Policy Conferences

ERIC’s Fall Policy Conference is socially distancing this year. Due to COVID-19, the conference will be held virtually.

Our one-click registration gives members access to 6 panels over three days. The virtual conference offers unparalleled opportunities for benefits, legal, and government relations leaders at large employers to network with their peers at other large companies, engage with policymakers, and learn the latest on federal and state rules and regulations that complicate their ability to provide health, retirement, and compensation benefits to workers and families across the country.

The conference focuses on collaboration and public policy solutions for large employers and is free of vendor exhibits and sales. More information about panel topics and guest speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Next Conference:

Fall 2020 Virtual Policy Conference

Tuesday, October 6 – Thursday, October 8

Past Conference Speakers | Past Conference Agendas

On Tuesday, October 6 at 3 p.m. (ET) Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will participate in a question and answer session with ERIC’s policy staff and members.

The Senator is serving his third term as the Chairman of the very powerful Senate Finance Committee, where he has jurisdiction over Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the Internal Revenue Code. His priorities for the committee’s agenda include reducing prescription drug prices, expanding access to affordable health care, and building upon the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

He co-authored the recent CARES Act and the Healthcare PRICE Transparency Act.

CNN’s Michael Smerconish will give the conference’s virtual keynote address on Wednesday, October 7 at 2 p.m. (ET).

With insider insight and amusing anecdotes, Smerconish will discuss the upcoming election, the pandemic, and other headline-making events.

He was the first radio host to interview President Barack Obama live from the White House. Smerconish has also interviewed Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter, as well as Vice Presidents Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, and Al Gore.

Fall 2020 Virtual Policy Conference Agenda

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

11:00 am – 12:30 pm  What’s Next for Retirement?

After the passage of the SECURE Act at the end of 2019, Congress was poised to move quickly to the next comprehensive retirement package (SECURE 2.0).  However, as with many other plans, the COVID-19 crisis interrupted further progress of a SECURE 2.0. During the COVID-19 crisis, there was an understandable pivot to emergency retirement provisions.  As we enter the next Congress, we expect that there will be a re-focus on comprehensive retirement reform.

A few key offices have taken leadership on retirement issues and we will be joined by staffers from those offices to discuss retirement proposals and next steps. Join us and we discuss with staffers from their office on the proposal.

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm    Break

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm      A Ticking Time Bomb – The Multiemployer Pension Crisis

The Retirement Security Coalition was established to support achievable solutions to address the multiemployer pension crisis. We will be joined by leadership of the Coalition to discuss policies both political parties can agree on in solving the multiemployer pension crisis for our retirees and the long-term success of our economy.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm      Break             

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm      Q&A with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will participate in a question and answer session with ERIC’s policy staff. You can submit a health or retirement-related question in advance by clicking here. All questions will be asked anonymously and will not be attributed to you or your company.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

11:00 am – 12:00 pm  ERIC Members’ Meeting

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm    Break 

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm      Guest Speaker: CNN’s Michael Smerconish

Michael Smerconish uses the perfect blend of analysis and humor to deliver engaging, thought-provoking, and balanced dialogue on today’s political arena and the long-term implications of the polarization in politics. With insider insight and amusing anecdotes, Smerconish will discuss the upcoming election, the pandemic, and other headline-making events.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

11:00 am – 12:30 pm  State Legislators Discuss the Future of Paid Leave in a Post-COVID World

States and localities have added additional layers to the already challenging patchwork of paid leave policies faced by large multistate employers as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. While the pandemic has caused some states to postpone their pursuit of policies like expanding paid family and medical leave insurance programs, it has encouraged others to restructure existing leave programs and establish novel paid leave mandates like public health emergency leave and school closure leave.

State lawmakers will talk about the reasoning behind specific state paid leave policy approaches, how COVID-19 has changed the focus of paid leave debates across the country, and how states will address the shifting issue of paid leave beyond the current crisis.

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm    Break

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm      What Employee Benefit Leaders Learned from COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the United States in early 2020, employers quickly altered their business operations and benefit plans to offer stability to their employees. However, the virus continues to spread, causing employee benefit managers to implement innovative policies and measures to protect their employees from instability caused by the virus.

Join us as employee benefit leaders discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what legal and policy obstacles they continue to face in offering robust employee benefits and meeting employees’ needs during the pandemic.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm      Break             

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm      COVID-19 Health Care Policy Changes: Goals Achieved, Continuing Advocacy, and What Employers Need to Know

Congress has continuously worked on Coronavirus legislation, with nearly four packages becoming law since March 2020. Many of these bills included health policy changes of import to employers, including requiring health plans to offer 1st-dollar coverage of testing for COVID-19 with no cost-sharing and no medical management, allowing a safe harbor for 1st-dollar coverage of telehealth services in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), and much more.

This panel discussion will review the COVID-19 packages, the specific policies ERIC advocated for its member companies, and what advocacy remains on Capitol Hill – through the end of this Congress, and into 2021.