NEWS RELEASE

June 18, 2014
NR 2014-9

For additional information:
Jason Hammersla
office 202-289-6700 / cell 202-422-4652

Council urges DOL panel: preserve flexibility for companies to outsource benefit plan services

WASHINGTON, DC — "Flexibility must be a key component of any government or company initiative" when selecting the supplier of benefit services, said Allison R. Klausner, assistant general counsel - benefits for Honeywell International Inc., on behalf of the American Benefits Council, before the ERISA Advisory Council on June 18.

As the ERISA Advisory Council considers the outsourcing of employee benefit plan services and the allocation of legal responsibilities and risk for activities of service providers on behalf of the plan, the Council is urging the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to avoid adding additional layers of complexity to employer plan sponsorship.

"The Council would support DOL initiatives with regard to outsourcing work relating to the delivery of employee benefits, but only so long as it is not one that limits the freedoms of the plan sponsor to make corporate decisions that fit its corporate culture and the personality and needs of its workforce," Klausner said.

Klausner also discussed the advantages of plan outsourcing, noting that such services can help employers:

  • Gain access to expertise and technology.
  • Achieve economies of scale and reduce costs.
  • Focus on their core business, rather than the business of managing its employee benefit plans.

"Any government initiative in this area should permit continued flexibility for American companies as they provide benefits to their workers and retirees in an effort to support their collective health and financial well-being," Klausner said.

Klausner's testimony is available on the Council website. For more information on benefits outsourcing or the Council's testimony, or to arrange an interview with Klausner, please contact Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications, at jhammersla@abcstaff.org or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 422-4652 (cell).

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.