The Symposium is the must-attend event for hundreds of corporate benefits professionals every year. Designed with a variety of U.S., Canadian and globally oriented sessions, the Symposium is an unparalleled opportunity to learn from and alongside industry colleagues, experts and leaders. Solution-oriented workshops, discussions, case studies and strategic sessions offering practical, timely takeaways are designed with your professional needs in mind.
The Generation Z demographic (those born since 1997) is the most racially diverse in history and likely to be more than a quarter of the workforce by 2030. These are the workers your business needs to grow, but the usual tactics to attract, retain and engage them are not likely to be effective. Learn what these employees value in benefits, workplace culture and values; the hiring barriers to overcome; and how to harness this cohort’s distinct talents, skills and perspectives.
This session queues up 2½ days of Canadian benefits sessions with an overview and analysis of legislative and regulatory activity as well as relevant legal cases at the federal and provincial levels. Find out what these activities mean for your group, pension and other benefit plans.
Get an informative and comprehensive analysis of recent, proposed and potential legislation affecting benefit plans, and learn what a divided Congress and a new member of the Supreme Court could mean for the decisions that shape your health and retirement plans.
Caregiving was already a top issue before it was thrust into the limelight during the pandemic and many caregiver supports were stripped away. Employers and the workforce have adapted along the way to better support caregiving. But are we doing it the right way? And is it enough? What is the caregiver impact and influence on diversity, equity and inclusion? Learn who in your workforce is a caregiver, the particular challenges and obligations caregivers face, and how supporting caregivers can help align and achieve organizational goals.
Historic inflation continues to create challenges for managing and maintaining cost-effective group benefits plans. Some plan sponsors are pausing or cutting back on benefits, but a labour shortage means potential hires are strongly considering available benefits when deciding to apply—or stay at—a job. How can plan sponsors thread the needle of benefit sustainability, cost containment and talent retention?
Get an update on the very latest provisions in the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0), which became law in late 2022. The session will also cover DOL proposed regulations relating to the definition of fiduciary under ERISA as well as any additional regulatory developments involving needed guidance for SECURE 2.0 provisions.
Forty percent of the country has two or more chronic physical and mental health conditions. Add to that the rising costs of staying healthy—expenses like healthy food, preventive care and medications—and you’ve got a perfect storm brewing. Is there time to prevent chronic disease before system-wide health care costs skyrocket even more? Employers need support to solve the chronic condition crisis. Chronic care solutions help treat existing symptoms while instilling behavior changes that prevent long-term progression. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but employers cannot go about this alone.
New research from Voya Cares and Easterseals signals a paradigm shift in how older employees are regarded in the workforce. Learn about employment extenders—the growing group of employees who are working past traditional retirement age—who they are, why it’s important to understand their unique needs and how employers can support them.
With inflation, a tight labor market and the emergency savings provisions in the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0), benefits that increase employee financial security and opportunity are gaining traction. One proven approach is to offer inclusive, high-quality emergency savings options to help employees meet unexpected expenses. The Fresh Market partnered with Commonwealth to understand the unique financial needs of its 10,000+ diverse employees across 22 states and deliver emergency savings offerings that benefit all and increase 401(k) plan usage. This includes in-depth interviews to understand the needs and barriers to emergency savings and the impact of earned wage access. We will also present the results of a split-deposit campaign to encourage automatic savings each payday.
Explore strategies and tactics plan sponsors are using to win the ongoing battle against high-cost medical claims, and learn how to protect your medical plan against unknown risks. Explore the appropriate role of stop-loss protection, including strategies around specific stop-loss deductibles, supplemental coverage for emerging genetic drugs, etc.; strategies for removing high-cost claimants from your medical plan; practical ideas and concepts for employee education and support; detecting and avoiding provider fraud and waste; and direct sourcing of medical/Rx services—all illustrated with case studies that will provide actionable information.
A compassionate and trauma-informed (TI) approach to leadership is essential for creating healthy workplace cultures. Trauma is prevalent in our world and impacts many of the people we interact with, including staff and colleagues. This interactive session will share how to lead with a TI approach and provide the fundamental principles that trauma-informed workplaces embody. By embracing these principles, organizations can contribute to the positive transformation of individuals and relationships impacted by trauma while also creating an ecosystem that leads to high levels of employee commitment and organizational success.
