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American Retirement Association Statement on Litigation Initiated by CFA Institute Alleging Trademark Infringement

ARLINGTON, VA – In response to trademark infringement litigation recently initiated by CFA Institute, the American Retirement Association has issued the following statement:

“We were extremely disappointed that CFA Institute chose to file a civil lawsuit regarding alleged trademark infringement, rather than allow the administrative tribunal of the US Patent and Trademark Office to conclude its review of the merits of their claims, a process which was already underway.

We vigorously disagree with CFA Institute’s claim that confusion will be created in the marketplace between their Chartered Financial Analyst name and program, which focuses on investment management  professionals, and NAPA’s Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor name and program, which has as its exclusive focus advisors to workplace retirement plans who deal with ERISA’s fiduciary and prohibited transaction rules and regulations involving 401k retirement plans. 

If any marketplace confusion needed to be dispelled regarding workplace retirement plan advisors, it was whether such advisors are acting in a fiduciary capacity or not.  This is why the American Retirement Association has always supported a fiduciary standard and why we created NAPA’s Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor program for those advisors wishing to hold themselves out as fiduciaries of workplace retirement plans.

While we remain open to an amicable resolution of this matter, we remain steadfast in our belief that those willing and qualified to work as fiduciary advisors for America’s 401k plans need to be recognized, and consider NAPA’s Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor credential a vital component of that professional commitment”.

About the American Retirement Association

The American Retirement Association, based in the Washington, D.C. area, is a non-profit professional organization established to empower retirement plan professionals who are dedicated to building a better retirement for Americans. The American Retirement Association is comprised of five premier retirement industry associations; the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), the National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA), and the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA).

Media Contact: Nevin E. Adams, JD, Chief Content Officer, American Retirement Association, 703.516.9300 Ext. 114, NAdams@usaretirement.org