Rarely in the past 40 years has there been a time when the continued existence of the employer-based benefits system has been in such doubt. Rarely a time when virtually all sectors have been under siege simultaneously: When vendors faced such regulator pressure on what products to offer and how to price them, while brokers' incomes and livelihoods were at risk, employers faced decisions on whether they should continue sponsoring benefits, and workers sagged under the weight of increased cost sharing.

Rarely has there been a time when it was more important to gather together as an industry to seek solutions to common problems. These discussions are now occurring throughout the benefits industry, but we are particularly proud to be hosting such exchanges Sept. 9-11, at the co-located Benefits Forum & Expo and Employee Benefit Adviser Summit in Phoenix, AZ. Those of you reading this at the event will find an unmatched opportunity to step back from the daily grind, gain perspective, recharge batteries and replenish your tool kits.

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