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38th Annual Symposium
September 8-11, 2019
New Orleans, Louisiana

** 2019 information will be posted in April 2019. Information below is from the 2018 Symposium and can be used as an indication of the types of sessions/speakers presented at the Symposium. **

2018 Program Brochure

2018 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.
First-Time Attendee Luncheon

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

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

Monday, August 27, 2018

8:00 a.m.


8:15-9:15 a.m.

Keynote—Blockchain Technology for Employee Benefits
Speaker: Peter L. Miller, President & CEO, The Institutes, Malvern, Pennsylvania

Blockchain is a growing technology that has the power to simplify and secure the way transactions are processed. It holds significant potential for the benefits and insurance industry, by streamlining payments and premiums and claims and reducing fraud through a centralized recording of claims. Hear how this technology is being used by a leader in the insurance industry and its potential for employee benefits.

9:30-10:30 a.m.

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

With the forthcoming midterm election as a backdrop, this perennially favorite session provides an insightful, thorough and memorable assessment of the legislative landscape, its effect on the health and retirement policy agenda, and how benefit professionals can prepare.

Canada Legal/Legislative Update
Speaker: Lisa Chamzuk, Partner, Lawson Lundell, Vancouver, British Columbia

This session kicks off 2½ days of Canadian content with an overview and analysis of recent and forthcoming legislative and regulatory activity and legal cases at the provincial and federal levels and what you need to know about their potential impact on group, retirement and other benefit issues in Canada.

11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
How to Respond to IRS Penalty Letter 226J
Speaker: Lisa C. Allen, Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Relph Benefit Advisors, Fairport, New York

IRS Penalty Letter 226J will be arriving at your doorstep, if it hasn’t already! How an employer responds could lead to a notice and demand for payment (Notice CP220J). There is no cap on the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment so it is critical to respond accurately and within the 30-day time frame. This session will review the 2015 Employer Shared Responsibility penalties, minimum essential coverage percentage, minimum value percentage and safe harbor review.

  • How to prepare for Letter 226J
  • How to complete and submit Forms 14764 and 14765
  • Understand the IRS process and what documentation you need

Benefits Drive Business Strategy
Speaker: Rocke Blair, CEBS, President, Fiduciary Analytics, West Chester, Ohio

Learn a unique process to measure retirement readiness at the employer level to assure participants “off-board” on time on their terms. Retirement plan professionals will come away with an understanding of how to influence organizational strategy by using data, analytics and insights to optimize organizational wage and benefit spend. This will drive a customization of retirement plans and other benefit programs to fit the needs of their employees and improve the organization’s income statement and balance sheet.

  • Learn to work with finance to drive superior results for the organization
  • Use data, analytics and insights to show senior management efficient ways to spend budget for improved ROI
  • Improve the income statement and deleverage the balance sheet by leveraging proper benefit design and funding

Tax Reform Impact on Employee Benefits and Compensation Programs
Speakers: Ron Krupa, CEBS, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young, Bradenton, FL
Allan Ellenby, Executive Director, ACA Technical Advisory Leader, Ernst & Young, Chicago, IL

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, changes will be felt across entire employer organizations, including benefits professionals. The legislation includes changes to the taxation of executive compensation and employee benefits for large, publicly traded businesses and for privately held businesses. Many of these changes went into effect January 1, 2018, giving companies very limited time to consider and adopt the changes.

  • Understand what programs are impacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
  • Learn about options for each type of program
  • Have a list of questions to apply to each impacted program to get them into compliance

Future of Health Care
Speaker: Brian Lindenberg, Senior Partner, Mercer, Calgary, Alberta

The health care landscape is embarking on fundamental transformation. With five generations in the workforce, an aging population, rising costs and changing individual needs/wants/ expectations, the current environment is complex and diverse. Layer on top of this unprecedented innovation in digital health, pharmacogenetics, personalized medicine, data analytics—How we access benefits, how we take personal ownership for health and well-being and how we make decisions will change dramatically. This session will highlight the fundamental trends shaping benefits today and predict how our world will change in the future.

