Retirement planning is far more than a bulleted item in a list of fiduciary services. It’s a highly specialized area of financial expertise—one we’ve practiced with passion since 1945, right here in Western Massachusetts. Meet the specialists whose knowledge, experience, and client-focused commitment have made Pension & Benefits Associates the region’s premier independent resource of its kind.
Mark F. Shea, CLU®, RPA, AIF®
Owner and President
Mark earned a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1978 and completed postgraduate work at UCLA. He went on to pursue a sales management career at UNUM, supporting and supervising sales staff in California, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC. In 1983, Mark completed his Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) certification at The American College.
In 1994, Mark became vice president of sales at Aetna Health Plans in the group insurance division. There, he led more than 500 sales and service personnel in the distribution and sales of managed disability products, long-term care, and a variety of group life insurance products. In 1996, Mark purchased an interest in Pension & Benefits Associates, Inc., before purchasing all of the company’s remaining shares in 2000. In 2003, Mark completed his Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) certification from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and earned his Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation in 2005.
Jennifer A. Cooke, CRPS®, AIF®
Retirement Plan Consultant
Jennifer joined Pension & Benefits Associates, Inc., in 2012, bringing with her more than 15 years of experience in the retirement services industry. Jennifer’s prior roles include positions with MassMutual Financial Group; Benefits Consulting Group, LLC; and The Retirement Advantage, LLC. Jennifer currently holds FINRA Series 6, 63, and 65 securities registrations through Commonwealth Financial Network®. Jennifer has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) and Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist® (CRPS®) designations. Jennifer demonstrates a thorough understanding of the design, implementation, and ongoing administration of qualified retirement plans, and employs those skillsets when assisting plan sponsors of all types and sizes.
Jennifer resides in Belchertown, Massachusetts, with her family. While she devotes the majority of her free time to her grandson, Max, she is also an avid outdoor enthusiast. Gardening, boating, hiking, and riding ATVs are just a few of the activities that she enjoys with her friends and family.
Michael P. Shea, AIF®
Michael earned a bachelor of business administration in finance from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Isenberg School of Management in 2010. Michael joins Pension & Benefits Associates, Inc., in 2018 after several years of working for some of the largest retirement service providers and asset managers in the industry. He has had the honor of working for Empower in Denver, helping clients move their 401(k) plans, then joined the sales world selling investment solutions to retirement plans for Columbia Threadneedle Investments and most recently for BlackRock. He currently holds FINRA Series 6,7, 63, and 65 securities registrations through Commonwealth Financial Network® and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation. Michael will call on all his previous experience to help clients solve financial problems, plan for their future, and plan and meet their financial goals.
Michael resides in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, with his fiancée, Marissa, and their dog Nugget. He is an avid Boston sports fan, an outdoor enthusiast, and self-proclaimed retirement geek.