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Professional Legal Advice for Employee Benefit Pros Trumps Over Confidence


We all know people who talk a good game at work. They speak with such confidence that few question the correctness of their statements. They are consistently wrong about important and not so important issues, but their opinions are still solicited. Their confidence overshadows the many wrong answers they provide and they are often rewarded for their appearance of being knowledgeable.

Sadly, these individuals work in all levels of the organization and in every profession. No one likes them, including me, but I especially dislike those working in the employee benefit field. Why? Because this combination of over-confidence and ignorance is legally risky... It puts entire benefit programs in legal and financial jeopardy. It results in others making wrong decisions and leads to a vicious cycle of being consistently wrong. In other words, it damages the reputation of the profession.

I can provide several examples of this behavior in practice both from low- and high-level employee benefit professionals. One example that stands out in my mind involved a Vice President of Human Resources and her former employer’s Benefits Manager:
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