  • Current trends impacting benefit plan design, delivery, funding
  • Predictions on how benefit plan design, delivery and funding will change
  • Be prepared for the effect of these profound changes

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

Lunch and Roundtable Discussions

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Arriving Now—Rare Disease Therapies $500,000 and Higher: Plan Sponsors Take Warning!
Speaker: Ryan Siemers, CEBS, Principal, Aegis Risk LLC, Alexandria, Virginia

With the removal of annual and lifetime dollar limits under the ACA, life preserving therapies for rare disease not previously treatable or financially viable can carry six and seven figure annual costs. Their rarity stymies purchasing programs, effective PPO discounts and wellness programs. The financial risks to health plan sponsors, particularly those that self-insure, are significant. If it is an ongoing annual therapy, an unreserved future liability can be several millions of dollars. Risk management in the form of stop loss is being tested as never before, and increasingly applicable to plan sponsors of all sizes.

  • Financial severity of these claimants, objectives driving prices and lack of effective PPO pricing
  • Understanding risk management approaches, including medical stop-loss, even for plan sponsors traditionally not covered
  • Potential pitfalls in securing stop-loss coverage

Operational Risk: Ensuring That the Achilles’ Heel of Retirement Plans Is on Good Footing
Speaker: Sean Mahon, CEBS, Lead Senior Consultant, Administration Consulting, Sibson Consulting, Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Operational risk is defined as any of the specific risks associated with operating a retirement plan, such as vendor and/or staff errors, systems failures, criminal activities and/or fraud, as well as other disruptions of business processes. Plan sponsors, their staff and chosen service providers must maintain a framework to minimize the probability and severity of loss related to operational-risk events. Learn how a proper framework allows plan sponsors to reduce the
probability of operational failures, as well as mitigate the severity of the impact of such failures if they do occur.

  • Governance structure to assign risk management roles and reporting requirements
  • Best practices for operational audits and risk assessments
  • Develop key performance and risk measures across plan functions and examples of plan failures

Predicting and Disrupting the Opioid Addiction Cycle
Speakers: Ted Borgstadt, CEO, TrestleTree, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Julia Nicholson, Principal, JN Consulting, Folsom, California
Bradley Martin, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Professor and Division Head of Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Policy, University of Arkansas for Medical Services, Little Rock, Arkanasa

The session will provide the latest research data on the opioid crisis and on the multilayered impact of opioids on society; identify and discuss the main factors of the problem; identify the current “solutions” being used and the pros/cons of each; and present new strategies that disrupt the addiction cycle before it begins, leveraging a validated opioid risk prediction tool, an effective behavior change model and innovative partnerships with physicians and pharmacists leading to successful behavior change.

  • Measurable results are achievable
  • A holistic approach is necessary for change to be sustainable
  • Be proactive and willing to disrupt the current status quo

Making DC Great Again
Speaker: Joseph Nunes, Executive Chairman, Actuarial Solutions Inc., Windsor, Ontario

DC plans have moved from single investment platforms to multimanager
multi-investment options, with decision making transferred to the individual plan members. Some plans provide members with advice, others only education. Unfortunately, DC plans are not having the success expected of them, and plan members are not achieving an adequate level of savings. Come away with what to do next with investments, fees, plan design and member engagement, and decumulation to ensure a bright future for DC plans.

  • What isn’t working in DC
  • What our goals should be
  • How we can get there

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Five Things to Ask Your Health Plan That You’re Not Already
Speaker: Ryan Olmstead, Director of Member Services, Catalyst for Payment Reform, Berkeley, California

As rising health care costs continue to eat into bottom lines, employers can take an active role and expect their health plans to be progressive, accountable and transparent. Is your health plan reporting on the right measures when it comes to the performance of their ACOs? What measures should an employer request
from a carrier to meaningfully assess mental health access and quality? What does an employer need to know about health plan’s coverage policies on genetic testing and screening and the risks and opportunities associated with these benefits?

  • How the employer’s relationship as health plan customer is a potent asset
  • Specific, critical topics to ask your health plan about trends today
  • How to assess whether health plans are delivering the right reporting for those topics

Financial Wellness Leadership: A Tale of Ostriches, Warthogs and Giraffes
Speaker: Joanne Kuster, Entrepreneur, Financial Educator,, Johnston, Iowa

Dozens of studies verify that financial stress is on the rise and that employees need help to build personal finance skills. Learn what it takes to create cost-efficient programming that really engages employees, helping them take control of their financial futures and lower their financial stress. Delve into the interplay
between early financial wellness and retirement readiness to see where you can make the most of improvements to take employees to the next level. Get trending program ideas that work, no matter the size of your organization, and learn how others measure the success of their workplace initiatives.

