benefits photoOne of the important ways companies distinguish themselves in attracting and retaining employees is by the quality of their benefits packages.  Knowing how important these benefits are to companies and their employees, it is essential that benefit programs be designed, implemented and administered in the best, most effective way.  We help clients do that.

We work routinely on a wide variety of benefit plans including:

  • Qualified retirement plans
    • 401(k)
    • Profit sharing
    • ESOPs
    • Stock bonus plans
    • Money purchase pension plans
    • Defined benefit plans
    • Cash balance pension plans
  • 403(b) plans
  • Taft Hartley benefit funds
  • Municipal/governmental retirement plans
  • Non-qualified deferred retirement plans
    • Supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs)
    • Excess benefit plans
    • Wrap 401(k) plans
    • 457(f) plans
    • Other plans subject to Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Equity-based compensation plans
    • Incentive and non-qualified stock option plans
    • Restricted stock awards
    • Stock appreciation rights (SARs)
    • Phantom stock plans
  • Short and long term incentive plans
  • Split-dollar arrangements
  • Insured and self-insured health and welfare plans
    • Disability
    • Life insurance
    • Retiree medical programs
  • Cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts
  • Severance plans
  • Fringe benefit plans
    • Transportation
    • Adoption
    • Education assistance
  • ERISA implications of transactions
  • Financial institutions’ laws and their interaction with ERISA programs

Sometimes a plan participant feels that they have been unfairly denied a claim, and they appeal that ruling.  We support our clients in their claims reviews and appeals.  If the case requires litigation, we work with clients to resolve the dispute. We also work with plan fiduciaries and other plan representatives.

We represent our clients before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).  We have been successful in obtaining favorable determination letters for qualified plans from the IRS.

The best way to avoid problems is to administer the plans correctly all the time.  Common issues that businesses face and where we are particularly helpful include:

  • Review of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
  • Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (QMCSOs)
  • Preparation of summary plan descriptions
  • Summary of material modifications
  • Participant and beneficiary communications
  • Negotiation and review of administrative services
  • Trust agreements

In order to stay in compliance with all relevant regulations, our clients come to us for help on issues like:

  • Fiduciary responsibility
    • Investment of retirement plan assets
    • Prohibited transactions
  • Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Employee Compliance Resolution System Programs
    • Self-correction
    • Voluntary correction
  • Department of Labor’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
  • Delinquent IRS form 5500 filings
  • IRS/Department of Labor audits and investigations