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37th Annual Symposium
August 26-29, 2018
Boston, Massachusetts

2017 Program Brochure

2017 Educational Agenda

Monday | day at a glance | full session descriptions
Tuesday | day at a glance | full session descriptions
Wednesday | day at a glance | full session descriptions

Sunday, August 26

12:00-2:30 p.m.
Local Chapter Leader/New Attendee Luncheon

2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Consulting Practice Owners Forum

5:00 p.m.
CEBS Conferment Ceremony and Reception

Session Information for the 2018 Symposium will be posted in April 2018.

Monday, September 18, 2017


8:00 a.m.


8:15-9:15 a.m.

Keynote: CrazySexyCool: Thoughts and Predictions on the Future of Work
Speaker: Christopher Chan, Innovation Imagineer, Mercer, San Francisco, California

Take a lively look at some of the most important trends shaping today’s workplace and the predictions and questions they continue to raise. With the increased adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, and the different needs and perspectives of a shifting workforce demographic, the modern workplace is in a state of flux. What do the changing expectations of work mean for the benefits you offer, employee engagement and retention, and staying competitive? This interactive and thought-provoking session will explore how these questions will continue to shape the workplace in an always-on society.


9:30-10:30 a.m.

U.S. Legislative Update
Speaker: James Klein, President, American Benefits Council,Washington, D.C.

As the agenda of the new administration continues to unfold, all eyes have been on Washington to learn the potential impact on employee benefit plans in the U.S. Join us for an insightful analysis on potential changes to health and retirement plans, tax policy and entitlement programs. U.S. benefit professionals will get valuable insight into employee benefit policy initiatives and their possible outcomes, while Canadian benefit professionals can gain additional perspective on U.S. legislative issues.

11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

Benefit Plans: The Silent Killer of Your Employees’ Disposable Income
Speaker: Eric Krieg, President, Risk International Benefits Advisors,Fairlawn, Ohio

Health benefit plans, meant to enhance compensation packages, are having the opposite effect, preventing middle-class employees from getting ahead. Benefits managers have a tough job of controlling health plan costs and managing employee satisfaction with plan choices. However, traditional plan management has often inadvertently put employees’ disposable income in a perilous position. Fortunately, reducing employer health care costs and aiding employees’ financial needs are not mutually exclusive. The path to successfully righting the ship for both the company and its employees begins with a fresh approach to plan management and decision making. Your proactive supervision will significantly improve the financial position of many of your employees, as well as business outcomes.

• Understand health plan cost structure and its impact on employees’
  disposable income
• Gain insight into the disparity between employee wage growth and
  health care costs
• Receive new health plan management techniques to improve plan

Implications of Tax Reform on Retirement Plans

Speakers: Jack VanDerhei, Ph.D., CEBS, Research Director, EBRI, Washington, D.C.

This presentation will use the EBRI Retirement Security Projection Model to analyze the impact of retirement policy changes that are currently being discussed with respect to potential retirement reform in Washington. These proposed policy changes are expected to include some or all of the following: 402(g) modification, 415(c) modification, Roth for all/part of employee contributions, tax credit instead of exclusion, expand savers credit, contribution/accrual freeze cap, employer mandates, mandatory autoenrollment and autoescalation, as well as the impact of the various state auto-IRA proposals.

• Impact on participants (coverage, contributions, retirement income
• Impact on plan sponsors (impact on plan design choices)
• Impact on national retirement savings and retirement

HR and Benefits Tech Trends

Speaker: Brad Mandacina, CEBS, HR Technology and Outsourcing Practice, Lockton Companies, Kansas City, Missouri

Who doesn't like to be part of the "next big thing," especially when it comes to technology? Here's your chance! This sessions will share how you can utilize the latest developments in HR and benefits technology and employee engagement - including practical tips you can take back to your own organization.

• HR tech trends in artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, mobile, voice and the Internet of Things (IoT)
• Employee engagement through wearables and gamification
• Additional technology issues, such as 'free tecnology," professional employer organizations (PEOs) and disruptors

Canada Legal/Legislative Update

Speaker: Lisa Chamzuk, Partner, Lawson Lundell, Vancouver, British Columbia

Get an overview and analysis of proposed and recently passed legislation and regulations as well as court decisions affecting pension and health and welfare benefit plans. Activity at the provincial and federal level will be covered along with how it affects your group, retirement and other plans across Canada.

12:00 noon-1:30 p.m.

Lunch and Roundtable Discussions

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Private Exchanges—Four Years Later
Speakers: Mark Bishop, Senior Vice President Associate and Organizational Effectiveness, Terumo BCT, Denver, Colorado
Joseph Harten, CEBS, Principal, Mercer, Cincinnati, Ohio
Sandra Winkle, Human Resources Director, North American Properties, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio

This session will provide attendees with a detailed update of the private insurance exchange environment, including the rationale for private exchanges, current market penetration statistics and key elements of exchange offerings. The session will also focus on two employers’ experiences with their exchange products, including insights into the decision-making process, employee reactions and financial results, and key lessons learned after four years.

