Employee Benefit Plans Conference

Tuesday, May 25 8:30am - Wednesday, May 26 11:50am

(Check-In 8:20am)

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8.00 Credits

Member Price $269.00

Non-Member Price $394.00


This virtual conference will be held during two consecutive 4-hour days (8:30 am - 12:35 pm on May 25 & 8:30 am - 11:50 am on May 26).

Please note that when you register for this conference you are automatically registering for both days.

This CTCPA conference updates practitioners on a variety of topics in the employee benefit plans area.

Sessions include:

DOL Update

Auditing in a Remote Environment

MEPS, PEPS and Group Plans:  The Changing Multiple Employer Plan Landscape---2021 and Beyond

Qualified Plan Regulatory Updates

Audit and Accounting Update for Employee Benefits Engagements

Ask the Experts


Designed For

Auditors of employee benefit plans or who advise companies in this area, as well as benefit plan administrators


By registering for this program and, accordingly, receiving the eMaterials, you're acknowledging that you understand both the copyright restrictions on your eMaterials and the CTCPA cancellation policy.

Tuesday, May 25

General Session

8:30am - 10:30am Department of Labor Update

Marcus Aron Acting Chief, Div. of Accounting Svcs, U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Admin.

Marcus Aron

Mr. Aron has over thirty years of experience in working with audits of ERISA-covered plans. He is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of EBSA’s CPA Firm Inspection Program, providing technical assistance to plan filers and plan professionals, and providing ERISA-related accounting and auditing expertise within EBSA.

Mr. Aron is a certified public accountant and holds a B.B.A. degree with a major in accounting from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Jason Newman Partner, CohnReznick LLP

Jason Newman

Jason D. Newman, CPA, is a partner with CohnReznick with more than 20 years of public accounting experience in areas including auditing and strategic business planning. Jason co-leads the efforts of our Firm’s Employee Benefit Plan Practice in New England, where he performs audits of defined contribution and defined benefit plans, and is a member of the Firm’s Capital Markets and SEC Practice, where he provides services to a variety of closely held businesses and public companies.

Utilizing his expertise in these areas, Jason has actively developed continuing education and professional resources for the Employee Benefit Plan Practice, including the creation of templates that aid in financial reporting, the performance of control assessment engagements for service organizations, the audits of investment vehicles, and consultation on various employee benefit plan issues.

In his role with the Firm’s Capital Markets and SEC Practice, Jason serves a variety of public and private entities, including private equity partnerships, broker-dealers in securities, SEC registrants, investment advisors, real estate entities, third party administrators, and insurance operations. Jason has gained additional expertise in providing technical accounting support to the firm’s litigation support practice and in providing business advisory services for a variety of closely-held businesses.

• Central Connecticut State University: Bachelor of Science, Accounting

Community Involvement
• Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountant
- Past Advisory Council Member
- Employee Benefit Plans Special Interest Group and Past Chair

Professional Affiliations
• American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
• Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants

Presented by: Marcus J. Aron, CPA, CGMA - Acting Chief, Division of Accounting Services, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

Jason D. Newman, CPA - Partner at CohnReznick LLP

Do you wonder what’s going on at EBSA's Office of the Chief Accountant? Well, wonder no more.  This session will include a discussion of the work done with regard to plan audits and Form 5500 filings, as well as changes to the 2020 Form 5500 to align with SAS 136. Learn common reporting deficiencies and tips on how to help your clients be compliant with ERISA. Also learn why some audits of employee benefit plans are deemed deficient and what you can do to help make sure your audits are satisfactory.

General Session

10:45am - 11:45am Auditing in a Remote Environment

Stevie Dennis Senior Director, RSM US LLP

Stevie Dennis

Stevie Dennis is a senior director in RSM’s National Professional Standards Group focused on assurance standards and methodology. Her responsibilities include creating policies, tools, guidance, and training materials to assist RSM’s assurance professionals in the application of auditing and other standards issued by the PCAOB and AICPA. Additionally, she facilitates training courses on technical auditing matters.

Prior to joining the National Professional Standards Group, Stevie served on audit and review engagements for ten years. Her primary clients were middle market companies, including family-owned businesses and private equity portfolio companies. She specialized in working with service providers, manufacturers and distributors, managing audit engagements and working with clients to address complex accounting and auditing matters, such as acquisitions, revenue recognition and stock-based compensation. She also has experience in auditing employee benefit plans, health care entities and nonprofit organizations.

