Phillips Nizer LLP | ERISA and Employee Benefits
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Practice & Industries

ERISA and Employee Benefits

We have a broad-based ERISA and employee benefits practice, through which we provide our clients with the following services:  
  • Executive Compensation 
    - Negotiate executive employment contracts and severance agreements and a variety of executive compensation benefits, including stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, stock appreciation rights, performance units, deferred compensation, incentive compensation arrangements, loans, performance shares, and phantom awards.
     
  • Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans
    - Work with employers to identify, implement and maintain executive compensation programs carefully tailored to each organization's needs.
    - Counsel clients regarding the structure, implementation, administration, amendment, and termination of all types of retirement plans, such as 401(k), defined benefit pension (including cash balance), profit sharing, money purchase, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
    - Prepare plan documents, trust agreements, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings, and summary plan descriptions rendering advice on related ERISA, tax, and securities law matters. We are considered a "Volume Submitter" of qualified plans by the IRS throughout the country and we provide this service to our middle-market clients.
     
  • Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans
    - Design, draft, and implement deferred compensation plans, including supplemental and excess plans, long-term incentive plans, and broad-based stock purchase plans, such as IRC Section 423 plans, and plans utilizing stock options (whether nonqualified or incentive stock options) and other types of equity awards for the compensation package.
    - Provide advice regarding the tax law aspects of non-qualified plans, including issues that arise under IRC Section 409A.
     
  • Multiemployer Plans
    - Give advice regarding the obligations of multiemployer plan fiduciaries on plan administration, permitted and prohibited transactions, investment selections, government registrations, agreements with service providers, plan communications, and tax-related matters.
    - Provide “withdrawal liability” counseling. 
     
  • Mergers/Acquisitions/Downsizing/Restructuring
    - Identify and help to avoid common pitfalls in potential mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and divestitures that can be jeopardized by the improper handling of employee benefits liabilities.
    - Analyze and negotiate the pension, welfare, and executive compensation aspects of those transactions and correct any benefit plan-related problems or liabilities. 
    - Design severance and early retirement programs when an employer needs to "down" or "right" size to ease the transition, and provide counseling on compliance with all relevant federal and state laws.
     
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Matters
    - Provide advice on Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) matters, including plan terminations, liability of controlled group members for pension plan funding deficiencies, and multiemployer plan withdrawals. In addition, we help our clients avoid PBGC, IRS, and DOL actions through document reviews, self-audits, and other customized compliance programs.

Attorneys

Regina E. Faul
Neil C. Kleinhandler