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Pension and Employee Benefits

Shipman & Goodwin’s Employee Benefits practice has earned a reputation for quality service that attracts a diverse and sophisticated clientele that includes public and private companies, municipalities and nonprofit entities.

The employee benefits arena is governed by ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, and a host of complex regulations and rulings released by various federal agencies. In this environment, creating and effectively maintaining benefit plans and programs can be a challenging task for any employer. Our employee benefits attorneys interpret and apply these laws to help our clients develop a benefit structure tailored to their needs.

We work actively with employers to design, draft and assist in the ongoing administration of 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, traditional defined benefit, cash balance and money purchase pension plans, tax-sheltered 403(b) annuity plans, employee bonus plans and severance plans. Our attorneys advise on tax law requirements (including correction of operational errors in plan administration through IRS correction programs) and ERISA fiduciary and investment implications. We also have extensive experience counseling employers with respect to the treatment of benefit plans in corporate transactions.

In addition, our attorneys advise employers on issues relating to health and welfare plans, including insured and self-insured medical plans, "VEBA" and "OPEB" trusts, cafeteria plans, wellness programs and incentives, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and high deductible/health savings account (HSA) arrangements—including tax and ERISA implications and compliance with COBRA and HIPAA rules.

We also counsel companies that provide services in the employee benefits industry, such as third-party administrators, prototype sponsors, trustees and other fiduciaries.

Experience

Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures
Acquisition of Specialty Finance Company by Texas-based Family Office
Other
Stable Value Fund Chapter 11 Case
Drafting of Section 457 Plan Documents
Pension and Employee Benefits Counsel for Fortune 100 Health Insurer
Connecticut-Based International Technology Research Company
Fortune 1000 Manufacturer
Submission of Correction of 401(k) Operational Issues to IRS
Amendment of Traditional Defined Benefit Plan
ERISA Counsel to Bank's Pension Plan, 401(k) Plan, Section 125 Plan, and SERP Counsel
Beneficiary Dispute Negotiations of IRA Settlement
Municipalities and Boards of Education
Merging of Pension Plan into 401(K) and Converting onto Fidelity Platform
School Superintendents Pension Counsel
Employee Benefits Counsel to Connecticut-Based Health Care System
Represented Connecticut-Based Hedge Fund with Respect to Changing 401(K) Plan Vendors
Represent Clients with Respect to Self-Correction and Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP) Filings with the IRS
Retiree Medical Account Plan Counsel
Employment Agreements
Representation of CEOs and Other Senior Executives
Company 401(k), Stock Option and Bonus Plan Counsel
Represent Private Schools in connection with 403(b) Retirement Plans
Represented Companies with Respect to ERISA Due Diligence
Advise Plan Administration Committee and Plan Sponsor Regarding Disputes and Pension Claim Benefits
Represented Manufacturer with Respect to Pension Plan's Lump Sum Window Amendment
Legal Counsel to 401(K) Committee Regarding Plan Administration and other ERISA Fiduciary Issues
Represented Companies with Respect to New Vendor's Prototype Plan and Investment Fund Platform
Pension and Employee Benefits Counsel to Connecticut-Chartered Bank

Publications

August 5, 2019  New Health Insurance Option for Employers in 2020 - the Individual Coverage HRA
June 28, 2019  A Primer on the SEC's Regulation Best Interest for Plan Fiduciaries
February 1, 2018  A Strategy for Maintaining the Tax Efficiency of Charitable Contributions In 2018
Quarterly Newsletter  Employment Law Letter
2017  A Poet's Guide to Employee Benefits Law
December 12, 2016  Guide for 401(k) and 403(b) Plan Administrators
Spring 2015  Employment Law Letter - Spring 2015
July 7, 2014  Employer Stock in 401(k) Plans: A New Landscape after Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer
May 21, 2014  New Model COBRA Notices Issued by Department of Labor
April 24, 2014  United States Supreme Court Rules that Severance Payments are Subject to FICA Tax
February 11, 2014  Taking Full Advantage of Roth Savings
January 9, 2014  A Continuing Look at Same-Sex Spousal Benefits After U.S. v. Windsor
December 18, 2013  Thinking Through the IRS's New Carryover Rule for Health Flexible Spending Accounts
November 7, 2013  Obamacare: The Big Picture
September 4, 2013  Employee Notice About Health Insurance Marketplaces Due By October 1
July 12, 2013  The Impact of the Supreme Court's DOMA Decision on Employee Benefit Plans
May 10, 2013  An Update on 401(k) Plan Investment Issues, and Revenue Sharing in Particular
February 8, 2013  Early Planning and Action on Health Care Reform
July 12, 2012  Supreme Court Decision On Health Care Reform - What It Means For Employers
May 23, 2012  Department of Labor Issues Final ERISA Fee Disclosure Rules
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