• How two employers implemented private exchanges and the results
  they have experienced
• How private exchange products could reduce costs and improve
  choice for other employers
• How private exchanges might grow given potential changes to ACA

Retirement Plan Governance

Speakers: Mary Komornicka, CEBS, Attorney, Larkin Hoffman, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Debra Rosenberg, CEBS, Director of Retirement Plan Consulting, Stiles Financial Services, Edina, Minnesota

As plan sponsor, the role of the Retirement Plan Committee retains a core fiduciary duty that can’t be delegated to service providers. The committee is responsible for investments, compliance, employee education, selection and monitoring of service providers, and plan design. Additionally, many plan service providers have recently increased the range of services they provide to include 3(21), 3(38) and/or 3(16) fiduciary services. Yet the plan sponsor rarely understands these services or their value to their plan. This session will explore the various aspects of plan governance and, through case study examples, show how good plan governance can have positive impact on the overall health of the 401(k) plan as well as delve into distinction of various fiduciary services.

• Understanding of the regulation’s purpose and specific
• Knowledge of what plans are covered and specific steps that need
  to be taken in the near future
• What we can expect in the coming years in benefit plan regulations

Form 5500: The Devil Is in the Details
Speakers: Mary Andersen, CEBS, President, ERISADiagnostics, Inc., Exton, Pennsylvania
Leanne Fosbre, CEBS, Consultant, ERISADiagnostics, Inc., Denver, Colorado

Form 5500 satisfies many reporting requirements and is an excellent tool to learn some of the finer points of ERISA compliance. Get a brief overview of Form 5500 filing requirements, including which plans require a Form 5500, red flags that could trigger a letter or a visit from the government and an overview of the proposed changes to Form 5500. Attendees are encouraged to submit specific questions for an engaging, interactive session.

• Confirm or expand your understanding of Form 5500
• Understand the red flags that could trigger government contact
• Learn about the proposed changes to Form 5500, which could a
  significant effect on plan sponsors and service providers

Pension Changes in Canada— Implications for Employers

Speaker: Jana Steele, Partner, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Toronto, Ontario

Canada’s retirement system is based on government-sponsored programs: CPP/QPP (funded by compulsory employer/employee contributions) and OAS/GIS, employer-sponsored pensions and personal retirement savings. This session will examine proposed changes to Canada Pension Plan and other pension innovations for employer-sponsored plans. With regard to the proposed CPP changes, it will examine issues that may impact a multinational employer (including mobile employees). Further, it will examine implications of CPP enhancement and what plan sponsors should be doing. With regard to other pension innovations for employer-sponsored plans, the session will look at alternatives outside of DB and DC, such as target benefit and PRPPs, including the recent proposed changes to the federal PBSA to enable target benefit plans.

• Pension reform continues to be a significant agenda in Canada
• Employers may need (or wish) to consider plan changes to
  accommodate CPP changes
• With other plan design changes a possibility in some jurisdiction,
  employers may wish to reassess design and/or pension risk

2:45-3:45 p.m.

How to Survive a DOL Audit
Speakers: Lisa Allen, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Relph Benefit Advisors, Fairport, New York

The federal agencies responsible for monitoring compliance of ERISA-governed plans are stepping up their audit efforts across the country, with an increasing focus on health and welfare plans. With DOL, it’s no longer an “If ” but a “When.” This session will review ACA/ERISA–mandated documents and notices and associated potential penalties. Learn what is likely to be covered in an audit of health and welfare plans and what to do to prepare.

• An understanding of all ACA mandates and what should be done
  and when
• An overview of ERISA as it pertains to health and welfare plans and
  the required documents and notices
• Knowledge necessary to prepare for the unavoidable DOL audit

The Future of DC Is Here: The Next Generation of QDIAs

Speaker: Lori Lucas, DC Practice Leader, Callan Associates, Chicago, Illinois

Since the PPA was passed ten years ago, qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) have garnered more than a quarter of DC plan assets—with the vast majority in target-date funds. With stakes this high, what does the future hold for the QDIA juggernaut? In this session, learn emerging trends in QDIAs: the evolution of off-the-shelf target-date options; the latest variations of custom target-date funds, managed accounts and hybrids; and the role of retirement income solutions in QDIAs.

