ERIC 2020 Fall Virtual Policy Conference


Tuesday, October 6 (11am) - Thursday, October 8, 2020 (4:30pm US/Eastern)


Mark your calendar now for ERIC’s Fall 2020 Virtual Policy Conference in Washington, DC.

One click gives you access to the 6 virtual panels, a Q&A with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, and keynote speaker, Michael Smerconish, over three days. The conference will once again afford you the opportunity to hear directly from key Washington policymakers, network with your peers, and learn about the latest employee-benefit developments.

Virtual 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.

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.

Senator Grassley co-authored the recent CARES Act and the Healthcare PRICE Transparency Act. He shepherded the passage of the SECURE Act last year, and he has also worked extensively on tax reform, the Affordable Care Act, and multiemployer pension reform.

Known for his bipartisanship, the Senator has worked to reduce drug prices and supported repealing the Cadillac tax.

Serving for almost 40 years, making him the 10th longest-serving Senator in U.S. history, Senator Grassley offers a unique insight into the decisions that have helped shape employee benefits. This is a conversation that you do not want to miss.


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.

In addition to hosting his show on CNN, Smerconish is a nationally syndicated Sirius XM Radio talk show host. He was the first radio host to interview President Barack Obama live from the White House. He 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.

Smerconish is a newspaper columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and an author of seven books, including two New York Times’ best sellers. His most recent book is Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right.

He is currently a practicing attorney at the Philadelphia law firm of Kline & Specter.


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.


For more information about the meeting, please click here.

Please also feel free to contact us directly for more information or to be added to our mailing list.

Meeting Attire:

Business Casual