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Asset Owners

Plan Sponsor Council of America to join American Retirement Association, retain independence

Jigsaw puzzle pieces scattered around

The Plan Sponsor Council of America announced Wednesday it will join the American Retirement Association, an umbrella association containing four other retirement industry trade groups.

Although PSCA will become a membership division of ARA, it will retain its independence, said Kenneth Raskin, chairman of the PSCA's board of directors, in an interview. Mr. Raskin said PSCA will retain the same board, the same staff and its executive director, John M. "Jack" Towarnicky.

It will keep the same committees, work on the same projects, prepare the same benchmark surveys, hold the same conferences and retain the same lobbyist — Groom Law Group — as it has done as an independent organization, he said.

"It was important to me and our board that we be autonomous," said Mr. Raskin, noting that PSCA will become part of ARA on Dec. 29. "We will continue to be the voice of plan sponsors. When we add their voice to our voice, it will be a stronger voice."

Joining ARA will give PSCA greater access to administrative services, event planning, education and publications vs. what it could do on its own, Mr. Raskin said. "We will be able to do things with more resources," said Mr. Raskin, a New York-based partner for the King & Spalding law firm.

Mr. Raskin said PSCA board members were approached by ARA representatives last year about joining the Arlington, Va.-based association. The organization's other members are the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries, the National Association of Plan Advisors and the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association. The PSCA headquarters will remain in Chicago.

"With the addition of this key constituency, the American Retirement Association truly becomes the voice of the nation's retirement system," Brian Graff, CEO of the ARA, said in a news release Wednesday.

By joining ARA, members of PSCA will "benefit from significant synergies, added sources and operational efficiencies," PSCA's Mr. Towarnicky added in the news release.