Employee Benefits and ERISA Law
As employers consider adding new employee benefits, making changes to existing benefits, adapting to changing regulations, or fixing plan mistakes, the Davis Brown ERISA and employee benefits attorneys help guide them through the regulatory maze to ensure compliance.
We help our employer clients ensure their retirement plans are implemented correctly with no operational issues. We offer advice on qualified and non-qualified benefit plans including 401(k), 403(b), Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), deferred compensation, and profit sharing plans.
We also work with TPAs and employers to find a solution if a qualified retirement plan was implemented with compliance failures that can jeopardize its qualified status, (e.g. improper funding, improper notices, incorrect deferral percentages, etc.). We have helped clients with various solutions, including self-correction procedures and participation in the voluntary correction program through the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.
Employers can walk an ambiguous line offering executive benefits and discriminating against employees. We advise employers on their executive compensation plans, specifically Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans and CEP plans to maintain regulation compliance.
We advise brokers and advisors in the area of welfare benefit plans, including health, dental, vision, FSA, cafeteria/Section125 plans, HRAs, HSAs, wellness plans, and QDROs. We represent fully insured and self-funded employers, multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs), employee benefit funding systems (VEBAs), and public employer trusts.
The team drafts plan documents, including wrap documents and SPDs, policies, notices, and amendments, as well as answers questions regarding compliance with COBRA, HIPAA, ACA, ERISA, and for public employers, applicable state laws.
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also referred to as Obamacare) and recent legislative efforts to replace the ACA, it is more important than ever for employers to ensure their welfare benefit plans comply with the law. We advise employers of all sizes in the drafting and implementation of plan policies and legal requirements.
We frequently work with other Davis Brown departments and attorneys to ensure clients receive full picture advice and representation.
- Tax - to ensure the best tax benefits for clients as they evaluate the various welfare plan options
- Employment- to ensure benefits comply with other employment related laws, including FMLA, ADA, and USERRA.
- Mergers and Acquisitions - to think creatively about how best to handle benefit plans in the corporate structure during and after the merger or acquisition.
- Employment Litigation - when clients are involved in other employment litigation, we can discuss the implications of the settlement on qualified plans and ensure compliance.
- ERISA Litigation - when clients need help with ERISA litigation, subrogation, and other matters, we have a team of litigators to help.
- Audits and Investigations - if clients are investigated by the DOL or other entity, unknowingly break regulations, or participate in unfair trade practices with criminal consequences, we bring in our investigations department to help manage an internal investigation, the relationship with the investigating entity, and any criminal defense work.
Recent Work Experience
We work with employers and businesses of all sizes. Our ERISA and employee benefits attorneys also work with HR mangers and their advisors, such as financial advisors, employee benefit consultants, brokers and agents, fiduciaries, plan sponsors, TPAs, and plan administrators. A list of recent client work examples is available here.