  • Increase the ROI of your employee benefits package
  • Create effective financial wellness programming that employees want to attend—and will take home to their family
  • Find tips and tools to reach employees in every age group in your workplace

The Blueprint for Successful Diabetes Management
Speakers: Paul Mulhausen, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Telligen, West Des Moines, Iowa
Troy Cook, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Telligen, West Des Moines, Iowa

In this session we will explore the diabetes epidemic with research findings, statistics and future projections, focusing on diabetes management (DM) programs as well as early intervention programs for those in a prediabetic state.

  • Intensive diabetes management is needed; how to prevent complications and ensure member adherence
  • Addressing prediabetes with targeted programs; at-risk coaching and the Diabetes Prevention Program
  • Programs in action; hear real stories of the impact of both diabetes management programs and early intervention programs

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Your Future: Consolidated Analytics
Speaker: Gerald Frye, CEBS, CEO, The Benefit Services Group, Inc., Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Do you have the tools to use data in a comprehensive, strategic way? Data analytics must expand to encompass not only siloed health plan data, but also workers’ compensation, dental and disability data. Analyzing this data will yield an entirely new way of coordinating care and improving outcomes. Consolidated
analytics creates a holistic, member-centric view across all insurance payers and all delivery of care. This presentation will delve into how to coordinate workers’ compensation and ancillary benefits data with health plan analytics to present a vision of what your future can be.

  • Consolidated analytics goes beyond current analytic tools
  • A holistic approach to care requires consideration of all insurance and care providers
  • How consolidated analytics can transform your risk management strategy

Target-Date Funds: More Than Meets the Eye
Speaker: Debra Rosenberg, CEBS, Director of Retirement Plan Consulting, Stiles Financial Services, Inc., Edina, Minnesota

Target-date funds (TDFs) are the most widely used defined contribution investment and by far the most common default investment. Hear the latest on best practices and fiduciary considerations for evaluating the range of available funds, advances in design, pricing differences, and litigation trends for TDFs and other default investments.

  • How TDFs continue to grow and evolve
  • Criteria for differentiating TDFs and documenting your evaluation
  • DOL guidance on selecting and reviewing TDFs

Reaching Your Participants: Making the Case Against Technology
Speaker: Carey Wooton, CEBS, Director, IUE–CWA Pension Fund, Bloomington, Indiana

When a significant percentage of participants lack access to the technology so prevalent in our benefit plans (paperless systems, automation, etc.) they could be left behind, frustrated, angry, and less likely to understand and fully utilize their benefits. Learn how plan sponsors can work with their vendors to meet their disconnected participants where they are in terms of access, knowledge and skill in technology use; and study an example of how the plan sponsor worked with the 401(k) vendor/recordkeeper to make sure participants are cared for in a paper-full technology environment.

  • Participants are more disconnected than we think given that “everyone” has a smartphone
  • Ways you can work with vendors/recordkeepers to better reach your participants
  • Ideas to work with C-suite, vendors, etc. to engage more participants in your plans

The Medicalization of Unhappiness
Speaker: Peter Gove, Innovation Leader, Health Management, Green Shield Canada, Toronto, Ontario

This presenation examines the history of mental illness in Canada, how it has been treated and/or gone untreated, and how much the landscape has changed over the last few decades. It will zero in on the changing medical and social landscape that has led to the proliferation of mental health diagnoses and the widespread prescribing of antidepressants.

  • Are there better strategies for care?
  • Where do therapy and wellness professionals fit in?
  • Other options and what the statistics say

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
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, Boston, Massachusetts

This session covers significant court cases affecting employee benefit plans. You’ll gain valuable insights, tips and perspectives on what the decisions mean to you and what you need to know going forward to mitigate legal risk.

Benefits Benchmarking Statistics, Insights and Strategies
Speaker: Leslie Lemenager, CEBS, Regional President, International, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Rolling Meadows, Illinois

A key element of maintaining competitiveness as an employer in talent markets, and effectively managing human capital investment, is knowing what other employers are doing with their total rewards programs. Get insight and analysis from Gallagher’s recent survey data regarding group benefits and compensation programs offered by nearly 400 Canadian employers. You’ll the latest benchmarking information going beyond data to discuss strategic insights, total
compensation strategies, and tactics for cost control, communication and employee engagement, and much more.

  • Compare your organization’s benefits offerings to other employers’
  • Apply survey findings to your organization to improve benefits and reward decision making
  • Information to provide human resources and rewards leadership within your organization

10:00-11:00 a.m.