• Understanding the landscape of next-generation QDIAs
• Implications of the next generation of QDIAs for plan sponsors and
• A framework for determining how the next generation of QDIAs fits
  with your DC plan

The Age of Individualized Benefits

Speakers: Leigh Stepan, CEBS, Independent Consultant, Leigh Stepan Consulting, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Steve Clausen, Senior Vice President, Health and Benefits Practice Leader, Aon Hewitt, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Learn how Target Corporation used voluntary/elective benefits to create a program that meets the needs and lifestyles of the various generations of individual employees while complementing its overall benefit strategy and cost goals. Voluntary benefits have long been an easy and cost-effective way for a company to expand its benefit offerings. Leveraging the employer’s group coverage buying power, employees receive more favorable premiums and enhanced terms and conditions on products that meet their individual needs. As employers look for solutions that support its well-being landscape, voluntary/elective benefits provide financial assistance for various unplanned life events and increase employee satisfaction with your benefits offering.

• There is a cost-effective way to offer more personalized options for
• How to think strategically about implementing voluntary/elective
• What are the hot voluntary benefits today?

Fintech: Opportunity or Threat to the DC Retirement Industry?
Speaker: Simon Chan, Managing Partner, Fin+Tech Growth Syndicate, Kitchener, Ontario

Emerging technologies will impact allof our workplaces in some way. Recent studies show that few Canadian organizations are well prepared for the technological disruption that is coming. In the financial services industry, we are already seeing new entrants leveraging technology to deliver a seamless and engaging customer experience. What does this mean for benefit professionals? This session will explore how fintech start-ups are competing with existing financial services providers for plan members' attention. it will also discuss why traditional retirement plan providers can't ignore these emerging organizations and what we can learn from them.

• How could fintech disrupt the DC industry?
• What can we learn about member engagement from fintech companies?
• What do service providers and plan sponsors need to do to keep pace?

4:00-5:00 p.m.

PBM Contracting: Are You Playing With a Full Deck?
Speakers: Seth Friedman, Area Senior Vice President, Pharmacy Consulting, Solid Benefit Guidance (Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.), Montvale, New Jersey
Josh Golden, Area Senior Vice President, Pharmacy Consulting, Solid Benefit Guidance (Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.), Montvale, New Jersey

Negotiating with a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) can be adaunting endeavor. But plan sponsors needn’t be stuck with the hand that they are dealt. If armed with the right knowledge and information, they can beat the odds and achieve their contracting objectives. Get an overview of PBM economics and a snapshot review of the current industry landscape, along with specific examples of PBM contracting loopholes, snags and pitfalls. You’ll leave with a checklist of actionable ideas for the next PBM contract review, procurement or market check exercise.

• An understanding of basic PBM economics, including the flow of
  money through the supply chain
• A snapshot of the current PBM industry landscape, including recent
  changes and developments
• A detailed understanding of PBM contracting issues and pitfalls to
  support downstream negotiation efforts with pharmacy program

What to Expect When an IRS or DOL 401(k) Auditor Comes Knocking
Speakers: Kim Schultz, Managing Director, Compensation & Benefit Solutions, Greenwood Village, Colorado
Patrick Blanchard, Director, Compensation & Benefit Solutions, Greenwood Village, Colorado

A notification of a plan examination can generate a great deal of anxiety for a plan sponsor. The session will discuss the process of the examination as well as effective approaches to complete a plan examination in an efficient manner. You will get an overview of the data most frequently requested by DOL and IRS and learn the issues most often discovered during the exam process. This session will also include ample time for discussion and questions from participants.

• How to prepare for an audit by the IRS or DOL
• Common plan errors and best practices to avoid them
• Tips and strategies to survive an audit

Navigating Vendor Changes and Implementations
Speaker: Suzanne Mahler Brown, CEBS, Director of Benefits, Gränges Americas Inc., Franklin, Tennessee

Replacing an important vendor can be a daunting task. Learn how to approach the project with clear objectives, create a useful project plan and build a successful long-term partnership. Includes tips for knowing when it’s time to do a vendor search, selecting a good match, creating a solid implementation plan and managing the first 12 months of the relationship.

• Setting clear objectives
• Creating a useful implementation project plan
• Building a successful long-term partnership

Reduce the Cost of Mental Health Claims Through Good Management

Speaker: Tim Taylor, CEBS, Product Manager, Manulife, Waterloo, Ontario

For Canadian employers, mental health issues are the #1 cause of long-term disability claims, representing 30% of disability claims and 70% of disability costs, and account for more than $6 billion in lost productivity due to absenteeism and presenteeism. Based on the SALVEO study, this session provides insight on the various factors employers need to consider regarding their employees’ emotional welfare. Learn specific, practical and evidence-based strategies for optimal workplace mental health to increase productivity and reduce stress. This session will identify the causes of workplace mental health issues, such as distress, depression and burnout, and help employers understand which of those factors they can impact through their own management practices to reduce the cost of mental health claims.

• Understand the management practices that have the largest impact
  on mental health claims
• Recognize what successful organizations have done to be more
  effective in preventing absenteeism due to mental health problems
• Learn what employers can do at each level of the organization to
  target mental health issues

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
8:00-8:30 a.m.

President’s Report

8:30-9:30 a.m.

