Ascend IRA Conference from Ascensus



Ascend is the industry’s most comprehensive education conference offering basic and advanced courses on: retirement, health, and education savings plans and industry trends.

Earn Your CE Credits

Ascend qualifies for CE credits for more than 20 industry designations.

View our CE Credits Chart for more details.

Earn Your Designations

The Certified IRA Specialist II (CIS II) and Certified Health Savings Professional (CHSP) exams are offered online after the conference. If you’ve registered for the exam, when you arrive at Ascend, you’ll receive a printed study guide that contains the recommended courses to best help you prepare. There will also be an additional exam prep workshop at the end of the conference.


Course Overview

Whether you’re interested in learning the fundamentals or want to explore more advanced topics, Ascend courses cover all aspects of retirement, health, and education savings plans. Below is a sampling of course titles.

IRA Topics

  • Advanced IRA Issues: Taking Penalty-Free Distributions
  • CIS II Exam Prep Workshop
  • Employer Options: SEP Plans and SIMPLE IRAs
  • Handling IRA Excess Contributions
  • Intro to IRAs
  • IRA Legal Issues
  • IRA Reporting
  • IRA Update
  • Roth IRAs: What You Should Know
  • Withholding Requirements for IRAs


IRA/Quaified Plan Topics

  • Advanced Beneficiary Topics for IRAs and QRPs
  • Advanced Portability for IRAs and QRPs
  • Automatic Rollovers: What You Should Know
  • Beneficiary Options for Deaths in 2020 and Beyond
  • Finding a Strategy for Missing Participants
  • Introduction to Beneficiary Options
  • Required Minimum Distributions


HSA Topics

  • CHSP Exam Prep Workshop
  • HSA Advanced Concepts
  • HSA Certification Workshop
  • HSAs: Exploring Their Advantages
  • Introduction to HSAs


Qualified Plan Topics

  • Introduction to QRPs
  • QRP Legal Issues
  • QRP Update
  • Small Business Options: Focus on Solo(k) Plans


See our FAQs on Ascend


We’re still finalizing our plans for Ascend 2024, but our 2023 information below can give you a good idea of what to expect.


7:00 – 7:45


7:45 – 8:00

Ascend Welcome

8:00 – 9:00

General Session

9:15 – 10:30

SECURE 2.0 – IRA Focus

10:45 – 12:00

IRA Basic Concepts

IRA Owner Tax Forms and You

SECURE 2.0 – QRP Focus

IRAdirect® Toolbox – What You Need to Know

12:00 – 1:00


1:00- 2:15

The Basics of HSAs

Required Minimum Distributions – Yes, They Are Required*

QRP Legal Issues

IRA Withholding – Things Have Changed

2:30- 3:45

Maximizing Savings Options (HSA, 401(k), ESA, or 529)

 Advanced IRA and QRP Portability*

 IRA Amendments – Is Now the Time?

 It’s All About Roth IRAs

4:00- 4:45

Q&A Session

5:00 – 6:00

Welcome Reception


7:00 – 7:45


7:45 – 8:00

Daily Announcements

8:00 – 9:00

General Session

9:15 – 10:30

Fraud – What You Need to Know

IRA Special Portability and Conversions – It’s All About Movement!*

SEP vs SIMPLE – What to Know

Required Minimum Distributions – Yes, They Are Required*

10:45 – 12:00

HSA Problems Solved

Taking the Worry Out of Excess Contributions*

IRA and QRP Complex Beneficiary Issues

Beneficiary Claims Processing in IRAdirect

12:00 – 1:00


1:00 – 2:15

Industry News ’23

IRA and QRP Beneficiaries – Know the Process*

Self-Directed IRAs and Alternative Assets

IRA Amendments – Is Now the Time?

2:30 – 3:45

IRA Legal Issues

IRA and QRP Beneficiaries – Know the Options*

RMD Regulations

It’s All About Roth IRAs

4:00 – 4:45

Q&A Session


7:00 – 7:45

Breakfast and Closing Remarks

8:00 – 12:15

HSA Certification Workshop

8:00 – 9:15

IRA Withholding – Things Have Changed*

Taking The Worry Out of Excess Contributions*

IRA Reporting – Do It Correctly the First Time

9:30 – 10:45

IRA and QRP Beneficiaries – Know the Options*

Just The IRA Facts – No Fiction or Maybe a Little

9:30 – 12:15

IRA Compliance – Is Your Organization In or Out?

11:00 – 12:15

Top 10 IRA Issues

IRA and QRP Complex Beneficiary Issues

12:15 – 1:15

Lunch (available to HSA Workshop and CIS II Exam Workshop attendees only)

1:15 – 4:00

CIS II Exam Prep Workshop*

1:15 – 2:30

HSA Certification Workshop

2:45 – 4:00

CHSP Exam Prep Workshop

*Recommended Course for CIS II Exam

Date/Time: September 9 - 11, 2024
Code: S5079L
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