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

This session will cover the advanced tax and legal structure and will take an in-depth look at the special issues of HSAs. Topics will include the last-month rule; special catch-up rules for spouses; the “save it forward” rule that permits tax-free HSA distributions into perpetuity; the HSA establishment rule for qualifying expenses; an overview of HSA reporting rules for employers, banks and employees; what happens when you reach the age of 65; HSAs and telemedicine; new HSA rules that may be pending at conference time; and much more.

  • How the HSA triple-tax advantaged structure can be used to maximize savings
  • A road map for the common questions that arise from complex HSA rules
  • Where HSAs are headed, including proposed and likely enhancements in future legislation

IRS Outlook for Retirement Plans
Speaker: Steven Grieb, CEBS, Director of Regulatory Services, Empower Retirement, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The IRS is changing how it provides guidance to retirement plan sponsors. In addition to Notices and Revenue Rulings, the service is also providing information in more informal ways, such as internal memorandums that it discloses to the public and “issue snapshots” on their website summarizing their position on a number of retirement plan issues. The session will cover the pros and cons of this approach, the substance of the guidance that has been issued in this way, and what retirement plan administrators must do to comply, including changes the IRS has made to the structure of preapproved plan documents.

  • How the IRS is communicating new guidance on issues to retirement plan sponsors and administrators
  • Recent retirement plan guidance issued and what could be coming in the future
  • Tips to navigate the wealth of information on the IRS website

Helping Your Working Seniors Navigate Medicare—What Benefit Pros Need to Know
Speaker: Mary Kesel, CEBS, President, Benefit Advocates Inc., Winston Salem, North Carolina

More employees are working after the age of 65 and more employees are enrolled in HSA plans. These two trends can lead to confusion and employees enrolling in Medicare Part A and B when they shouldn’t. These working seniors will look to you for answers. Will you be prepared? Learn about when employees should not enroll in any part of Medicare, how Medicare coordinates with employer
plans, and how Medicare enrollment affects HSA eligibility.

  • What is Medicare and what does it pay for?
  • When are employees required to enroll in Medicare and when should they wait?
  • Ten tips to help working seniors navigate Medicare

Disability Management Audit
Speaker: Cherri Burdeyny, CEBS, Associate Vice President, Health & Benefits, Aon Hewitt, Edmonton, Alberta

After experiencing a good deal of dissatisfaction with how disability claims were being managed, a thorough audit of the insurer’s processes was undertaken. This session will provide insights to plan sponsors into where they may want to focus efforts, or explore potential best practices to improve (or validate) their disability case management. Discussion points will include: Background; Methodology; Audit Findings; as well as recommendations for role and responsibilities, process best practices and service level expectations.

  • Communication is key for successful delivery
  • Review manual processes to improve service delivery and automated processes for efficiency and effectiveness
  • Good governance and best practices are important to achieve positive, sustainable results.

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

HRAs: The Most Pliable Pretax Program
Speaker: Sandra Wood, CEBS, Chief Benefits Consultant, The Benefits Academy, Auburn, Washington

Many benefits professionals see health reimbursement arrangements as one-dimensional, using them in conjunction with highdeductible health plans that are not HSA-qualified. But HRAs are more flexible than an FSA or HSA. Want to offer extra benefits to compete with larger employers? Provide better rollover provisions than an FSA? Establish a retiree benefit program that won’t break the bank? Have more control over employer funding alongside an HSA-qualified medical plan? This session will cover HRA options and how to use them as a single pretax arrangement and in conjunction with FSA and HSA pretax programs.

  • Understanding the power of the HRA
  • What to consider when analyzing HRA options
  • Questions to ask and answer when setting HRA plan design

Operating Your Plan in Compliance With Your Plan Document
Speaker: Brian Fox, Partner, Murphy Hesse Toomey & Lehane, Quincy, Massachusetts

The session will focus on the importance of operating your plan in accordance with your plan documents. Deficiencies found in plan audits are most often operational failures. This session will discuss the most common operational errors and how plan administrators can detect and correct such errors. Learn what to do when there is a compliance issue with the language of the plan document, how to make sure the plan document remains in compliance with changes in the law and how to be prepared in case of an audit.

  • Most common operation errors for retirement plans?
  • How to detect and correct operational errors
  • How to correct compliance issues in plan documents and maintain compliance with your documents

Paid Family Leave—Navigating a Complicated (and Changing) Landscape
Speaker: Lais Washington, Director of Risk Compliance, Lincoln Financial Group, Boston, Massachusetts

This session will clarify the various laws regulating paid family leave, which continue to expand. For employers, this has created a web of legal and regulatory requirements impacting the administration of employee leave benefits (disability, statutory plans, FMLA, etc.). Come away with a better understanding of paid family leave obligation that varies by federal, state and local leaves and how to best remain compliant and align these everchanging laws with internal leave policies.