Communicating your organization’s spirit and intent for diversity and inclusion (D&I) is just the first step, but what additional actions do you take to create, sustain and thrive with an open environment of inclusion? How do you operationalize desired outcomes through the benefits you offer? Whether country-specific environments present highly restricted or regulated barriers to D&I or you just don’t know where to begin, this session will outline some unexpected and tangible ways benefit plan managers can evaluate and update program delivery to ensure measurable equitable global value propositions that not only retain your valued talent but provide attraction for new talent.
Nearly 7 in 10 employees would like more information and educational resources about their retirement plan or savings options. Cabot Corporation, a global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, needed to help employees who were overwhelmed by planning for retirement. Even with a rich benefits program, employees weren’t comfortable that they had sufficient retirement savings, and those closest to retirement were very concerned with the cost of medical coverage during retirement in particular. Learn how Cabot developed a communications strategy to educate employees on the tools and resources available to help them become empowered participants in their retirement planning—at any age.
Preventive care plays a significant role in employees’ long-term health, helping them delay (or even avoid) the onset of conditions that can drastically affect their vitality and well-being. For that reason alone, companies should be encouraging preventive care. However, if another reason is needed, preventive care may help employees avoid the need for medical services, expensive medications and surgeries—which can result in major cost savings for an employer’s health plan. This session will explore how to build preventive care into workplace wellness programs and how to encourage employees to take advantage of the preventive care available to them.
An investment in fertility and family-building benefits can be an opportunity to focus on DEI and attracting and retaining employees. Infertility impacts one in eight couples more than diabetes, asthma, depression and cancer—and one in three cases of infertility are malefactor. Many plans are already paying for coverage through their health plan but, without a managed benefit, they are unable to control costs or provide participants with the enhanced support that is essential for a complex medical condition. This session will explore male and female treatment journeys and how adding fertility and family-building benefits can optimize health care value for your plan and participants.
This session will cover the plan distribution options, including in-plan SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 and distribution options for income, the current decumulate from the retirement plan, investment options, upcoming annuity options and the Barnwell Study regarding assets lasting through retirement. In addition, we will discuss different bucket strategies of money management assets for decumulation on the management side, the variable annuity with a guaranteed withdrawal rate and the newest decumulation vehicle—the equity-index annuity with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal.
Multiple plans across Canada have established a plan sponsor pharmacy infrastructure that vertically integrates benefit plan design with medication distribution for specialty and chronic therapies. The intent of this model is to provide plan members with access to a dedicated multidisciplinary clinical team and to use the proceeds from the plan sponsor pharmacy to fund expansion of health benefit coverage. This model also enables revenues from pharmacy services to be reinvested to maintain existing levels of coverage, reduces (or eliminates) out-of-pocket cost to plan members, and gives plans the ability to measure the health and financial impact of innovative benefits added to the plan.
Washington is the first U.S. state to create a long-term care (LTC) program fully funded through a payroll tax. The WA Cares Fund, initially enacted in 2019, was slated to require employee payroll premiums to start in 2022, with benefit payments available as early as 2025. The session will review the program’s benefits and coverage eligibility, the payroll tax, a review of the actuarial analysis of the program and a summary of changes the legislature has enacted over time as well as the effect on workers who live out of state but pay into the program and what other states can learn from Washington’s experience.
The rapid consolidation of EAPs in Canada has lead to fewer providers but a wider range of approaches, modalities and pricing models. In this new landscape, choosing a provider on cost alone can lead to a program that doesn’t fit your employees’ needs and preferences—or worse, doesn’t provide critical support that you’re counting on in a crisis. At the same time, many employers are concerned their EAP is underutilized or not fitting the gap in mental health support. In this session, we’ll explore the questions to ask when evaluating your current EAP or considering new alternatives.
This annual favorite provides a guide to navigating benefits-related legal decisions, guiding principles and cases that illustrate their necessity, and a spotlight on recent Supreme Court case decisions that most impact the employee benefits field.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) is part of a wave of federal and state legislation bringing greater transparency and oversight to the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry. Meanwhile, government agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have taken a “shot across the bow” of PBMs as they commence an investigation into their convoluted (and potentially conflicting) business practices. As PBMs face a perfect storm of pressure from legislators, regulators and employers themselves, how will the industry evolve to deal with this? And what do plan sponsors need to do today to ensure that they are prepared and protected as fiduciaries?
