2023 Employer Conference Recap

From September through the first week of October, the Employer Relations Team hosted eight virtual Employer Conferences. Last year was our first attempt at incorporating breakout sessions where attendees could customize their conference schedule and pick topics that pertained to their specific responsibilities. We kept that same format again this year with a shorter schedule.

The schedule for each day included a general session for all attendees followed by 4 breakout sessions. The general session, presented by Quality Analyst William Roberts, included legislative updates, along with important updates and reminders from the Employer Relations Team. At registration, attendees could select from 5 options for their breakout sessions to personalize their agendas with topics they felt were relevant to their responsibilities. The Employer Relations Team processed over 800 registrations.

With the expanded programming and navigating virtual breakout rooms, this year’s conference was a successful undertaking with the help of guest presenters and technical assistance from our Outreach and Education Team. Nationwide, the third-party administrator for the supplemental savings plans that ASRS offers had a team of representatives take turns across the eight conference dates to present in two breakout sessions. Broadspire’s Barry O’Dowd provided updates and reviewed frequently asked questions in the Long Term Disability breakout sessions.

The Employer Relations team also hosted breakout sessions to provide valuable information to the attendees. Quality Analyst Nichole Fuller, along with a subject matter experts from the Financial Services Division, presented on compensation and contribution reporting. Genevieve McBride informed attendees about the Health Insurance Premium Benefit (HIPB) program, and Quality Analyst Aaron Bernardino provided helpful information on hiring retirees and the Alternate Contribution Rate (ACR). 

This year, we had designated dates just for state agencies and universities, essentially all employers who report through the Arizona Department of Administration. While the information shared at all the conferences applies to all employers, the webinars designed for state agencies and universities had slight differences regarding the HIPB program, enrollment, and contribution reporting.

The feedback from this year’s survey of conference attendees was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, with suggestions we are already considering for next year’s conference season, including a return to in-person conferences while continuing to offer virtual webinars.

Good job!  I was prepared to be bored and underwhelmed.  Your crew packed in a lot of valuable material and did a good job presenting it.  Good humored and informative.

The conference was very informative to a newbie to ASRS, such as myself and the team was very knowledgeable and professional. I enjoyed it and left with a lot of information to help me from day-to-day. Thank you so much! 

For a copy of the presentations used at this year's Employer Conferences, visit our Employer Reference Material page. You'll find the PDFs of each session listed under the Employer Conference section on the right-hand side of the page. 

Written by Brianna Hamlin, Employer Relations

Published November 2023

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