ASPPA News from The Field
2012 ERPA Conference
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 8, 2012)— Reaffirming the need for enrolled retirement plan agents (ERPAs), the third annual ERPA conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 7 and 8. The conference, designed for ERPAs and by ERPAs, presented a lineup of industry experts that included practicing ERPAs as well as local, regional, and national government representatives from the Internal Revenue Service.
High-level IRS officials— including Monika A. Templeman, Director Employee Plans Examinations; David R. Williams, Director of the Return Preparer Office; Scott C. Albert, Chief of the Division of Reporting of the Department of Labor—offered inside advice on how to navigate the administrative, corrective, and ethical issues ERPAs face in working with the IRS.
The ERPA conference program was heavily oriented toward case studies, offering interactive sessions on ethics, troubleshooting plan problems, plan design, and corrections among other topics. S. Derrin Watson, one of the foremost authorities in the field, provided an in-depth analysis of affiliated service groups. Mikio S. Thomas, IRS senior tax analyst for employee plans, did an entire session on navigating the IRS website. Sheldon Smith and Rich Hochman covered a variety of ethical situations that ERPAs typically face. Ilene Ferenczy, Charles M. Lax, and the IRS’s Deborah K. Lohning combined their expert advice on “What To Do When My Client Does…” something wrong.
More than 70 ERPAs attended the conference. An impromptu survey of the audience determined that every ERPA in the room had represented clients before the IRS, thus exemplifying perfectly how ERPAs help promote better compliance. I was very impressed by all the extremely knowledgeable ERPAs I met whose extensive retirement plan and business experience was particularly on display in the breakout sessions. I also heard a great deal of positive feedback on the amount of information packed into the conference, which provided ERPA CPE credit.
On behalf of the ERPA conference committee, and fellow co-chairs Deb Lohning and Cathy Green, and AIRE representative Sue Perry, thanks to all who attended, all the speakers and to all who worked hard to make the ERPA Conference a success. Stay tuned for information on next year’s Fourth Annual ERPA Conference.
-Bill Grossman, ERPA, QPA
ASPPA member since 1998
Category: Member Focus