employee benefits captiveIt was announced last night that Spring has been awarded the “Employee Benefits Specialist of the Year” U.S. Captive Service Award for 2015.

The U.S. Captive Service Awards are awarded annually, by the industry publication Captive Review, to recognize “excellence in the delivery and management of captive insurance and celebrate innovation, commitment and expertise in the captive insurance field.”

Spring has been leading the charge in the emerging employee benefit captive market for over a decade and our involvement and leadership in this space was never on display more than over the past year. With the Department of Labor’s sunsetting of the Expedited Process (EXPRO) for obtaining an ERISA prohibited transaction exemption (PTE) in 2012, there was a great deal of concern and uncertainty among the U.S. captive community. Spring lead the way in blazing a trail that would culminate in the reinstatement of EXPRO earlier this year.

Spring’s successful PTE approval for our client, Intel, to write their life and accidental death and dismemberment coverage in their existing captive in May of 2014, was one of the two cases the DOL based the eventual return of EXPRO on.

Further, Spring client Sealed Air Corp was one of the first companies to successfully utilize the new EXPRO process earlier this year and is now permitted to write their life and accidental death and dismemberment coverage in their P&C captive.

Finally, in April 2014, Spring was awarded with our 8th US patent for employee benefit funding strategies. This most recent patent outlines Spring’s process for funding retiree benefits including pensions, defined contributions and other retirement programs through a partially, wholly or non-owned captive insurance company. The patent also outlines the process for terminating a pension plan, funding additional employee benefits through a captive and also the reinvestment of captive assets to generate additional assets.

“It was a banner year for our employee benefits team and we are very enthusiastic about what we were able to accomplish,” commented Karin Landry, Spring’s Managing Partner and head of the captive consulting teams. “We are grateful to Captive Review for this gracious recognition of the team’s hard work.”

The award was handed out at a gala last night, kicking off this week’s annual convention of the Vermont Captive Insurance Industry Association’s (VCIA) annual conference in Burlington, Vermont. More information about the U.S. Captive Service Awards can be found here.