Employee Benefits

Overview

Overview

Our lawyers are well-versed in employee benefit programs needed to develop and maintain active automotive workforces. We possess the knowledge, foresight and experience to balance the human resource and financial requirements of these programs, while ensuring compliance with increasingly complex legal requirements, including:

  • Designing, administering, amending and, if need be, terminating defined benefit plans (both traditional and cash balance), 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, money purchase plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) (both leveraged and non-leveraged)
  • Submitting requests for tax-qualification for these plans on the prescribed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) submission cycle
  • Identifying operational problems and pursuing the voluntary correction programs offered by the IRS and the Department of Labor (DOL) to fix these violations
  • Representing clients and their plans before the IRS, the DOL and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Board (PBGC) for audits, investigations notice procedures, letter rulings or advisory opinions
  • Designing, administering and amending health care plans (both insured and self-funded), cafeteria plans, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, life insurance and AD&D plans, disability plans (both, short and long term), severance plans and wellness programs
  • Designing and implementing appropriate funding arrangements for these plans, including voluntary employee beneficiary associations (VEBAs) and captive insurance arrangements
  • Helping clients comply with the alphabet soup of benefit statutes – IRC, ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, ARRA and others
  • Consulting on multiemployer plan issues, such as withdrawal liability, delinquent contributions and audits
  • For both retirement and welfare plans, drafting plan documents, trust agreements, summary plan descriptions and employee communication materials
  • Contracting with third-party vendors and plan service providers
  • Designing and administering a range of executive compensation programs, such as performance incentive plans, SERPs, stock bonus plans, excess benefit plans, stock options, stock purchase plans, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock grants, deferred compensation plans and split-dollar insurance arrangements
  • Analyzing and addressing employee benefits issues that arise in connection with mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and other business transactions
  • Defending clients in benefits litigation, such as defense of benefit claims (including retiree medical claims), preemption matters, alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, subrogation recoveries, Medicare secondary payer claims, stop-loss coverage claims, coordination of benefits disputes, withdrawal liability assessments, ESOP valuation and distribution disputes, and breach of contract claims with plan service providers

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