Tax and benefit services

Employee benefits and ERISA

Expertise
Benefit programs should be a win-win for you and your employees. And if you own a closely held business, a properly designed benefit and retirement program is actually a critical component of your compensation and wealth accumulation or preservation strategy. Let us help guide you towards success by assisting with the design, implementation and operation of your employee benefits program. Our employee benefits team has a record of helping clients maximize the efficiency and economic feasibility of their programs. We do this by taking advantage of complex tax rules and by taking the time to understand your goals and objectives.

Our services include:
  • The design, implementation and operation of sophisticated:
    • Benefit and executive compensation programs
    • Qualified and non-qualified retirement programs
    • Health and welfare plans
  • Working with internal human resources personnel to assist in operating and administering plans
  • Acting as special employee benefits counsel to supplement large employers’ in-house legal staff, with customized solutions for providing services on a retainer or pre-budgeted basis.

ERISA litigation

When you require ERISA litigation assistance, our attorneys have years of experience, including at the appellate level. They will work in conjunction with our employee benefit attorneys, who are active in drafting benefit plans, advising fiduciaries and providing other ERISA related advice. We have defended our clients on matters such as:
  • Benefits claims by plan participants 
  • Claims for breach of fiduciary duty , including:
    • Prohibited transactions and ESOP valuation disputes
    • Investment losses
    • Other plan administration issues
In all aspects of ERISA litigation, our attorneys have represented and continue to represent:
  • Employers and plan sponsors
  • Retirement and health and welfare plan fiduciaries
  • Third party administrators
  • Fiduciary liability insurers 
Attorneys

Attorneys

Gladys C. Zolna profile image

Gladys C. Zolna

Antoinette M. Pilzner profile image

Antoinette M. Pilzner

William J. O'Neill profile image

William J. O'Neill

Dan L. Makee profile image

Dan L. Makee

John M. Wirtshafter profile image

John M. Wirtshafter

Dale R. Vlasek profile image

Dale R. Vlasek

Representative Matters
  • Creatively designing and implementing qualified retirement plans that utilize state of the art testing techniques to achieve the goals of both employers and employees.
  • Assisting closely-held businesses or self-employed individuals to develop qualified retirement plans that focus on the compensation and wealth accumulation and preservation objectives of the owner-employer with the permitted discrimination rules and testing techniques available.
  • Designing executive compensation programs including qualified plans targeting key executives, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, stock option plans, and other equity and non-equity-based compensation programs designed in a manner to best fulfill the client’s tax, accounting, and business objectives. Implementing and utilizing performance measurements and triggers to enhance such programs.
  • Assisting companies in dealing with the impact of the new rules relating to Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans and analyzing and utilizing the various funding alternatives (e.g., split-dollar and other life insurance products, rabbi-trusts, dedicated portfolio’s, pay-as-you-go, etc.) available to meet their executive compensation obligations.
  • Assisting employers with collective bargaining agreements on the negotiation, maintenance, termination, and operation of multi-employer pension and welfare benefit plans.
  • Designing and implementing a large number of ESOPs and other equity restructuring techniques to transition ownership in a tax and financial advantaged manner.
  • Designing health and welfare programs and summary plan descriptions including cafeteria plans, self-insured health programs, and VEBAs tailored to the unique requirements and objectives of each employer.
  • Assisting employers with compliance and regulatory issues of all types related to their health and welfare plans.
  • Assisting companies with reviewing administrative and operational compliance of their qualified retirement programs.
  • Assisting employers in reviewing, evaluating, and resolving employee benefits and executive compensation issues that arise in corporate acquisitions, restructurings, bankruptcies, and divestitures.
  • Working with employers to reduce or eliminate their liabilities relating to retiree medical and welfare benefits and to control or limit the FAS 106 impact of such programs. Designing beneficial funding techniques to fund for retiree medical and welfare programs.
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