Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

Employee benefits and executive compensation are major issues for businesses and industries of all sizes. Not only can it be time-consuming to create and administer flexible, effective and affordable benefit plans, but employers must pay constant attention to the tax and other constantly changing legal implications associated with them. This is especially true in today's environment of heightened government scrutiny and class action law suits. That's why prompt, efficient, accurate and comprehensive legal advice is critically important.

McNees Wallace & Nurick offers the breadth of services and leading-edge techniques of a national law firm, with the personalized service you expect. This makes us uniquely qualified to advise and assist clients of all sizes in all aspects of employee benefits law. Our knowledgeable interdisciplinary group — skilled in employee benefits, tax, labor and employment, general business, securities and litigation — ensures creative, thorough, vigorous and affordable representation.

Specific services include:  

  • Design, preparation, implementation, and operation of qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) and other define contribution plans, defined benefit pension plans and employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”), and related transactions.

  • Advice and assistance regarding plan administration and operations issues, including the preparation of administrative forms and employee communications, negotiation, and preparation of trust agreements, investment management agreements and other provider contracts, and counsel regarding plan transactions.

  • Design, preparation, implementation, and operation of welfare benefit plans, including cafeteria plans, flexible benefit plans, flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, fringe benefit programs, self-funded welfare benefit plans, and VEBAs (and other funding arrangements).

  • Advice regarding statutory and regulatory compliance with respect to the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, Medicare, Affordable Care Act, and other laws relating to employee benefits and executive compensation programs.

  • Advice and counsel regarding Title I ERISA issues including fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, and employee benefits risk management issues to plan sponsors, administrative committees, investment committees, and plan trustees.

  • Advice and counsel with respect to employee benefits issues relating to mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions, including the development of newly integrated employee benefits programs.

  • Representing clients before governmental agencies (IRS, DOL, and PBGC) relating to audits, fiduciary conduct and other investigations, plan terminations, and the utilization of governmental sponsored correction programs. The group has been especially successful in negotiating results with the IRS in conjunction with the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.

  • Design, preparation, implementation, and operation of equity-based compensation programs, including incentive stock options, nonqualified stock options, stock appreciation rights, phantom stock and other equity-based compensation programs.

  • Design, preparation, and implementation of executive compensation programs, including employment contracts, executive severance plans, termination agreements, change of control agreements (including golden parachute analysis), deferred compensation programs (including 409A compliance and the utilization of correction programs established by the IRS), supplemental executive retirement plans, and funding/security arrangements with respect to these arrangements.

  • Advice and counsel regarding collectively bargained employee benefit programs relating to both single-employer union plans and multiemployer plans including compliance with PPA, mandated funding requirements, and issues relating to the calculation, assessment, and avoidance of withdrawal liability.

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Practice Contacts

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