Thursday, March 7, 2024
8:00 AM - 8:15 AM Networking Opportunity
8:15 AM - 8:30 AM Welcome from Lisa Monsein
8:30 AM - 8:55 Legal Update and Q&A with Deb Najjar
9:00 - 10:30 Program
1.5 SHRM & HRCI credits approved
TOPIC: "Plan Sponsor Obligations under ERISA: What Your Service Providers Never Told You"
Often, Plan Sponsors (employers) and members of employer pension and investment committees do not understand their obligations under ERISA as fiduciaries of the employer’s retirement programs. They too often falsely rely on their service providers, without understanding the plan sponsor’s duty to oversee such providers and meet other ERISA responsibilities. The federal agencies which enforce ERISA, including the DOL, PBGC, and IRS, have stepped up audit and enforcement activities as well as penalties against plan sponsors. ERISA violations are found in approximately 77% of plans audited by the government.
This program designed for employers will discuss Plan Sponsor obligations and risk management issues including: plan sponsors’ fiduciary obligations under ERISA; common problems revealed during audits and how to self-audit for such problems; guidelines for selecting and overseeing service providers; the fee disclosure rules and how to evaluate fees associated with the plan; ERISA reporting obligations; fiduciary indemnification; and the DOL and IRS correction programs for non-compliant plans. Failure to understand and comply with ERISA can expose the plan sponsor and plan fiduciaries to government penalties as well as to fiduciary liability, both civil and criminal, to participants and the plan.
Debra Dyleski-Najjar, Esq., is president and founder of the Najjar Employment Law Group, P.C. with offices located in Boston and North Andover. She founded NELGPC in April 2008 as a labor, employment and benefits boutique law firm to provide strategic legal advice, backed by litigation expertise, for employers. A significant part of Debra’s time is focused on correcting ERISA plan violations, assisting employers during plan audits, defending fiduciary breach allegations, negotiating service provider agreements, and educating plan fiduciaries about their compliance obligations. Ms. Najjar is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has practiced employment and ERISA law for over thirty-five years. Before establishing NELGPC, she was an equity partner in the Boston office of a 250-attorney regional law firm, with offices in Boston, Providence and Concord. Due to Ms. Najjar’s significant professional accomplishments, in 2007, she was nominated by her peers and inducted as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and served as Chair of the First Circuit Credentialing Committee for many years. For over twenty consecutive years, she has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, a recognition bestowed on the top 5% of attorneys, and is recognized in Best Lawyers for labor and employment. She served on the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors of the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (2015-2017), and is an active member of the New Hampshire Bar Association moderating the annual Labor and Employment State Conference for the past twenty years. She also serves as the SHRM Massachusetts Legislative Director and Legislative Director of the Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resource Association. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, magna cum laude Durant Scholar, and Boston University School of Law, summa cum laude, third in her class and an Editor of the Law Review. She is admitted to practice before the state and federal courts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as the United States Supreme Court, and is a credentialed member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA).
Kim St. Pierre, is a seasoned professional with nearly 30 years of experience in the retirement plan industry. As the president and founder of SetAway, LLC, based in Bedford, NH, Kim has established herself as a leading expert in providing comprehensive retirement plan solutions to local business owners in New England. SetAway, an independent third-party administration firm, specializes in plan design, document preparation, consultation, 3(16) services, and third-party administration. Kim and her dedicated team are passionate about helping business owners and employees achieve their financial goals through innovative and flexible retirement plans. Kim's journey in the retirement plan industry began at Mass Mutual, where she gained valuable experience before taking on the role of leading a startup TPA/Recordkeeping firm in Manchester, NH. Under her leadership, the company experienced remarkable growth, employing over 55 professionals and servicing more than a thousand plans nationwide over two decades. In 2015, driven by a vision to provide even more personalized and client-focused services, Kim founded SetAway, LLC. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her educational background, combined with years of hands-on experience, positions her as a trusted advisor in the retirement planning space.
Our Sponsor: Interesting in Sponsoring? Contact Julie Moore at email@example.com
For more information:
Contact: Caitlin Clary