U.S. Legal Update
Speaker: Katherine Hesse, CEBS, Partner, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP, Boston, Massachusetts

This session covers the gamut of the most significant court cases affecting employee benefit plans. Learn what the decisions mean to you and what you need to know going forward to mitigate legal risk. U.S. benefit professionals will get valuable takeaways from recent and ongoing legal cases, while Canadian benefit professionals can gain additional perspective from these decisions and precedents.

Having the Risk Conversation
Speakers: Brent Delveaux, CEBS, Benefits Consultant, TRG Group Benefits and Pensions Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia
Robert Taylor, CEBS, Managing Director, TRG Group Benefits and Pensions Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia

High-cost drugs have really affected the risk for plan sponsors. Stop loss is the latest “trending” topic to emerge, with very few people understanding how their benefit program risk has changed overnight. This discussion will explore the many facets of this new emerging risk and frame the situation around the importance of having the “risk conversation.” This conversation needs to be held internally within organizations so that financial stewards can recognize risks and, more importantly, understand how their values intersect with those risks to develop the proper response and handling.

• Understanding your tolerance for risk
• Understanding the current level of your risk
• Understanding future trends that may affect your risk

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Hacking Mental Health: How Employers Can Overcome the Four Largest
       Barriers to Success

Speaker: Chris Cutter, CEO and Co-Founder, LifeDojo, San Francisco, California

Get an overview of the five tiers of mental health, specifically as they relate to challenges employees face and costs at each stage. Get an overview of the four problems (access, cost, stigma, utilization) in the specific context of those five tiers and how leaders can respond. Detail will be provided regarding a new, wider-net approach that offers subtle guidance to employees and avoids the trap of stigma around mental health assistance programs. Come away from this discussion with a nuanced understanding of issues surrounding employee mental health as well as strategies to apply, no matter what specific tools you choose, and identification of metrics for evaluation.

• Setting clear objectives
• Creating a useful implementation project plan
• Building a successful long-term partnership

Using HSAs as a Financial Planning Tool
Speaker: Eric Vanden Brink, Vice President, Optum, Consumer Solutions Group, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

A dramatic shift to greater consumer financial responsibility for health care is underway, and there is a huge gap in consumers' understanding of how to respond. Millions of people may be unprepared for out-of-pocket health care costs in retirement. This session will discuss the merits of using a Health Savings Account (HSA) for health care costs in retirement, along with the possible pitfalls to be aware of.

• HSA requirements and opportunities
• Creating an employer HSA/HRA strategy
• Employer case studies and examples

Beyond HIPAA: Data Security and the Benefit Plan
Speaker: Sarah Bhagwandin, Counsel, Bryan Cave LLP, Denver, Colorado

This session will examine the cybersecurity issues raised in the benefit plan context and address the scope of fiduciary duty and liability to protect data, along with concrete steps for identifying fiduciaries in this context; the role of HIPAA compliance for health plans and the limitations of HIPAA compliance for actually protecting data; the necessity of adopting a benefit plan cybersecurity program beyond HIPAA; mandatory components of any effective cybersecurity program for benefit plans; and fundamentals of conducting a gap analysis and developing/implementing an action plan.

• Employers must address data security for benefit plans in order to
  have a comprehensive cybersecurity program
• Fiduciaries have an ever-growing duty to implement measures to
  address data security for benefit plans
• Five areas that must be addressed in cybersecurity issues for
  benefit plans

Quick Hits: Five Ideas About Pensions in 50 Minutes
Speaker: Joseph Nunes, President, Actuarial Solutions Inc., Lakeshore, Ontario

Explore key issues facing pension plan sponsors, including topics such as investment derisking, plan conversions, the impact of expanded CPP on plan design, Ontario’s proposed rules for pension funding, and updated standards for governance.

• An overview of key issues facing DB plan sponsors
• A checklist of ideas to consider when deciding how to address
  these issues
• Confidence that you are in control of the management of your
  pension plan

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Current Trends in Employee Health Plans: How Does Your Plan Compare?
Speaker: David Cooke, CEBS, Principal, Mercer, Chicago, Illinois

This interactive presentation will highlight employee benefit marketplace trends from a survey of over 2,500 plan sponsors. Among the highlights: the rise in high-deductible CDHPs and the steps employers take to help stretch workers’ health care dollars; increased use of telemedicine and transparency tools, mitigating the continued rise in prescription drug costs; and what steps employers are considering next. Key considerations for each trend will also be discussed.

