Schiff Hardin's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group works with clients to determine which retirement and health/welfare benefits plans best suit their needs, and assists in the design and implementation of all types of stock-based plans, deferred compensation and employment arrangements. Our counseling extends to analyzing benefit formulas, investment alternatives and procedures, and issues of securities law and fiduciary concerns.
We assist clients on such matters as:
- Tax qualified retirement plan design, drafting, and administration, including services for profit sharing, 401(k) plans, pension plans, cash balance plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
- The design, drafting and implementation of:
- Employment agreements
- Consulting agreements
- Severance and golden parachute arrangements
- Executive deferred compensation
- Supplemental retirement arrangements
- Compliance with securities laws affecting employee benefits
- Analysis of fiduciary responsibility considerations
- Resolution of employee benefits issues in corporate and financing transactions, including mergers and acquisitions
- Health, life, and other welfare plan design and administration
- Review of master and prototype plans
- Review of collectively bargained employee benefits issues (individually sponsored plans or plans subject to the Multi-employer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980)
- Analyzing estate planning implications of employee benefit plan distributions
In addition to this, we advise clients regarding compliance with the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and other applicable statutes.
We have extensive and varied experience in the area of ERISA litigation. We have collaborated with our litigation attorneys in defending employers and ERISA fiduciaries in litigation over plan investment decisions and defending employers in employee participation and other disputes in the health and welfare benefit plan area. We have experience with disputes over the modification, funding and design of retiree medical benefits. We also have counseled clients in dealing with withdrawal liability and other problems arising under multi-employer plans and have worked with our litigation group in defending cases involving multi-employer plans.
Schiff Hardin counsels clients in responding to legislative developments such as:
- The Pension Protection Act of 2006
- The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
- The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- The SEC Executive Compensation Disclosure Requirements for Proxy Statements
Our clients include corporations, banks, insurance companies, employee stock ownership plans and mutual funds, and executives of their companies. In addition, we represent a substantial number of clients in heavily regulated industries, from public utilities and railroads to financial markets. Our clients also include governmental entities.