US Labor Secretary Perez announces new appointments, leadership for 2017 ERISA Advisory Council

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WASHINGTONU.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today announced the appointments of five new members to the 2017 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, known as the ERISA Advisory Council. He also announced the incoming chair and vice chair of the council.

“The ERISA Advisory Council is integral to the department’s work in enhancing and preserving the health and retirement benefits of America’s workers,” said Secretary Perez. “The exceptional professionals joining the 2017 council are uniquely qualified to help it accomplish its goals. Their expertise will be a valuable complement to the department’s mission to protect workers’ benefits.”

The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. By law, members of the council serve for staggered three-year terms. Three members are representatives of employee organizations (at least one of whom represents an organization whose members are participants in a multiemployer plan). Three members are representatives of employers (at least one of whom represents employers maintaining or contributing to multiemployer plans). Three members are representatives of the general public. There is one representative each from the fields of insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management and accounting.

Current members Jennifer Kamp Tretheway and Beth A. Almeida will serve as the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the council.

Tretheway is a recently retired trust company executive with Northern Trust, where she worked for 39 years, most recently as senior vice president and managing director of Investment Program Solutions.  She managed client service for institutional tax exempt clients and has experience with outsourcing, overseeing other managers, developing emerging/minority managers, and supervising compliance with ERISA regulatory issues.

Almeida is principal researcher with the Center on Aging at the American Institutes for Research, where she writes on employee benefits, transitions to retirement, and long-term care.  She formerly was executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security. Almeida is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the Gerontological Society of America.

The newly appointed members and the expertise they represent are:

Employee organizations: Douglas L. Greenfield is a member of the Washington D.C. law firm, Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. For 30 years he has been counseling public and private sector single and multiemployer retirement plans, active and retired employee welfare plans, member benefit plans, and labor unions regarding design, compliance, and governance issues that arise in plan administration, portfolio management, corporate transactions, and collective bargaining.

Accounting: Robert A. Lavenberg is a national employee benefit plan audit partner at BDO and has more than 30 years of experience with ERISA. Lavenberg’s expertise spans reporting, government compliance and assessment of tax implications for plans, including qualified retirement, health, welfare, and fringe benefit plans. He is a past chair of the American Institute of CPA’s EBP Audit Quality Center Executive Committee.

Employers: Marjorie F. Mann is senior attorney, Florida Power & Light Company. She advises senior management and benefits staff on ERISA and tax issues related to the design and administration of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans. She has 20 years of experience as an ERISA attorney, including positions at CitiStreet LLC, CSX Transportation, Inc., Day Pitney LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP.

General public: Colleen E. Medill is the Robert and Joanne Berkshire Family Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Professor Medill is an elected fellow at the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Her ERISA textbook, “Introduction to Employee Benefits Law: Policy And Practice,” is used at over 40 law schools.

Insurance: Srinivas Dharam Reddy is a senior vice president at Prudential Retirement, where he is responsible for all aspects of the investments and retirement income businesses. His previous work experience as an insurance company executive includes various product and sales leadership roles for USAA and ING Group.  Reddy holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

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