  • An overview of various leaves that an employee can experience
  • Employer’s responsibilities and best practices
  • Solutions and resources for multistate employers to manage these various leaves

The Legalization of Marijuana and Its Effect on Health and Welfare Plans
Speaker: Michael McCreary, Partner, Watson Jacobs McCreary, Toronto, Ontario

In 2018 the possession and use of marijuana will be legal in Canada. In response to this federal initiative, the provinces have been scrambling to find appropriate distribution methods. Plan sponsors are deciding whether to treat a prescription (notice) for medical marijuana like other drugs covered by a drug plan. This issue will continue and become more prevalent with legalization. Get an update of the legalities of marijuana possession and the unique legal issues that will arise in 2018 and how those issues intersect with privacy and human rights concerns of the beneficiaries.

  • The law as it relates to medical marijuana
  • Plan sponsor’s obligations to beneficiaries who have a notice
  • Privacy and human rights law as it relates to addiction to marijuana

12:15-1:30 p.m.

Lunch: Fellowship Recognition


1:30-2:30 p.m.

Beyond Wellness: A New Paradigm in Engagement Tied to Business Results
Speaker: Gary Gustafson, CEBS, Divisional Vice President, Limeade, Merrimack, New Hampshire

Wellness programs have failed to bend the health care cost curve despite significant investment. Employers are missing the mark with antiquated approaches to complex problems that require more than jogging and broccoli promotion. Successful programs provide an entire ecosystem that supports emotional, physical and financial well-being. Empirical research points to many positive benefits to employers and employees when an organization authentically invests in the well-being of their employees.

  • How increasing employee engagement and well-being drives revenue, turnover and productivity
  • The eight primary drivers of employee well-being and how to activate them
  • How to empirically tie well-being to business results

Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing (SRI) for Qualified Retirement Plans
Speakers: Gregory Wait, CEBS, President, Falcons Rock Investment Counsel LLC, Germantown, Wisconsin
Jeffrey Suyematsu, Vice President, Business Development, Impax Asset Management LLC, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing—incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria—is a rapidly growing field, with nearly $9 trillion of professional assets under management and a wide body of research indicating that ESG strategies deliver returns in line with mainstream investments, while mitigating certain risks. Learn more about 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 to include ESG investment strategies
  • Investors do not sacrifice returns by investing in ESG strategies

The Forgotten “T” in LGBT Benefits: Legal and Practical Issues to Consider in Expanding Benefits Coverage to Transgender Employees
Speaker: Todd Solomon, Employee Benefits Practice Group Leader, McDermott Will & Emery, Chicago, Illinois

Recent developments have brought the unique challenges faced by transgender employees into the national spotlight and have demonstrated the need for deliberate effort to create a truly inclusive workplace. This session will discuss whether employers are required to offer benefits to transgender employees, the best practices for doing so, and the legal, tax, and administrative implications of offering health care benefits to transgender employees, including vendor selection. We will also discuss the impact on global employers who may have transgender employees working in jurisdictions where such status is not legally protected.

  • Overview of legal requirements, including discrimination laws and ACA Section 1557
  • Tax and administrative implications of offering fully inclusive health coverage, including “cosmetic” procedures
  • Impact of “bathroom laws” and what types of laws and challenges may be coming

Trends in Medication Management
Speaker: Suzanne Lepage, Private Health Plan Strategist, Suzanne Lepage Consulting, Kitchener, Ontario

Get the latest on some of the major industry hot topics and how they may impact health benefit plans. Topics will include pharmacare, PMPRB (Patented Medicines Price Review Board) Reform, pCPA (Pan Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance), biosimilars, medical marijuana and genetic testing. You’ll also hear about the growing trend of patient support programs and how they can improve health outcomes.

  • Updates on major issues
  • Current impact on benefit plans
  • Future impact on benefit plans

2:45-3:45 p.m.

J-Codes: Your Plan’s Biggest Enemy
Speaker: Scott Mayer, Director of Data Analytics, AssuredPartners, Hunt Valley, Maryland

Learn how some of the highest cost specialty medications are bypassing the pharmacy benefit entirely and are instead being acquired by hospitals and doctors through the medical benefit, bypassing your PBM, coded under the HCPCS subset of CPT codes and begin with the letter “J;” hence, “J-Codes; how these different reimbursement models lead to significant cost differentials.

