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Secretary Solis names new members to ERISA Advisory Council

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has announced five new members to the 2011 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, commonly referred to as the ERISA Advisory Council. In addition to the new members, Solis has also announced who will serve as the council’s incoming chair and vice chair. The 15-member council offers advice on policies and regulations that affect any employee benefit plans governed by ERISA. By law, members of the council serve for staggered three-year terms.

Theda R. Haber and Mildeen Worrell, both of whom currently serve on the Council, will be the chair and vice chair of the council. As for the new members, Marilee Lau from Kentfield, Calif., will focus on accounting, as she has more than 30 years of experience with ERISA accounting and auditing issues. Lau is the immediate past chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center Executive Committee. Gary Thayer, counsel to Archer, Byington, Glennon & Levine LLP in Merrick, N.Y., representing multi-employer employee benefit funds and single-employer benefit funds, will focus on employee organizations. Richard Turner, the vice president and deputy council for Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co, will focus on insurance, while Karne Barnes, McDonald’s Corp’s managing counsel, will focus on employers. Finally, Portia Wu, the vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, will lend her expertise on how the plans may affect the general public.

“I am excited about the group of new members selected to serve on the council, and look forward to the contributions that they and the council’s new leadership will make,” said Secretary Solis. “The work of the council affects important issues concerning the retirement and health benefits of America’s workers, and I appreciate their willingness to serve.”

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