Search form

Jewell Lim Esposito

Washington, D.C. Region

P 703-483-8300
F 703-483-8301


Jewell Lim Esposito is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. With over 20 years of practice in ERISA, executive compensation, and tax law, she helps clients navigate their fiduciary obligations, understand their retirement plan operations, and ensure those plans maintain their tax qualification.

Ms. Esposito also structures executive compensation and unwinds payroll tax issues for public, tax-exempt and government contractor clients. Ms. Esposito frequently interacts with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury Department.

Ms. Esposito also counsels employers involved in various labor and employment matters (including Title IV/withdrawal liability/multiple and multiemployer pension plans, Service Contract Act, collective bargaining, overtime, wages, employment and compensation agreements, breach of contract, wrongful discharge, COBRA, and hire/fire/severance). She has worked on complex federal withholding and income tax issues related to employers and their H-2A foreign agriculture workers. Ms. Esposito also assists with establishing, funding, and ERISA fiduciary oversight with respect to VEBAs and MEWAs.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Esposito has examined hundreds of ESOP, 401(k)/403(b)/457(b)/457(f) pension plans and payroll tax issues. She negotiates and structures settlements with the IRS and DOL with respect to fiduciary and tax issues, pension issues and matters with respect to delinquent payroll and employment taxes.

Ms. Esposito is a frequent lecturer on ERISA, compensation and labor and employment issues. She has authored a number of employee benefits, fiduciary, executive compensation and payroll tax, publications and is regularly invited to speak on such topics nationally and regionally. While attending law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, Federal Tax Team.

For fun, Ms. Esposito enjoys scuba diving with family and friends, aspiring to be a Texas Hold Em champion, and board games.

Qualified Plan Experience

In the area of qualified plans (Title II of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)), Ms. Esposito designs and evaluates 401(k) and 403(b) plans, profit-sharing plans, and employee stock ownership plans and other retirement plans and then monitors them for ongoing regulatory compliance with applicable regulations. Ms. Esposito helps companies quantify the costs of their plan design decisions. She also counsels plan fiduciaries on their ERISA Title I responsibilities and has obtained prohibited transaction exemptions involving pension plans and real property. Additionally, Ms. Esposito advises clients on the structure of pension plan investments, venture capital operating companies and real estate operating companies to conform to the plan asset regulation. In the Mergers and Acquisition context, she negotiates the rights of employers and their employees who are part of acquiring, terminating or spun-off pension, health and welfare plans.

Executive Compensation Experience

In the Executive Compensation area, Ms. Esposito advises management and boards of directors on the tax and corporate aspects of incentive 409A arrangements, including equity-based incentive plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, performance-based programs and non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements. She negotiates offers in compromise and installment agreements for both company payroll tax liabilities and officer trust fund recovery penalties.

OFAC and Cuban Assets Control

Ms. Esposito has also developed an expertise regarding the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regarding the existing US sanctions on trade with Cuba. In August 2015, she accompanied a client to ensure its conformance with the OFAC licensing that she helped secure and remains abreast of OFAC compliance and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations.

Honors and Recognitions


Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Oceans for Youth Foundation, Director
  • National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, Director

Published Works

  • "Avoiding 401(k) Disasters," Compensation & Benefits Review (Sage Publications, January 2010)
  • "Fiduciary Misrepresentation Claims,” ERISA Fiduciary Law (BNA Books, 1998)
  • "Back to the Functional Definition of Fiduciary,” Probate and Property (October 1996)

Speeches and Presentations

  • "403 (b) Compliance Issues," Nationwide Plan Adviser Conference (2010)
  • "Form 5500: Tackling Compliance Risks, Understanding Applicability of IRS Paid Preparer Rules," Interactive webinar for accounting professionals (2010)
  • "Auditing Your Retirement Plans," Interactive webinar for members of the National Society of Human Resource Management (2009)
  • "Look What Tax Defects Your Clients Have," Presentation before the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (2009)
  • "Don't be Surprised by the IRS: How to Avoid 403b Plan Problems Now: What's on the IRS Target List?. . .What's the Difference Between a 401(k) and 403(b) Plan?" Workshop before financial advisers to and HR professionals of tax-exempt organizations (2007)
  • "Who's Stealing From Your Retirement Plan?" Radio address to Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC listening area (2007)

See AllJewell Lim Esposito in the News

Showing 1-3 of 4
Most Read
July 1, 2016
Diversity & the Bar

Jewell Esposito authored “How I Land Clients...Or, How to Be a Rainmaker”

July 1, 2016

Jewell Esposito authored “How I Land Clients...Or, How to Be a Rainmaker,” published in Diversity and the Bar. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

June 24, 2016
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Publishes Q1 Diversity and Inclusion Committee Newsletter

June 24, 2016

Please enjoy our Diversity and Inclusion Committee Newsletter for the first quarter of 2016. A best practice of our firm, it includes personal, diversity-focused messages from our Diversity Committee Chair and Diversity Committee Manager, and highlights diverse attorney promotions, diversity-related activities, sponsorships and events... Read More

May 27, 2016
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis and Its Attorneys Ranked in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

May 27, 2016

WHITE PLAINS, NY (May 27, 2016) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, has been recognized in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, a prestigious annual guide which ranks leading law firms in the United States.  In addition to the firm’s national... Read More

Showing 1-3 of 4


See AllPublications

April 5, 2016

DOL Issues Guidance on Intersection of Affordable Care Act and Federal Prevailing Wage Laws

April 5, 2016

Long-awaited guidance to governmental agencies on how the Affordable Care Act’s provisions regarding employer shared responsibility interact with the fringe benefit requirements of the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) and the Davis-Bacon Related Acts (DBRA) (together DBA/DBRA) finally has been... Read More

See AllBlog Posts by Jewell Lim Esposito

On-Site Clinics: What Effect on HDHPs and HSAs?
November 3, 2017

As of October 2017, Health Care Still Uncertain. Read More

Where Do We Stand with Health Care?
April 3, 2017

The American Heath Care Act was designed to provide health care reform and to replace former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). Read More

November 22, 2016

President-elect Trump’s new administration will be in place in just two months.  Employers wonder about what the incoming administration will do with respect to workplace laws that impact them.  In the Employee Benefits and ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) world, what comes to mind immediately are the Affordable Care Act an Read More