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Melissa Ostrower

New York Metro
New York City

P 212-545-4000
F 212-972-3213


Melissa Ostrower is a Principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She counsels clients in a broad range of employee benefit matters, including general compliance and administration of qualified retirement plans and nonqualified retirement plans.

Ms. Ostrower assists clients with welfare plan issues involving cafeteria plans, health plans, flexible spending accounts, COBRA and the Affordable Care Act. She regularly speaks on all benefits issues including federal health care reform, fiduciary compliance and executive compensation.

Ms. Ostrower regularly advises on executive compensation matters, including issues related to compliance with Section 409A, 162(m) and 280G of the Internal Revenue Code.

Ms. Ostrower represents clients in connection with Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor audits and information requests. She also regularly assists clients in fixing plan operational and document errors. Ms. Ostrower negotiates with benefits providers, volume submitter and prototype vendors, TPAs, insurers and auditors.

Ms. Ostrower also advises clients in connection with phantom and equity based compensation arrangements.

While attending George Washington University Law School, she was a member of the Law Review.

Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee

Speeches and Presentations

“What to expect in 2019: A Legal Discussion on your Benefits Plans,” New York City SHRM (New York, NY, March 2019) (panelist)

See AllMelissa Ostrower in the News

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February 22, 2019

Melissa Ostrower and Suzanne G. Odom Author "IRS Provides Guidance on Excess Executive Pay at Tax-Exempt Organizations"

February 22, 2019

Melissa Ostrower and Suzanne G. Odom author "IRS Provides Guidance on Excess Executive Pay at Tax-Exempt Organizations," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

January 17, 2018

Alec Nealon and Melissa Ostrower Author "Responding to the Tax Act's Executive Compensation Changes"

January 17, 2018

Alec Nealon and Melissa Ostrower author "Responding to the Tax Act's Executive Compensation Changes," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

January 3, 2018

Melissa Ostrower Discusses What the New Tax Bill Means for Executive Compensation Plans

January 3, 2018

Melissa Ostrower discusses the new tax bill and upcoming changes for executive compensation in "Inside Track: Will New Tax Law Wipe Out GC Bonuses?" published by Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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January 24, 2019

IRS Notice 2019-9 Provides Interim Guidance for Tax-Exempt Organizations Paying Excess Executive Compensation

January 24, 2019

The IRS has released a technical interim guidance on Section 4960, which was added to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Very generally, Section 4960 imposes an excise tax in an amount equal to the corporate tax rate (currently, 21 percent) on that portion of a covered employee’s pay that... Read More

December 7, 2017

Tax-Exempts and Public Companies Beware – Major Changes to Executive Compensation Tax Rules Loom

December 7, 2017

On December 2, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Senate Bill”). Our Benefits Law Advisors blog previously discussed some of the major provisions of a draft House of Representatives version of the bill. The House version subsequently underwent significant changes, including removal of... Read More

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Navigating Employment, Labor and Benefits Integration Issues in Media Industry Mergers and Acquisitions

October 17, 2018 - 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

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Workplace Law Under President-Elect Donald Trump: The New Administration’s Anticipated Impact on Employment Practices Liability

December 16, 2016 - 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
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See AllBlog Posts by Melissa Ostrower

Beginning in 2020, Employers May Reimburse Health Insurance Premiums as an Alternative to a Traditional Group Health Plan (Subject to Several Requirements)
August 22, 2019

Many employers have contacted us over the years asking whether they may offer an “employer–payment plan” rather than offer a traditional group health insurance plan.  An employer-payment plan is a type of account-based plan that provides an employee reimbursement for all or a portion of the premium expense for individual health insurance Read More

Interim IRS Guidance Addressing Taxation Impact of Transportation and Parking Fringe Benefits Creates Planning Opportunities for Employers
February 4, 2019

In Notice 2018-99, the Internal Revenue Service sets forth interim guidance for taxpayers to determine parking expenses for qualified transportation fringes (QTFs) that are nondeductible and for tax-exempt organizations to determine the increase in unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) attributable to nondeductible parking expenses.  T Read More

New Interim Guidance for Tax-Exempt Organizations Paying Excess Executive Compensation
January 24, 2019

As we previously reported, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, starting in 2018, tax-exempt organizations are subject to a 21% excise tax on (i) remuneration exceeding $1 million paid to a “covered employee” in a tax year, and (ii) any “excess parachute payment” paid to a covered employee.  The IRS has recently published Notice...… Read More