Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the DOL and IRS recognize that it may be difficult for plan sponsors to comply with various pre-established deadlines imposed under ERISA and the Code, and that it may be difficult for participants and beneficiaries to timely exercise their rights.
Compensation Planning & Employee Benefits
Our clients look to us for sophisticated, cost-effective legal services. We advise clients in a variety of industries on all types of compensation and benefits matters, and help them find a solution that works for their business.
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What We Do
The Compensation Planning & Employee Benefits Group works with clients to design, draft, implement and maintain all types of benefit programs, including health and welfare programs; flexible benefit or cafeteria plans; executive incentive and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements; equity incentive and stock option programs; and retirement plans, including defined benefit pension, 401(k), profit sharing, employee stock ownership (ESOPs), 403(b) and 457 plans. We help clients understand and comply with the ever-changing federal tax and pension laws and regulations, and think creatively to find a solution that best fits the client’s business needs. Our clients include nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, public and privately-held corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships in all business sectors.
We routinely coordinate our services with accountants, actuaries, third-party administrators and other professionals, and work closely with these important service providers to ensure that our clients’ benefit programs and plans are properly and legally administered.
We work closely with other practice groups within the firm to provide advice on benefits transitions in corporate transactions, benefits issues in employment matters, fiduciary requirements for employers and investment advisors, and structuring the distribution of retirement plan assets for estate planning purposes.
- Advice on the design, implementation and transition to defined contribution plans from defined benefit plans
- Advice on the design and implementation of complex severance pay, nonqualified deferred compensation and change of control arrangements
- Creative structuring of employee stock ownership plans to provide business succession planning for owners and promote employee ownership
- Ongoing advice on administrative and compliance matters for retirement plans, health and welfare plans, cafeteria plans, 401(k)/profit sharing plans and executive compensation programs
- Advice on withdrawal liability under multiemployer pension plans in corporate transactions
- Advice on the design of equity-based and other incentive compensation programs
- Respond to administrative and regulatory inquiries, including audits by the Department of Labor and IRS and filings under voluntary correction programs
News & Articles
March 30, 2020
The CARES Act contains assistance for workers, families and businesses, support for the health care system to fight COVID-19, and programs to stabilize the economy and several provisions related to retirement plans and other employee benefit programs.
March 11, 2020
There is concern that the HDHP deductible may be a barrier to participants seeking or receiving adequate testing and treatment for COVID-19.
February 28, 2020
On December 20, 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”) was signed into law, bringing with it a number of significant changes to qualified retirement plans.
November 6, 2019
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2020 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most limits have increased.
November 1, 2018
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Some limits have increased, and some have remained the same.
October 19, 2017
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2018 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Some limits have increased, and some have remained the same.
December 22, 2016
On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). Included in the Cures Act are provisions that allow small employers to establish health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) for their employees without risking penalties under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, the Cures Act extends excise tax relief for premium reimbursement arrangements that had been offered by small employers. That relief had expired in mid-2015, and has now been extended for all plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2016.
November 21, 2016
On November 18, 2016, the IRS released Notice 2016-70, which provides a partial extension of the deadlines for employer and insurer reporting under the Affordable Care Act.
October 27, 2016
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2017 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Some limits have increased, and some have remained the same.
April 7, 2016
On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor issued its much-anticipated conflicts of interest final rule. Like the proposed rule, the final rule broadens the definition of fiduciary and will likely require more investment advisers to comply with the fiduciary rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as it applies to advice provided to both qualified retirement plan participants and IRA account holders.
December 29, 2015
On December 28, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2016-4, which extended the deadlines for employer and insurer reporting under the Affordable Care Act.
October 22, 2015
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2016 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans.
June 22, 2015
Attorneys Thomas B. Henke and Evan C. Berquist have joined Fredrikson & Byron. Henke is an officer in the Compensation Planning & Employee Benefits and the Business & Tax Planning Groups. Berquist is an associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities and International Groups.
December 17, 2014
By Debra J. Linder & Lisa S. Robinson
We are near the end of the year and had hoped we would have some of the more highly anticipated regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as auto-enrollment and nondiscrimination for fully-insured group health plans. To date, that guidance has not been issued. Nonetheless, we wanted to remind you of some recent developments and upcoming deadlines under the ACA.
October 27, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.
Health Care Reform Update: Anticipated Final Regulations Issued on Employer Mandate, Including New Phase-In Rules
February 14, 2014
By Debra J. Linder and Lisa S. Robinson
The final regulations implementing the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as the employer “pay or play” provisions, were recently published.
November 14, 2013
Recent guidance issued by the IRS and DOL may affect the design and structure of some of your benefits arrangements. The new guidance relates to the application of certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other medical reimbursement plans.
November 4, 2013
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2014 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.
October 1, 2012
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2013 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.