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PSCA Executive Reports

June 28, 2018

ERISA Advisory Council

In late June, the ERISA Advisory Council, a panel of outside experts that advises the Department of Labor on policies and regulations affecting employee benefits, held three days of hearings discussing lifetime income and ERISA’s bonding requirements. In particular, the Council heard testimony regarding the need to clarify the default investment regulations to encourage sponsors to incorporate lifetime income features in qualified default investment alternatives and challenges with the existing annuity selection safe harbor. The Council also heard testimony regarding the DOL's regulations and guidance on ERISA bonding requirements and exploring reform considerations, whether the requirements are still necessary, and whether current requirements are consistent with insurance products available in the market.

DOL also announced the appointment of the following five new members of the Council:

  • David Blanchett, head of retirement research, Morningstar Investment Management 
  • Jason Bortz, senior counsel and senior vice president, Capital Group 
  • Linda Kerschner, senior vice president, financial advisor, CAPTRUST 
  • David Kritz, general attorney, Norfolk Southern Corporation
  • Bridget O'Connor, general counsel, International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers 

Cynthia Levering, retired senior vice president and consulting actuary, Aon Consulting, and Srinivas D. Reddy, senior vice president, head of full service investments, Prudential Financial, will serve as chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the Council for 2018.

PSCA Executive Director Jack Towarnicky testified at the hearings. His comments focused on plan sponsor needs and concerns with respect to retirement income. Jack highlighted PSCA policy positions regarding mandates - in terms of payout options and required disclosures. He also shared a few innovative opportunities the DOL may wish to consider in its efforts to facilitate retirement income solutions. Jack’s testimony can be read here.

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