The Spark Institute
SHAPING AMERICA'S RETIREMENT


SPARK INSTITUTE COMMITTEES

SPARK committees provide discussion forums, educational and networking opportunities, and the chance to lend your voice to guide our retirement agenda. Committee involvement helps professionals to keep up with industry issues and engage with peers.

Our issue-specific committees provide members with opportunities to discuss emerging industry issues, network with peers and learn from other industry experts. Groups generally meet monthly or quarterly and are included in SPARK Institute membership dues, unless otherwise noted.

Consider becoming involved. For more information on participation, contact Marlene Jung at marlene@sparkinstitute.org

Government Relations Committee (GRC)

Purpose: One of SPARK's most active committees, it allows members to share their views on legislative and regulatory issues and shape The SPARK Institute's Washington agenda. The GRC also provides vital education assistance to members with regular updates on legislative and regulatory topics.

Time commitment:

  • Monthly committee meetings (by phone): one hour 
  • Two in person meetings a year, following each SPARK conference

Qualifications: If your organization holds an Advisory Board Level membership with The SPARK Institute, anyone from your company can participate.

 


 

Business Ideas & Exchange Committee

The Ideas & Exchange committee is responsible for identifying new trends, products and services for the DC Plan market. This group helps bring these ideas to members through agenda topics for the annual SPARK National Conference and Forum.

Time commitment: 

  • Quarterly committee meetings (by phone): one hour

Qualifications: If your organization holds an Advisory Board Level membership with The SPARK Institute, anyone from your company can participate.

 


 

Data Security Oversight Board

This newly formed oversight board has been established to address growing concerns over cybercrime. The role of the board will be to establish uniform standards for recordkeepers and to select an agent to monitor compliance.

The agent will oversee certification of SPARK member organizations to ensure they meet established criterion. Member firms can use the certification when responding to plan sponsor consultant RFPs.

Time commitment:

  • Monthly committee meetings at minimum
  • This working committee may meet more frequently to address specific issues

Qualifications: Board participation is open to all industry members and plan sponsor consultants.

 


 

Investment Roundtable Committee 

The Investment Roundtable helps to identify investment trends in DC Plan Administration and drive topics for SPARK’s two premiere retirement industry conferences.

Time commitment:

  • Quarterly committe meetings (by phone): one hour

Qualifications: If your organization holds an Advisory Board Level membership with The SPARK Institute, anyone from your company can participate.

 


 

Certification Committee

We offer two designations for individuals who engage with plan sponsor clients and participants:
  • Accredited Retirement Plan Specialist (ARPS) – for record keeping and client services personnel
  • Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant (ARPC) – for plan sales and marketing staff

This committee is responsible for the development, evaluation and administration of all certification program policies, procedures and activities.

Time commitment:

  • Quarterly committee meetings (by phone): one hour

Qualifications: If your organization holds an Advisory Board Level membership with The SPARK Institute, anyone from your company that holds a valid designation may participate.

 


 

File 403(b) Committee 

This committee was established in 2008 to standardize the file format for 403(b) multi-vendor plans as a result of new regulations. This committee re-forms as needed to recalibrate file standards.

There is an effort underway to transform this group into the SPARK Standards committee because of a recognized need to address other shared industry standards.

Time commitment:

  • Meet as needed to address specific issues

Qualifications: If your organization holds an Advisory Board Level membership with The SPARK Institute, anyone from your company can participate.