Attorneys at the Firm are experienced with all aspects of qualified retirement plans, including defined benefit plans, money purchase plans, profit sharing plans, ESOPs, 401(k) plans, multi-employer plans and other collectively bargained plans. This includes qualified retirement plans for governmental and tax exempt entities. We assist clients not only with respect to plan design and drafting, but also advise clients with respect to operational aspects of their qualified retirements plans, including, but not limited to, fiduciary issues, discrimination testing, and reporting and disclosure requirements. We also advise clients with respect to the impact of corporate acquisitions and mergers upon their qualified retirement plans as well as the qualified retirement plans of acquired entities. We are experienced with Internal Revenue Service and Labor Department audits and assist clients in obtaining determination letters from the Internal Revenue Service with respect to initial qualification, and plan amendments as well as termination of qualified retirement plans.
In addition to qualified retirement plans, we provide clients with assistance with respect to non-qualified retirement plans, particularly for company executives. With the limitations on qualified retirement plans, non-qualified plans comprise a more significant part of an executive’s retirement package. We assist clients not only with design and drafting of non-qualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental retirement plans, and incentive performance plans, but also advise clients with respect to securing these benefits for executives without triggering adverse tax consequences.
Through our representation of municipal clients, we are cognizant of the special needs of clients who work with public boards and committees in the provision of benefits for municipal employees.
Another major area of expertise is welfare benefit plans. We assist clients in drafting and implementing medical plans, both insured and self-funded, cafeteria plans (also known as Section 125 plans or flexible benefit plans), dependent care assistance plans, and group life insurance plans. As with qualified retirement plans, we focus not only on plan design but also on operational aspects of welfare benefit plans, including age and sex discrimination and the issue relating to retiree health benefits.
Working closely with our corporate department, we advise clients on all aspects of stock incentive plans, including both qualified and non-qualified stock option plans, restricted stock plans, stock purchase plans, dividend reinvestment plans, stock appreciation rights, and phantom stock plans. In addition to drafting these types of plans, we also advise clients with respect to operational aspects of the plans and the impact of acquisition and mergers. We also assist clients in defending ERISA related lawsuits.