Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Executive Compensation and ERISA

We advise clients on the full range of employee plans, including defined contribution, 401(k), money purchase, defined benefit, cash balance, 457(b) and (f), 403(b), welfare, cafeteria, dependent care, retiree health and flexible benefit plans. The principal areas in which we assist clients are:

  • Design, drafting and amending qualified retirement and welfare plans, trust agreements and administrative service agreements;
  • Review and updating of plans to ensure continued compliance with the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and other evolving legislative and regulatory requirements;
  • Drafting and review of employee communications, including summary plan descriptions and summaries of material modifications;
  • Preparation of determination letter applications and negotiation with the Internal Revenue Service to obtain favorable determination letters for qualified plans; and
  • Correction of plan qualification defects through the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System and Form 5500 filing defects through the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program.

Now that the Supreme Court has largely upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), virtually all businesses face new challenges with respect to providing health care benefits. We assist clients in developing a strategy to comply and implement the ACA in a manner that accomplishes our clients’ goals while minimizing costs.

We help design deferred compensation arrangements that address our clients’ concerns with respect to retention and maintaining a competitive market position as well as compliance with IRC Section 409A. We assist clients in correcting operational and documentary failures in accordance with IRS procedures. We negotiate employment and termination agreements on behalf of employers in the context of both corporate transactions and ongoing corporate activities.

With respect to multiemployer plans, we advise clients on minimizing and challenging the assessment of withdrawal liability in the event of a claim resulting from a reduction in force, plant closing, corporate transaction or other event. We advise trustees on how to comply with their fiduciary obligations under ERISA while furthering management interests.