Most of us learn by doing or we just do things without ever learning. The workplace is full of people saying and doing things that they don't really understand. Now I'm not hating on these folks, but I can usually recognize when someone is talking about or doing something they don't quite comprehend. Mostly because they are unable to answer the most basic question, "why are we doing this?" They know the "how" but not the "why" of what they are doing.
Like I said, I'm not mad at them. I know the feeling of doing something without fully understanding it. It's a feeling that nearly every benefits professional experiences at least once. You see, we are often asked to do things with little or no instruction beforehand. Our boss can't help because he doesn't know how to do it or doesn't want to take the time to teach us; and the person who did it last is either gone or not interested in helping.
So how do you learn and not just do technical work with little or no assistance. You check out what was done before, copy it, and study it. Copy before study? Yes. Sometimes you just need to do the task and worry about understanding it later. But if you do have time to study before copying, by all means do that.
Case Study: Filing Form 5500 for Health & Welfare and Retirement Plans
CEBS stands for Certified Employee Benefits Specialist. It is a prestigious designation, partly because of its association with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Adding to its distinguished status is the difficulty in obtaining it. To get the certification you have to pass eight (8) exams covering a variety of topics, including employee benefits, compensation, finance and economics.
According to the CEBS website just over 13,000 people obtained the CEBS certification in its nearly 40 years of existence. That's not much. Which got me thinking recently, why did I invest the time and money getting the CEBS certification? Should I have put the nearly $5,000 I spent in my IRA? For me the answer to that question is "yes". And for employee benefits professionals like me l would suggest they save their time and money.
Why I Say “No” to CEBS
The problem with the CEBS certification is the usage of the words "employee benefits". A better name would be the Certified Financial and Insurance Benefits Specialist or CFIBS. Continue Reading...