In 2022, the United States experienced an unprecedented infant formula shortage that raised awareness and spurred policy action to address infant nutrition needs. New legislation, including the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, expand federal protections for new, working parents. These regulations will create higher expectations—and also new opportunities—for employers to provide necessary lactation accommodations and ensure equity in the workforce by supporting employees’ choices about how they feed their babies.
Retirement is evolving. As lifespans lengthen, we have more healthy years to enjoy. These “longevity years” offer an abundance of choices, and you no longer need to settle for a one-size-fits-all approach to “retiring.” In this immersive experience, attendees apply design-thinking principles to one of life’s most complex and personal challenges—How do I evolve, and what’s next after my primary career? In this interactive workshop, we will help attendees shift their mindset from planning for retirement to designing a longevity lifestyle to meet their unique needs. Our facilitated experiences draw upon collective wisdom and create the conditions for intentional exploration of what a second chapter might look like. Participants will challenge and test assumptions to play with possible ways to find meaning and enjoyment in their next chapter.
As the world of qualified retirement plans evolves, IRS and DOL have been very active in updating their investigation standards and enforcement processes. This session will delve into how and why they audit; summarize the 2022 results; provide an overview of government correction programs (including EPCRS, VFCP and DFVCP); and cover the most commonly found violations, correction methods and examples of future enforcement in areas such as cybersecurity; the expanded Form 5500; and environmental, social and government (ESG) investments as well as investments in private equity and crypto.
Attend this session to learn about the U.S. Department of Labor’s trends in retirement plan audits and investigations, including current trends, future initiatives as well as details on how to successfully navigate an investigation.
What happens when a sale or acquisition is announced? Join us for a real-world perspective through the stages of the sale process from the initial kickoff and due diligence through to closing and, ultimately, integration. Beyond the transactional processes, there are also important human dynamics affecting your team and the organization. The presenters have managed through dozens of acquisitions, both as sellers and buyers, and can offer an insider’s perspective to help guide you through the process.
Addressing health care disparities within your workforce takes special focus and action from all areas of your organization. Your medical plan can be an important place to start. Learn how social determinants of health affect your organization and how you can help mitigate the inequities. Understand the importance of delivering the right care at the right time and in the right place—from early identification and prevention to delivery of high-quality care for serious and complex conditions. Changes to your medical plan design can help democratize health care for all covered members, leading to improved health outcomes and lower utilization of medical plan resources.
A continuation of Reimagine and Redesign Retirement—Part 1 at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Benefit plan fiduciaries and committees must remain ever-vigilant concerning legal developments and regulatory guidance impacting their fiduciary duties under ERISA. Just this year, there have been several notable developments in the ERISA litigation field (including numerous excessive fee cases) and immense DOL regulatory activity relating to the cybersecurity of benefit plan information and assets; the permissibility of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments; cryptocurrency investments within retirement plans; and increased audit activity. We will cover legal developments, best practices for fiduciaries to limit their legal risk, and practical examples of litigation and audit activity.
Health disparities and lack of health equity for those with obesity have resulted in a widening gap in patient access, care and benefit access. This presentation explores the gaps associated with ethnic diversity in the workplace, along with ethnic variations in obesity and solutions, childhood obesity by ethnicity, and evidenced-based education about treatment options and responses by ethnicity.
As more diverse generations enter the workforce, the office makeup is looking younger and younger. What do they want? What do they need? Recognizing the challenges younger Millennials and Gen Zs face and understanding the different ways they define financial success from their older peers are important pieces in creating long-term multigenerational relationships and programming. This session will look at what is different and the same with our younger staff when it comes to financial literacy in the workplace.
Hyper-personalized experiences are everywhere these days. Streamingservices. Online banking. E-commerce. Ridesharing. Everywhere exceptemployee benefits, that is. While many organizations have taken animportant first step toward true personalization by introducing benefitsdecision-support tools, more than 90% of employees say organizations should do more to address the overall well-being and needs of their employees. Now is the time to consider personalizing the overall benefits experience. Tech integrations like telemedicine, claims-based health care navigation and provider guidance are just a few examples of how personalizing the benefits experience can positively affect health outcomes, increase employee satisfaction and improve retention rates.