• Knowledge of current, prevailing benefit design trends
• Discussion of best-in-class design approaches
• Benchmark your plan design against industry norms

The IRS Retirement Plan Correction Program -- Retooled for 2017
Speaker: Steven Grieb, CEBS, Director of Regulatory Services, Empower Retirement, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In October 2016, the IRS comprehensively overhauled the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). Though it maintained the three-component structure of the EPCRS, IRS added significant changes, include how having (or not having) a determination letter impacts when a plan can self-correct an error. The new procedure also contains a number of other significant changes, including sanction amounts under Audit CAP, anonymous VCP filings, failing to autoenroll a participant or to implement a deferral election, overpayments to participants, how to address “egregious failures,” finding lost participants, listing of new IRS filing fees, and correcting nonamender failures. As a rule, the changes to the EPCRS are positive from the perspective of plan sponsors and service providers.

• What’s changing from the prior version of the EPCRS, and what’s
  staying the same
• When can an error be self-corrected, and when should a plan file a
  VCP application with the IRS?
• How having a determination letter (or relying on a preapproved plan
  opinion or advisory letter) impacts a plan’s correction alternatives

Winning the War for Talent: Is Telecommuting the Answer?
Speaker: Michelle Oram, CEBS, Director, Product Development, Manulife, Kitchener, Ontario

As organizations compete to attract and retain the best talent, and since work-life balance is a high priority for many employees, telecommuting is often put forward as a potential solution. Advances in technology have opened the door for employers to hire the best candidate for the job, regardless of location. At the same time, some organizations close the door on telecommuting in an effort to improve collaboration and stimulate creativity. Can telecommuting work for your organization? How do you convince leaders that employees are productive when you can’t actually see them? Is it possible to collaborate and innovate from a distance?

• Considerations for implementing a telecommuting policy
• Out of sight doesn’t have to man out of mind—Managing your
  career as a remote worker
• Tips for leaders of multilocation teams

12:15-1:30 p.m.

Lunch: Fellowship Recognition

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Creating an Engaged Culture Through Well-Being
Speakers: Kathryn Mowry, Consultant, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Denver, Colorado
Colleen Reilly, Vice President Well-Being, Total Well-Being, A Telligen Company, Greenwood Village, Colorado

Wellness and well-being are not the same thing. Well-being provides a more holistic solution to managing the employee life experience, whereas focusing solely on wellness limits the solution to physical health alone. This session will showcase two perspectives of the benefits of transitioning to well-being. Learn the strategy and techniques, and hear how a national law firm blended well-being into the values of the firm, which has increased engagement, retention and recruitment. Get an understanding of strategic best practices as well as tactical ideas and experiences on how to transition from wellness to well-being and transform your current program to a cultural norm and a way of doing business within your organization.

• Learn how to build a thriving culture of well-being
• Understand the difference between healthy culture and climate and
  what organizational well-being means and the results it yields
• Experience an employer’s strategies of challenging the status quo
  and overcoming an unhealthy workplace culture by taking it out of
  HR and embedding it into the business mission

401(k) Lawsuits on the Rise: Best Practices for Plan Fiduciaries
Speaker: Todd Solomon, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery, Chicago, Illinois

It is no secret that 401(k) plan lawsuits alleging breach of fiduciary duty are on the rise and can lead to significant settlements, legal costs and bad publicity. Plan sponsors and fiduciaries need to be educated about the legal risks and the best practices they can take to protect the plan and its fiduciaries from such challenges. This session will discuss strategies fiduciaries can take, including reducing or eliminating revenue-sharing arrangements, getting the most favorable share class for investment funds offered under the plan, charging only reasonable administrative expenses to plan participants in an appropriate manner, engaging qualified outside advisors, and meeting regularly to diligently review the plan and its investment and fee structure.

• Best practices for managing a 401(k) investment committee,
  including practical case studies and sample committee materials
• Nature of the allegations against 401(k) plan committees and how
  to insulate against such challenges
• Unique challenges of managing a plan that offers company stock,
  including pros and cons of engaging an independent fiduciary to
  manage such a fund

Unlimited PTO: Considerations for Implementation
Speaker: Laura Earley, CEBS, Senior Manager, U.S. Health and Welfare Benefits, CH2M, Englewood, Colorado

Get an overview of all of the financial, emotional and systematic requirements to implement an unlimited paid-time-off program. This session covers payroll system requirements, how to manage employee perceptions (both for those receiving the benefit and those “left out” of the benefit), the value to the employer, the value to the employee, the pitfalls to the employer and employee, the required coordination with leave and disability programs, transition considerations when moving from a traditional program to another, and lessons learned from an employer that implemented the program.

• Implementation of unlimited time off can be accomplished with
  significant savings to the employer and be viewed as a significant
  piece of the total rewards strategy
• How to manage communications and perceptions and overcome
  objections from leadership
• Considerations for payroll, HR, managers and leadership during a
  time of change

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Legally Compliant Communications and the Consequences of

Speaker: Marilyn Monahan, Owner, Monahan Law Office, Marina del Rey, California

Learn what you have to do, and what you should do, both to ensure employees understand the terms of their health plan and to help employers limit their exposure to liability. The session will review the disclosure (and distribution) rules in ERISA and other key laws governing health plans, with a particular emphasis on how the legal requirements—and best practices—have changed in light of ACA. Common misconceptions and traps for the unwary will be discussed—including a look at the potential consequences of miscommunications of plan terms.

