For employees, benefits are often as important as wages in deciding whether to work for or stay with an organization. For employers, benefit plans and compensation packages are crucial to attracting and retaining top-quality employees and are a major cost of doing business. For closely held businesses, benefit structure is also an element of financial and succession planning. What’s more, employers that sponsor and administer plans need to fully understand their fiduciary duties.

Developing a sound benefits and compensation strategy pays dividends to all parties involved. Whether representing a publicly traded corporation, a tax-exempt academic institution, or a privately held business, our attorneys leverage our front-line business experience to develop and implement targeted, innovative compensation and benefits solutions.

At Much, we tailor our services to the specific needs of each client, working closely with employers to custom-design benefit plans and programs, including the following plan types:

  • 401(k)/profit sharing
  • Stock award
  • Deferred compensation (including 409A plans)
  • Employee stock ownership
  • Phantom equity
  • Health and welfare
  • Defined benefit/pension
  • Cafeteria and flexible spending account

Regulatory Compliance

Employee benefit plans are subject to a complex web of state and federal laws. Our attorneys regularly advise clients regarding the legal requirements for benefit plans, including those arising under:

  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Internal Revenue Code
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • COBRA and state health insurance continuation coverage laws

Our attorneys guide clients in conducting internal compliance audits to identify and remedy problems proactively. The Much team has deep experience representing clients in a variety of settings, including IRS and Department of Labor audits and IRS Voluntary Compliance Program filings.

From Plan Administration to Corporate Transactions

Employers face a variety of duties and challenges once they adopt an employee benefit plan. Much attorneys are here to support clients with anything that may arise, including:

  • Completing annual government filings
  • Providing participants with legally required notices
  • Negotiating and reviewing vendor agreements
  • Responding to participant claims
  • Reviewing retirement plan investment choices
  • Due diligence and other support in mergers and acquisitions
  • Addressing potential breaches of fiduciary duty, including prohibited transactions