The U.S. Labor Department has appointed Richard Turner to fill the insurance industry slot on the 15-seat Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans.

The council, commonly known as the ERISA Advisory Council, gives the U.S. secretary of Labor advice about carrying out department functions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Council members serve 3-year terms.

Turner, the new holder of the insurance seat, is a vice president and deputy counsel at Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company, Houston, a unit of American International Group Inc., New York. He is a past chairman of the Pension Committee at the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington.

Some of the other new council members Karen Karen Barnes, a managing counsel at McDonald’s Corp., Glen Ellyn, Ill., who represents employers; Gary Thayer, of counsel to Archer, Byington, Glennon & Levine L.L.P., Merrick, N.Y., who represents employee groups; and Marilee Lau, an ERISA accounting specialist in Kentfield, Calif., who represents accountants.

Lau serves on the Accountants Committee at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Brookfield, Wis.

- Allison Bell