Practice Areas

Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits & ERISA

Working with employers in diverse industries and of diverse sizes and business models, Mitchell Williams works with clients to design tax-advantageous employee benefit and executive compensation programs to meet specific recruiting and retention objectives. 

Mitchell Williams’ employee benefits team drives value to clients through compliant plan design and operation with minimal interruption of the client’s core business operations.

We collaborate with clients to deliver efficient and effective legal solutions. Our lawyers monitor legislative changes, technical alerts, and pertinent court cases to keep clients informed of subject matter developments that can impact their businesses. Even the most conscientious of employers and plan fiduciaries can trip over the hyper-technical hurdles posed by the regulations governing employee benefits and executive compensation.  We regularly work with clients to assist them in working through discrete legal issues involving voluntary corrections, IRS audits, DOL investigations, and plan or operational failures resulting in the additional taxation of a benefit or payment.  As a preventative measure, clients call on us to help them navigate the legalities associated with new employee benefit or executive compensation designs and their implementation and governance. 

Our experience includes: 

  • Qualified defined contribution plan funding design including safe harbor, age-based, and cross-tested
  • Qualified defined contribution plan administration and operation including 401(k), 403(b), and profit-sharing plans
  • Employee Stock Option Plans as retirement vehicles and for succession planning
  • Cash and equity-based non-qualified deferred compensation plan design and operation
  • Taxation issues under Code sections 409A and 162(m)
  • Health and welfare planning under the Affordable Care Act
  • HIPAA compliance
  • COBRA compliance
  • Plan governance
  • Fiduciary responsibility including procedures for selecting, monitoring and evaluating investments and vendors, establishing and amending investment policies, and the preparation and proper delivery of participant communications.
  • Fiduciary counseling
  • Correction of operational and plan document failures through the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS)
  • Correction of ERISA non-compliance issues under the DOL Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) and Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP)
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), including preparation of QDRO procedures and related forms and sample QDROs and reviewing domestic relations orders to determine qualified status
  • Trust agreements for qualified and non-qualified plans (e.g. Rabbi Trusts)
  • Mergers and acquisitions issues including controlled group analysis, due diligence, successor employer liability.  We advise on plan-related issues arising in connection with mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions, including pre-transaction due diligence reviews and post-transaction plan integration and mergers
  • IRS and DOL reporting including preparation and submission of reports and filings required of all ERISA plans, including non-qualified deferred compensation plans, such as annual reports on Forms 5500, Form 1095-B, and Form 1095-C. 
Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits & ERISA

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