American Benefits Council

Our 50th Anniversary

Our History

The American Benefits Council advocates for employers, connecting public policy and private-sector solutions to shape employee benefits for the evolving global workforce.


The Council was formed in 1967 as the Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans (APPWP) to help employee benefits professionals share knowledge about legislation and regulations. All the major benefit consulting firms of the time (and other key players in the service provider sector and several major plan sponsors) were our founders. Originally there was also a significant union/multi-employer component to the membership.

Enactment of ERISA drove members to realize they needed a Washington DC-based trade association to advocate before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies. Because we became an advocacy trade association in 1978, and took the “management” perspective, the union/multiemployer members eventually drifted away from participation.


In 2000, we undertook a name change and rebranding effort, becoming the American Benefits Council, complete with new logo and corporate identity. Today, while lobbying at the federal level remains our main focus, we are increasingly engaged in global employee benefits matters relating to multinational companies and state-based issues such as paid time-off laws, initiatives for private sector retirement plans, and other actions such as the State Innovation Waivers under the ACA. 


50th Anniversary Symposium: The Future of Employer-Sponsored Benefits

November 29-30, 2017

JW Marriott Washington DC
1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

The culmination of our 50th anniversary celebration will be a gala dinner and a member/public symposium, featuring Council staff and guest speakers, designed to examine the future challenges and opportunities facing benefit plan sponsors.

The dinner and symposium will be open to all Council members as well as selected members of the media, government officials and their staff, stakeholders and opinion leaders from all parts of the employee benefits system, and the general public.

Registration information will be provided later this year, but you can save the date now.


50 Voices for Employer Sponsored-Benefits | #50Voices4Benefits

As we reflect on the last 50 years and look ahead to the future of employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits, we’re interested in the variety of perspectives on what that future can, will and should look like. Click here to share your voice.