Stevie grew up in the Midwest, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and now resides in Orlando, Florida. She is a member of the AICPA and a certified public accountant in Florida (under Stephanie Dennis).

Presented by: Stevie Dennis - Senior Director, National Professional Standards Group at RSM US LLP

This session will cover:
• Planning and risk assessment considerations during a remote audit engagement
• Effectively managing and supervising engagement teams throughout a remote audit engagement
• Effectively managing clients throughout a remote audit engagement

General Session

11:50am - 12:35pm MEPS, PEPS and Group Plans: The Changing Multiple Employer Plan Landscape---2021 and Beyond

George Kasper Partner, Pullman & Comley, LLC

George Kasper

George J. Kasper is a partner in the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits practice where employers and plan fiduciaries seek his counsel on all types of employee benefit plans, including defined benefit pension plans, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, multiemployer plans, medical benefit plans, cafeteria plans, and disability plans.

Pulling from many years of diverse experience, George designs retirement and health care programs to meet the needs of today’s employers and their workforces. He has substantial experience with executive compensation issues and drafts non-qualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, severance plans, change-in-control agreements and stock-based compensation plans.

Employers seek George’s advice to work with them to manage the transition of employees and their benefits during and after a merger or acquisition, as well as ERISA issues stemming from investing in and structuring private equity and similar investments. He is sought after for his advice to employers and administrative committees on the fiduciary oversight of ERISA plans, including retirement plan investments, appropriate plan expenses, claims for benefits, self-funded health plans, and other plan administration issues. George has significant experience representing employers on IRS and Department of Labor audits and enforcement actions.

In June 2014, the Governor of Connecticut appointed George to the newly-established Connecticut Retirement Security Board. The Board explored options for a state-sponsored retirement plan for employers of small private sector employers and submitted a comprehensive proposal in April 2016 to implement the plan.

Matt Petralia Regional Director-Northeast, Newport Retirement Services

Matt Petralia

Matthew Petralia is responsible for developing business relationships and identifying market opportunities to promote Newport’s retirement plan recordkeeping and administration services to third-party intermediaries. He is based in Boston and covers the New England region.

Matthew brings more than 20 years of experience in retirement planning, investments, and asset allocation. Prior to joining Newport, Matthew was Vice President, 401(k) Wholesaler at Fidelity Investments.

He received his BBA in Finance and Operations Management from University of Massachusetts Amherst and his MBA from Boston University.

Presented by: George J. Kasper, Esq. - Partner at Pullman & Comley LLC

Matt Petralia - Regional Director-Northeast at Newport Retirement Services

Our panel of experts will focus on some of the most significant changes in the SECURE Act relating to Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) and the new Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs). If you want to help your plan sponsor clients optimize the SECURE Act’s provisions, this is a webinar you won’t want to miss.

The SECURE Act created a new type of collective retirement plan known as a PEP which allows unaffiliated employers to come together under a single plan without being subject to the limitations of MEPs which present a variety of issues such as legal exposure, high costs, and administrative complexity for employers.  As of Jan. 1, 2021, employers will have the option of utilizing PEPs. PEPs can provide lower plan fees and expenses, simplified administration, and the shifting of fiduciary risk from employer to the PEP provider.

MEPs to PEPs and Group Plans is basic overview of the features, suitability and application of the traditional Multiple Employer Plan, the SECURE Act’s Pooled Employer Plan and Group Plans. As well as
insight for advisors on how to help their clients evaluate their plan options, practical methods in avoiding compliance pitfalls, and navigating ERISA and IRS rules and limitations..

Wednesday, May 26

General Session

8:30am - 10:00am Qualified Plan Regulatory Updates

David Beck Principal, PASI, LLC

David Beck

David has over 15 years of experience in the retirement plan industry. After graduating from Babson College, David joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Boston office. David’s experience includes work for a regional accounting firm, where he acted in a managerial role in a team dedicated to audits of Employee Benefit Plans. David currently specializes in plan design and advanced compliance testing. David also has extensive expertise in nonqualified deferred compensation Plans, including 409A and 457(b)/(f).

David is also actively involved in the Connecticut Society of CPA’s Employee Benefits Committee and is a past chairperson. He is a frequent panelist and session leader for their annual Employee Benefits Conference.

