Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice encompasses the full range of advice, counsel and litigation support services required by clients as they pertain to employee pension and welfare benefit plans, and to executive compensation agreements, plans and programs.
Attorneys practicing in this area of our law firm have over 130 combined years of experience, which includes positions within our own law firm as well as prior in-house employment in a business and corporate environment. This experience makes our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation attorneys uniquely positioned to understand client needs and expectations, and to provide counsel and solutions that are compliant with legal requirements while at the same time responsive to business practicalities.
Our clients include public and private businesses of all types and organizational structures, tax-exempt organizations including hospitals and public charities, and governmental entities.
The following are examples of services typically provided to clients:
- Tax-qualified Pension and Profit Sharing Plans: Our practice includes consultation on plan design and implementation of defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans for taxable and tax-exempt organizations. Services include document drafting (including SPDs and required notices), the preparation and filing of IRS determination letter applications; IRS Voluntary Compliance Program (ECPRS) filings and representation; DOL compliance filings (VFCP filings); representation on IRS audits and DOL investigations; and managing the effect on plans in mergers/acquisitions. In addition, the Firm sponsors a prototype tax-qualified defined contribution plan, available for adoption by clients.
- Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs): In addition to services provided to all tax-qualified retirement plans, additional services to ESOP clients include representation of employers, financial institutions and fiduciaries with regard to the design, drafting and implementation of ESOPs (with emphasis on leveraged ESOPs and exempt loans).
- Severance Arrangements (including Early Retirement Windows): We provide counsel and advice to clients with regard to the design, drafting and implementation of voluntary and involuntary severance agreements and programs, both for a single individual or for a classification of employees. Closely related, we provide counsel and advice on the design, drafting and implementation of early retirement windows (whether comprised of incentives provided through a tax-qualified pension plan or otherwise).
- Welfare Benefit Plans: Our practice includes consultation on plan design and implementation, document drafting (including SPDs and required notices) and legal compliance with respect to employer welfare and fringe benefit plans, including medical, life and disability plans, cafeteria plans and constituent components (IRC §125), and fringe benefit plans and programs of all types. Services include, as applicable, compliance with ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA and other federal, state and local law.
- Executive Employment Agreements and Arrangements: We work with clients to design, draft and implement executive employment agreements, which may include provisions for performance awards and other incentive compensation, stock-based compensation, change-of-control and severance protection, and other individually-designed features.
- Nonqualified Deferred Compensation and Retirement Arrangements: We provide counsel and advice to clients with regard to the design, drafting and implementation of supplemental pension plans (SERPs), nonqualified deferred compensation agreements (whether as an employer incentive, or elective) and other nonqualified arrangements, to assure among other considerations compliance with IRC §409A and other applicable law. In addition, we assist clients in implementing suitable facilities to provide funding for such arrangements, e.g., so-called “rabbi trusts” and insurance products.
Our client had gone through many acquisitions and ended up with various retirement plans at many different levels of the...