Business Practices

Labor and Employment Law Services

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

Overview

Smith Haughey’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group assists clients with all aspects of the design, drafting and administration of their employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements.

Retirement Plans
We assist clients with the design and day-to-day administration of their pension plans (traditional and hybrid/cash balance plans), 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and other types of qualified plans, including:

  • Drafting plan documents, plan amendments, summary plan descriptions, and other plan documentation
  • Advising employers on implementing both necessary and optional design changes to their retirement plans
  • Advising retirement plan committees on fiduciary duties regarding administration of retirement plans
  • Plan mergers, spin-offs and terminations Multi-employer plan issues, including advising on withdrawal liability
  • Advising on correction of operational and documentary errors, including assisting in the preparation of documentation for correction under the IRS and Department of Labor plan correction programs
  • Assisting with IRS and Department of Labor audits

Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, recent changes to HIPAA and other new state and federal laws, employers sponsoring health and welfare benefit plans must stay on top of a myriad of changes that are occurring at the federal, state and local level. Smith Haughey’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group assists clients with the design, administration, and employee communications that go along with sponsoring health and welfare benefit plans, including: 

  • Advising on the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, COBRA, GINA, and other federal laws that impact employers health and welfare benefit plans
  • Drafting “wrap” plan documents, summary plan descriptions, HIPAA Business Associate Agreements, and HIPAA Privacy and Security Policies and Procedures
  • Assisting employers with Department of Labor audits
  • Review and negotiation of third party administrator contracts
  • Advising on retiree healthcare

Equity Compensation
The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group assists clients of all sizes with the implementation and administration of their equity compensation programs, including:

  • Drafting and advising on stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, restricted stock units and phantom awards Drafting omnibus equity incentive plans for both privately held and publicly traded companies
  • Assisting startup companies with implementation of equity compensation programs, including advising on different equity structures to align with intended goals
  • Advising on a myriad of federal laws impacting equity compensation, including Code Sections 83, 162(m), 280G and 409A
  • Advising on federal and state securities laws and drafting securities filings relating to equity compensation

Executive Compensation
The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group advises employers and executives on a wide range of executive compensation matters, including:

  • Drafting and negotiating employment agreements, severance agreements, change in control agreements, bonus programs and retention incentive programs
  • Advising on Code Sections 162(m), 409A, 457A, 457(f) and other laws affecting executive compensation
  • Drafting non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, including supplemental executive retirement plans
  • Advising on different executive compensation designs, depending on the type of company and desired goals

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation in Corporate Transactions
We assist our Business Law and Transactions, Health Law and Banking and Finance Practice Groups in advising on employee benefits and executive compensation issues that arise in the corporate transaction context, including:

  • Performing due diligence on employee benefit plans, equity compensation and executive compensation arrangements
  • Drafting and negotiating provisions relating to employee benefits, equity compensation and executive compensation arrangements in asset purchase agreements, stock purchase agreements, and other types of transactions
  • Drafting severance agreements, change in control agreements, retention bonus agreements and employment agreements
  • Drafting and advising on multi-employer plan withdrawal liability issues arising in the context of an asset purchase
  • Advising on Code Sections 162(m), 280G, 409A and securities law issues that arise in connection with a corporate transaction

Experience

Smith Haughey represents publicly-traded and privately-held companies, tax-exempt organizations, governmental entities and individual executives. We work to provide practical advice to our clients when dealing with complex issues such as:

    Retirement plans
    Health and welfare benefit plans
    Equity compensation
    Executive compensation
    Employee benefits and executive compensation in corporate transactions
Practicing Attorneys

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