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Suzanne G. Odom


P 864-672-8091
F 864-235-1381


Suzanne G. Odom is a Principal in the Greenville, South Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She focuses her practice on ERISA plans, employee benefits, and executive compensation matters.

Ms. Odom has worked extensively with all types of employer-sponsored retirement and welfare benefit plans, including pension, profit sharing, 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans, ESOPs, and health, accident, disability, Section 125, flexible spending, and other welfare plans. Her clients include large and small for-profit companies across all industry sectors, non-profit corporations, and governmental entities.

As a result of Ms. Odom’s vast number of submissions and compliance matters, she has developed a close and professional working relationship with both the IRS and Department of Labor Representatives. Her practice is centered on providing her clients with solid and proactive fiduciary and business advice that assists them in avoiding the time and expense of employee benefits litigation.

Ms. Odom prides herself on her ability to think outside the box and work with clients deliver the best business solutions possible.

Employee Benefits Experience

  • Providing guidance about strategic employee benefit matters, such designing or modifying retirement plans to address eligibility exclusions, safe harbor options, automatic enrollment, and employer contribution allocation formulas, and preparing for the changes brought about by the healthcare reform law and other recent developments, such as the employee benefit implications of the recent same sex marriage decision
  • Updating plans for regulatory changes and submitting plans to the IRS as part of the determination letter program
  • Working on plan correction matters, including self-correction and voluntary correction with the IRS of operational and document failures and addressing Form 5500 filing deficiencies
  • Representing clients on IRS and Department of Labor audit matters and proactively helping clients prepare for the same by making sure they understand what actions are expected of them and what documentation the government expects them to maintain
  • Establishing, terminating, or handling ongoing compliance issues involving VEBA (Section 501(c)(9) trusts) and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), including helping with shareholder stock sales, ESOP loans and pledge agreements, allocation issues, and distribution policies
  • Assisting with business planning or resolving legal compliance issues involving businesses under common control and affiliated service groups
  • Advising businesses about complicated tax law discrimination issues affecting retirement, health, group term life insurance and other plans, especially when coverage levels vary between executives or other highly-paid workforce members and other employees
  • Planning, drafting, and assisting with the administration of executive compensation plans, including extensive experience with the design and implementation of nonqualified deferred compensation plans, 457(b) plans, and 457(f) plans
  • Working with wellness programs, including advice about the imposition of health insurance surcharges on employees who smoke and reasonable alternative standards
  • Providing guidance regarding the taxation treatment of various fringe benefits, such as employee discounts, moving expenses, and cell phones
  • Advising clients about income and payroll tax withholding and reporting requirements
  • Resolving contingent workforce issues (e.g. leased employees, temporary employees, etc.), including considering the impact of these workers on the benefits program, preparing needed plan amendments, advising about the needed recordkeeping requirements
  • Drafting and reviewing plan documents, summary plan descriptions, enrollment materials, and other employee communications
  • Providing guidance about annual notice and filing requirements, such as the notices required by healthcare reform, COBRA notices, the HIPAA Privacy Notice of Privacy Practices and annual reports (Form 5500 series)
  • Addressing employee claim and fiduciary issues
  • Reviewing Qualified Domestic Relations Orders for compliance with applicable law and the terms of the governing plan
  • Advising clients about tax-exempt organization matters, including public charities and private foundations described in Section 501(c)(3), social welfare organizations under Section 501(c)(4), Section 501(c)(6) trade associations, Section 501(c)(12) electric cooperatives, and many others
  • Establishing and dissolving non-profit entities, submitting determination letter requests to the IRS, and advising about on-going compliance issues involving:
    • Private inurement and private benefit; Excess benefit transactions
    • Conflict of interest issues
    • Lobbying and political activity restrictions
    • Annual report (Form 990) requirements
    • Unrelated business income tax (UBIT)