  • What J-Codes are, how they differ from pharmacy claims and how plans bill for them
  • How providers negotiate reimbursements through the medical benefit and how it differs from the pharmacy benefit
  • The role of channel management, site of care, rebates, manufacturer assistance programs and others

Nonqualified Executive Compensation Plans: Overview and Best Practices
Speaker: Kelsey Mayo, Partner, Poyner Spruill, Charlotte, North Carolina

Learn about the critical role of different types of nonqualified and deferred compensation arrangements for select key employees and how these plans can dovetail with qualified plan arrangements. Get the latest on the unique administration considerations and special tax rules to be aware of and how to avoid common errors that lead to significant tax penalties.

  • Determine when nonqualified arrangements are useful
  • Design features of the most common types of nonqualified plans
  • Trends and best practices

Cybersecurity and Employee Benefits: Beyond Checking the Box
Speaker: Petula Workman, CEBS, Division Vice President, Compliance Counsel, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Houston, Texas

As the number of cyberattacks increases, sensitive employee data becomes a greater target. Employers must actively engage in cybersecurity risk management to protect that data. Join this session to learn more about potential fiduciary obligations to protect employee benefits data, creating a cybersecurity framework for that data, and evaluating third-party vendors handling employee benefits data on your behalf.

  • Establish a cybersecurity framework to better protect your data
  • Understand your potential fiduciary responsibilities to protect benefits data
  • Engage your vendors in an in-depth assessment of their cybersecurity protections

Capital Accumulation Plans: The Past, Present and Future
Speaker: Robert Tangney, CEBS, Consultant, Mississauga, Ontario

The session will cover the design of capital accumulation plans in Canada (RRSP, DC pension plans, deferred profit sharing plans and PRPPs). It will provide an overview of legislative requirements and administrative items as they evolved over time, the design of the system and what each program was intended to or could offer, with examples from a small and midsize plan sponsor. As the Capital Accumulation world grows due to a reduction in the DB pension world for private sector employees, decumulation options will be a growing need/gap to fill.

  • An understanding of the legislation impacting Capital Accumulation Plans
  • The growth in the area of these programs and the impact of the newer PRPP/VRSP
  • The opportunity to not only improve the outcome for employees but to reduce sponsor costs and fiduciary duties

4:00-5:00 p.m.

The Ins and Outs of Providing Medical Coverage to a Globally Mobile Workforce
Speaker: Lisa Burkard, CEBS, Managing Director, Spectrum Group Consulting Services, Atlanta, Georgia

As companies continue to expand globally, more employees are working and living outside their home country, on extended business travel or short- and long- term international assignments. This can create the need for a specialized solution to providing medical and travel assistance services. It may differ based on the assignment type, length and location. This session will examine health care differences outside the U.S. and trends and best practices in the management of global medical benefits.

• Coordinating global medical benefits with other travel programs to avoid coverage gaps and overlaps
• Unique features of global medical plans
• Plan design and financing strategies to control costs

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.

Ethical Challenges in Health Care, Medical Plans and Retirement Plans
Speaker: Rick Storms, CEBS, Client Services Manager, Alerus, Arden Hills, Minnesota

This session outlines the key definitions and examples of ethics from medical care, health and welfare plans and retirement plans perspectives through the use of case studies, interactive quizzes and group discussion. Come away with a reinforced understanding of the complexities of ethical decision making in

• Ethical actions are good for business
• Ethical situations arise on a regular basis, and our choices of actions can change depending on the situation
• Ethical actions are more than just intuitive and can be learned and developed

“Let’s Talk” Discussion Forums

These forums are an opportunity to discuss the benefit issues most relevant to you. Whether it’s questions or challenges you brought with you, or thoughts or ideas sparked from an earlier session, you are invited to bring your insights, solutions, best practices, and tips and prepare for a lively discussion!

