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what we do / Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

match business objectives with compensation strategies

Our Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation lawyers provide a full range of services, including plan design, amendment, termination, assistance with annual report filings, and drafting Summary Plan Descriptions for both welfare benefit and tax-qualified retirement plans. The members of this group have substantial experience in amending and restating individually designed, volume submitter, standardized and non-standardized prototype qualified retirement plans to maintain compliance with the ever changing provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Our clients include proprietorships and family-owned businesses, middle-market businesses and corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange, non-profit and religious organizations, and government entities. Our clients rely on us for a clear understanding of their business objectives, as well as timely and efficient drafting of all types and sizes of benefit plan documents and their distribution.

Our lawyers have experience in handling audits by the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Labor involving defined contribution and defined benefit plans, including §403(b) plans sponsored by our not-for-profit clients. We have had considerable experience in handling all aspects of the termination and windup of qualified retirement plans, including notices, participant communication, and Internal Revenue Service and PBGC filings.

We are frequently requested to provide "due diligence" support to our colleagues in the Business Department with respect to both welfare and qualified retirement plans in the context of purchase, sale, and merger transactions involving our corporate clients.

Our lawyers periodically assist our clients in monitoring their ongoing fiduciary obligations regarding the selection and monitoring of investment managers, administering their welfare and qualified plans in compliance with their terms, or in establishing investment policy guidelines.

We frequently review agreements which comprise a portion of the administrative services package for qualified and welfare plans, including contracts with third-party administrators, investment managers, and other service providers. We also consult with and advise the members of management of our corporate clients regarding stock option plans, executive compensation, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, and other benefit programs such as educational assistance plans, medical reimbursement and cafeteria plans, and other tax advantaged welfare benefit plans. We have had substantial experience with the Department of Labor Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program and the Employer Plan Compliance Resolution Program, an Internal Revenue Service sponsored correction program applicable to both qualified and §403(b) retirement plans.

Our Employee Benefits Group has substantial experience with ESOPs. We have represented the interests of commercial banks lending to ESOP sponsors and the ESOP sponsors as borrowers. We have advised clients regarding the tax-free rollover of ESOP sales proceeds and a wide range of ESOP administrative issues, including repurchases of stock options, termination of the ESOP, and diversification distributions.

Our practice is ranked in Chambers USA 2018 in the category of Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (Ohio), where our lawyers are described as "very easy to work with, quick, efficient and professional." One client notes our "practical approach" and appreciates that we are "very business-friendly," adding that our team is "more of a strategic partner to our business than just a legal adviser."

Read the latest insights about Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation on our ERISA Blog.

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