Mr. Schembari is Chair of the Corporate Finance Department. He concentrates his practice primarily in employee benefits, executive compensation, tax, corporate and privacy law.
Mr. Schembari works with private, public and governmental employers on their qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, employee stock ownership plans, insured and self-funded health plans, executive and incentive compensation programs, and other equity-based compensation arrangements. He advises compensation committees, ERISA fiduciaries, in-house counsel, and finance and human resources executives from companies of all sizes, including several of the largest employers in the United States. He assists clients in managing their growth and expansion through designing employee benefit programs that recruit and retain high-quality personnel. Mr. Schembari is widely known for providing practical and straightforward advice in complex areas of the law.
Mr. Schembari is a nationally recognized speaker on employee benefits, executive compensation, tax and privacy matters. He speaks several times per year across the country to thousands of participants. He has also authored numerous articles in his areas of specialty for law journals, magazines and other publications.
Since 2007 Mr. Schembari has been selected by his peers for The Best Lawyers In America listings for Employee Benefits Law. He also is one of only two lawyers identified by Chambers and Partners as a leading ERISA attorney in the state of Nebraska. He has a peer review rating of AV by Martindale-Hubbell . In 2012 he was recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2012 Omaha Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Lawyer of the Year.
His recent experience includes:
• Serving as ERISA and benefits counsel for Fortune 500 companies with hundreds of thousands of employees around the world.
• Providing guidance to employers and federal agencies on the Affordable Care Act.
• Serving as company counsel in more than $200 million of leveraged ESOP transactions involving Code section 1042 rollovers, proxy votes and subchapter S elections.
• Representing Taft-Hartley (multiemployer) funds, including pension, self-funded health and welfare and 401(k) plans.
• Serving as lead counsel to state-sponsored college savings and prepaid tuition programs under Code section 529. Designing, drafting and implementing a variety of nonqualified deferred compensation plans and equity incentive plans for key management employees of private and publicly traded companies.
• Serving as counsel to governmental entities in connection with the maintenance and operation of defined benefit, defined contribution and health and welfare plans.
• Conducting dozens of fiduciary and tax compliance reviews for employee benefit plans with over $10 billion in assets.
• Serving as an independent fiduciary to ERISA-governed employee benefit plans.
• Living Through IRS and DOL Audits and Investigations, Benefit Magazine, 2011.
• New Retirement Plan and IRA Limits Provide Opportunities for Employers and Employees, Nebraska Lawyer, 2001.
• 1042 Rollover Transactions: Don't Forget to Cross Your T's and Dot Your I's, Journal of Compensation and Benefits, 1998.
• Missing - QDRO Guidance, Journal of Pension Benefits, 1996.
• Protecting Deferred Compensation With Bankruptcy Insurance, Journal of Pension Benefits, 1994.
• The Affordable Care Act's Impact on Employee Benefit Plans, Omaha, NE, May 15, 2014.
• The Most Common Mistakes Made by Qualified Plan Sponsors and How to Fix Them, Omaha, NE, November 21, 2013.
• Compliance Check-Up for Training Funds, Las Vegas, NV, October 22, 2013.
• Acting as a Fiduciary for Your Training Fund, Las Vegas, NV, October 21, 2013.
• Final Resolution and Getting your Money, Boston, MA, September 19, 2013.
• Collection Nightmares, IFEBP, Boston, MA, September 18, 2013.
• Preparing Your Employee Benefit Programs for 2014, Kansas City, MO, June 21, 2013.
• Health Care Reform: Preparing for 2014, Omaha, Nebraska, January 23, 2013.
• Communication Compliance in Pension Plans, San Diego, California, November 2012.
• U.S. Legalese: Effective Employee Benefit Communication, 2012, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
• Fiduciary Best Practices, 2012, Kansas City, Missouri.
• HIPAA & HITECH, 2012, Omaha, Nebraska.
• 2011 Employee Benefits Update - The Quiet Before the Storm, National Webinar.
• Issues in Securing Managers, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada.
• Selecting and Monitoring Plan Professionals, Orlando, 2011.
• Implementing a Successful Request for Proposal, Orlando, 2011.
• Living Through IRS and DOL Audits and Investigations, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii.
• PPA Disclosure Requirements, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii.
• National Association of Budgeting and Finance Management Conference, Public Pension Plans: Out of Control, 2010, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Fee Disclosure Regulations, 2010, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Heightened Regulation of Employer Provided Benefits: A Primer for Non-ERISA Transactional and Litigation Attorneys, 2010, Little Rock, Arkansas.
• Health Care Reform, 2010, Multiple Locations.
• ARRA's Impact on Business Associates, 2009, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Pension Protection Act, 2009, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Employment Tips & Trends: What Employers Need to Know for 2009, Omaha, Nebraska.
• ESOPs as an Exit Strategy, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Legal Fiduciary Update, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Selection and Evaluation of Professional Advisors, IFEBP 54th Annual Employee Benefits Conference, 2008, San Antonio, Texas.
• Surviving a DOL Audit, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
• The Difference Between Investment Education and Investment Advice, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
• 409A Implications for CPAs and Tax Professionals, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska
• Employee Welfare Plans, 2007, Chicago, Illinois.
• Fiduciary Responsibility, 2007, Anaheim, California.
• Employee Stock Ownership Plans, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada.
• Nonqualified Deferred Compensation: What Every HR Department Must Do Under Code Section 409A's Final Regulations Before Year End, 2007, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Legislative and Regulatory Update for Employee Benefit Plans, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada.