• Learn what and how benefit professionals must do to ensure health
  plan terms are effectively communicated
• Practical tips and best practices for working in an increasingly
  complicated benefits environment
• Understand what could happen if plan terms are not accurately

Life After the End of the Amendment Cycle: Is Your Qualified Plan Up
       to Date?

Speaker: Suzanne Spicer, CEBS, Senior Client Employee Benefits Advisor, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Washington, D.C.

With the elimination of IRS staggered qualified retirement plan amendment cycles, how can plan sponsors ensure their qualified plans remain compliant with new legislation and regulations? This presentation will provide information and suggestions on the new IRS amendment process, managing risks and compliance, and looking beyond required provisions.

• Understanding IRS guidance
• Establishing an annual review process
• Ideas for increasing operational efficiency

Connecting the Dots Between Wellness and Ancillary: An Easy Way to
       Draw Down Health Care Costs

Speaker: Mike Reha, CEBS, Vice President of Product Development, EPIC Hearing Healthcare, Pomona, California

Healthy senses play a key role in employee health and productivity. However, research reveals less than a quarter of employers are aware of vision or hearing being integrated into wellness programs. This session will share the ROI of improving vision, oral and hearing health and provide a blueprint for connecting ancillary benefits to wellness efforts. Gain useful strategies for integrating healthy senses into health education efforts and for incorporating incentives and discounts to motivate action. Real-world cases will show how employers in health and education fields have taken steps to connect their ancillary benefits and wellness strategies and share results of improved employee health, performance and satisfaction.

• Understand how improved vision, oral and hearing health care can
  impact employee wellness, health care costs, productivity and
• Gain strategies for connecting wellness efforts to ancillary benefits,
  including education efforts and incentives
• The “dos and don’ts” of working with ancillary benefits for maximum
  wellness integration and measurement

Beyond Compensation, Group Benefits and Retirement: Modern Total
       Reward Strategy

Speaker: Bonni Titgemeyer, CEBS, Managing Director, The Employers’ Choice Inc., Brampton, Ontario

Employee expectations have moved well beyond the traditional mix of total rewards. These expectations, and the products, services and approaches that address them, now compete with the dollars needed to meet pay, benefits and retirement plans. Get an inside view on current thinking on total reward strategy. The session will include examples and case studies to highlight strategic attraction and retention strategies.

• The competitive landscape for payroll and benefits dollars
• The types of strategies successful organizations have tried to build
  engagement with less traditional resources
• How to keep competitive in today’s market even when you have a
  limited budget
4:00-5:00 p.m.

Ask the U.S. Health Care Expert
Speaker: John Garner, CEBS, Chief Compliance Officer, Bolton & Company, Pasadena, California

This workshop session is a question-and-answer forum devoted to health benefit issues, with attendees invited to share theirexperiences to help answer questions. The workshop will begin with a preview of answers to new questions being added to the next edition of the Health Insurance Answer Book.
• Improved understanding of the status of health care reform
• The latest legislative and regulatory developments
• Benefit from the perspectives of all the other experts in the

Ethical Habits to Build Trust in Business Relationships
Discussion Leader: Rick Storms, CEBS, Assistant Vice President, LifeTrac, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Business ethics do more than keep us out of jail. Ethics are good for business. This session outlines the key definitions of ethics from business, insurance, retirement planning and financial planning perspectives through the use of case studies and interactive quizzes.

• Examine business habits
• Make ethical behavior second nature
• Establish trust-based working relationships

U.S. Legal Update: Followup and Discussion
Speaker: Katherine Hesse, CEBS

As a followup to the morning session, this is an opportunity to hear more of the legal cases that continue to shape the benefits landscape.

Let’s Talk Retirement Benefits
Discussion Leader: Mary Komornicka, CEBS, Attorney, Larkin Hoffman, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Let’s Talk Benefit Challenges (for plan sponsors)
Discussion Leader: TBA

Let’s Talk Canadian Benefits
Discussion Leader: Wayne Murphy, CEBS, Senior Manager Corporate Services, Prudent Benefits Administration Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Keynote: Clearing the Haze: What’s Next for Medical Marijuana in the U.S. and Canada?
Speaker: Michael Sullivan, President, Cubic Health, Toronto, Ontario

While medical marijuana use remains a controversial issue, it is gaining legal status in some U.S. states and potentially across Canada in 2018. With varying levels of legality, employers must be aware of and prepared for how these changes will impact their benefit plans, including medical, disability and privacy concerns and workplace safety. This presentation will give an overview of what plan sponsors need to know when considering the inclusion of medical marijuana under health benefit plans.

