Plan Sponsor Council of America has awarded Phyllis Borzi, former assistant secretary of labor, a lifetime achievement award for her career-long commitment to strengthening the nation's retirement system.
"She is a tireless, universally respected advocate for investors and the industry at large, and PSCA is proud to recognize her contributions," said Will Hansen, PSCA executive director, in a news release.
Ms. Borzi was head of the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration from 2009 to 2017, overseeing the regulation of 700,000 employer-sponsored retirement plans in the private sector as well as 2.3 million health plans and other plans providing benefits to roughly 150 million Americans.
Prior to joining the Labor Department, Ms. Borzi served in a variety of regulatory, legislative and academic roles. From 1979 to 1995, she served the House Education and Labor Committee's Labor-Management Relations Subcommittee as pension and employee benefit counsel where she came to realize that many female constituents were not prepared for retirement and later served on the advisory board of the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement. Ms. Borzi went on to serve as a research professor in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University Medical Center's School of Public Health, and was later of counsel with the Washington law firm O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue.
Ms. Borzi is widely considered the architect of the DOL's fiduciary rule, which sought to eliminate conflicts of interest in the business of 401(k) plan retirement advice. The controversial rule required advisers to disclose all fees and commissions for retirement plans and retirement planning advice but was ultimately vacated in its entirety in March 2018 by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
"Ms. Borzi has always been an ardent supporter of establishing strong investment advice standards that will protect all Americans," said Tim Kohn, vice president and head of defined contribution at Dimensional Fund Advisors.
The PSCA's lifetime achievement award was established in 2015 to recognize individuals for their contributions to the growth of the defined contribution industry. Previous award recipients include Zvi Bodie, professor emeritus at Boston University; Cindy Hounsell, president of the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement; Anna Rappaport, founder of Anna Rappaport Consulting; Nancy K. Webman, retired editor of Pensions & Investments; Karen Barnes, managing counsel for McDonald's Corp.; and David Booth, co-founder, co-CEO and chairman of Dimensional.