Benefits Boot Camp:  Retirement, Welfare and Executive Compensation

Speakers: Christopher Lockman, Chad Cote, Dave Schneider, Jennifer Breton, Steven Gerlach  

Please join us in the East Room at Rising Tide Brewery on Wednesday, June 19, for the first of an on-going series addressing relevant benefit topics. 

Members (21 and older) first Rising Tide beer is on us!

This program is designed for both newcomers to the field of employee benefits who want to learn more, and seasoned professionals who would like a refresher or just hear about the latest changes. 

This program will cover three areas:

·        Retirement Plans.  This component will address fiduciary considerations that any benefits professional must understand; covering fiduciary duties, best practices, and recent cases.  An important component will also involve plan investments; particularly how to properly select and monitor a plan’s investments.  Finally, we will address administration issues, ranging from TPA  fees to errors to corrections.  A point of emphasis will be practical, risk-mitigation strategies in light of today’s benefits environment.

·        Welfare Benefit Plans.  This component will address the myriad issues that face the HR professional when offering health plans and other welfare benefits, such as disability and severance.  It will touch on ERISA and ACA requirements, and also address cafeteria plan issues. 

·        Executive Compensation.  We will review the rules related to executive compensation, the types of compensation available to employers, and the tax consequence of these benefits.  Given the attention these benefits receive within organizations, you will not want to miss this part of the program. 


Program date:
Wednesday, June 19th, 2019.

Program Time:
Registration: 4:00pm

Program location:

Rising Tide, East Room

103 Fox St.
Portland, ME 04102


Christopher Lockman, Verrill Dana - Chris is an attorney in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group at Verrill Dana, LLP. Chris helps clients navigate a broad range of employee benefits matters, with an emphasis on the correction of retirement plan administrative errors and the defense of IRS audits and DOL investigations. As a member of Verrill Dana’s ERISA Litigation group, Chris has defended clients in litigation involving pension and welfare benefit plans, and regularly advises employers on ERISA fiduciary matters, including governance, fiduciary liability exposure, and best practices. Chris has been recognized as a New England Super Lawyers Rising Star for Employee Benefits (2017, 2018).

Chad Cote, Clark Insurance - Chad, a native Mainer, graduated from Clark University in Worcester, MA, and entered the insurance industry in 2004. Chad joined Clark in 2009 where he focuses on group benefit programs (health, dental, disability, vision, life, and voluntary worksite benefits). In today’s complex market, Chad’s consultative approach helps businesses identify the best product and contract solutions.  He also serves as the Legislative Co-Director for the Maine State Society of Human Resources Board.

Dave Schneider, Bernstein Shur - Dave is a corporate attorney who specializes in M&A transactions, employment agreement and equity compensation. He has assisted private equity firms and businesses in the design and implementation of equity incentive plans and award agreements.

Jennifer Breton, Lebel & Harriman  - Jennifer has over 20 years’ experience guiding ERISA retirement plan sponsors in the areas of governance, investment advice, QDIA analysis, RFP project management and fee benchmarking. She is passionate about collaborating with HR professionals, CFOs, plan fiduciaries and Board members tasked with managing a 401(k) or 403(b) Plan, and intent on helping them efficiently administer a successful benefit.  As an independent adviser, Jennifer leverages her deep knowledge of provider features, services and pricing structures to enhance retirement outcomes and advocate for reasonable fees. 

Jennifer is a Registered Investment Adviser and Partner of Lebel & Harriman, LLP.  She was nominated by National Association of Plan Advisers as one of the country’s Top 50 Female Advisers (2015) and recognized by Financial Times as a Top 401(k) Financial Adviser (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

Steven Gerlach, Bernstein Shur - The regional go-to on the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act, Steve is a tax attorney who specializes in employee benefits, executive compensation, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He works with employers of all stripes—including health care entities, businesses, nonprofits, and individuals—on ERISA requirements and liabilities, as well as the tax and ERISA implications of mergers and acquisitions.  He counsels employers on flexible benefit plans, deferred compensation arrangements, split-dollar arrangements, health and life insurance plans, and stock-related compensation arrangements.  Steve advises employee benefits brokers on compliance issues affecting their businesses and their clients.

*A $25 fee shall apply to any non-members for MEBC events. Please remit payment to: Maine Employee Benefits Council, P. O. Box 7641, Portland, ME 04112. If you wish to become a member please sign up here.

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