planning, systems, and disclosure, as defined by a cross-industry task force established in 2007. The Standard is modeled after the “Prudent Practices for Investment Stewards” published by Fi360 Inc.® of Pittsburgh, PA.
“The CEFEX certification provides assurance to fiduciaries and their stakeholders that Rea & Associates has demonstrated adherence to the best practices in the TPA industry,” said Carlos Panksep, managing director of the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence. “The successful completion of the independent assessment is an extraordinary indication of a firm’s accountability to its clients.”
The annual certification process involves a detailed assessment of operational data and procedures, followed by on-site interviews with key personnel. Rea & Associates is registered here, where its certificate can also be viewed. A summary of the Standard can be viewed within the online certificate. More information about the certification can also be found at www.reacpa.com/service/retirement-plan-services/cefex-certified.