Ascensus submits its training programs for numerous IRA designations and certifications, and is recognized as a professional continuing education sponsor. Ascensus offers the opportunity for Ascend or IRA University participants to earn the professional designation of Certified IRA Specialist (CIS).

Certified IRA Specialist I (CIS I)
The CIS I designation demonstrates proficiency in completing basic IRA transactions. Topics include opening IRAs, contribution rules, distribution rules, federal tax withholding, and basic IRA tax reporting.

Certified IRA Specialist II (CIS II)
The CIS II designation demonstrates expertise in a variety of advanced IRA transactions—including excess contributions, recharacterizations, rollovers and transfers, required minimum distributions, conversions, death claim processes, and withholding.

Who Should Pursue the CIS

  • Operations personnel
  • Marketing directors
  • IRA product managers
  • Compliance personnel
  • Database specialists
  • Retail and branch managers
  • Training specialists

How to Obtain CIS Certification
To obtain the CIS I certification, you must attend IRA University. To pursue the CIS II certification, you must attend Ascend. After attending Ascend or IRA University, you will complete an electronic exam. To become certified, you must earn 80 percent or above on the exam within 60 days of completing Ascend or IRA University.

Candidates are not required to earn the CIS I in order to earn the CIS II certification.

Maintaining Your Certification
Participants who have completed the CIS program must earn credits toward renewing their certification. Recertification requires 24 credits earned over the three-year certification period and extends the certification another three years. Those who do not complete the recertification process by December 31 of the year certification expires will have to begin the original certification process again. 

Recertification credits for CIS I must include attendance at Ascend, IRA University or an IRA Institute.

Recertification credits for CIS II must include attendance at Ascend or an IRA Institute.

Next Steps
Contact an Ascensus associate at 800-346-3860, option 2, suboption 3, to discuss our educational opportunities to help you earn your designation.


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