Employee Benefits Law
A comprehensive employee benefit plan program is an important recruitment and retention tool for any business. The success of an employee benefit program requires constant oversight to adapt to changing legal and regulatory requirements as well as to ensure flexibility to change with employee demographics and business needs. The attorneys at HJRF have extensive experience in every facet of the employee benefit process from initial plan design and implementation to day-to-day administration and plan-related litigation.
We assist businesses of every size and type, from small closely held businesses to national publicly traded companies, governmental employers, churches and non-profit entities. Our attorneys work together to provide our clients with expertise and experience across a wide range of environments and circumstances.
- Benefit plans: HJRF attorneys have experience with a wide variety of retirement and welfare benefit plans, including:
- Defined benefit plans
- Defined contribution plans, including 401(k) and profit sharing plans
- Retirement and welfare plans for tax-exempt entities, including churches and governmental entities
- Employee stock ownership plans (ESOP)
- Deferred compensation and executive compensation plans
- Group health plans, including medical, dental and vision benefit plans
- Flexible spending account plans, including health care and dependent care expense reimbursement plans, health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs)
- Group benefits, including life, short-term disability, long-term disability, accident, and cancer policies
- Section 125 plans (cafeteria plans) and “wrap” documents
- Plan design and implementation: We consult with our clients and their third-party benefit providers to ensure each component of their employee benefit program works together to meet the client’s goals and needs. We provide review of current benefit plan documents and preparation of plan documents or amendments, plan summaries, and employee election forms.
- Plan administration: Our attorneys can provide assistance with day-to-day retirement and welfare plan administration including employee benefit inquiries and claims, retirement plan distributions, and flexible spending account coverage and distribution issues. Additionally, we can assist with filing of required reporting forms and returns such as Form 5500s for pension and welfare plans and Affordable Care Act reporting. We also prepare required interim amendments to both retirement and welfare plans to comply with changes in applicable statutes, regulations or regulatory guidance, and required periodic restatement of retirement plans. HJRF attorneys also consult with our clients regarding discretionary plan amendments to both retirement and welfare plans to ensure plan changes conform to the client’s intent and benefit goals and then coordinate with third-party service providers to implement such changes. Our plan administration services also extend to plan termination including preparation of termination amendments and required notices to participants, consultation regarding distribution of retirement plan assets and application for an IRS determination letter upon termination.
- Health plan compliance: The administration of group health plans requires compliance with several federal laws and regulations including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). HJRF advises our clients regarding plan design and administration to ensure compliance with all applicable legislation and regulations. We have experience with both fully-insured and self-insured plans and assist clients with establishment of welfare benefit trusts and multiple employer welfare arrangements.
- Regulatory Agency Audits and Correction Programs. The attorneys at HJRF are experienced in assisting with and responding to benefit plan audits conducted by various regulatory agencies including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. We offer varying levels of assistance based on the client’s needs including consultation with benefit department personnel and representation on behalf of the client during each phase of the audit process. We also offer periodic internal audits of benefit plans and programs to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In the event compliance issues are identified, we can prepare and submit applications to the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, the Department of Labor Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program, and Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program.