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Go All the Way With HSAs
Speakers: Brian Gilmore, Vice President, Lead Benefits Counsel, ABD Insurance & Financial Services, San Mateo, California
Elizabeth Loh, Director, Trucker Huss, San Francisco, California

This session will address the tax and legal structure of HSAs that is both fundamental to their growth and a constant barrier to their full mainstream embrace. At the core of this conundrum is the hypercomplexity of the rules that govern how individuals can truly benefit from an HSA. All employers introducing HDHPs or attempting to expand participation face the monumental task of convincing the workforce that the HDHP is not simply a tool to cut company costs. This presentation is designed to shed light on the positive features of the HSA while also highlighting the tricky compliance issues that employers must frequently confront.

• How to fully take advantage of the triple-tax-advantaged HSA

• The key eligibility, contribution and distribution rules that all
  employers should know

• Understanding the compliance strategies for complex HDHP/HSA

Fine-Tune Your Plan Through the RFI/RFP Process
Speaker: Jim Modelski, Principal, DiMeo Schneider & Associates L.L.C.,Chicago, Illinois

Looking to improve services from your recordkeeper? Seek lower costs? Or want to improve your participants’ overall experience? Plan sponsors looking to enhance their recordkeeper’s services, negotiate fees and conduct marketplace due diligence can do so through an effective RFI or RFP process. Implementing a thorough and comprehensive review process is a fiduciary best practice. This session will discuss how to collect and review data prior to issuing an RFI or RFP to help provide perspective on your plan and to achieve the best leverage possible, determining which one may be best to utilize, and ideas for RFI and RFP templates.


• Benchmarking needed before issuing an RFI or RFP
• Differences and effectiveness between an RFI
Tips for negotiating with a recordkeeper

Mindful Workplace, Engaged Employees
Speaker: Lisa Schmidt, CEBS, Founder, Lead Consultant, Mindful Benefits, Scottsdale, Arizona

Mindfulness-based stress management programs are touted as smart, affordable, and evidence-based tools to improve employee resilience, self-awareness, teamwork, mental health outcomes and well-being. Research is focusing on the impact of mindfulness-based interventions to promote resilience, reduce burnout, improve sleep health and increase engagement at work. Burnout is increasingly being viewed as an organizational (not individual) problem, rooted in issues related to working environment and organizational culture. Evidence, best-practice delivery models, limitations, and opportunities for expanded organizational adoption will be examined.


• Health consequences of stress and impacts to the organizational
  bottom line and to employee health and well-being

• Learn how to practice and teach interventions at work, with a
  contemporary and science-based focus

• Actionable tools to assess the effectiveness of mind/body/spirit
  program interventions

10:45-11:45 a.m.

The Power of Choice: Supporting Employees With Personalized Plans
Speaker: Shandon Fowler, Senior Director of Product Strategy,Benefitfocus, Charleston, South Carolina

ACA greatly impacted insurers, providers and employers, but no impact was more profound than the empowerment of consumers in their health care choices. Despite uncertainty surrounding ACA, employees are taking on greater financial and decision making responsibility for their coverage and need to understand how their benefits decisions will affect their health and wealth. This session will discuss how employers can support consumerism by offering personalized plans for different demographics to fit diverse workforce needs. It will also share results of the Benefitfocus second annual State of Employee Benefits report, an analysis of more than one million employees’ benefits selections.

• How to design and implement for a diverse workforce a benefits
  strategy that supports business objectives without compromising
  talent retention/attraction

• How to create unique plan offerings with broad appeal, strategically
  integrating within the enrollment process voluntary and core
  benefits to boost participation and financial protection

• How to use technology to contextualize benefits enrollment so
  employees see the full picture of how their benefits decisions affect
  their financial and overall wellness

Lessons From Central States
Speakers: Michael Joliat, Attorney, Leonard, O’Brien, Spencer, Gayle & Sayre, Ltd., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pamela Nissen, Attorney, Leonard, O’Brien, Spencer, Gayle & Sayre, Ltd., Minneapolis, Minnesota

Like many large, public and private pension funds, the Central States Pension Fund is massively underfunded. In 2016, Central States attempted to avoid its impending insolvency by reducing participant benefits. But the Fund’s efforts met fierce resistance from a broad array of interests. Ultimately, Central States failed to reduce benefits. Now it will be unable to pay any benefits in less than a decade. The counsel to Central States’ retiree representative—a statutorily appointed observer of Central States as it applied to reduce benefits—will discuss the many complexities that arise when a large pension plan is failing.

