Tax

Employee Benefits, ERISA & Executive Compensation

Employee Benefits, ERISA & Executive Compensation

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Partner
 
t713.226.6699
f713.226.6299
 
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Of Counsel
 
t713.226.6673
f713.226.6273
 
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Our lawyers help companies of all sizes, public and private, implement customized benefit and compensation solutions. Our comprehensive approach encompasses the financial, tax, ERISA, and other legal and administrative issues that are central to effective compensation and benefit programs, and their integration with specific employment policies and practices.

We offer comprehensive benefit plan legal services and advice respecting plan design and operation. Our lawyers always look for new techniques to meet the compensation and benefit needs of business owners and executives, while identifying ways to contain overall plan costs and avoid administrative errors that could disqualify the plans or subject the plan sponsor to excise taxes under IRS rules.

Incentive Compensation and Executive Compensation Plan Design

We advise on all aspects of equity and deferred compensation planning for executives, including the impact of the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, and Securities and other applicable laws and rules on such arrangements, for example, compliance with Sections 162(m), 280G and 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.

We frequently represent companies and executives in connection with employment, consulting and severance agreements. Our lawyers also design change of control agreements, deferred compensation plans, incentive compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, and excess benefit plans.

Our work with equity-based compensation includes stock appreciation, phantom stock, stock option and restricted stock plans, bonus programs, performance-based compensation arrangements and omnibus stock incentive plans.

Retirement Plan Design

We structure tax-qualified retirement plans of all types. These plans include individually designed and prototype or volume submitter profit sharing, 401(k), stock bonus, money purchase pension and types of comparability plans, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). We help deal with the complexities of retirement plans, and provide guidance on the everyday challenges of qualified plan administration and plan termination.

Welfare Benefit Plan Design

Our lawyers design employee welfare benefit plans and related arrangements, including group health plans, cafeteria and other flexible benefit plans, medical expense reimbursement plans, dependent care assistance plans, severance pay plans, and occupational benefits plans for non-subscribers to the Texas Workers' Compensation Act and provide legal assistance in the day-to-day operational compliance and administration of such plans, including issues under COBRA, HIPPA, GINA and the Mental Health Parity Act.

Representative Experience+
 Employee Benefits ERISA and Executive Compensation
  • Submitting plans to the IRS for favorable tax qualification letters and voluntary correction programs.
  • Handling plans from inception to termination, including the structuring of early retirement windows, and voluntary and involuntary separation plans.
  • Ensuring benefit and compensation plan compliance under the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, FMLA, ADA and other applicable federal and state laws.
  • Advising on fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions
  • Representing clients in benefit-related controversies before the IRS, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Department of Labor and in federal courts.
  • Providing advice with respect to benefit and compensation plans in connection with mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings, loans and investments.
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