The attorneys in the Employment Law & Employee Benefits Group have drafted and maintained the qualification of pension and profit sharing plans for numerous entities for over 35 years. In fact, the Firm is a regional prototype plan sponsor of four prototype defined contribution plans and maintains the qualification, on an ongoing basis, of approximately 45 such plans.
The Group’s attorneys have handled numerous pension plan terminations, as well as mergers of defined benefit and defined contribution plans. The Group’s attorneys work closely with actuarial firms, accountants and third-party administrators on issues relating to plan design, plan amendments, plan compliance, plan mergers and plan terminations. Also, the attorneys in the Employment Law & Employee Benefits Group are very knowledgeable with respect to the taxation issues surrounding retirement plan distributions, including rollovers to other qualified plans, IRAs and the drafting and implementation of QDROs.
The lawyers in the Employment Law & Employee Benefits Group have extensive experience in designing plans for small closely held corporations, as well as multiemployer defined benefit and defined contribution plans. We have worked closely with large consulting firms, such as Buck Consultants, Johnson & Higgins and The Segal Company. We answer, on a regular basis, questions from in-house administrators of plans, as well as third-party administrators relating to QDROs, distributions, plan amendments and other aspects of plan administration.
Further, the Group’s attorneys have extensive knowledge of ERISA compliance issues relating to defined benefit and defined contribution plans. We have been retained by a large state-wide multiemployer defined benefit plan to represent it in negotiations and ultimate settlement with the Internal Revenue Service in a serious qualification issue through a voluntary compliance program. We have represented defined benefit and defined contribution plans in Department of Labor inquiries, investigations and audits. We have handled withdrawal liability cases, including representing a multiemployer plan in a case which resolved several legal tenets in the Third Circuit.
The Group’s experience in representing defined benefit and defined contribution plans is well-recognized, and we are contacted routinely by third-party administrators, accountants, actuaries and, indeed, other attorneys to provide legal assistance to them on complex issues involving defined benefit and defined contribution plans.