The Frantz Ward Employee Benefits Practice advises clients on all aspects of the design, implementation, administration and termination of tax-qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, health and other welfare benefit plans, and fringe benefit programs. In addition, we represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation - the federal agencies charged with benefit plan oversight responsibility. We have significant experience in advising the full spectrum of clients, ranging from public companies, to middle market entities to nonprofit organizations.
The group also consults on executive compensation, represents employers and plan sponsors in ERISA consultation, arbitration and litigation, and provides technical assistance to the Frantz Ward Litigation Practice Group on matters involving sophisticated benefits litigation.
Typical projects include:
- Drafting of plan documents, related Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), employee communications and notices; and the securing of governmental approval on appropriate documents.
- Consulting on contractual relationships with plan service providers; such as insurers, third-party administrators, and trustees.
- Supporting clients’ in-house benefits personnel on day-to-day administrative functions, including: participant claim determinations, qualified domestic relation orders (QDROs) reviews, etc.
- Advising on the federal income tax, fiduciary and financing issues associated with ESOP transactions.
- Consulting on regulatory compliance, such as Internal Revenue Code qualification, nondiscrimination and minimum funding requirements; and ERISA reporting and disclosure, fiduciary, COBRA, and HIPAA requirements.
- Guiding plan sponsors through internal plan audits and compliance correction procedures, including utilization of the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution Program, DOL’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Program and other similar “amnesty” programs.
- Advising on benefits issues in corporate transactions and restructurings; including due diligence review of target company benefit programs, and advice on post-closing benefit issues such as plan mergers, discrimination testing, and plan terminations.
- Developing strategies for plan sponsors to avoid and/or minimize multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability.