Meet Your U.S. CEBS Instructor: Kyle Riddle, CEBS, CFP

Meet the CEBS Instructor

When you need to hold yourself accountable for achieving something important, one of the best ways to do so is by joining a community of like-minded individuals seeking to grow in the same ways as you. Consider taking a CEBS® Online Study Group With Instructor Support—a garden of learning for benefits professionals. This offering includes a weekly schedule to set the pace and help you keep your resolve, as well as Study Tools created and curated by your instructor to help you prepare for your CEBS exam! Growing your employee benefits knowledge with the CEBS designation will impress your clients and delight your plan stakeholders. Brightening your employee benefits bouquet in a strategic way attracts the brightest and best employees to your workplace. The CEBS designation will say it all for you—You’re truly a benefits industry expert!

CEBS​​ Online Study Groups are an optional educational resource designed to enhance the self-study approach. Offered over a 12-week session, Online Study Groups set a timeline for completing a CEBS course and are facilitated by established and experienced CEBS professionals. The U.S. spring session runs from January 22-April 12, 2024.

What does an online instructor do?

Your online instructor has many roles, including:

  • Designing all content and activities in your Online Study Group to help you retain knowledge and study for your CEBS exam
  • Facilitating live review sessions
  • Monitoring the discussion forum to provide clarification and guidance to learners
  • Creating discussion questions for each module and Benefits in Action Mini Case to stimulate engagement and enhance learning about employee benefits
  • Sharing their real-world experience about being a benefits professional
  • Answering questions that students submit via the discussion forum, email and private message

A Chat With Kyle Riddle, CEBS, CFP

Kyle Riddle, CEBS, CFP
Financial Advisor
Valeo Financial Advisors, LLC
Instructor: RPA 2—Directing Retirement Plans Part 2

How has earning the CEBS designation enhanced your career?

When I first earned my CEBS designation, it was early in my career in benefits. Although there was an acknowledgement among peers that this was an important and relevant accomplishment, what I think helped me the most was the knowledge I gained from the program. It gave me significantly more confidence in making recommendations and presenting them to colleagues and clients. I now work as a financial advisor. I’m not directly involved in the benefits space, but I use knowledge and skills from the designation and my experience working in employee benefits all the time by helping clients navigate their employer benefit selections and retirement plan options.

What will benefits professionals learn from taking RPA 2?

RPA 2 focuses on the internal aspects of retirement plans. It delves into investment and portfolio criteria, including risk and return calculations, and several other ways to compare and review investment selection. There is even a section on wealth management. The information in RPA 2 will help any benefits professional reviewing a retirement plan, but it is also helpful for anyone who participates in a retirement plan or invests. The course covers critical concepts involving mathematical formulae and compliance topics. Conceptually, the entire course is important for anyone looking to learn more about retirement plan construction and implementation.

Are there any interesting current events or regulatory updates related to concepts the RPA 2 course explores?

The big question in the retirement plan space is, “When will we see implementation of the fiduciary rule?” Although some version of this rule has nearly come to pass since 1975, there was a big push during the Obama administration in 2015 to finally implement fiduciary standards for plan sponsors. Industry pushback and a court decision in 2018 led to an indefinite suspension of final implementation, but the Department of Labor under President Biden has reissued the rule as recently as October 31. It is currently under a sixty-day comment window. The final rule would impose a fiduciary requirement upon plan sponsors. If we consider the definition of fiduciary as “acting in the client’s best interests,” impressing this standard makes sense. However, the increased regulatory burden and more importantly liability, for plan sponsors must be considered and has proved to be the obstacle blocking this rule in the past.

What are your best study tips for CEBS students?

Study all the time! There are so many minutes in between meetings or calls that can be used to review flashcards or skim through a section of text. Always have study materials on your person to take advantage of these times. Use all the resources available to you. Carefully read both the Study Guide and the textbook. Often when we read the same subject from two sources, one will resonate more than the other. If we don’t draw on both, we might miss details offered by the source we would have interpreted better. If you’re enrolled in a CEBS Online Study Group, consider attending the live review sessions and actively participating in the discussion forum. If you get stuck, you can ask your instructor for help. Writing a discussion post with your questions and comments about topics covered in the course will benefit from others’ knowledge applied to your sticking points.

Why would you encourage benefits professionals to earn the CEBS designation?

I heartily encourage anyone in the benefits field to earn the CEBS designation. It will advance your professional knowledge extensively and it opens a new world in terms of contacts within the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) and your local chapter. Benefits is a dynamic field that requires a strong knowledge base and constant learning, both of which can be gained with a CEBS designation, by staying CEBS Compliant and with ISCEBS membership at the national and local level. With my experience, I’m considered a resource to others for employee benefits information, but even more so from the knowledge I’ve gained from the CEBS program.

The 12-week spring session of the U.S. Online Study Groups With Instructor Support runs from January 22-April 12, 2024. Jump in anytime and get access to materials from previous weeks.

Do you need additional guidance on your CEBS journey? Whether you’re about to take your first step or getting close to reaching your designation, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (800) 449-2327, option 3, or email