Let’s Talk Health Care Benefits
Discussion Leader: Donna Pierson, CEBS, Manager, Payroll and Benefits, Milwaukee Center for Independence, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Let’s Talk Retirement Benefits
Discussion Leader: Sean Mahon, CEBS, Lead Senior Consultant, Sibson Consulting, Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Let’s Talk Multiemployer Benefits
Discussion Leader: Maurice Hodos, CEBS, Fund Administrator, UFCW National Health and Welfare Fund, Englewood, New Jersey

Let’s Talk Benefit Challenges (for plan sponsors)
Discussion Leader: Paula Stop, CEBS, Director Benefits, Bell Partners, Greensboro, North Carolina

Let’s Talk Canadian Benefits
Discussion Leader: Kandrice Cantwell, CEBS, Managing Partner, Montridge Advisory Group Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Keynote: Pharmacogenetics and the Value of Personalized Medication Management
Speakers: Veronika Litinski, CEO, GeneYouIn Inc., Toronto, Ontario
Wayne Murphy, CEBS, Senior Manager, Corporate Services, Prudent Benefits Administration Services, Toronto, Ontario

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to many oral drugs. The results of the testing can be shared with your health care practitioners to identify the most precise prescription possible—both the right medication and dose—reducing costly medication waste while improving the efficacy of your treatment and reducing the risk of adverse effects. This session will discuss the research and ROI behind pharmacogenetics and the impact it can have on costs and improved health outcomes.

9:30-10:30 a.m.
Why Workplace Health Is as Important as PE, Recess and School Lunch
Speaker: Kristy Clark, Wellness Account Executive, Parker Smith & Feek, Bellevue, Washington

Take a look at what schools and worksites have in common in regard to contributing to public health. Compare the various external influencers of health, from policy to individual choice, and where the workplace fits in this paradigm. Employers can provide components of awareness, opportunity, skills and motivation toward better health. Learn which of these areas has the most influence and examples of how to bring it to your workplace. See where even some small employers have gained traction in health promotion.

• Implications of providing health literacy and a culture of health at work
• Understanding the landscape of workplaces in targeting behavior and accessing health care
• Learn some practical places to start

Understanding the Retirement Planning Needs of Boomer Women and Hourly Wage Earners
Speakers: Stacy Donck, CEBS, Strategic Relationship Director, Consumer Experience, Voya Financial, Braintree, Massachusetts
David Simpson, CEBS, Director, Benefits, Sodexo, Allentown, Pennsylvania

When considering retirement planning needs in today’s workforce, hourly wage earners and Boomer women have distinct perspectives. Hourly wage earners—representing 56% of the workforce—are a diverse group, ranging from minimum wage earners, to higher earners in health care, IT and higher education, and other areas. Of the 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching 65 each day, 52% are women, and many of these women are part of that hourly wage group. Gain insight into the value of the workplace retirement plan and how positioning, plan design, education and communication can meet the needs of these distinct groups.

• The demographic makeup and unique needs of Boomer women
• What makes an hourly workforce unique
• How employers and service providers can best support the retirement planning and transition process

How to Uncover Symptoms of Sexual Harassment in Your Organization
Speakers: Pam Jeffords, Partner, Mercer, Denver, Colorado
Madeleine Winslow, Project Manager, Mercer, Denver, Colorado

With the surge in sexual harassment claims across industries, many companies are undoubtedly evaluating their current culture to uncover any symptoms of sexual misconduct. An unintended positive consequence is that people are talking about this decades-old issue openly. Leaders have a role to play in establishing that the momentum for gender parity continues and to take action to identify and remediate cultural symptoms of sexual misconduct that might be within the organization. Learn about recent survey findings and best practices for clear actions that companies can take to ensure that all employees thrive.

• Education on the full spectrum of sexual harassment
• Best practices from leading companies to mitigate risk
• Assessment tools to uncover symptoms of sexual harassment in your organization

10:45-11:45 a.m.

Fraud in Employee Benefit Plans and Health Care Exchanges
Speaker: James Bushnell, CEBS, Founder and Managing Principal, Bushnell & Company, Austin, Texas

The issue of fraud in employee benefit plans is an expensive one for employers, insurers, employees and society but is not talked about frequently. Whether you’re an early career professional, or have years of experience, this eye-opening session will provide an overview of the fraud issues and red flags you need to know.

• Where fraud occurs in benefit plans and exchanges
• Financial impact of fraud
• How to spot fraud, and remedies when fraud is discovered

Best Practices in Reviewing Annual Retirement Plan Financial Statements and Forms 5500
Speaker: Crystal Coleman, CEBS, Audit Principal, Employee Benefit Plans, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Roseville, California

In April 2017, the Auditing Standards Board released the proposed Statement on Auditing Standards Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA for public comment. This could change the Auditor’s Report and may require certain items to be included in a separate paragraph of the report.  The DOL also has a 777 page proposal to rewrite the Form 5500 and change nearly every element of the Form.  This session will provide insight into both of these potential changes and how plan sponsors can prepare.

