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Dallas Salisbury to step down as head of Employee Benefit Research Institute

Dallas Salisbury to step down as head of Employee Benefit Research Institute

Dallas Salisbury, the first and only head of the Employee Benefit Research Institute since the organization was launched in 1978, will relinquish that position at the end of 2015 and become EBRI's president emeritus.

Mr. Salisbury, 66, on Monday said the change will enable him to spend more time with his family.

“Dallas is a fixture in Washington, he is hard to replace, and his leadership will be greatly missed,” Pamela French, chairman of EBRI's board of directors, said in a statement.

Aside from heading EBRI, Mr. Salisbury has served on numerous advisory groups and boards including the U.S. Department of Labor's ERISA Advisory Council and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s advisory committee.

Mr. Salisbury's tenure as EBRI president and CEO coincided with massive changes in the employee benefits arena. When Mr. Salisbury, then just 29, joined EBRI after holding various positions at the PBGC and the departments of Labor and Justice, corporate defined benefit pension plans were growing instead of shrinking, 401(k) plans had yet to be launched, “de-risking” was not yet part of the pension lexicon, and COBRA referred to an animal, not an acronym for the 1986 federal health care continuation law.

What hasn't changed is EBRI's purpose: providing objective and reliable information relating to employee benefit plans.

“An ongoing need exists for objective, unbiased information regarding the employee system so that decisions affecting the system may be made based on verifiable facts,” EBRI said in its 1978 mission statement.

To that end, EBRI has a comprehensive benefits research program, which includes policy forums, surveys, research papers and issue briefs.

While relinquishing his position at the end of the year, Mr. Salisbury will continue with EBRI as president emeritus, where, among other things, he will speak at conferences.

Currently, EBRI has 148 members compared with its 13 founding members.

Ms. French is leading a search for a new CEO with members of the EBRI executive committee.

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