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Employee Benefits in the Biden Administration - Thoughts on the Next Four Years

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 94 minutes
Recorded Date: December 16, 2020
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  • Regulatory Tools
  • Beginning of a New Administration
  • Likely Legislative Priorities
  • DOL Priorities
  • Pension Plans/PBGC Priorities
  • Treasury/IRS Priorities
Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Recorded: December 16, 2020


Our esteemed panel has significant experience in leadership roles with both DOL and Treasury and on the Hill, as well as extensive private sector experience. Moreover, two of our panelists have been involved in Presidential transition work focusing on health care and employee benefits on behalf of multiple incoming Administrations.

This program was recorded on December 16th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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J. Mark Iwry

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Economic Studies
The Brookings Institute

Mark Iwry is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in Economic Studies. He also is a Visiting Scholar at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He served from 2009 to January 2017 as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and concurrently as Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy, with legislative, policymaking, rulemaking, and other regulatory responsibilities with respect to pensions, retirement, savings, health care (including legislative and regulatory implementation of the Affordable Care Act), other employee benefits, and related tax policy. He previously was a co-founder and Principal of the Retirement Security Project (2003-09), Research Professor at Georgetown University, and the Treasury Department’s Benefits Tax Counsel (1995-2001). He also was a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling and Of Counsel to the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, providing advice and assistance to major corporations, financial institutions, trade associations, small businesses, and non-profits. He is co-editor of two books – Automatic: Changing the Way America Saves (Brookings 2009) and Aging Gracefully: Ideas to Improve Retirement Security in America (Century Foundation 2006) — and has testified before Congress on more than 25 occasions. He has provided policy advice to numerous federal and state legislators (Democrats and Republicans) and five Presidential campaigns. He has been recognized as one of the world’s “30 top financial players” (Smart Money magazine), “Investment News 20” (20 individuals expected to have a major influence on the financial services industry), number 3 among the “100 most influential people in 401(k)” (401(k) Wire), etc., and has received awards for achievement, leadership, and innovation from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Insured Retirement Institute, the American Payroll Association, InvestmentNews, the Retirement Income Industry Association, the Pension Rights Center, the Small Business Council of America, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), the US Treasury Department, and the IRS.

Mr. Iwry co-authored President Obama’s “auto IRA” legislative proposal to expand retirement savings coverage to some 40 million additional households through automatic enrollment in IRAs. He played a central role in initiating and designing the nationwide initiative to encourage states to adopt auto IRAs and other retirement savings programs for private-sector citizens, the direct deposit of tax refunds into IRAs, the small business startup tax credit for new retirement plans, and the rollback of the FSA “use it or lose it” rule. He also led the government’s efforts to promote lifetime retirement income (including longevity and other annuities), and was a principal architect of the Saver’s Credit to expand 401(k) and IRA coverage (claimed annually on 8 million tax returns), the “myRA”, and the “SIMPLE” IRA plan (covering 3 to 4 million workers). In the 1990s, he formulated and directed Treasury’s strategy to define, approve, and promote 401(k) automatic enrollment as well as automatic rollovers and payroll deduction IRAs, and later was instrumental in developing the Pension Protection Act of 2006 autoenrollment provisions. He has periodically served as an expert witness in federal court litigation relating to retirement plans, has served as Senior Policy Advisor to AARP, and serves on boards of advisors for or otherwise advises the American Benefits Institute, the Board of Advisors of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School, the Council of Scholar Advisors of the Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives, the Panel of Outside Scholars of the Boston College Center for Retirement Research, the CUNA Mutual Safety Net Independent Advisory Board, the Aspen Leadership Forum Advisory Board, and the Board of Advisors of the Brookings Institution’s Retirement Policy Project. Iwry also serves as an adviser to corporate plan sponsors and providers, trade associations, fintechs, private equity firms, other investment firms, and other financial institutions. He is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

On a lighter note, his observations on taxation and the tax system are quoted more frequently than nearly any other individual in the anthology As Certain As Death: Quotations About Taxes (ed., J. Yablon, Tax Analysts 2015), where they appear along with (better) quotes from more eminent authorities including Adam Smith, Voltaire, Franklin, Jefferson, de Tocqueville, the Old Testament, and Dave Barry.

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Henry Charles Eickelberg

Adjunct Professor of Law
Georgetown Law

Henry Charles Eickelberg, CPA, JD, LLM is a recipient of the 2015 Charles Fahy Award for Distinguished Adjunct Professor. Mr. Eickelberg is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center where he is the faculty advisor for the ERISA certificate program in the University’s advanced legal program. He teaches a comprehensive ERISA practicum class and has previously taught graduate level classes in corporate mergers and acquisitions, employee benefits in bankruptcy, as well as ERISA litigation management. He is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Charles Fehy Award for Distinguished Adjunct Professor. Mr. Eickelberg is also the lead instructor for the American Bar Association’s Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Mergers & Acquisitions workshop for practicing attorneys.

