Employee Benefits

The firm has a sophisticated employee benefits practice, encompassing qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements and health and welfare benefit plans. We counsel publicly traded corporations, closely held companies, tax-exempt organizations and governments in structuring and designing their employee benefit programs. We also advise employers in maintaining compliance with the often complex regulatory requirements applicable to benefits programs under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA.

Shumaker Williams has considerable experience counseling clients in connection with their qualified retirement plans, including defined benefit and defined contribution plans. The latter include 401(k), profit sharing, employee stock ownership and 403(b) plans of tax-exempt and governmental organizations. Typical engagements involve issues of plan design, compliance and representing clients under government audit. Our attorneys have substantial experience representing clients before federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

As part of its benefits practice, Shumaker Williams assists both its public and private sector organizational clients in recruiting and retaining top talent through suitably designed executive compensation arrangements. These generally take the form of non-qualified plans, which though not as favorably treated as qualified plans for tax purposes, can still provide significant tax advantages if properly structured. Non-qualified benefit plans can also be important to the accomplishment of certain non-tax purposes, such as the retention of employees or their inducement to improved performance through various types of incentive arrangements. These might include supplemental executive retirement plans, stock options and other equity-based awards, or in the context of tax-exempt and governmental employers, “ineligible” Section 457(f) plans.

The firm also represents businesses and non-profits in connection with issues involving their health and welfare benefit plans. We have experience in a wide range of matters relating to health insurance, including coverage disputes, claims administration, self-funded plan issues and COBRA. In addition, the firm assists clients with a variety of coverage and compliance issues involving life and disability insurance, cafeteria plans, and programs for medical or dependent care reimbursements, educational benefits, vacation and sick leave policies and severance pay plans.