Editor’s Note: Charles Hamilton is president of the Association of Benefit Administrators.

New York, NY – The Association of Benefit Administrators was founded 60 years ago in 1961 by benefit administrators who banded together with the goal of improving their professionalism, serving as a source of information on health & welfare and pension matters, and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and experience. Over time, in addition to fund administrators, the ABA welcomed the professionals, consultants, and vendor partners that serve the multiemployer plan community. 

John Durso.

Throughout its history, the ABA has succeeded in drawing attention to the unique skills and wide experience of its members in matters involving workers covered by health & welfare, and pension plans. These skills and knowledge include every aspect of healthcare and its delivery mechanisms; strategies to control soaring healthcare costs; improvements in pension plan standards and coverage; improving service to plan participants; successful operation of dental, vision and hearing programs; pharmacy benefits and pharmacy benefit contracting; as well as many other programs and aspects of benefit fund administration.

The ABA’s mission is still to provide a forum for administrators and their professionals, consultants, and vendor partners to share our concerns and potential strategies and solutions.  To fulfill its mission the Association conducts luncheon meetings with guest speakers and publishes an e-newsletter.

Every year the ABA celebrates the holiday season by honoring a labor leader who has championed working people and the benefit funds that serve them.  The award is named after Thomas J. Mackell, Jr., the longtime president of the ABA who was a fierce and effective advocate for pensions and health & welfare plans and for working people. This year we are pleased to honor John R. Durso, president of the Long Island Federation of Labor and president of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, as the recipient of the Thomas J. Mackell, Jr. Distinguished Labor Service Award.  John is also the Trustee Chair of the funds affiliated with Local 338 and in that capacity has led the Local 338 Funds to strengthen financially while simultaneously improving service to the participants and bringing the members’ new and exciting benefits and programs. He lives for the mission of Local 338 — “to better the lives of our members and all working people.”  Congratulations, John R. Durso, for this well-deserved honor!

The ABA event honoring President John Durso is taking place at the St. Regis Hotel on December 2, 2021 beginning 6 pm. For additional information contact Karleen O’Neill at 201.507.0334 (ext 116) or


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