Retirement plan lawsuits are all the rage, and there is no sign that the trend is slowing down. Even if you exercise what you believe to be good fiduciary prudence, it may not be enough. Delve into the cloudy arena of fidelity, fiduciary and cyber insurance and how it may (or may not) protect you, your company and the plan fiduciaries. Get tips on how to better shore up your plan to improve your likelihood of qualifying for coverage and steps you can take to reduce your insurance deductibles. Learn how you can see who is and is not covered and why as well as what risks that may entail.
Cybercrime is costly, and its effects can linger for years following an attempted or successful cyberattack. Employee benefits plans (both health and retirement) are particularly at risk for certain types of cybercrime activities due to their large transactional volumes and the relative value of their portfolio of assets. While almost no defensive strategy will create a perfectly impermeable employer, there are proactive mitigation steps you can take. HIPAA and other privacyrelated laws and regulations offer a roadmap to building a cyberdefensive
strategy. Learn methodologies used to analyze and respond to an attempted or successful cyberattack according to HIPAA best practices.
With musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions becoming more common, MSK is often a top cost driver, especially if employees have physically demanding jobs. How can benefit leaders rethink musculoskeletal care to drive better member outcomes at lower spend? New digital approaches offer a more holistic and seamless MSK care experience. But where do you start if you’re looking for a solution? How can you evaluate a potential solution?
It’s often said that disruption breeds innovation. With new trends and market forces in health, retirement and other benefits, what are the disrupters that shape the benefits you offer or are considering? Join us for a facilitated discussion on topics ranging from DEI to financial wellness, hybrid work and so much more!
Get a practical and actionable overview of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and what you must do to be fully compliant with the law. The discussion will cover the differences between quantitative treatment limitations (QTLs) and nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs) as well as how to ensure that coverage offerings meet the federal QTL standards and that plan NQTLs are both analyzed properly and applied in parity. The session will also delve into the most up-to-date policy guidance and provide an outlook on potential future policy activity related to MHPAEA.
Join other Canadian attendees for an open forum. Bring your questions, your best practices, your pro tips or a nugget from a previous session, and get ready for a lively discussion.
As a follow-up to this morning’s session, hear more legal cases, lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid.
Advances in tailored health care, disease prevention, detection and treatment could mean that the first person in modern history to live to age 200 has possibly already been born. Learn more about the technologies that will revolutionize medical treatments and change our perception of health.
Sleep issues may not seem as urgent to address when compared to heart disease, hypertension or diabetes. But what is overlooked is that lack of quality sleep is a major aggravator of more expensive chronic conditions that drive up total health care costs. People with sleep disorders are three times more expensive for plans than people without them—Consider that factor when nine out of ten people with sleep apnea also have one or more chronic comorbidities. Sleep is a hidden but remediable care gap that can be bridged with effective sleep health care management.
When establishing or updating compensation programs, employers need to consider certain aspects of payroll administration when implementing and—more importantly—paying specific forms of compensation. What are the pitfalls to avoid? Learn about minimum wage and overtime requirements, including differences between federal, state and local laws; white-collar exemptions from overtime as well as differences between federal and state requirements; paid leave laws in some states and the impact on payroll as well as companysponsored insurance; multistate taxation and nexus (where are your employees working?); and tax implications of certain fringe benefits (such as gift cards or “company swag”).
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is gaining wider acceptance, and retirement plans, investment managers and consultants are moving toward implementation across asset classes, investment strategies and plan types through an array of tools and
processes. Whether you’re new to ESG investing or need to refine your approach, learn more about sustainable investments and how to consider ESG factors in your investment selection process.
A demographic shift is happening across Canada, with our Baby Boomers retiring and a new generation of employees joining the workforce. This younger generation of pension members cares about society and is demanding more of its pension plan—including in areas such as climate change, governance and social issues. At the same time, pension plans must innovate to interact and provide the right tools to engage members in a very different way than before. Are you ready for it?