• History of Central States’ attempt to reduce benefits
• Important lessons from Central States
• Alternative approaches to rescuing failing pension plans and their

Deskless Yet Informed
Speaker: James Hanley, CEBS, President, EeComm, Inc., Muskegon, Michigan

How are organizations effectively communicating with warehouse employees, drivers behind the wheel, machinists on the shop floor? When employees have no company e-mail account, how do we best keep them informed? What has historically worked for organizations that effectively communicate with deskless workers? The challenge of communicating with deskless workers is among the most-discussed communication topics today. Seemingly simple solutions—such as texting—are made complicated by related labor relations issues, safety issues, efficiency issues and other barriers. This session explores the topic of effectively communicating with deskless workers, with case studies of success and a look at how new tools and new attitudes will help organizations inform their deskless workers.

• Proven strategies and tools for communicating with deskless
  employees in warehouses, in trucks, on shop floors, etc.

• Important things to consider about labor relations, safety and
  efficiency before collecting and using personal employee text and

• How future tools will change the ways we communicate with
  employees—especially deskless employees

Pension Division on Marriage Breakdown
Speaker: Karen DeBortoli, Director, Pension and Benefits Research, Eckler Ltd., Toronto, Ontario

This session will cover the legal and fiduciary obligations to members and their spouses and the pitfalls and legal and compliance risks that can be common in pension division cases. Explore the different legislative requirements in each Canadian jurisdiction, including form and documentation requirements, transfer and payment options, and recent legislative changes. Discuss the interaction of the federal PBSA and provincial statutes for federally regulated plans and the impact of the ITA definition of spouse. Examine how other benefits are impacted when a relationship ends, benefits received by a former spouse as a designated beneficiary, impact on insurance and other nonpension benefits and lessons learned from case studies and recent case law.

• Compliance obligations differ across jurisdictions and are different
  for federally regulated plans

• Different rules and obligations apply when dealing with other
  retirement and benefit plans, such as SERPs

• There are legal and financial consequences to failing to
  appropriately handle a pension division case—the more you know,
  the more you can quantify and manage the risks to your plan

12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.

Don’t Fly Blind With Your Employees’ Health Care Coverage: The Time
       for Literacy Is Now

Speaker: Kim Buckey, Vice President of Client Services, DirectPath, Birmingham, Alabama

Health care literacy has never been high—42% of U.S. citizens can’t explain what a deductible is, and 62% don’t understand the difference between an HMO and a PPO. And with the prospect of new requirements and new plan options and the onslaught of new educational materials, employees are more confused and overwhelmed than ever before. While we play the waiting game to see what the future of health care will look like, we cannot afford to assume our employees are equipped to act as health care consumers. The onus is on employers to get smart and educate employees on both the changing landscape and basic health care principles.

• Even the most sophisticated and well-educated employees can
  make poor benefit decisions

• Best practices for educating and improving health care literacy
  among employees

• Health care literacy among employees can ensure quality care
  while controlling costs

Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing
Speaker: Gregory Wait, CEBS, President, Falcons Rock Investment Counsel, LLC, Germantown, Wisconsin

Sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing is a rapidly growing field, with nearly $9 trillion of professional assets under management. SRI investment strategies incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in the securities selection process. In October 2015, the Department of Labor issued an interpretive bulletin that states “fiduciaries need not treat commercially reasonable investments as inherently suspect or in need of special scrutiny merely because they take into consideration environmental, social or other factors.” This presentation would focus on the history of SRI, current methodology, risk/return analysis and the implementation of ESG strategies in qualified retirement plans.

• SRI investing is a large and rapidly growing field
• DOL has opened the doors to qualified plan sponsors that wish to
  include ESG investment strategies

• Investors do not sacrifice returns by investing in ESG strategies

How to Navigate Conversations About Compensation
Speaker: Julie Bingham, Advisor, FirstPerson, Indianapolis, Indiana

Learn best practices for how to engage in an open and informed conversation with your employees about compensation. Topics we will explore include: Are free online sites a good source of data? What if I can’t pay as much as our biggest competitor? How can I ensure that employees understand that working at my company is about more than the paycheck?

• Raise your confidence in making individual compensation decisions
• Learn best practices for evaluating market data
• Identify critical talking points for difficult compensation discussions

Show Me the Benefits—Group Insurance for Active Employees Aged 65+
Speaker: Art Babcock, CEBS, Senior Vice President, Aon Hewitt,Calgary, Alberta

This session takes a look at the prevalence of workers over the age of 65, with a discussion of the current state of group benefit plans with respect to contractual provisions pertaining to active employees over the age of 65. What are the contractual land mines—Are you treating your aged 65+ actives fairly? What should plan sponsors do to level the benefits playing field for actives over the age of 65? Do insurers have to come to the table? Does your current plan make EHC and dental reimbursement onerous for aged 65+ claimants? The discussion will include Aon Hewitt survey results and the speaker’s personal experience as an employee over the age of 65 and the changes he experienced in his benefit plan.

• Has your organization reviewed its benefits plan taking aged 65+
  employees into consideration? Should it be part of your total comp

• Learn how to “refresh” your benefits plan to make it friendly to the
  ages of 65 and over.

• Learn what benefits are currently available


Session Tracks Key