Third Annual ERISA, Employee Benefits, and Social Insurance National Conference

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Third Annual ERISA, Employee Benefits, and Social Insurance National Conference
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Third Annual ERISA, Employee Benefits, and Social Insurance National Conference

Benefits Law at the Crossroads: Whither U.S Employee Benefits and Social Insurance Law?


[Agenda | Travel, Accommodations, and Expenses | Detailed Program | Abstract/Paper Submission]




March 27th – Opening Conference Dinner at the Wisconsin Club Sponsored by Marquette Law School (7 PM)

March 28th – Conference from 8 am to 6 pm (with breakfast and lunch included - Phyllis Borzi, Assistant Secretary, EBSA, will be the lunch keynote speaker) (dinner after conference for those staying over, participant pays)

March 29th – Farewell Breakfast (for those staying over; participant pays)

Organized by:  Paul M. Secunda, Professor of Law, Marquette University School of Law,

Looking to follow up on the tremendous success of similar conferences at the University of Michigan Business School in 2012 and Washington University Law School in 2011, Marquette University Law School is proud to host the Third Annual ERISA, Employee Benefits, and Social Insurance National Conference on March 28, 2014.

The organizing theme this year is: Benefits Law at the Crossroads: Whither U.S. Employee Benefits and Social Insurance Law?  We are very lucky to be joined this year by keynote speaker, Phyllis Borzi, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

The conference will feature over twenty different scholarly presentations, ranging from retiree and health benefit issues under ERISA to the Affordable Care Act to public pension plans.  For the first time, the conference will also feature social insurance papers on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

As a scholarship development colloquium, the focus is on participants receiving thoughtful feedback on papers in a nurturing environment with some of the top ERISA and social insurance scholars in the country.  Authors may publish their papers with the journal of their choice, as papers will not be published from the Conference directly.

The following is a time frame for submitting your abstract/outline, and then conference paper:

January 15, 2014. Please submit your final/updated abstract of 200-300 words and/or an outline of up to 3 pages. [Abstract/Paper Submission Form]

March 1, 2014. Please submit your paper. Papers will be posted to the conference website (with access restricted to conference attendees) so the panel moderators, other presenters, and attendees can read the paper in advance of the conference. [Abstract/Paper Submission Form]

The program and details concerning travel, hotels, and meals can be found below.  

For further information and for all questions concerning the conference, please contact Paul Secunda by email:




We have a block of hotel rooms at the Milwaukee Hilton (which is walking distance to the law school).  The Hilton can be called for reservations at 414-935-5940. The rooms are available at $125 per night, and are available with an arrival on March 27, 2014 and departure on March 29, 2014. Please say you are a participant at the “Marquette University ERISA Conference.”

Individuals can either take a taxi or shuttle from Milwaukee Mitchell Airport to the Law School or Hotel (10-15 minute trip either way).

Conference participants should plan to pay for transportation and lodging. Opening conference dinner, and breakfast and lunch the day of the conference, will be provided. Other meals are on your own, but group of conferees staying later will plan dinner together the night of the conference and Saturday breakfast the day following the conference.




7:30 – 8:00
Continental Breakfast & Registration

8:00 – 8:15
Welcome – Dean Joseph Kearney

8:15 – 10:00
Panel #1 – Claim and Plan Issues:  Current ERISA Pension and Welfare Plan Trends

Moderator: Peter Wiedenbeck – Washington University School of Law

  1. Andrew Stumpff (Michigan Law) and Sean Anderson (Illinois) – Proposal for a Non – Subsidized, Non – Retirement – Plan, Employee – Owned Investment Vehicle to Replace the ESOP
  2. Donald Bogan (Oklahoma) – Subrogation and Deemer Clause Issues
  3. Mark DeBofksy (John Marshall) – Evidentiary Issues Surrounding Adjudication of Benefit Claim Disputes
  4. Norman Stein (Drexel) and Hanns Kuttner (Hudson Institute) – Evidence-Based Retirement Policy

10:00 – 10:15

10:15 – 12:00
Panel #2 – At the Intersection of the Affordable Care Act, ERISA, and Health Law

Moderator: Alison Barnes – Marquette Law School

  1. Jessica Roberts (Houston) – The Privatization of Health Policy
  2. Kathy Moore (Kentucky) – The Employer Mandate Under the Affordable Care Act: Emerging Issues
  3. Jacqueline Fox (South Carolina) – Independent Payment Advisory Board and Medicare
  4. Pablo Arellano Ortiz (Universidad Austral de Chile) – Setting the Bases of a Policy Framework to Cover Old Age Risk

12:00 – 1:00
Lunch Speaker – Phyllis Borzi, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefit Security Administration

Introduction by Paul Secunda (Marquette Law School)

1:00 – 2:45
Panel #3: The Future of Public Pension Plans and Other Non – ERISA Plans Here & Abroad

Moderator: Cheryl Maranto (Marquette Business) and Radha Pathak (Whittier Law)

  1. Sean Anderson (Illinois) – Federal Regulation of State and Local Benefit Plans?
  2. Amy Monahan (Minnesota) – Can Constitutionally – Mandated Funding Requirements Fix the Public Pension Problem?
  3. Leigh Anenson (Maryland Business) and Karen Eilers Lahey (Akron Business) – Reforming Public Pension Plans
  4. Jon Forman (Oklahoma) and Michael J. Sabin - Tontine Pensions: A Solution to the State and Local Pension Underfunding Crisis

2:45 – 3:00

3:00 – 4:30
Panel #4 – Bankruptcy Issues Surrounding Pensions and Other Legacy Costs

Moderator: Kenneth Dau – Schmidt (Indiana – Bloomington) and Phoebe Williams (Marquette Law)

  1. Andrew Dawson (Miami) – State Law and Municipal Bankruptcy Governance
  2. Susan Cancelosi (Wayne State) – Finally We Arrive: Employer Choices for Retiree Health Plans in the ACA World
  3. Paul M. Secunda (Marquette) – A Comparative Analysis of the Treatment of Employee Pension and Wage Claims in Insolvency
  4. Israel Goldowitz (PBGC,. Georgetown) (tentative) – The PBGC Wins Its Case Whenever the Debtor Keeps Its Plan

4:30 – 6:00
Panel #5:  Social Insurance and Pensions Under Pressure: Emerging Challenges

Moderator: Colleen Medill – University of Nebraska Law School

  1. John Turner (Pension Policy Center) – Longevity Insurance Annuities
  2. Mark Weber (DePaul) – Social Insurance for Disability: Challenges and Insights from Disability Civil Rights
  3. Nicole Huberfeld (Kentucky) – Dynamic Implementation of the Medicaid Expansion
  4. Brendan Maher (Connecticut) and Paul Secunda (Marquette) – Approaches to Address the Growing Trend of Pension De-Risking of Defined Benefit Plans


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