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Colleen Medill Appointed to the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans


Colleen Medill, Of Counsel at Koley Jessen and Robert and Joanne Berkshire Family Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law, has been appointed to serve for a three year term beginning in 2017 as a member of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, known as the ERISA Advisory Council, by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

Perez announced the newest members, who represent the interests of labor, management and the public, as well as the incoming chair and vice chair of the council on December 12. He said the members joining the council “are uniquely qualified to help it accomplish its goals. Their expertise will be a valuable complement to the department’s mission to protect workers’ benefits.”

Colleen is a nationally recognized expert in the area. She is an elected fellow at the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Her ERISA textbook, “Introduction to Employee Benefits Law: Policy And Practice,” is used at over 40 law schools.

She regularly speaks at national conferences on the responsibilities of employers and the rights of employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Affordable Care Act, and previously testified as an invited expert witness before the ERISA Advisory Council in 2014 on trends in fiduciary plan administration and the outsourcing of ERISA fiduciary duties.

“Serving as a member of the ERISA Advisory Council will be an exciting intellectual challenge, particularly given the anticipated changes that a Trump Administration will propose for the regulation of employer-sponsored health care and retirement plans,” said Colleen. “The Council is tasked with studying and proposing solutions to difficult problems. I am looking forward to using my both my theoretical knowledge and my experience working with clients to provide practical insights into how proposed changes in federal employee benefits law may impact the general public.”

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, members of the council 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.

The group will next convene in March in Washington, D.C. to welcome the new members and to plan the Council’s research agenda for 2017.

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