The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) announced Thursday the launch of a new association to serve advisors in the 401(k) market.

NAPA logoThe National Association of Plan Advisors is a professional society dedicated to serving advisors on employer-sponsored retirement plans.

NAPA’s role will largely be that of advocate, but business intelligence and networking will also be part of the new association’s duties.

“First and foremost, NAPA is about advocacy,” Brian Graff, executive director and CEO of ASPPA, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Washington policymakers underestimate the role plan advisors play in the retirement industry.”

Graff cited the debate over uniform fiduciary standards, fee disclosure and the definition of investment advice under ERISA as examples of current issues in play in Washington.

“Given our economic uncertainty and the debate over the future of 401(k) plans, there has never been a more important time for retirement plan advisors to provide a unified and strong voice on these issues,” he said.

Among the resources available to NAPA members are webcasts, newsletters, briefing calls and registration discounts at the ASPPA 401(k) Summit.

“Any advisor who provides investment advice or consulting to retirement plans should consider membership with NAPA,” Marcy Supovitz, NAPA president and principal of Boulay Donnelly & Supovitz Consulting Group Inc., said in a statement. “This is your way to stay close to the debate—get involved and make your voice heard. Think of NAPA as a source for business intelligence you can’t get anywhere else.”