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Press Release

Former EBSA Official Wilson Rejoins Groom Law Group

Issued by Groom Law Group

Mar. 23, 2021

Jeanne Klinefelter Wilson. the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, has rejoined the Groom Law Group. 

After leading EBSA from 2017 to 2021 in the roles of Deputy Assistant Secretary and then Acting Assistant Secretary following the departure of Preston Rutledge in May 2021, Wilson has returned to Groom as a Principal, serving as counsel to plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries in Groom’s plan sponsor group. She was Of Counsel at the firm from June 2016 to November 2017.

Wilson nearly 30 years of experience working with employee benefit plans. Her practice extends to all types of employee benefit plans, including both qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and welfare plans, according to her bio.  

While at DOL, Wilson served as the primary architect of Prohibited Class Exemption 2020-02 (Improving Investment Advice for Workers and Retirees) that harmonized the DOL guidance with the SEC standards. She also oversaw the development and release of the final rules on “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments,” and “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments and Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting,” which the Biden administration recently announced that it would not enforce.  

As Acting Assistant Secretary, Wilson also had a hand in the final rules establishing the registration requirements for pooled plan providers and pooled employer plans created under the SECURE Act. She also played an instrumental role in the DOL’s June 2020 letter ruling allowing private equity investments as a component of a professionally managed multi-asset class vehicle to be offered as an investment option for participants in DC plans under ERISA.

Wilson was appointed as EBSA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in November 2017, and in May 2019 was named Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, serving as the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary. Her role became even more prominent when she was named Acting Assistant Secretary following Rutledge’s departure last year.

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