The Committee on the Investment of Employee Benefit Assets, better known as CIEBA, is the voice of the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) on employee benefit plan asset management and investment issues. CIEBA represents more than 115 of the country's largest pension funds. Its members manage $1.4 trillion of defined benefit and defined contribution plan assets, on behalf of 16 million plan participants and beneficiaries.
CIEBA was formed in 1985 to provide a nationally recognized forum and voice in Washington for ERISA-governed corporate pension plan sponsors on fiduciary and investment issues. Members are the senior corporate financial officers who individually manage and administer ERISA-governed corporate pension plan assets. Robin Diamonte, Chief Investment Officer, United Technologies Corporation, is the current chair.
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CIEBA's mission is to improve retirement security and increase investment management effectiveness by:
Informing pension plan sponsors of legislative, regulatory and investment issues affecting defined benefit and defined contribution plans
Providing a forum for discussion of these issues and development of effective solutions
Helping its members address these issues and effectively discharge their fiduciary responsibilities
Serving as an information resource for legislative and regulatory bodies
Supporting constructive policy and legislative initiatives
Building understanding and support for the private sector pension system
CIEBA is committed to strengthening the private sector pension system so that it continues as a major source of retirement income for millions of Americans. Its members also recognize that the private pension system's assets provide a significant source of long-term capital essential for growth.
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Representation in Washington
CIEBA is a unique organization with a focus on the investment of funds for federally regulated pensions, profit sharing, employee saving, and employee welfare plans. CIEBA has testified before Congress and regulatory agencies to express opinions on various issues, including the following.
- Maintaining the tax-free status of securities transactions made on the behalf of retirement plans
- Supporting the sole trusteeship of single-employer defined benefit plans
- Support the fiduciary safe harbor for participant-directed investments of defined contribution plans
- Enhancing access to expert investment advice and education
- Encouraging a more flexible exemption process in the prohibited transaction area that properly balances the potential risks to plan participants with the benefits of the particular transaction investment issues
CIEBA publishes primers and research reports designed as educational tools for its members, policymakers and other decision-makers. They include:
- Pension Plans Regulated by ERISA
- Derivatives Primer
- Defined Contribution Plans
- Implications of Investing Social Security Funds in Financial Markets
CIEBA meetings are a forum for candid off-the-record discussions among peers of contemporary issues. Some examples of topics presented and discussed in the past include:
- Asset Allocation Implications of Cash Balance Plans
- 401(k) Advice & Education
- Market Neutral Strategies
- Brokerage/Mutual Fund Windows within DC Plans
- Current State and Potential Application of Hedge Fund Strategies
- Emerging Frameworks for Institutional Risk Management
- Market Structure and the Impact of Electronic Trading
Through surveys, CIEBA provides exclusive information on trends within the industry and issues members are currently addressing. These are:
- The Membership Profile Survey highlights trends in asset allocation, equity turnover, indexation, and internal and external management
- Plan Sponsor Resource Guide 2000-2001 is a searchable database of the current issues CIEBA members are addressing.
As the only forum for discussion among exclusively corporate plan sponsors, CIEBA meetings allow members to examine significant investment issues. Past meetings have addressed:
- In-house investment management
- Quality management techniques and their contribution to improved investment performance
- The value of consultants
- New Economy vs. Old Economy investment opportunities
- Emerging Market investments
- U.S. Equity Large Cap dominance over Small Cap
Continuing Professional Education
CIEBA provides a unique opportunity for its members to remain current with the latest investment thinking, particularly as it relates to pension fund issues. Both through membership-generated research, and industry and academic sources, CIEBA's continuing education programs have special relevance for its members. They include:
- Tele-discussions - Facilitated telephone discussions are a valuable and efficient mode of dialogue among CIEBA members. Members discuss timely issues without the expense or time of travel.
- University-based education programs -- most recently held at the Harvard Business School.
- Research Reports. Recent examples include reports on hedge funds and risk management.
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The effectiveness of CIEBA in its role as an authoritative resource on pension and investment issues is due in large measure to the expertise and active participation of its members. Membership is limited exclusively to ERISA-governed corporate plan sponsors. In order to become a member of CIEBA you should:
- Be the senior person in your company with primary responsibility for the investment of ERISA-governed pension benefit assets
- Be employed by a corporation with $1 billion in revenues or with $250 million or more of benefit plan investments under management
- Participate in CIEBA's annual profile survey on asset allocation for defined benefit and contribution plans. Individual responses are confidential.
The CIEBA membership meets twice a year to address both public policy and investment issues through open dialogue with key public policymakers and investment industry leaders.
Working Group Members
As a member of the Working Group, you have the opportunity to take full advantage of what CIEBA has to offer. You can develop a network of executives with whom you can have candid off-the-record conversations on the latest investment management topics and company issues you face. You have immediate access to research that is completed by objective plan sponsors. You can participate in subcommittee discussions and help to develop and guide the advocacy positions prepared by CIEBA on pertinent regulatory and legislative developments. Not only will you stay ahead of the issues, but also you will thrive as a better professional because of the touchstones offered by CIEBA membership.
The Working Group meets quarterly.
For information on CIEBA membership, please contact Charles Stallings by email at cstallings@CIEBA.org or phone (301) 961-8806.
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Please note that your application will be reviewed for CIEBA membership criteria. Upon final approval, you will receive an e-mail confirmation of your CIEBA membership.
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