Once a Washington, D.C.-based tax attorney enmeshed in wading through paperwork tied to mergers and acquisitions, Chase Tweel is now an Employee Retirement Income Security Act research analyst with Pension Consultants Inc., 300 S. Campbell Ave.
Tweel says he was contacted by Marina Wiley, director of the company’s ERISA team, about coming to work in Springfield after Wiley read an article Tweel wrote for the North Carolina Banking Institute about retirement law.
Despite having no ties to the Ozarks, Tweel took the job.
“The impetus was to move to a small to medium-sized market for an easier pace of life and better career development opportunities,” he says. “From a lifestyle perspective, living in that fast-paced urban jungle wasn’t for me. My hometown is Nashville, Tenn., and I felt an urge to return to the Heartland.”
Another change Tweel appreciates is having the opportunity to expand and grow Pension Consultants’ ERISA team, something he wouldn’t have been able to do at his previous job with KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice.
“People with my background, at my level of experience, rarely have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial within their firm – and that was a big draw for me,” says Tweel, who earned his law degree in 2009 and his Master of Law in taxation in 2010.
Tweel says his first duty at Pension Consultants is to make sure everyone who deals with the company’s clients is up to speed on ever-evolving financial and retirement laws.
“Our team’s knowledge and expertise does the client no good if it can’t be conveyed to them in a manner that can be appreciated and understood,” he says. “That’s our biggest challenge, to not only wrap our own brains around what is coming out of the (Internal Revenue Service) and the Department of Labor, but to synthesize it into something that our clients can understand.”
Tweel knew that he wanted to go into the direction of retirement planning before he was ever courted for his current position.
“I wasn’t able to act upon it right away because the best job opportunity that I had directly out of school was in corporate tax instead of in employee benefits tax,” he says.
While both corporate tax and ERISA compliance each have their own complexities, Tweel says working with ERISA is more gratifying.
“What you get to at the end of the day (with retirement analysis), is a policy discussion about what’s best for America’s aging population,” he says.
As he settles in at Pension Consultants, Tweel also is on the lookout for opportunities in continuing education and community involvement.
“I believe in extra-curricular career development – going the extra mile at the end of the day to better yourself (and) make sure you stay ahead of the curve,” he says. “I believe in taking pride in where you work and live.”For more information on the 12 People You Need to Know series, click here.