Carmela Elco, an executive of National Penn Bancshares’ retirement advisory business, has been appointed to the prestigious Retirement Advisor Council, an advocacy group for the retirement plan advisor community, National Penn Bancshares announced Monday. Elco’s role on the council will include initiatives in research, public relations and promotion, general public education, regulatory positions, and practice management. Her term with the council begins Jan. 1, 2013.

Elco is president of Resources for Retirement, a division of National Penn Capital Advisors, Inc., the wealth management arm of National Penn Bancshares.  As president of RESOURCES for Retirement, Elco heads a 401(k) plan advisory firm that specializes in fund evaluation, fee negotiations, unbiased participant education, vendor selection and benchmarking.

Elco’s nomination to the council was unanimously approved by the council’s board in October after a review process that took into consideration the size of Resources, her dedication to the retirement plan business and contribution to thought leadership in the industry, National Penn Bancshares said in an announcement.

“We congratulate Carmela on this appointment and we are confident she will provide valuable insight to the Retirement Advisor Council,” Eric Henon, executive director of the council, said in a statement.

Elco began her career with Resources as vice president of Client Services where she was responsible for investment advisory services and worked closely with clients. In 2008, she testified before the U.S. Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council on the topic of target-date funds. Her testimony was used to craft DOL recommendations on best practices for plan sponsors on the evaluation and analysis of target-date funds within company-sponsored retirement plans.

National Penn Bancshares is the holding company for National Penn Bank, which operates 120 branch offices in eastern and central Pennsylvania and one in Maryland.