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 Certified PA Public Retirement Plan Professional


An educational certification opportunity for public pension trustees,
pension administrators and staff, and industry professionals


New Certification Program Announced 

2023 Certification


PAPERS is the only Commonwealth-wide organization dedicated solely to the education of governmental retirement plan trustees, plan administrators and plan service providers.  Pennsylvania law requires public entities who have a retirement plan to establish a board of trustees to oversee the plan and instructs the chief administrative officer to file actuarial valuation and experience investigation reports to the appropriate Commonwealth authority.  As an elected official, you have a fiduciary responsibility to these plans that cannot be delegated.  You can outsource many of your duties associated with the plan,  but you cannot outsource your responsibility. Learning what your actual fiduciary responsibility entails is your first step in understanding the seriousness of your role.


Ignorance is NOT defensible in a court of law, neither is turning a blind eye


PAPERS certification program is the single best way to immediately understand the breadth and depth of how a governmental retirement plan should be operated.  The program will introduce the critical foundational concepts you need and is open to all public and private sector professionals providing services to public retirement plans in Pennsylvania. This may include plan trustees, internal plan administrative staff, plan sponsor management, plan service providers, auditors and financial advisors. 



Certified PA Public Retirement Plan Professional

Program Goals & Objectives

To provide an educational setting that is conducive to developing well informed public pension trustees, pension administrators and staff, as well as industry professionals who work closely with pension systems

  • To provide an educational setting that enables participants to be actively and meaningfully involved in the management of the pension plans they represent
  • To provide an educational setting to prepare participants to meet the standards their fiduciary role demands upon acceptance of their position with a pension system
  • To develop a standard of education and industry competency so that each individual working with a retirement system in their capacity protects the retirement security of the Pennsylvania public pension plan beneficiaries




Program Enrollment

Click here to access the certification program application form. 

Submit the completed form either by mail or e-mail.    See details below under “Program Cost” for more information about submitting the application and required payment.


Program Cost

The one-time enrollment fee of $499 is payable by three methods: 

  • To pay by check.  Please make check payable to:  PAPERS and return with application to: PAPERS, P.O. Box 61543, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1543
  • To pay by credit card or PayPal.  Near the bottom of this page click on the drop down box and follow the directions to pay the application fee.  If a completed application has not already been submitted, please do so either by mail to:  PAPERS, PO Box 61543, Harrisburg, PA  17106-1543 or scanned, saved and e-mailed to:  
  • To pay by ACH transfer.  Please contact PAPERS by e-mail to request the bank account and routing information you’ll need to pay by this method.   If you require a signed form to initiate the ACH transaction, please send the form to this e-mail address and it will be completed/returned promptly.  Then, submit your completed membership application as note in #2 above so it can be matched with the ACH payment.



After submitting a course enrollment form and payment of the one-time fee, individuals will receive an authorization code giving access to the on-line modules.   Modules may be taken at one’s leisure to be completed within six months of enrollment.  At the conclusion of each module, participants will take an on-line test to check their understanding of the material.   The test may be re-taken any number of times until a passing grade is received.

Participants will receive written notification upon successful completion of the three on-line modules.  The next step in the certification process is attendance at three of the next four PAPERS conferences (held each spring and fall).   After attending the required number of conferences, participants will be awarded the Certified PA Public Retirement Plan Professional designation.   Public recognition of this achievement will be provided at PAPERS conferences, on the website and in newsletters.

Continuing education will be required to maintain this designation.

PAPERS Certification Program




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PAPERS, PO Box 61543, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1543