Mr. Eickelberg was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The Advisory Committee reports to the PBGC Director and the PBGC Board of Directors which is comprised of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Secretary of Labor and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The Advisory Committee oversees the PBGC’s administrative and strategic direction.

Mr. Eickelberg is the Employer Co-Chairman of Trustees for both the IAM National 401(k) Fund and IAM National Pension Fund (with over $12 billion in assets making it one of the largest and best funded multiemployer pension funds in the USA). In these roles, Mr. Eickelberg is responsible for providing oversight of the Fund’s strategic direction, administrative and investment programs and compliance with government regulations.

Previously, Mr. Eickelberg was the corporate Vice President of Human Resources and Shared Services for a Fortune 100 company with international operations. In that capacity, Mr. Eickelberg oversaw the HR and benefit aspects of the organization’s numerous M&A activity including all integration and transition services, as well as managed the company’s numerous benefit programs (including assuring compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations and DoD Cost Accounting Standards) that covered more than 225,000 active and retired employees. Mr. Eickelberg was responsible for selecting, negotiating, managing and transitioning external outsourcing and consulting vendor relationships across the spectrum of HR activities. He was also responsible for the company’s shared services organization that processed the company’s domestic payroll and payroll taxes, provided accounting and compliance services, processed travel and expense reports and payments and provided other financially-related compliance activities. Additionally, Mr. Eickelberg served as the company’s labor relations liaison, which included overseeing the creation and maintenance of the company’s European Works Council.

Mr. Eickelberg is a former Jenner & Block partner where he specialized in executive compensation, ERISA and M&A. Prior to Jenner & Block, Mr. Eickelberg spent nearly a decade as a consultant with William M. Mercer, Inc., a world-wide benefits consultancy.

Mr. Eickelberg is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and serves on the College’s Executive Committee. He is former Chairman of the American Benefits Council (ABC) and serves on the Board of Directors of the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC). Mr. Eickelberg is a member of the Board of Directors of, which is a website dedicated to lawyers in corporate M&A field. He was also a member of the Bloomberg BNA ERISA Advisory Board, which is a distinguished panel of ERISA and executive compensation legal professionals.

Mr. Eickelberg has testified before the United States Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee on Select Revenue Matters concerning pension security and funding and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on ERISA and labor relations matters. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia (active) and the State of Florida (active) and the State of Illinois (inactive) and holds a US Top Secret clearance.

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Phyllis Borzi

Assistant Secretary of Labor
U.S. Department of Labor

As head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) in the U.S. Department of Labor, Phyllis C. Borzi not only oversees issues related to pensions and retirement plans, but also will help enforce part of the health care reform law as it pertains to businesses. She was confirmed by the Senate on July 10, 2009, and sworn in three days later..

A Democrat with pro-employee sympathies, Borzi is said to be respected by Republicans and employer groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is also the nation’s leading expert on the law that governs workplace benefits, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

A native of New York state, Borzi earned her Bachelor of Arts in 1968 from Ladycliff College in Highland Falls, New York, her Master of Arts degree in English in 1970 from Syracuse University and her JD in 1978 from Catholic University Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the law review.

She began her professional life as a high school English teacher.

From 1979 to 1995, Borzi served as pension and employee benefit counsel for the House Subcommittee on Labor-Management Relations (part of the Committee on Education and Labor). In 1993, she served on working groups dealing with insurance reform, workers’ compensation and employer coverage Hillary Clinton's Presidential Task Force on Health Care Reform.

From 1995 to 2009, Borzi was a research professor in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University Medical Center’s School of Public Health and Health Services. In that position, she was involved in research and policy analysis involving employee benefit plans, the uninsured, managed care, and legal barriers to the development of health information technology. She was also co-director of the university’s Hirsch Health Law and Policy Program.

During this same time, she also worked at the Washington, DC, law firm of O’Donoghue & O’Donoghue LLP, specializing in ERISA and other legal issues affecting employee benefit plans, including pensions and retirement savings, health plans, and discrimination based on age or disability.

Following the 2008 presidential election, Borzi led the EBSA review for President Barack Obama’s transition team.

Borzi is a charter member and former president of The American College of Employee Benefit Counsel and served on its board of governors from 2000-2008; former member and former co-chair of the advisory board of the Pensions and Benefits Reporter; former member of the advisory committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; former member of the advisory board of the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and former member of the board of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement. In 2008, she was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and served as a public member of the administrative committee for the Goodyear retiree health trust.

Borzi has published numerous articles on ERISA, health care law and policy and retirement security issues and has been a frequent speaker to legal, professional, business, consumer and state and local governmental organizations. An active member of the American Bar Association, she is the former chair of the ABA’s Joint Committee on Employee Benefits.

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