Ascend is the industry’s most comprehensive education conference providing training, certification, and continuing education to financial professionals for over 30 years. Strengthen your competitive advantage with certified expertise, industry insights, and networking.

Course Overview

Your needs have changed as the retirement industry has evolved. Ascensus understands the demands financial organizations face to keep up with regulatory changes. And regulatory changes influence industry trends, so remaining competitive in the market presents a need to focus on industry expertise. Join Ascensus’ highly-educated consultants at Ascend as they share their expertise and knowledge, along with the latest industry developments.

Take your career to the next level at Ascend.
In addition to taking classes based on your interest and skill level, Ascend also provides the opportunity to earn an industry designation.

Below is a sampling of course titles (titles subject to change).

IRA Topics

2022 IRA Reporting—What You Need to Know*
CIS II Exam Prep Workshop*
Common IRA Questions and How to Find the Answers
Employer Plan Options—SEP and SIMPLE Plans
IRAdirect® Death Claims Process
IRA Amendments—What, How, and When
IRA Compliance—How to Identify and Address Issues
IRA Conversions and Special Portability Topics*
IRA Excess Contributions and How to Handle Them*
IRA Fundamentals
IRA Legal Issues
IRA Update
IRA Withholding Requirements and Using the New Withholding Forms*
Roth IRAs—What To Know
The RMD Process of IRAdirect®
What’s in Your IRAdirect® Toolbox

IRA/Qualified Plan Topics

Beneficiary Basics—First Things First
Exploring Penalty-Free QRP and IRA Distributions
HSAs, 401(k)s, and 529s—Maximizing Your Savings
IRA and QRP Beneficiary Options*
IRA and QRP Complex Beneficiary Concepts
IRA and QRP Prohibited Transactions—What Owners Can’t Do
Portability Topics for IRAs and QRPs*
Required Minimum Distributions—Yes, You Have to Take a Distribution!*
RMD Regulations
Social Security—Part of the Retirement Puzzle

HSA Topics

CHSP Exam Prep Workshop
HSA Certification Workshop
HSA Fundamentals
HSAs—Beyond the Basics

Qualified Plan Topics

403(b) and 457—Let the Truth Be Told
Defined Benefit Plans—Back to the Future
QRP Distributions and Plan Loans
QRP Fundamentals
QRP Legal Issues
QRP Update
Where Did they Go?—How to Find Missing Plan
Participants, IRA Owners, and Beneficiaries


College Savings Plans


You can earn both the CIS I and CIS II designations in less than 12 months with FastTrack.

Step 1 - Register for IRA University and the Certified IRA Specialist I (CIS I) exam.

Step 2 - Register for Ascend and the CIS II exam. Using a special coupon code, save $402 on your Ascend registration (coupon code provided in your IRA University registration confirmation email)

Step 3 - Participate in the IRA University six-week blended course and pass the exam to receive your CIS I certification.

Step 4 - Attend Ascend and pass the exam to earn your CIS II certification.

Denver, CO

September 19-21, 2022

Embassy Suites Downtown Denver
1420 Stout Street
Denver, CO 80202

Room Rate: $229
Room discount cut-off date: August 18, 2022

Orlando, FL

November 14-16, 2022

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
6601 Adventure Way
Orlando, FL 32819

Room Rate: $209
Room discount cut-off date: October 11, 2022

Professional Development

The best way to show continued proficiency in an ever-changing industry is to earn a designation or continuing education (CE) credits.
Ascend prepares you for the CIS II and the CHSP exams, and it also qualifies for CE credits for more than 25 industry designations.

Designations eligible for CE credit include:

  • CFP
  • CISP
  • CRSP
  • CTFA
  • QKA
  • QPA
  • QPFC

For the complete list and number of CE credits, view our Continuing Education Credit Chart

Registration Fees

Registration Fee: $1,399

Exam Fees
CIS II – $299
The optional exam is taken electronically at your office within 30 days of attending Ascend.

CHSP – $299
The optional CHSP exam is taken electronically at your office within 30 days of attending Ascend.


Breakfast - 7 a.m.-8 a.m.
Courses - 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Reception - 5 p.m.-6 p.m.

Breakfast - 7 a.m.-8 a.m.
Courses - 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Breakfast – 7 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Courses – 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Conference Concludes – 12:15 p.m.
Optional CIS II and CHSP Exam Prep Workshops – 1:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Safety Protocols

Ascend 2022 will comply with all large event safety protocols consistent with local mandates and WHO guidelines in effect at the time of the events. The Ascensus team will work closely with the contracted hotels to develop and implement event protocols designed with your health, safety, and comfort in mind. As safety guidelines and requirements change and shift between now and event dates, we will continue to adapt and refine our approach, sharing new developments with you on this resource page as applicable.