• Paid Time Off in Nebraska and Other States, 2006, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Employer Withdrawal Liability, 2006, Hollywood, Florida.
• Today's Fiduciary Standards, 2006, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Preserving Plan Assets by Pursuing Fraudulent Claims, 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada.
• Qualified Nonqualified Plans, 2006, Omaha, Nebraska .
• A Primer: Trustees' Fundamental Duties, Liabilities and Immunities, 2006, Arizona.
• Trustee's Duty Upon Discovery of Possible Fraud, 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada.
• Fiduciary Liability and ERISA 404(c), 2006, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Surviving a Department of Labor Audit, 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada .
• Fiduciary Duties for Trustees of Health and Welfare Funds, 2005, Honolulu, Hawaii.
• How to Avoid a Breach of Fiduciary Duties, 2005, Arizona.
• Employment Law Overview, 2005, Omaha, Nebraska.
• Employee Benefit Plans Fiduciary Responsibilities, 2005, Denver, Colorado.
• Executive Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans, 2005, Honolulu, Hawaii.
• Legal Update, 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana.
• Subrogation and Other Plan Recoveries: How Can You Establish and Operate a Successful Policy?, 2003, San Diego, California.
• How Does the Collective Bargaining Process Interact With the Role of the Trustee/Trust Fund?, 2003, Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
• Legislative Update, 2002, Omaha, Nebraska.
• USERRA, COBRA and HIPAA, 2002, Lake Tahoe, Nevada and Orlando, Florida .
• HIPAA Privacy and Security Training, 2001-2006, Multiple Locations.
• Recent Retirement Plan and IRA Legislation, 2001, Arkansas Federal Tax Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas.
September 18, 2014 Bradley Boyer, Alan Rupe and John Schembari Represent Senior Studio Executive in Employment Deal
Kutak Rock partners Bradley Boyer, Alan Rupe and John Schembari collaborated to assist a senior entertainment industry executive in reaching an employment agreement with his new employer.
September 4, 2014 Omaha Partner John Schembari Quoted in Omaha World-Herald Article
John Schembari, a partner in Kutak Rock's Omaha office, was recently quoted in the Omaha World-Herald's 'Life changes' that affect your health insurance might affect your taxes article posted on September 3, 2014.
August 18, 2014 2015 Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 56 Kutak Rock Attorneys
Kutak Rock is pleased to announce that 56 of its attorneys are included in the 21st edition of The Best Lawyers in America publication.
May 23, 2014 Kutak Rock Recognized by Chambers USA
Kutak Rock is pleased to announce its Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska offices and attorneys are honored in the 2014 Chambers USA guide to the best law firms and lawyers.
May 22, 2014 John Schembari Speaks to 150 People on the Affordable Care Act
John Schembari, chair of Kutak Rock's employee benefits practice group, recently spoke to 150 owners of small- to medium-size businesses on the state of the Affordable Care Act at an Omaha Suburban Rotary meeting on May 15, 2014.
October 29, 2013 Schembari Says Liquidation Not the Answer for Omaha's Civilian Pension Fund
Kutak Rock attorney John Schembari says liquidation is not an answer for Omaha, Nebraska's cash-strapped civilian pension fund.
September 4, 2013 Schembari To Speak On Avoiding Mistakes in Qualified Retirement Plans
August 31, 2013 Employees Buy Team Software
August 15, 2013 Record Number of Kutak Rock Attorneys Named Best Lawyers Forty-seven Kutak Rock attorneys reprenting 10 of the firm's 16 offices have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2014.
July 9, 2012 Arrangement Protects Bonus From 20% Penalty Tax
August 15, 2014 Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors Must Take Immediate Action Last Friday, the President signed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) into law. HATFA extends the interest rate smoothing provisions applicable to defined benefit pension plans that were originally found in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act of 2012 (MAP 21). HATFA requires non-governmental sponsors of single- and multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans to take immediate action.
July 31, 2014 IRS Provides Additional Information on 409A Audit Initiative; Other 409A Matters In May, the IRS announced that it had launched an audit initiative to gauge compliance with the rules for nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements under Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. Yesterday, we participated in a national conference with the IRS where IRS agents provided their unofficial opinions regarding the focus and applicability of the Initiative as well as other relevant matters under Code Section 409A. To learn what we learned, please read our client alert.
July 1, 2014 Supreme Court Limits Reach of Contraceptive Mandate
On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, closely-held for-profit corporations are not required to pay for contraceptives if doing so would violate the corporation's sincerely held religious beliefs. For more information on the major parts of the decision and its impact on employers, please read our client alert.
June 26, 2014 Supreme Court Holds There Is No Presumption of Prudence On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, a case involving an ESOP fiduciary's duties in deciding to sell or hold employer stock in an ESOP.
June 20, 2014 Reports to Congress Highlight Importance of Proactive HIPAA Compliance
April 21, 2014 Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program
April 10, 2014 Windsor Amendments Required Before Year End For Some Retirement Plans
March 25, 2014 Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Are Generally Subject to FICA; SUB Payments Are Not
February 28, 2014 Tax Reform Proposal Has Significant Impact on Employee Benefit Plans
February 20, 2014 Health Care Reform: Final Regulations on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions-Transitional Relief
Last week the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued Final Regulations relating to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions require applicable large employers to provide health care benefits to full-time employees or risk paying substantial penalties.
June 21, 2013 CLE for In-House Counsel on Current Issues, June 21st in Kansas City, Missouri
January 23, 2013 Health Care Reform Seminar - Preparing for 2014
June 22, 2012 Corporate Counsel CLE