Commentary: September always feels like a time of new beginnings. The start of a new school year, coupled with the change of seasons, leaves me energized and ready to tackle new challenges.

And for benefits professionals, there’s no doubt it’s a challenging time. Whether it’s planning for the Affordable Care Act’s looming Cadillac tax, trying to nudge your 401(k) plan participants toward better savings habits or weighing the pros and cons of a private health care exchange — to say nothing of the regulatory landscape benefit pros are responsible for navigating — the job of managing employer-sponsored benefit plans has never been more difficult.

In this new benefits environment, it’s also abundantly clear that plan sponsors can’t go it alone. They must rely on trusted partners — brokers, consultants and vendors — to lend a helping hand.

A helping hand is what we also hope to offer this year at the co-located Benefits Forum & Expo and Workplace Benefits Summit in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek. This conference is designed to keep you on top of the constantly evolving world of employee benefits.

Over the course of three days, you’ll hear from speakers such as Healthways’ chief digital officer Chris Dancy, Zappos’ John Bunch and Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s director of benefits Amy Ostop, on topics ranging from increasing wellness engagement and boosting voluntary enrollment to protecting employee data and learning what millennials really think about benefits and more. You’ll also be able to network with your peers and discover the latest in benefit products and services.

We’re confident the insights you gain at the conference will be helpful as you contemplate the future of your health care, retirement and voluntary benefit plans. You can register for the show here.

And if you aren’t able to get away during this busy open enrollment season to join us in Orlando, you can look forward to recaps of the event on our website,, on Twitter under the hashtag #BFE15 and in future digital issues of the magazine.

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