By Chris DeGrassi
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of 403(b) Advisor Magazine. To view a PDF version, please click HERE.
Thank you for being a member of the NTSA. I’m pleased to report that we’ve had an absolutely spectacular 2013! NTSA has continued its advocacy winning streak and is successfully making the shift from defense to offense across the country. In fact, NTSA is looking forward to announcing the completion of at least two successful state legislative initiatives in the coming months. Stay tuned for more!
We should all be proud of NTSA’s policy and advocacy accomplishments. But there is more good news! In 2013, NTSA experienced tremendous growth in membership, accompanied by a sharp increase in member engagement and volunteerism. We are now a professional association of 2,600 members who provide financial and employee benefit services to public education, non-profit and governmental institutions and their employees.
Next year will mark 25 years of NTSA leadership and excellence in providing professional education, credentialing, networking and advocacy for our members.
NTSA is grateful to the founding members and leadership that provided the vision and energy that drove NTSA throughout the years. Because of their efforts, NTSA is truly in a position to say that the best is yet to come!
We are very excited about several new NTSA member benefit programs that will be launched in 2014. These new NTSA initiatives — an enhanced website and e-magazine, the NTSA Top Advisor program and the NTSA Academy — are designed to continue our core mission for members: to advocate, educate and lead.
New website and e-magazine
The new website will mark the next step in the evolution of our interaction with NTSA members, serving as the platform for NTSA member thought leadership on the pressing issues that impact our industry. At its core, the portal will combine two of NTSA’s most popular member benefits, NTSA Market Beat and 403(b) Advisor magazine, into a new e-magazine and resource center.
The resource center will include a library of NTSA research, issue briefs and articles. Members will also be able to easily access NTSA government relations updates, legislative alerts and advocacy tools. This will enable NTSA to flex the collective muscle of our 2,600 members. Also, look for the launch of the new “Ask NTSA” corner by Ellie Lowder. This FAQ list will make it easier for members to answer technical questions and get practice management advice.
NTSA Top Advisor program
The NTSA Top Advisor program will be an annual member recognition program that will recognize the very best advisor members of the NTSA who have done the most to help individual plan participants accumulate assets for retirement. The NTSA Top Advisor program will be launched in cooperation with NTSA strategic partners during the first quarter of 2014. NTSA Top Advisors will be highlighted in practice management articles, participate in Chairman Club roundtable discussions, and receive recognition at the 2014 NTSA 403(b) Summit.
The development of the NTSA Academy is an expansion of our mission to deliver the highest quality professional education to our members. The NTSA Academy will be managed by ASPPA professional staff with the support of NTSA and ASPPA member volunteers. ASPPA has made a significant investment to build a team of skilled curriculum and instructional course development professionals and will implement a new Learning Management System (LMS) to facilitate the delivery of online and on-demand educational resources.
The NTSA Academy will be responsible for the continued enhancement of NTSA’s traditional credentialing and continuing education programs, including the Tax-Exempt & Governmental Plan Consultant credential. And building from the success of our NTSA 403(b) boot camps, the Academy will also develop programs and curriculum for professional development, skills training and certificate programs designed to meet the needs of our dynamic and growing membership.
These new member benefit programs represent our commitment to transform our association and find new ways to provide value for NTSA members. We look forward to an exciting 2014! And we hope to see you at the NTSA 403(b) Summit in Washington, D.C., June 22–24, 2014, to celebrate 25 years of NTSA excellence!
Chris DeGrassi is NTSA’s executive director.