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NIPA is committed to celebrating our members. We recently visited with Jennie Rello, President, Benefit Associates, Inc:

How did you get involved in the retirement plan industry?
After graduating with a B.S. in Finance and Personnel & Industrial Relations, I went to Adelphi University in Garden City, NY and graduated from its Employee Benefits Specialist Program. My copy of ERISA was yellow highlighted, dog-eared and much loved! This career path was the perfect mix of all my college study.

Please provide a little detail on your company:
Benefit Associates, Inc. was established in 1981 as a fee-only pension and profit-sharing plan consulting and administration firm based in Orange, CA. Our areas of practice include complex issues relating to the design, implementation and operation of qualified retirement plans. We currently employ 18.

What trends/developments are you noticing in the industry?
Our recent business trend is an increase in Cash Balance and DB/PS combo plans. This may not be the trend for other businesses but it suits the type of clients we service.

What are some issues facing pension administrators in the future? How do you think NIPA can help?
Staying cost competitive and efficient in light of new laws and regulations. NIPA can help by continuing their designation programs, local chapters and Webcasts.

How and when did you get involved with NIPA?
I first got involved with NIPA when I moved to California in 1984. I was a volunteer helping write some of the NIPA exams and §401(k) workbooks.

How has NIPA helped you personally and helped your business grow and be more competitive?
The program that has helped me personally and helped me grow my business is, the Business Management Conference in Arizona. This is a great opportunity to get together with other business owners and share ideas about running our businesses. Though the pension educational opportunities are great, this conference is unique to other industry education groups. The speakers help us to think outside the box and imagine the possibilities. New ideas have helped us to become a competitive cutting-edge company.

What value does NIPA provide to the retirement plan community?
NIPA provides us with an opportunity to create a community of pension professionals who learn together and help each other.
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