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News Release

Secretary of Labor Perez appoints new members, leadership
for 2016 ERISA Advisory Council

WASHINGTONU.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has appointed five new members to the 2016 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, known as the ERISA Advisory Council. He also announced the incoming chair and vice chair of the council.

"Robust input from independent experts makes for good federal policy," said Secretary Perez. "I commend the new and returning members of the council for dedicating their time to continuously improving employee benefits policy."

The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. By law, council members serve for staggered three-year terms. Three members are representatives of employee organizations (at least one of whom represents an organization whose members are participants in a multiemployer plan). Three members are representatives of employers (at least one of whom represents employers maintaining or contributing to multiemployer plans). Three members are representatives of the general public. There is one representative each from the fields of insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management and accounting.

Perez appointed current member Mark E. Schmidtke as council chair and Jennifer Kamp Tretheway as the council's vice chair.

A shareholder with the law firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. in Valparaiso, Indiana, Schmidtke represents insurers in litigation of life, health and disability insurance matters and employee benefit plans, advising them on issues related to ERISA. He is a fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, and author of numerous books and articles on employee benefit issues.

Tretheway retired recently as a trust company executive with Northern Trust, after 39 years of service, most recently as senior vice president and managing director of Investment Program Solutions. She managed client service for institutional tax-exempt clients and has experience with outsourcing, overseeing other managers, developing emerging and minority managers, and supervising compliance with ERISA regulatory issues.

The newly appointed members and the expertise they represent are:

General public: Beth A. Almeida is principal researcher with the Center on Aging at the American Institutes for Research, where she writes on employee benefits, transitions to retirement, and long-term care. She is the former executive director of the National Institute on Retirement Security, and served on the Executive Board of the Labor and Employment Research Association. Almeida is a member of the Gerontological Society of America.

Employers: Patricia M. Haverland is vice president, Pension Fund Management for Siemens' North American operations. She has more than 25 years of experience as a plan sponsor. Haverland has led the investment, design, compliance, and communication of multi-asset class investment and funding strategies for U.S. and international pension and 401(k) plans. She earned the chartered financial analyst designation from the CFA Institute.

Employee organizations: Tazewell V. Hurst III is a senior research economist with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers. His work focuses on contract negotiations on defined benefit pension plans. Hurst teaches classes on pension fundamentals to rank-and-file union members. His research interests include the impact of financial economics on pension funds and pension fund investments.

Actuarial Counseling: Cynthia J. Levering retired from Aon Consulting as a senior vice president and consulting actuary in 2009 after 33 years with the firm. She consulted on qualified defined benefit, defined contribution plans, non-qualified plans, and other post­retirement benefits for plan sponsors of various sizes. Levering served previously as chair of the Society of Actuaries' Pension Section Council and the Pension Section Research Team.

Investment Counseling: Stacy R. Scapino is a partner and global leader for Mercer Investments' Multinational Corporate Consulting activities . She has worked in pensions, investments and banking for more than 25 years, including roles at Mercer, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the National Futures Association. Scapino is an active public speaker and publisher of articles and research about retirement plans issues and risks.

For more information about the ERISA Advisory Council, visit

EBSA News Release: [12/18/2015]
Contact Name: Michael Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-6588
Release Number: 15-2462-NAT