Employee Benefits & ERISA

Our Employee Benefits & ERISA team provides technical expertise and practical advice to assist clients in creating a benefits strategy that will allow them to achieve their overall personnel, business and financial objectives. We assist organizations with all types of benefit plans and programs, including qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans and fringe benefits programs. Our experience allows us to advise employers, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and administrators in all aspects of their benefit plans, including plan design and implementation, administration and regulatory compliance.

Our team understands the interrelationship of federal and state laws and the impact of federal and state mandates on an employer’s benefit plans. We maintain constant communication with clients to keep them informed of any required or advantageous regulatory changes that may affect their organizations’ benefits programs or packages.

Our attorneys are equipped with advanced degrees and specialized certifications related to employee benefits. We are highly trained practitioners who have built strong reputations and relationships with the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Our Employee Benefits team works closely with attorneys in our Labor and Employment and Tax practice groups on matters that require integrated approaches, and partners with actuaries, accountants, and bank trustees on an ongoing basis.

Our People

Representative Services

  • Qualified and non-qualified retirement plans
  • 401(k) and profit-sharing plans
  • Health and welfare plans
  • Fringe benefit plans
  • Claims administration issues
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Fiduciary responsibility counseling
  • Multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) plans
  • ERISA and employee benefits litigation

Representative Matters

  • Counseled publicly traded companies in planning, drafting and implementing non-qualified deferred compensation plans
  • Drafted 403(b) plans for governmental entities
  • Represented private employers before the IRS regarding delinquent annual filings
  • Successfully negotiated on behalf of the sponsor of a disqualified plan an agreement with the IRS to limit the negative tax consequences to the employer/plan sponsor and the plan participants
  • Obtained favorable determination letters from the IRS for initial adoption of and amendments to retirement plans
  • Obtained a summary judgment for the employer in an action brought by an early retiree for additional pension benefits under the employer-sponsored pension plan
  • Received a favorable federal court decision in an action brought by a former participant alleging a misrepresentation of benefits
  • Counsel large welfare benefit plans regarding internal claims and appeals and external review processes under health care reform
  • Advise plan administrators regarding participant requests for review of adverse benefit determinations
  • Successfully defended corporate fiduciaries against claims of breach of fiduciary duty due to improper investments and failure to follow plan documents
  • Counsel and assist employers and plan sponsors in the correction of retirement plan errors using the IRS voluntary correction program
  • Successfully assisted group health plans in securing payments of their subrogation claims
  • Obtained a favorable federal court decision for a plan administrator in a case claiming the denial of benefits was arbitrary and capricious
  • Counsel employers and plan sponsors on applicable health plan changes required by federal health care reform laws
  • Successfully negotiated with the Department of Labor on behalf of several fiduciaries and plan administrators for a reduction of penalties and interest assessed for multiple prohibited transactions and claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Successfully represented employers in arbitrations and litigation as to withdrawals from multiemployer pension plans
  • Drafted tax-favored fringe benefit plans, including transportation, premium conversion and full flexible spending account plans, for numerous public and private employers, and counseled those employers as to the successful implementation of those plans

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