Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces Appointments to Employee Retirement Income Security Act Advisory Council
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the appointment of five members and leadership for the 2020 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council. The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
“The knowledge and expertise these new members bring to the employee benefits discussion will be a strong asset for the ERISA Advisory Council,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Acting Assistant Secretary Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson. “We look forward to working with this group, which complements the ongoing work of the U.S. Department of Labor on behalf of workers, retirees and their families.”
By law, council members serve staggered 3-year terms. Members represent nine fields including employee organizations (at least one of whom represents an organization whose members are participants in a multiemployer plan), employers (at least one of whom represents employers maintaining or contributing to multiemployer plans), general public (at least one of whom represents those receiving benefits from a pension plan), insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management and accounting.
The appointees and the expertise they represent are:
Employee Organizations: John R. Harney is a partner at O’Donoghue & O’Donoghue LLP. He has more than 30 years of experience in providing legal services to employee organizations, multiemployer plans, and other pension and welfare benefit funds. Harney has taught law school classes and presented to national conferences on employee benefits law and multiemployer plan issues and has contributed to and edited several ERISA textbooks.
Employers: Glenn Butash is Managing Counsel, U.S. Compensation and Benefits, at Nokia Corp. where he provides legal advice in connection with the design and operation of large, complex, defined benefit, defined contribution and welfare benefit plans. Butash also provides legal advice to Nokia’s plan administrators, fiduciary committees, and its in-house investment manager. In 2019, he served a one-year term on the ERISA Council, filling a vacancy caused by a member resignation.
General Public: Peter Wiedenbeck is the Joseph H. Zumbalen Professor of the Law of Property at the Washington University School of Law. He has more than 30 years of experience teaching employee benefits law and taxation. Wiedenbeck has published extensively in the employee benefit plans area. He also serves on Washington University’s Retirement Plan Advisory Committee.
Accounting: James Haubrock is a shareholder with Clark Schaefer Hackett. He is a certified public accountant with extensive experience in employee benefit plan audit services. Haubrock also is the former Chair of the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center.
Insurance: Lisa C. Allen is a Senior Compliance Consultant for the Alera Group. She is an employee benefits expert with more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. Allen is a former member of the IRS Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee and the IRS Advisory Council.
Butash has been reappointed and will serve as the chair of the 2020 ERISA Council. Current member David Kritz will serve as the Council’s vice chair. Kritz is Assistant Deputy General Counsel for Norfolk Southern Corp., where he provides legal advice on benefits, compensation, employment and corporate issues. With more than 25 years of experience as an ERISA attorney, he is a member of the Retirement Income and Health and Welfare Task Forces of the American Benefits Council and was a founding Board Member of the In-House Benefits Council Network.
The mission of EBSA is to assure the security of the retirement, health and other workplace related benefits of America’s workers and their families. EBSA will accomplish this mission by developing effective regulations; assisting and educating workers, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers; and vigorously enforcing the law.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.