David is an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent with the IRS, and frequently represents his clients in various filings related to corrections of operational mistakes. He also holds several designations with ASPPA (an industry trade group).

Stacy Farber Principal, UHY Advisors, NE, LLC

Stacy Farber

Stacy brings over 22 years of experience in financial leadership to her engagements. She specializes in financial decision making and company-wide policy development to overcome operational issues and drive proactive improvements. Farber is the practice leader for the UHY benefit plan practice for the Northeast Region and the lead attest partner in the CT office.

• Provides advisory consulting services to closely-held businesses, performing compilations, reviews and audits for clients in the manufacturing and distribution, retail and not-for-profit industries.
• Consolidate and analyze financial statements and results.
• Analyze finances to determine risks and create cash forecasts.
• Advise management on how to craft effective business plans and resolve cost-related issues.
• As a CFO for over 5 years, she lead and managed all areas of accounting operations, including monthly, quarterly and annual close processes, AP/AR/GL, fixed assets, payroll, revenue recognition treatment, collections, financial planning and analysis.
• Assisted small businesses with year-end reconciliations and record clean up.
• Managed company-wide budget, payroll, accounting, IT, purchasing and all other financial operations.
• Cash management, including negotiating and securing financing for capital expenditures.

• License CPA in the state of Connecticut
• B.S. Financial Accounting, Bryant University

Presented by: David Beck, CPA, QPA, ERPA – Principal, PASI, LLC

Stacy Farber, CPA - Principal and Lead Partner in Charge of Employee Benefit Plans for the NE Region of UHY, LLP

In this session we will discuss the audit-specific provisions of the CARES Act and SECURE Act.  We will also be discussing the partial plan termination rules, and some recent pandemic-related modifications to those rules.

General Session

10:15am - 11:15am Audit and Accounting Update for Employee Benefits Engagements

Joseph Manfré

Joseph Manfré

Joseph E. Manfré, licensed as a CPA in New York, is a discussion leader for Kaplan Financial Education, powered by Loscalzo Institute. He is the Founder and President of Manfre CPA P.C., A Professional Corporation, located in Armonk, New York. While the services his firm offers to individuals and businesses are diverse, their specialization focuses on servicing the needs of multi- and single-employer employee benefit plans and labor unions. Joe is licensed in the State of New York and has been servicing the needs of single-employer and multi-employer benefit plans for most of his 40-year career in accounting. He previously was the chairman of the NYSSCPAS Employee Benefits Committee and has been a speaker on audits of employee benefit plans at their annual conference. Joe is also referred to by the NYSSCPA hotline for audit and tax related questions on employee benefit plans.

Joe’s experience and contacts in the employee benefits and labor industries prove invaluable to Benefit Funds Trustees and Management and Labor Executives, as well as to CPA firms with employee benefit plan audit and tax practices. His business and personal tax experience is also invaluable to individuals and business owners alike. Joe is a member in good standing of the AICPA, NYSSCPA, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. He earned his BBA degree in accounting from Bernard Baruch College.

Presented by: Joseph E. Manfré, CPA - Founder and President of MANFRE CPA P.C.

The Department of Labor (DOL) oversight and monitoring of audit quality has intensified and will continue for employee benefit plan (EBP) audits for the foreseeable future. Get ahead by evaluating the impact of the additional suite of auditing standards issued in 2020 designed to refocus on the auditor’s report with additional information communicated to users. An immediate and thorough evaluation of the impact of these standards will be required. These standards address concerns of users for more communication and better understanding of issues encountered by the auditor during the conduct of the audit.

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify changes in the reporting model under the new standards, including those to AU-C Section 730 pertaining to ERISA plan audits
  • Understand the reporting requirements and how they affect format and content
  • Review examples of the new report format and content

Topics Covered Include:

  • Modifications, replacements and additions to guidance presented by each new standard
  • Format and content of auditor report 
  • New requirements to disclose Key Audit Matters
  • New requirements for going concern
  • Performance requirements for ERISA audits
  • Reporting on ERISA required supplemental schedules
  • Effect of new standards on procedures, communication of reportable conditions and Auditor responsibilities for other information included in annual reports
  • Effect of new standards on related party transactions, fraud and communication with those charged with governance

General Session

11:20am - 11:50am Ask the Experts Panel

Presented by: Various speakers from the conference

Finish the day with an open Q and A forum with our panel of experts that taught each of the sessions.

Non-Member Price $394.00

Member Price $269.00