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Speeches and Presentations

  • "What's Your Next Step? Surviving an IRS/DOL Audit," CSHRM Seminar (Columbia, SC, April 2018) (presenter)
  • “Deferred Compensation Plans and their Role in Succession and Family Planning,” Estate Planning for the Family Business Owner 2017, hosted by American Law Institute (Charleston, SC, November 2017) (presenter)
  • “Buy-Sell Agreements,” Estate Planning for the Family Business Owner 2017, hosted by American Law Institute (Charleston, SC, November 2017) (panelist)
  • “Hot Topics in Employee Benefits,” 2017 SCACPA Spring Conferences (Columbia, SC) (presenter)
  • "Navigating Legal and Ethical Issues," Essential Skills and Strategies for New Grantmakers Conference, hosted by the Southeastern Council on Foundations (Columbia, SC, August 2016) (presenter)
  • "The Latest Developments in Employee Benefits," SCACPA Seminar (Columbia, SC, May 2016) (presenter)
  • "What You Need-to-Know, but Want-to-Forget," CSHRM Seminar (Columbia, SC, April 2016) (presenter)
  • "Hot Topics in Tax and Employee Benefits Law," SCACPA, CPAs in Business and Industry Conference (Columbia, SC, May 2015) (presenter)
  • "Legal Considerations for Wellness Programs," SCHA Working Well Spring Meeting (Columbia, SC, April 2015) (presenter)
  • "4 Gotchas and 1 Gimme: Important Developments in Tax and Employee Benefits Law," CPAs in Business and Industry Conference (Columbia, SC, May 2014) (presenter)
  • "Trends in Executive and Physician Compensation and Benefits" NC/SC Healthcare Human Resources Associations Joint Conference, Wild Dunes Resort (Isle of Palms, SC, May 2014) (presenter)
  • "WIS Investigates: The Affordable Care Act," WIS TV (Columbia, SC, September 2013) (presenter)
  • "A Year in the Life of a 401(k) Plan" CPAs in Business & Industry Conference, The South Carolina Association of CPAs (Columbia, SC, May 2012) (presenter)
  • "Plan Sponsor Perspectives on Health Care Reform" 41st Annual Retirement and Benefits Management Seminar, University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business (Columbia, SC, April 2012) (presenter)
  • "Classifying Workers - Who is Eligible?" 2012 National Institute of Pension Administrators Annual Forum & Expo (Las Vegas, NV, April-May 2012) (presenter)
  • "The Classification of Workers and Impact on Benefit Plans" 40th Annual Retirement and Benefits Management Seminar, University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business (Charlotte, NC, April 2011) (presenter)
  • "The Economy Takes a Swing at 401(k) Plans" & "The New 'Normal' for Plan Administration" 2010 National Institute of Pension Administrators Annual Forum & Expo (Las Vegas, NV, May 2010) (presenter)
  • “Employee Benefits: Legalities in Discrimination of Health Benefits" 2010 SCACPA Industry Conference (Columbia, SC, October 2010) (presenter)

See AllSuzanne G. Odom in the News

August 31, 2018
Law 360

Suzanne Odom Discusses Joining Jackson Lewis' Employee Benefits Practice

August 31, 2018

Suzanne Odom discusses her career as a tax attorney and joining the firm's South Carolina office from regional business law firm Nexsen Pruet LLC, in "Jackson Lewis Adds Nexsen Pruet Atty To SC Office," published by Law360. Subscription may be required to view article.    Read More

August 28, 2018
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Strengthens Employee Benefits Practice with Addition of Suzanne G. Odom

August 28, 2018

GREENVILLE, SC (August 28, 2018) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce Suzanne G. Odom has joined the firm’s Greenville office as a Principal. Ms. Odom joins the firm from Nexsen Pruet, where she focused her practice on ERISA, employee benefits and executive compensation. "Sue... Read More


See AllBlog Posts by Suzanne G. Odom

Important Guidance and Relief for 403(B) Plan Sponsors Who Exclude Part-Time Employees
December 17, 2018

In the spirit of the holidays, the Internal Revenue Service gave a gift to sponsors of 403(b) tax-deferred annuity plans on December 4, 2018, by issuing IRS Notice 2018-95.  For plan sponsors that exclude part-time employees from their 403(b) plans, this gift provides a 10-year nod on their historical plan administration, despite noncompl Read More