The ability to offer employees a tax-favored way to repay their student loan debt has long been on the wish list of many employers, especially those in service sectors like health care, engineering and architecture. New employees with substantial debt typically put off participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans until the debt is paid down. Beginning in 2024, the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0) will provide a new opportunity for employers to tie retirement plan matching contributions to student loan payments, giving them a recruiting and retention tool while encouraging employees to begin saving for retirement earlier.
Value-based care (VBC) is a health care delivery model in which physicians and health care providers deliver the best quality patient care through a coordinated team approach and are paid based on the health outcomes of their patients and the quality of services they provide. It differs from the traditional fee-for-service model in payments and outcomes. VBC may include medical homes, shared savings, shared risk, accountable care organizations, bundled payments and capitation. The benefits that are gained through VBC can include decreasing health care costs, improving quality of care, a focus on preventive health and improving patient satisfaction overall.
Benefits professionals must master the complexities of various overlapping leave laws—including FMLA and USERRA—and understand how those leave laws impact employee benefit plans. This session focuses on the administration of health benefits and cafeteria plan elections during leaves—beginning with an overview of when the laws apply and then delving into the details of benefit administration by walking attendees through real-world examples. The session will address which benefits employers must offer and for how long as well as who has to pay for them, highlighting tips, traps, best practices and action items.
Many plan sponsors have begun to ask how they can best support plan members who are undergoing the gender affirmation journey. Drawing on her own lived experiences as a trans person and professional experience in group benefits working with consultants and plan sponsors for more than 15 years at different carriers, the presenter will provide background on gender, what it means, and the challenges facing transgender or nonbinary Canadians. She will then discuss some of the coverage options available and provide insights on how to provide inclusive benefits plans.
This session will untangle the intricacies of flexible spending arrangement (FSA), health savings account (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) plans, including an overview of each plan type, their characteristics and how they compare with one another. The discussion will cover plan design considerations and other key points to review when offering these plans for the first time as well as when changing plan design for existing benefits.
As businesses of all sizes expand globally, benefits professionals are often required to quickly take on global responsibilities outside the United States with limited knowledge and resources. This session will focus on a comparison of the unique nature of many U.S. benefits and employment practices compared to other countries, with a detailed look at the U.S. health care system and medical benefits in particular. Explore resources available to learn about local benefits and employment practices outside of the U.S. as well as different models to help companies with local benefits implementation and global benefits management.
Data confirm significant racial, ethnic and gender disparities in retirement savings and household wealth—despite growing adoption of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Some plan sponsors have adopted initiatives that single out minority groups for added consideration. Few empirically confirm any success. How about you? Maybe you’ve made progress but failed to measure it? Over 15 years ago, we changed 401(k) designs—and, unknowingly, we dramatically reduced racial, ethnic and gender disparities. Perhaps you have already succeeded but haven’t yet measured your results! See how a retirement savings plan design, done right, can succeed as an enterprise-wide DEI initiative.
The diversity and breadth/depth of the
attendees and the multiple industries
represented were astounding. This is
definitely a community! This conference
supersedes that of any conference I have
Sophia Moise, CEBS
Project Director Federal Reserve Employee Benefits System Newark, New Jersey
Each session delivers valuable and practical ideas and solutions that you can immediately take back to the office:
The Symposium is one of the largest
gatherings of credentialed benefits professionals in the country.
Attendees represent corporations, consulting firms, health care
organizations, hospitals, banks, insurance companies, investment and
administration firms, jointly trusteed and public employee benefit
plans, law firms and other organizations involved with employee
Chief EconomistManulife Asset ManagementBoston, Massachusetts
PresidentAmerican Benefits CouncilWashington, DC
PartnerLawson Lundell LLPVancouver, British Columbia
PartnerMurphy Hesse Toomey & Lehane LLPQuincy, Massachusetts
PresidentCubic HealthToronto, Ontario
Educational sessions at this program can qualify for CEBS Compliance credit. Visit www.cebs.org/compliance for additional information.
Programs sponsored by the International Foundation and International Society are consistently accepted for credit by agencies governing continuing education for license renewal and professional recertification. Direct inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 786-6710 option 2.
Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the International Society of Certified
Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) have teamed up to create a scholarship
opportunity for young employee benefits professionals to encourage participation
in the benefits industry. [Learn More]
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