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New ERISA Advisory Council appointments announced

01.21.13

JANUARY 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

New ERISA Advisory Council appointments announced

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 2nd- The United States Secretary of Labor (DOL) Hilda Solis in Washington, DC, recently announced the appointments of five new members to the 2013 Advisory Council on the Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (ERISA). Ms. Solis also announced the incoming chair and vice chair of the council.

ERISA provides for the establishment of an Advisory Council which duties are to advise the DOL regarding the Secretary’s functions under ERISA.

The council consists of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of Labor. Three members are representatives of employee organizations (at least one of whom represents an organization whose members are participants in a multi-employer plan). Three members are representatives of employers (at least one of whom represents employers maintaining or contributing to multi-employer 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. Members must be qualified to appraise the programs instituted under ERISA. Members are appointed for three-year terms with five terms expiring on December 31 of each year.

“The ERISA Advisory Council is integral to the department’s work in enhancing and preserving the health and retirement benefits of American workers. The exceptional professionals joining the 2013 council are uniquely qualified to help it accomplish its goals. Their expertise will be valuable complement to the department’s mission to protect workers’ benefits,” stated Ms. Solis.

The new members include James Singer, who is partner at the Schuchat, Cook & Werner Law firm in St. Louis, Missouri and will represent one of the seats of the employee organizations. He counsels labor unions and multi-employer benefit plans to the operation and administration of plans, and on compliance with ERISA and the tax code. He also represents employees in claims against employee benefit plans.

The other new appointments are:

• Josh Cohen of Chicago, Illinois, which will represent the investment counseling seat;
• Christina Cutlip of Fairfax, Virginia, which will represent employers on the council;
• Ronald Gebhardtsbauer of State College, Pennsylvania, which will hold the actuarial consulting seat; and
• Paul Secunda of Wilwaukee, Wisconsin, which will represent the general public on the ERISA Advisory Board.

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