•    Review financial statements for accuracy and completeness using reporting packages and a disclosure checklist.
•    Understand the complexities of investment arrangements and unique financial reporting requirements for each.
•    Understand upcoming changes to the auditor’s report and proposed revisions to Form 5500.

Disaster Preparedness for Benefits and HR
Speaker: Jay Kirschbaum, Vice President, Lockton Companies, St. Louis, Missouri

Natural or other disasters can strike employers at any time, with significant impact. Moreover, steps employers take with respect to their employees and their benefit plans to ease concerns are subject to rules and regulations. The federal agencies have provided some leeway for those affected by the recent widespread
disasters, but there is no guarantee that they will always do so and, typically, there is much less flexibility for disasters on a smaller scale or affecting fewer employers. This session will cover the ins and outs of disaster preparedness and employer plan compliance requirements.

• An overview of disaster preparedness
• Compliance with ERISA, the IRC and others during and after a disaster
• Use employer plans effectively to assist employees after a disaster and in the return to work.

Sustainability Doesn’t Equal Adequacy
Speaker: Blair Richards, CEBS, CEO, Halifax Port ILA HEA, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Recently, changes to pensions have centered mainly on sustainability, with a focus on limiting both contributions and liabilities and less emphasis on the adequacy of the retirees’ benefits. This session bridges the sustainability of the pension plan and the adequacy of the retirement benefit. The new plan designs implemented to replace traditional DB plans will be examined briefly, demonstrating what problems have been solved and what problems still exist. Examine the role of a workplace pension in a comprehensive retirement plan. Sponsors will be challenged to make definitive decisions on their organizations’ objectives with respect to their pension plans.

• Sustainability does not necessarily mean adequacy
• Plan sponsors should decide if their assistance is limited to the accumulation phase or will extend to decumulation
• All employees face retirement income adequacy questions and require a comprehensive plan.

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

Six-Year Journey Reaps Decline in Medical Spend
Speakers: Lisa J. Allen, CEBS, Senior Director, Total Rewards, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana
Mary Delaney, Director, Vital Incite, Indianapolis, Indiana

What if your CFO wants you to control the cost of medical spend, but your company is hiring people with poor health literacy? Goodwill has found an approach to providing medical benefits that are appropriate for their population and that provide cost -efficient and effective access to medical care. The six-year process includes formation of leadership engagement, messaging efforts, plan design including utilization of best options from several vendor partners and use of data to drive objective decisions.

• Use medical risk data analytics to improve design, employee health and health care spend management
• How to provide qualitative and quantitative data to illustrate program goals to the C-Suite
• How to perform a cost/benefit analysis on wellness project using claim and biometric risk data

Plan Fiduciary’s Best Practices to Avoid 401(k) and 403(b) Lawsuits
Speaker: Mary Komornicka, CEBS, Attorney, Larkin Hoffman, Minneapolis, MN

Plan lawsuits alleging breach of fiduciary duty can lead to multimillion dollar settlements, significant legal costs and bad publicity. Plan sponsors should be educated on legal risks and best practices to protect the plan and its fiduciaries from such challenges. This session will cover such strategies, including reducing or eliminating revenue sharing agreements, getting the most favorable share class for plan investments, engaging qualified outside advisors, and conducting regular and diligent reviews of the plan and its investment and fee structure.

• Best practices for managing a savings plan investment committee
• Commonalities of recent lawsuits and how committees can insulate themselves
• Unique challenges of managing a plan that includes company stock

Designing and Implementing a Student Loan Assistance Benefit
Speaker: John Eshleman, CEBS, Director, Benefits, Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston, Texas

If you are considering offering a student loan assistance benefit, learn what questions you should ask, how to find the right vendor partner, the compliance issues to be aware of and the potential effect on employee engagement and retention.

• How effective programs can be structured
• The key components of an effective implementation
• How to dovetail it with existing financial wellness programs

So What? Translating Data and Jargon Into Action
Speaker: Lizann Reitmeier, CEBS, Canadian Health Practice Leader, Buck, Toronto, Ontario

The massive amount of underlying data in a benefit plan can quickly lead to analysis paralysis. If insurers are predicting a 10% increase in health plan costs or a new drug is coming to market with a $1 million price tag, what does that mean and what can a plan sponsor do about it? Delve into some of the interesting data that is hidden in your plan and what it could mean to future plan costs or employee engagement and retention.

• Identifying important information in benefit plan data
• How to share data with other decision makers in the organization
• Considerations for determining strategic actions based on plan data


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