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View More Press Releases by American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

Press Release

The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Announces Opening of Competition for Best Simplification Proposal of 2023

Issued by American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

Feb. 8, 2023

The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel announced today that it is accepting submissions in its competition for the best proposal to simplify an aspect of employee benefits law.

The annual Simplification Award, established through a generous commitment of David Gordon, a former president of the College, provides a prize of $10,000 to the winning entry. The author of the winning entry in the 2023 competition will be honored at the College’s next annual meeting and induction ceremony scheduled for November 4, 2023, at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. The winning entry will also be highlighted in a broadly attended webinar hosted by the College and other employee benefit organizations.

The College is composed of senior employee benefit lawyers who have been selected by their peers for their contributions to the study and improvement of employee benefits law. Its diverse membership includes lawyers who represent plan participants, employers, unions, employee benefit plans, and the government agencies that regulate them. (Further information about the College, its activities, and its history, is available at

The College established the Simplification Award with the goal of generating ideas that simplify the law in ways that enhance, or at least have no adverse effect on, protections for and rights of employees and plan participants. While it is true that employee benefits law is necessarily complex in some respects, it is also more complex than necessary in others. One reason is that there has been no systematic effort over time to identify and purge from the law complex and overlapping provisions whose contributions to the employee benefits system no longer justify their costs.

As Mr. Gordon said when the Simplification Award was established, “the costs of this complexity of the current system are significant. For example, in some cases, complex legal requirements designed for a pre-computer age remain in the law despite costing employee benefit plans millions of dollars in compliance expense, resources that could better be used to improve the retirement and health benefits that these plans deliver to employees.” The competition is designed to encourage professionals who work in the employee benefits field, academics, employers who sponsor plans, and employees who participate in them, to suggest changes that would reduce complexity.

Entries for the 2023 competition must be submitted by June 30, 2023. Criteria for judging submissions include the degree of simplification, prospects for enactment, and originality. Rules on eligibility and selection criteria, and submissions procedures are available at award-rules . A list of FAQs is posted at .

For further information on the competition, media can contact Randy Hardock, Chair of the 2023 Simplification Award Committee (202-662-2293;

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