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Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
The employee benefits practice of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt consists of a team of experienced attorneys serving clients in regard to all aspects of their benefit plan and executive compensation arrangements. The group works with clients of all sizes, including publicly-held corporations, governmental entities and tax-exempt institutions. Our attorneys strive to be pro-active in regard to the advice provided to our clients, and understand the need to address the underlying business considerations of maintaining an employee benefit program.Qualified Retirement Plans
The firm's employee benefits attorneys advise employers in regard to the design and administration of their Section 401(k) and other qualified retirement plans. This assistance includes monitoring legal developments that may require employer action in order to preserve the tax-qualified status of the plans. The scope of these services include:
Health and Welfare Plans
- Providing advice as to the design of the retirement plans, including Section 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans.
- Drafting of plan documents, and plan amendments, to address the client's objectives, and to satisfy the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") and the Internal Revenue Code.
- Preparing and updating Summary Plan Descriptions, and other benefit forms and notices.
- Advising plan fiduciaries as to their legal duties under ERISA, including in regard to the selection of the plan's investments and investment advisors.
- Reviewing investment policies and services agreements.
- Analyzing and addressing issues arising in connection with the merger, acquisition and sales of business.
The firm advises clients as to the myriad of laws and employee relations implications of health and welfare plans. The types of welfare plans, and the laws, that we address with regard to our clients include the following:
- Insured and self-insured medical plans
- Cafeteria plans and flexible spending account ("FSA") arrangements
- Health reimbursements arrangements ("HRAs") and health savings accounts ("HSAs")
- Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Associations ("VEBA") trusts
- COBRA continuation coverage
- HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules
- Plan reporting and notice requirements
- Benefit claims and appeals
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt attorneys are actively engaged in assisting clients in the corporate and legal aspects of executive compensation and deferred compensation arrangements. The scope of the services include analyzing an arrangement's compliance with applicable securities and tax laws, including the Code Section 409A rules.
Our attorneys have experience with all forms of non-qualified plans, such as:
- Stock-based and other incentive programs
- Supplemental retirement plans ("SERPs")
- Severance agreements
- Non-qualified Section 457(b) and 457(f) plans
- Stock appreciation rights
- Phantom stock plans