Brian H. Graff, Esq., APM, began serving as Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of ASPPA in November 1996. In this capacity, Graff oversees ASPPA’s operations, is a member of ASPPA’s Executive Committee and, working with ASPPA’s Board of Directors, charts the strategic direction for the organization. During his tenure, ASPPA has grown from a budget of $1.6 million to more than $13 million.
ASPPA is a national organization of more than 10,000 retirement plan professionals who provide consulting and administrative services for qualified retirement plans covering millions of American workers. In addition to representing the interests of ASPPA’s members and its affiliates before Congress and federal regulatory agencies, ASPPA annually conducts more than a dozen industry conferences, and annually administers more than 5,000 examinations leading to various industry-related professional credentials.
Graff actively speaks at retirement industry conferences on behalf of the employer sponsored retirement plan system and has been quoted in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and interviewed on Bloomberg TV. In 2011, he testified before the U.S. Department of Labor on the proposed “definition of fiduciary” regulation, and was instrumental in the creation of the National Association of Plan Advisers (NAPA)—the first organization dedicated to serving 401(k) plan advisors.
In 2010, Graff organized The Lifetime Income Summit with AARP and WISER to draw attention to the decumulation phase of retirement ahead of regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2009, Graff helped forge a partnership between ASPPA and the National Tax-Sheltered Accounts Association (NTSAA), an organization focused on the 403(b) and 457 plan industry. NTSAA and its members now operate as an affiliate within ASPPA.
Graff’s other activities and accomplishments include:
- Created the ASPPA Service Provider Certification Program with the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) as an independent verification of a 401(k) plan service provider’s adherence to industry best practices. (2007)
- Established the American Institute of Retirement Education (AIRE) as a joint venture with the National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA). AIRE, whose operations are under ASPPA’s auspices, was awarded a contract by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to administer the IRS’ new designation for retirement plan professionals, the Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent (ERPA) (2006)
- Lead the creation of the Council of Independent 401(k) Recordkeepers (CIKR) an ASPPA affiliated organization. (2007)
- One of 401k Wire’s “50 Most Influential Persons in the 401(k) Industry” (2007-2010)
- Institutional Investor News’ “Washington Impact Player of the Year” (2006)
- Delegate to all the White House/Congressional National Summits on Retirement Savings
- Testified multiple times before Congress and the DOL ERISA Advisory Council
- Member, US Chamber Committee on Employee Benefits
- Board Member, Small Business Council of America
- Board Member, Indiana/Purdue Universities’ Institute of Pension Plan Management
An attorney (District of Columbia) and certified public accountant (New York-inactive), Graff was formerly Legislation Counsel to the U.S. Congress Joint Committee on Taxation where he provided policy and technical analysis relating to pensions and employee benefits, health care and Social Security to members of Congress. While working for Congress, Graff participated in the development of legislation, including the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Graff was associated with the Washington, DC, law firm, The Groom Law Group, which specializes in employee benefits.
Graff received his doctoral degree in law, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. He holds a bachelor of science in accounting with distinction from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.