Retirement plans are an important tool for attracting, retaining and rewarding employees. However, such plans must comply with numerous statutory and regulatory requirements in order to provide retirement benefits in a manner that is advantageous both to the employer and the employees. There are numerous types of retirement plans that a client, depending on its needs, may maintain to provide retirement benefits to its employees on a tax-favored basis. Such plans include:
- defined benefit plans
- cash balance plans
- money purchase pension plans
- profit sharing plans
- 401(k) plans
- employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
- tax-sheltered annuity plans (403(b) plans)
The employee benefits and executive compensation practice has extensive experience working with clients in the establishment and administration of all types of retirement plans. Depending upon the client's needs, our services could encompass: initial planning and consultation regarding the objectives of the plan; plan design and drafting; employee communications; guiding the plan through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) qualification process; advice on plan administration and fiduciary obligations; assistance in retaining the services of investment managers, third-party administrators and other service providers; representation during IRS, United States Department of Labor (DOL), and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation audits and litigation; and modification, conversion, merger and termination of the plan.
In addition, we assist clients in the identification of administrative errors that could result in the loss of a plan's tax-favored status, and the correction of such errors through the various voluntary compliance programs maintained by the IRS and the DOL. We also have significant experience in legal matters associated with participation in multiemployer pension plans and, in particular, withdrawal liability issues and disputes.