Employee benefit plans and practices in the United States have been the subject of escalating scrutiny by Congress and regulatory oversight by federal government agencies over the past four decades, resulting in a labyrinth of laws and regulations which must be considered in the design and administration of these programs. Ensuring compliance and tax-efficient planning while supporting the goals and expectations of an employee benefit program requires guidance from employee benefit attorneys who have significant experience with the pertinent laws and regulations, and who at the same time can add value by sharing their knowledge of new trends and best practices and offering practical solutions.
Stradley Ronon’s employee benefits group advises and represents clients on all legal matters relating to employee benefit plans and practices, including the applicability and impact of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and federal and state tax and securities laws. Representing publicly traded and privately owned companies, governmental entities and nonprofits, as well as individuals, we offer our clients a wide range of services, including:
- Counseling employers on the design and implementation of tax-qualified pension, profit-sharing, 401(k) and employee stock ownership plans.
- Representing employers in connection with audits, determination letter applications and voluntary correction proceedings involving these plans before the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., and state and local taxing authorities.
- Advising and representing employers in disputes with employees and vendors related to their plans.
- Counseling employers and employees in connection with their deferred compensation and equity incentive arrangements, such as supplemental executive retirement programs, stock options, restricted stock arrangements, partnership and limited liability company equity programs, and phantom equity arrangements.
- Advising buyers and sellers of businesses on all matters relating to employee benefit plans and practices, conducting due diligence and advising on compliance issues identified in the course of due diligence investigation, offering counsel regarding withdrawal liability issues relating to multiemployer pension plans, and providing guidance on post-acquisition integration of buyer and seller plans.
- Counseling our investment advisory and other financial services clients on ERISA compliance issues in connection with their development and implementation of new investment products; and negotiating investment management contracts with their ERISA plan clients regarding compliance with their ERISA disclosure obligations.