7–7:45 AM
Registration and Continental Breakfast


7:45–7:55 AM
Welcome and Introductions


7:55–9:35 AM
Workshop 1: Regulatory Update

We can’t know what new regulations will be out in advance of this conference, but we do know that there will be concerns and questions about guidance that has been issued. This session will provide an overview of new legislation and recent IRS/Treasury guidance impacting defined benefit plans, and will highlight areas of concern. After attending this session, participants should be able to:

  • Recall the guidance that has been released by the IRS and Treasury in the last year.
  • Identify the situations in which the recent changes in the guidance may affect their clients.
  • Describe the effects that changes in the guidance may have on their clients.

Martin L. Pippins, Executive Director of Retirement Policy and ACOPA, American Retirement Association


9:35–9:50 AM
Beverage Break


9:50–11:30 AM
Workshop 2: In Over Your Head?!?!

Have you ever had the alarming realization that you do not have the technical skills for a project? Worked with a colleague or client who seemed clueless about a professional, communication or technical issue? In this session, we will discuss how to recognize when you are in over your head and what you can do about it. We will also discuss our professional obligations when working with colleagues and clients who do not appear to have the necessary skills or knowledge. Attendees will:

  • Recall IRS and JBEA ethics guidance including Circular 230 and JBEA regulations
  • Identify strategies for getting the necessary skills or help with projects
  • Strategize on dealing with and communicating to colleagues and clients who lack the necessary technical knowledge

Lynn M. Young, MSPA, Partner, Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC
Karen Smith, MSPA, President, Nova 401(k) Associates


11:30–11:45 AM
Ed Burrows ‘Humdinger’ Award Presentation


11:45 AM – 12 PM
The Actuarial Foundation Presentation


12–1:15 PM


1:15–2:30 PM
Workshop 3: Nondiscrimination Testing — Why Did That Happen?

During this session, we will discuss why we sometimes see unexpected results with our combined cash balance/profit sharing plan testing. Through the use of case studies, we will address issues pertaining to the gateway test, rate group testing, and minimum top heavy requirements. Attendees will:

  • Identify when certain tests might not be required.
  • Discuss situations when a well-designed combo plan might go awry - and how to fix them.
  • Review good habits when designing combo plans.

Lauren Okum, MSPA, Actuary, Premier Actuarial Solutions
Lawrence Deutsch, FSPA, President, Larry Deutsch Enterprises


2:30–2:40 PM


2:40–3:55 PM
Workshop 4: Distribution Issues, Including RMDs, 
In-Service Distributions and 415 Limits

Richard A. Block, FSPA, Actuary, Block Consulting Actuaries, Inc.
Anita Juneja, MSPA, First Capital Benefit Advisors, Inc.


3:55–4:10 PM
Beverage Break


4:10–5:25 PM
Workshop 5: Plan Design after Tax Reform

How does tax reform impact plan design for various entities and what should the actuary know and communicate with their client and the client’s accountant. Attendees will:

  • Identify pension plan issues for pass-through entities
  • Determine what plan designs work best for prospective clients
  • Strategize on dealing with clients and their accountants regarding the correct information you need from them

William G. Karbon, MSPA, CPC, QPA, Executive Vice President & Director of Compliance, CBIZ
Kevin J. Donovan, FSPA, President, Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC


5:25–6:45 PM
Networking Reception




7–7:45 AM
Continental Breakfast


7:45–9 AM
Workshop 6: Dealing with Controlled Groups and Affiliated Service Groups, Including Compensation Issues

The session will cover the rules governing the determination of controlled groups of corporations, trades or business under common control, and affiliated service groups. The session will provide an overview of the attribution rules used in determining related employers, as well as guidance on controlled group rules for tax-exempt entities. Finally, this session will cover the impact of these rules on plan design. Attendees will:

  • Learn the rules governing which employers must be aggregated
  • Explore how these rules impact plan design.

Syed Fahad Saghir, A.S.A., Senior Associate, Alston & Bird, LLP
Kelsey H. Mayo, Partner, Poyner & Spruill, LLP


9–9:15 AM
AM Beverage Break


9:15–10:55 AM
AM Workshop 7: Ask the Experts

Have you ever wondered whether a cash balance plan with a plan sponsor that is an investment consulting firm, and that only covers the owner and the owner’s spouse is covered by the PBGC. If so, come and ask the panel this question, or other questions you may have. Here’s your chance to get answers to your technical and outstanding question from a panel of pension plan experts. Come prepared with your question that you have encountered in your practice. Attendees will: 

  • Relate with peers on technical issues and examine outstanding questions about pension plans
  • Collaborate with experts to receive feedback on pension plans

James E. Holland, Jr., FSPA, Chief Research Actuary, Cheiron, Inc.
Lawrence Deutsch, FSPA, President, Larry Deutsch Enterprises


10:55–11:15 AM
ACOPA Business Meeting


11:15 AM – 12:30 PM
Workshop 8: PBGC Issues and Plan Terminations

There are steps plan sponsors need to take now to prepare for and improve the eventual termination process. Navigating the PBGC requirements is a challenging six to twelve month process that requires coordination among the actuary, investment manager, and plan administrator. The session will discuss the plan termination process and review the actuary’s role in a standard plan termination, with particular attention on the typical pitfalls to avoid. The session will also address how to handle the treatment of excess assets in an overfunded plan and what steps need to be taken if the plan has a shortfall. Attendees will:

  • Learn about the steps involved in a standard plan termination along with the documentation and notices that need to be provided to all parties concerned and to identify the pitfalls to avoid.
  • Learn about how plan sufficiency affects plan termination – options to make the plan sufficient in underfunded plans and how to deal with excess assets in an overfunded plan.

Mary Ann Rocco, MSPA, Owner, Mary Ann Rocco, Consulting Actuary
Kevin J. Donovan, FSPA, President, Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC


12:30–1:45 PM


1:45–3 PM
Workshop 9: Accounting Rules — FASB, GASB, SSAP and IAS

You are assigned to prepare reports in accordance with accounting standards for a company. Which set of rules apply and how are they different? Attendees will:

  • Gain knowledge of which set of accounting rules apply to your client; and
  • Obtain a broader understanding of the differences between accounting rules.

John R. Markley, FSPA, CPC, CEO, Markley Actuarial, A Division of the Retirement Advantage
William G. Karbon, MSPA, CPC, QPA, Executive Vice President & Director of Compliance, CBIZ


3–3:15 PM
Beverage Break


3:15–4:30 PM
Workshop 10: Actuarial Potpourri — Audits of all kinds

This session will identify a variety of issues that we may occasionally encounter but may need an update or review. The speakers will address topics including plan audits from the IRS, DOL and PBGC and the annual audit from independent CPA Firms. Attendees will:

  • Be prepared if your client is selected for an IRS audit
  • Gain exposure to PBGC audits after Plan termination
  • The DOL standard for searching for terminated vested participants

John R. Markley, FSPA, CPC, CEO, Markley Actuarial, A Division of the Retirement Advantage
James E. Holland, Jr., FSPA, Chief Research Actuary, Cheiron, Inc.
Kelsey H. Mayo, Partner, Poyner & Spruill, LLP


4:30 PM
Conference Adjourns


Thank you for attending the 2018 ACOPA Actuarial Symposium!