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Issue: Summer 2020

About This Issue

Just when we thought we had seen everything, we see less – a late start to our favorite sporting pastimes included: auto racing (including the Indianapolis 500), baseball, basketball, hockey, LPGA and PGA golf, soccer, the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Triple Crown races, a still unknown football season, but also the cancelling of the Boston Marathon and Wimbledon and delays of many film premiers and music concerts. What to do? There is plenty, and each of us is beginning to learn to use our own imagination to develop new ways to stay entertained and engaged. No guidance here as we are just cub reporting.

As of the date of writing this, the Co-Chairs are in the planning stage for the 2021 EBC Midwinter Meeting to be held at the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico from February 3 to 6, 2021. Stay tuned to announcements from our Co-Chairs. Some of us already know that the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Inc. (ACEBC) annual meeting and induction dinner for 2020 was canceled by the Chicago Club due to COVID-19 and has been converted to a virtual meeting and induction ceremony – no dinner, October 8, 2020. Although we are all encouraged to don our formal attire and attend in front of our “Zoomed” computers at our own dining room tables, there is no need to spend time or money on (or endure uncomfortably expensive) shoes this year.

Your Newsletter is temporarily without two editors following the departure of Jim Nelson, who had been an editor for well over 20 years and who created and wrote most of the “About this Issue” and “As We Go to e-Press,” and Rachel Coen, an editor since December 2018, but the vetting of new management and plaintiff editors continue. We thank Jim and Rachel for their expert writing and editorial work on the Newsletter.

We again defer our musings on these issues and others because it is time for the third 2020 edition of the EBC Newsletter. Our continuing efforts to address a broad spectrum of issues and developments of interest bring you the following offerings in this edition:

  • The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Inc. (ACEBC) announced that it awarded J. Mark Poerio of The Wagner Law Group the winning entry of the 2020 ACEBC’s “Simplification Award” for original ideas to simplify the complex laws applicable to employee benefit plans. Mr. Poerio is receiving the award for his proposal to enable participants in 401(k) plans and IRAs to purchase annuities in a cost-effective manner, without burden to employers. His winning proposal is reproduced in this issue of the EBC Newsletter, entitled, “Improving Individual Annuity Choices: From a New Choice to an Expanded PBGC Mission”;
    • NOTE: The competition for the 2021 ACEBC Simplification Award has opened. The rules for the competition and FAQs can be found on the ACEBC’s website.
  • Israel (Izzy) Goldowitz, also with The Wagner Law Group and formerly the PBGC’s Deputy General Counsel for Program Law & Policy, allows us to reprint his article discussing the recent lawsuits in several circuits questioning the Segal Blend method in, “Multiemployer Plan Withdrawal Liability Assumptions Under Attack”;
  • We have another winning article produced for the ACEBC. Rachel Baker Mann, a Doctor of Jurisprudence Candidate, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, Class of 2021, was proclaimed a co-winner of the ACEBC Writing Competition in which she provides her observations, views and conclusions on employer-provided health care in, “The Employment-Health Nexus: Sufficiently Entrenched to Survive Healthcare-For-All”;
  • Jeffrey D. Mamorsky, with Greenberg Traurig, LLP, offers his view of actuarial assumptions in, “The ‘Gaming’ of Pension Plan Actuarial Assumptions”;
  • The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Inc.’s 21st Annual Meeting and Induction Ceremony was rescheduled for October 8, 2020 as a virtual event, and the four new Fellows for 2020 will be introduced in our next issue; and
  • The ever popular As We Go to e-Press” is on hiatus.

The members of the editorial board remain keenly interested in your feedback on whether we are capturing what you would like to see in your newsletter. They would also be delighted to discuss article ideas you may have. Those with thoughts on issues they would like to see addressed and/or thoughts on articles should contact one of the editors.