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Complaint Procedures

Purpose of This Document
To provide a brief overview of the grievance policies and procedures of the C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee

Complaint (Grievance) Procedures
The following is a brief summary provided to assist you in becoming familiar with the grievance and disciplinary policies of The C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee. Certified 401(k) Professionals are required to maintain high ethical standards, and agree to cooperate with the Ethics and Discipline Committee regarding the investigation of any complaints.

A charge against the conduct or actions of a Certified 401(k) Professional is a matter that The C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee and The Retirement Advisor University in collaboration with UCLA Anderson Executive Education takes very seriously. If you feel that the code of ethics has been violated, it is important that you begin the grievance process so that the matter may be investigated, thoroughly reviewed, and a decision rendered as to if action is warranted.

There is no cost, to you for the grievance process. The C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee, provides for an Ethics and Discipline Committee that determines whether allegations and grievances filed are justified and whether the unethical conduct warrants disciplinary action.

Please be assured that the Ethics and Discipline Committee will investigate your grievance impartially.

When authorized to use The Retirement Advisor University marks, each professional agrees to adhere to a standard of ethics. Each grievance filed is considered very carefully, because a grievance filed may negatively affect the designee’s reputation, career, and potentially effect future income. To establish grounds for disciplinary action takes more than just an allegation. Irrefutable proof established by evidence of unethical misconduct must be presented for the Ethics and Discipline Committee to determine that grounds for discipline exist.

Grievances should relate to unethical misconduct. Certified 401(k) Professionals are held to a high standard of ethics and conduct, however, a Certified 401(k) Professional, like any other professional, may not always respond in the best manner. They may not make the best possible decisions. For example, a disagreement about fees, vendors, or investments, does not necessarily indicate unethical misconduct. An error in judgment does not necessarily constitute unethical misconduct, nor does an unexpected decline or change in market conditions or in securities value.

****When filing a complaint or grievance please note that you will only be contacted in the event of your presence being requested at a review called by the Ethics and Discipline Committee.

Purpose of This Document
To provide a brief overview of the policies and procedures of the C(k)P C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee relating to discipline.

Disciplinary Policy
All C(k)P are subject to the following disciplinary policies and procedures.
 
1. Request For Investigation – Once a written grievance is received a member of the Ethics and Discipline Committee reviews the allegations to determine if further investigation is warranted. This review may include phone conversations with the C(k)P and the individual or group filing the grievance.
2. Investigation – If the Ethics and Discipline Committee member determines that an investigation is warranted, the C(k)P is given written notice of the investigation, the source and nature of the allegations. The C(k)P is given 30 days to file a written response.

a. If no response is received within this time period the allegations may be considered substantiated and a review called. If no response is received within 30 days the allegations and the allegations are considered to be admitted to, the rights to use the C(k)P marks, and be listed on The Retirement Advisor University website as a C(k)P may be revoked.

b. If a written response is received from the C(k)P within 30 days the Ethics and Discipline Committee will review the response and determine if there is probable cause to believe that grounds for discipline may exist.

i. If it is determined that cause for discipline may exist notice of a formal review may be issued to the C(k)P.

ii. If it is determined that no probable cause to believe that grounds for discipline exists the matter is considered concluded.

3. Review Called (response) – In cases which a formal review takes place the complaint will be reviewed by the Ethics and Discipline Committee. The Ethics and Discipline Committee may hold a formal review through any means they determine appropriate, in person, online, or by telephone. The C(k)P is entitled to appear in person, or telephonically, online or to be represented by an agent or counsel of their choice. They have the right to cross examine and present evidence on their own behalf.
4. Determination – If no disciplinary action is to be taken the matter is concluded. If disciplinary action is to be taken the Ethics and Discipline Committee submits its findings and recommendations to the C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee which after considering all the facts and recommendations renders a final decision.
 
Appeal Process
In order for any decision of the Ethics & Discipline Committee or the C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee, regarding discipline, complaints, or grievances, to be reversed a member of the C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee must initiate a review of the decision within sixty (60) days of the final decision. All appeals, requests, and information to C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee members regarding an appeal must be presented in writing to The Retirement Advisor University Program Coordinator who will act as the liaison between the appealing party and the appropriate committee. If a review is decided upon, the C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee will meet privately to review the facts and determine if a change in the decision is appropriate. The C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee may invite any parties they feel may have information that would influence their decision

Forms of Discipline
If grounds for discipline are established, the Ethics and Discipline Committee may recommend, any of the below listed forms of discipline to the chairman of the C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee. The chairman (or an agent of his /her choosing) may impose any of the forms of discipline listed below. All disciplinary actions, except private advisory letters may be made public information at the sole discretion of The C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee. The fact that a private advisory letter has been issued may be made public information at the sole discretion of the chairman of the C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee; however the contents of such letter shall remain private.
  • Private advisory letter
  • Public letter of admonition
  • Suspension of C(k)P designation & rights to use any marks owned by The Retirement Advisor University for a period of time not to exceed five years.
  • Permanent revocation of the C(k)P designation & rights to use any marks owned by The Retirement Advisor University.
Disclaimer:
The C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee, The Retirement Advisor University, Inc. and other associated entities attempt to set, monitor and maintain high standards of practice for all C(k)P designees. C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee, The Retirement Advisor University, Inc., and any other entities associated with the C(k)P designation, The Retirement Advisor University Inc., or any agents or affiliates of the afore mentioned make no claims and hold no responsibility for the job performance, performance of duties, interactions, or transactions, or any other action or inaction that individual C(k)P designees may have with clients, vendors or other entities public or private. These transactions are governed by regulatory bodies and are the sole responsibility of the individual designee and respective governing bodies. Discipline by The C(k)P Standards & Certification Committee, The Retirement Advisor University, Inc. and all affiliated or associated entities are limited to advisory letters, and rights to use the marks and designations owned by these entities.