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Employee Benefits

Employee benefits present unique and complex challenges as organizations try to keep up with the regulatory landscape while simultaneously designing benefits and compensation strategies that allow them to attract, incentivize and retain employees.

Overview

Our Employee Benefits Practice Group handles a full spectrum of benefit law matters for a diverse mix of business clients on a nationwide basis. In keeping with the firm’s overall philosophy, we approach even the most technical and complex benefit law questions with an eye toward preventive strategies—minimizing the likelihood of liabilities associated with benefit claims, litigation and enforcement matters—and practical solutions.

We provide comprehensive legal advice, counseling and representation to plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries and benefit plans relating to:

  • Employee benefits issues arising in the design, administration, and operation of all benefit and compensation arrangements, including compliance with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code; and
  • The defense of benefit, fiduciary and other claims relating to plan administration, and compliance with the terms of the plan and all applicable laws.

Some of the specific services we offer include:

  • Providing representation for a wide range of private, public and not-for-profit employers in virtually all aspects of tax-qualified defined contribution plans and defined benefit pension plans (including cash balance and other hybrid pension plan formulas);
  • Advising clients regarding all types of executive compensation arrangements;
  • Defending employers, plan sponsors, corporate officers and directors and employee benefit plans in examinations, summons proceedings, and adversary proceedings and appeals initiated under internal agency procedures by federal or state agencies and courts of specialized jurisdiction;
  • Counseling on the employee benefits issues arising in corporate transactions and workforce reorganizations, as well as the range of issues involved in multiemployer pension and welfare plan liabilities;
  • Advising shareholders, public and private/family-held corporations, bank holding corporations, institutional and individual trustees, officers, directors, and other parties and investors (i.e., private equity groups) on designing, implementing and using ESOPs in various types of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, estate and succession planning, hostile takeover bids, tender offers, shareholder liquidity/Section 1042 of the Internal Revenue Code tax-deferred transactions, stock re-purchases by issuers, redemptions and recapitalizations, management and leveraged buyouts, and the use of ESOPs as an acquisition strategy.

In addition, our experienced benefits litigators represent employers, plans, insurers, plan administrators, institutional and individual trustees, officers and directors, selling shareholders and third-party administrators in ERISA and related benefits litigation in virtually all 50 states. This litigation involves both mainstream ERISA litigation as well as complex benefits litigation and class actions.

The Benefits Group also works closely with the firm's Privacy, e-Communication and Data Security Practice Group on compliance with the HIPAA/HITECH Privacy and Security regulations with regard to group health plans and health care providers, as well as with our Disability, Leave and Health Management Practice Group with respect to benefits-related considerations for Wellness Programs in the workplace.

The Team

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Association Health Plans—Are They Really an Option to Consider?

June 29, 2018 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 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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Archived

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How The Tax Reform Bill Impacts Employers

May 10, 2018 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 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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Archived

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The New ERISA Regulations for Disability Claims and Appeals

March 22, 2018 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 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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August 17, 2018

Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program No Longer Mandatory?

August 17, 2018

The future of the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice) is uncertain following Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto that could make employer participation in the Secure Choice program optional. The legislation, as enacted, makes participation in the Secure Choice program mandatory for covered employers that do... Read More

August 13, 2018

What Employers Need to Know About the Illinois Secure Choice Mandatory Retirement Savings Program

August 13, 2018

Employers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act (Secure Choice) or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Secure Choice is set to roll out in November 2018. Secure Choice applies to Illinois employers that do not sponsor a qualified retirement plan. The... Read More

July 18, 2018

Employee Benefits Newsletter – Summer 2018

July 18, 2018

In this issue: New Agency Guidance Makes Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Enforcement a Priority. A review of the parity compliance issues for plans and insurers providing mental health and substance use disorder benefits. Finding Missing Participants in a Regulatory Fog. A discussion of the efforts of the Department... Read More

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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

August 22, 2018
SHRM

Joy M. Napier-Joyce, Joshua Rafsky and Kathryn Wheeler Author "What Employers Need to Know About the Illinois Auto-IRA Program"

August 22, 2018

Joy M. Napier-Joyce, Joshua Rafsky and Kathryn Wheeler author "What Employers Need to Know About the Illinois Auto-IRA Program," published by SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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See AllBlogs

Court Rules that One-Time Voluntary Separation Program is Not an ERISA Plan
October 11, 2018

Whether a one-time voluntary separation program should be treated as an ERISA-covered severance plan depends on whether the program requires an “ongoing administrative scheme” – a requirement first established by the Supreme Court in Fort Halifax Packing Co. v. Coyne, 482 U.S. 1 (1987). Read More

Notice 2018-76: Taking a Bite Out of the Business Expense Deductions for Meals, Entertainment
October 7, 2018

On October 3, 2018, the IRS issued transitional guidance in Notice 2018-76 concerning the business expense deductions for meals and entertainment following the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) — which generally disallowed a deduction for expenses related to entertainment, amusement or recreation, but did not specif Read More

Are You “Doing Enough” to Avoid ERISA Statutory Penalties?
October 2, 2018

Clients often are surprised to learn they are liable for ERISA statutory penalties associated with participant document requests even though they have retained an independent third party to administer their ERISA welfare benefits plans (such as disability, life, and health plans). Read More