Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

OVERVIEW

Strasburger’s employee benefits practice represents employers and benefit plan fiduciaries in connection with a wide range of pension, employee benefits, and executive compensation matters. The focus of our practice is to work closely with our clients’ human resources staff, in-house counsel, and benefits consultants to provide creative, practical, and business-oriented approaches to a clients’ needs. Our attorneys have been involved for many years in advising clients on matters involving qualified retirement plans, welfare benefits, and executive compensation.

The firm’s practice area leaders are available to answer any questions about Strasburger’s capabilities. To learn more about this practice area, please contact John Round.

EXPERIENCE

QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PLANS

We regularly assist private and governmental employers in designing, drafting, and implementing qualified retirement plans, including defined benefit pension plans (including collectively bargained plans), 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and employee stock ownership plans (“ESOP”). A substantial portion of our practice involves the pension and benefit plan aspects of business transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, counseling lenders on the employee benefit plan risks of their borrowers, and dealing with matters involving the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”). We also have extensive experience with state and local government pension plans.

Strasburger attorneys are called upon frequently to assist sponsors of pooled securities, real estate, and venture capital investments in complying with ERISA as it affects such entities when they have pension fund investors. Strasburger’s employee benefits attorneys have represented financial institutions in the design and maintenance of “master” retirement plans and IRA programs. Strasburger attorneys have successfully resolved significant Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor investigations and audits of alleged violations of ERISA and the Code.

WELFARE PLANS

The employee benefits practice involves the diverse and complex issues that arise under clients’ welfare benefit plans. Strasburger attorneys frequently provide advice with respect to issues such as COBRA compliance, the Medicare secondary rules and other coordination of benefits issues, qualified medical child support orders, limitations on experimental treatment under medical plans, claims procedures, the tax and compliance issues associated with self-insured medical plans, “cafeteria” plans under Section 125 of the Code, and VEBAs. We have advised clients concerning compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act. Our attorneys have advised many companies with respect to the legal requirements applicable to retiree medical and other welfare benefits, and have helped design and implement programs intended to reduce future retiree medical costs and liability and expense under FAS 106.

STOCK OPTIONS, NONQUALIFIED PLANS & EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

An important aspect of our practice is advising clients with respect to the design and implementation of many kinds of executive compensation arrangements, including incentive and nonqualified stock options (“ISOs” and “NQSO’s”), stock appreciation rights (“SARs”), restricted stock, long-term incentive compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans (“SERPs”), and excess benefit plans. Our experience includes designing plans to comply with SEC reporting rules and the tax rules for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. We have worked extensively with the limitations imposed under the “golden parachute” provisions of Sections 280G and 4999 of the Code. We also have extensive experience with Section 457 plans of state and local governments and nonprofit organizations.

ERISA LITIGATION

Strasburger attorneys have substantial experience (including the trial of cases to defense verdicts) in many areas of employee benefits litigation, such as ERISA preemption, alleged fiduciary violations, and claims for benefits.

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HONORS

Strasburger’s employee benefits practice represents employers and benefit plan fiduciaries in connection with a wide range of pension, employee benefits, and executive compensation matters. The focus of our practice is to work closely with our clients’ human resources staff, in-house counsel, and benefits consultants to provide creative, practical, and business-oriented approaches to a clients’ needs. Our attorneys have been involved for many years in advising clients on matters involving qualified retirement plans, welfare benefits, and executive compensation.

The firm’s practice area leaders are available to answer any questions about Strasburger’s capabilities. To learn more about this practice area, please contact John Round.

EXPERIENCE

QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PLANS

We regularly assist private and governmental employers in designing, drafting, and implementing qualified retirement plans, including defined benefit pension plans (including collectively bargained plans), 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and employee stock ownership plans (“ESOP”). A substantial portion of our practice involves the pension and benefit plan aspects of business transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, counseling lenders on the employee benefit plan risks of their borrowers, and dealing with matters involving the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”). We also have extensive experience with state and local government pension plans.

Strasburger attorneys are called upon frequently to assist sponsors of pooled securities, real estate, and venture capital investments in complying with ERISA as it affects such entities when they have pension fund investors. Strasburger’s employee benefits attorneys have represented financial institutions in the design and maintenance of “master” retirement plans and IRA programs. Strasburger attorneys have successfully resolved significant Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor investigations and audits of alleged violations of ERISA and the Code.

WELFARE PLANS

The employee benefits practice involves the diverse and complex issues that arise under clients’ welfare benefit plans. Strasburger attorneys frequently provide advice with respect to issues such as COBRA compliance, the Medicare secondary rules and other coordination of benefits issues, qualified medical child support orders, limitations on experimental treatment under medical plans, claims procedures, the tax and compliance issues associated with self-insured medical plans, “cafeteria” plans under Section 125 of the Code, and VEBAs. We have advised clients concerning compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act. Our attorneys have advised many companies with respect to the legal requirements applicable to retiree medical and other welfare benefits, and have helped design and implement programs intended to reduce future retiree medical costs and liability and expense under FAS 106.

STOCK OPTIONS, NONQUALIFIED PLANS & EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

An important aspect of our practice is advising clients with respect to the design and implementation of many kinds of executive compensation arrangements, including incentive and nonqualified stock options (“ISOs” and “NQSO’s”), stock appreciation rights (“SARs”), restricted stock, long-term incentive compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans (“SERPs”), and excess benefit plans. Our experience includes designing plans to comply with SEC reporting rules and the tax rules for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. We have worked extensively with the limitations imposed under the “golden parachute” provisions of Sections 280G and 4999 of the Code. We also have extensive experience with Section 457 plans of state and local governments and nonprofit organizations.

ERISA LITIGATION

Strasburger attorneys have substantial experience (including the trial of cases to defense verdicts) in many areas of employee benefits litigation, such as ERISA preemption, alleged fiduciary violations, and claims for benefits.

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