Employee Benefits

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Helping you win the war for talent with strategic and compliant benefit programs.

Employee benefits are one of an employer’s primary tools to attract and retain talented employees, but employers face challenges on every front. With changes in health care reform, pension funding, and ERISA litigation, it gets harder each year to develop attractive and affordable benefit plans that fit your business goals. Employee benefits are an ever-increasing portion of an employer’s cost of overall compensation, eating up about a third of the budget. You need an experienced ally to help you comply with the onslaught of laws and regulations so you can effectively manage this complex and expensive area.

HOW WE HELP

Our team supports our clients with every aspect of their employee benefits needs—from designing, drafting, and implementing plans and agreements to counseling on operational compliance and fiduciary issues.

Our clients are local, regional, national, and multinational in scope and vary in size from mid-sized private companies to Fortune-ranked corporations in key industry sectors such as health care, consumer products, higher education, manufacturing, retail, transportation and environmental services, as well as boards of trustees of large multiemployer funds.

We offer broad geographic reach with deep expertise in the field, making us one of the largest and most comprehensive benefits departments among our peers. This enables us to lead and manage projects for major clients who have numerous operations and facilities, as well as provide personalized attention to day-to-day headaches.

OUR SERVICES

Retirement Plans. The entire spectrum of design, compliance, governance and operational issues related to all types of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, including defined benefit and cash balance pension plans, 401(k) plans, profit-sharing plans and ESOPs.

Health and Welfare Benefit Plans. Benefit program design, communications, benefit claims and appeals, assessment of fiduciary obligations, health care reform, HIPAA privacy and security, consumer-driven health spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, flexible spending accounts, vendor agreements, retiree benefits, and voluntary employee beneficiary associations.

Multiemployer Plans. Plan set-up and design, legal compliance, plan investments, fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, withdrawal liability, PPA funding issues and compliance, mergers and spinoffs, contractual relationships with service providers, benefit claims, collections and litigation in state and federal courts over withdrawal liability issues.

Executive and Equity Compensation. Including supplemental retirement plans, deferred compensation arrangements, executive employment and separation agreements, incentive programs, equity awards and ownership, as well as severance and change-in-control programs.

Fiduciary Governance and Institutional Investing. Counseling regarding fiduciary issues inherent in the governance structures of internal committees and their appointees, fee arrangements, claims and appeals, and investment monitoring obligations, as well as counseling plans, foundations and other institutional investors regarding their investments, compliance with fiduciary matters, and tax issues.

Benefit Solutions. Special projects such as internal procedural audits of administrative policies and practices, review of employee/participant communications, missing participant address and death searches, survivor support, QDROs, QMCSOs, legal instrument review and compliance training.

THE SEYFARTH EXPERIENCE

We use the firm’s industry-leading service delivery resources to provide greater transparency while helping our clients better manage events such as benefit plan restructuring and plan terminations. We offer alternative fee arrangements and process mapping to provide spend predictability in such areas as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) management, legal instrument reviews, and claim administration.

We work across the firm’s full-service platform, bringing in practitioners in all areas to provide the best information to our clients. Our Employee Benefits attorneys interact regularly with Seyfarth’s Labor & Employment team. This close working relationship enables us to bring an employee relations sensitivity to our day-to-day client interactions. In addition to our expert Employee Benefits counseling and compliance attorneys, we also have a deep bench of litigators specializing in ERISA and benefits litigation.