Managing Benefit Plans Part 1

The GBA 1 Course (Managing Benefit Plans Part 1) is being extensively revised and a new Study Guide and textbook will be required reading for purposes of the CEBS program and the national exam.  These materials will be available for purchase through Books for Business beginning in October 2022. The updates will be reflected in exams administered on or after January 15, 2023. These updates cover all modules of the course.

The course details below will be reflected in the exam being offered now through December 15, 2022. 

Managing Benefit Plans Part 1

This course is required to earn the following designations: GBA, CEBS

Benefit plans can be designed, funded and administered by plan sponsors in any number of ways. The overall plan management function (e.g., who makes key decisions, legislative requirements that apply, who is accountable for results) varies depending on the plan sponsor as well as on factors such as complexity and comprehensiveness of coverage, group size, whether benefits are insured and service providers involved. Regardless of the type of plan sponsor or

nature of the benefits plan, some common principles and processes apply. This course examines what is entailed in benefit plan management decisions and factors that impact design, funding and administration options available to plan sponsors. Text-based reading is supported with tax guidance and industry-based practice guidelines.

Topics covered in GBA 1

  • Managing Risk in Benefit Plans
  • Leveraging the Benefits Plan Management Function
  • Applying Functional Analysis to Benefit Plans
  • Designing Benefit Plans
  • Funding Benefit Plans
  • Administering Benefit Plans
  • Processing Benefit Plan Claims
  • Applying the Time Value of Money to Group Insurance
  • Applying Probability to Group Insurance
  • Initial Pricing of Group Insurance Products
  • Establishing Renewal Rates for Group Insurance
  • Marketing a Group Insurance Plan

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Resources for GBA 1


Successful completion of comprehensive exam         



GBA 1 Study Guide, including online access to the guide and practice exam   



Group Benefits Plan Management, 2nd Edition

Ann O'Neill, editor, Advocis, 2015

ISBN 978-1-895477-66-5
(Note: This text is also used in GBA 2.)

*Readings Updates



Online Study Group With Instructor Support
12-week sessions in fall, spring and summer

Success Package                C$636

Save 20% when you purchase the Online Study Group and corresponding Exam Package.



Study Guide—Delivered in Print and Online!

The CEBS Study Guide is an essential component for mastering the CEBS material you will be tested on in the examination. Your Study Guide purchase is made through Books for Business and includes both a printed study guide and access to an online environment.

  • Learning Modules provide structured coverage and highlight key elements and critical takeaways of the Assigned Reading. The learning modules draw on readings from Textbooks and journal articles written by leading academics and expert practitioners.
  • Applications are designed to make you think about how what you are learning translates to the work world. Two types of applications are provided throughout the CEBS courses—Benefits in Action and Integrated Cases (Capstone Cases).
  • Practice exam, accessible in the online environment, provides immediate results indicating the areas that may need additional study, along with page reference sources and an explanation of correct responses.


A textbook and/or supplementary readings are required for each course, providing the theory and content of the topics covered in the study guide.

Online Study Group With Instructor Support

Need a little push to stay on track or the security of expert and peer support? Online study groups are for you. Guided study groups provide access to instructors, a structured time frame and peer interaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still looking for more information? Check out CEBS FAQ for further details on curriculum updates.


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