Several Alston & Bird attorneys delivered presentations during this meeting hosted by the American Academy of Actuaries. Emily Mao presented "I'm a Plan Sponsor. Get Me Outta Here!" on April 12, 2:30pm - 4:00pm. Many employers have become increasingly unhappy with their DB plans and would love to get rid of them. Emily's panel discussed the issues surrounding plan sponsors "exiting the DB business," including the strategies a sponsor might use to reduce or eliminate the plan (plan freeze, annuity purchase, or plan termination). The panel also discussed the related issues of funding, investment, and communication strategies for plan sponsors in a variety of situations (e.g., over- or underfunded).
Carolyn Smith presented "Plan Fee and Fiduciary Issues" on April 13, 2:00pm - 3:30pm. Issues relating to plan fees are getting more complicated and gaining more attention from the courts, regulators and Congress. Carolyn's panel reviewed the legal environment and highlighted practical pointers to help work through the issues. Many of these issues are as applicable to DB plans as to DC plans. David Godofsky presented "Ethical Dilemmas" on April 13, 4:00pm - 5:30pm. In this session, volunteers from the audience debated with each other and the panel on ethical problems that are serious, difficult and fun, and discussed common dilemmas faced by actuaries and the ethical issues that arise. The session was set-up in a case study format. He also presented "How Not to be a Fiduciary" on April 14, 8:00am - 9:15am. As the laws grow more complex, there are more ways in which enrolled actuaries can inadvertently become fiduciaries under ERISA. David's panel looked at the law, what Enrolled Actuaries do, how not to cross the line into fiduciary territory, and the consequences that can occur if they do.
Jamie Hutchinson presented "409A Pitfalls and Fixes" on April 14, 9:45am - 11:00am. It's here and errors abound. Whether realized or not, SERPs are covered under 409A. Many plan sponsors are not getting them quite right. Jamie's panel discussed what the traps are, what is going wrong and how to fix those errors as painlessly as possible.
April 11-14, 2010
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel / Washington, DC