Practice Areas & Industries: Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Benefit plan design and review, creation of executive compensation programs, assistance in maintaining operational and regulatory compliance, correction of plan document and administrative errors,  fiduciary compliance reviews, limitation of tax exposure.

Constangy’s Employee Benefits team is prepared to guide your company through this highly complex legal area, which is governed by the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Our attorneys understand the significance of the effective use of client resources in providing benefits as a part of the total compensation scheme. Well-drafted and administered benefit programs are effective recruitment and retention tools and enhance employee relations. We regularly assist clients with qualified retirement plans, fringe and welfare benefit plans, incentive arrangements and executive compensation programs.

Significant liability can be created by an employer's failure to comply with the fiduciary and regulatory requirements of the law. Even more frightening, individual liability is a risk for officers, directors and managers with responsibility over employee benefit plans and policies. To minimize this risk, we often assist companies with a thorough "due diligence" fiduciary assessment of benefit plan responsibilities and liabilities.

Our Benefits team attorneys represent employers in a variety of industries, including the following:

  • Banking
  • Health care
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Textile and apparel
  • Food and restaurants/hotels
  • Transportation
  • Government Contracting
  • Nonprofit Organizations

We also regularly advise governmental entities with regard to employee benefit plans and programs.

Our Benefits team publishes The ERISA Strategist as developments warrant, as well as our Employee Benefits Unplugged blog.

Benefits Representative Matters

Counseled numerous clients regarding obligations under new Internal Revenue Code Section 409A deferred compensation plan rules, including restructuring executive compensation and severance arrangements as well as employment agreements to satisfy the complex rules.

Advised clients regarding required and optional changes to qualified plans as a result of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, including significant new funding requirements for defined benefit plans and required and optional changes for 401(k) and other defined contribution plans.

Counseled companies (including publicly traded, closely held, tax-exempt and governmental employers) regarding retirement plans, executive compensation programs, and fringe and welfare benefit issues with a specific focus on the issues specific to the compliance, recruiting and retention issues facing each company.

Recently restructured retirement program to better match client’s recruiting and retention goals, including freezing of benefits under company’s defined benefit pension plan and enhancing defined contribution plan.

Assisted clients through merger and divestiture processes, including preparing and implementing new benefit plans for resulting companies for all types of benefit programs.