The BakerHostetler Employee Benefits practice group counsels and represents employers in connection with the development, design, and oversight of the full range of tax-qualified retirement plans (defined benefit pension, 401(k), ESOP, cash balance and hybrid plans). We have extensive experience assisting not-for-profit and governmental employers with the implementation of 403(b) annuity plans and 457(b) deferred compensation plans which reflect those employers’ unique structure and objectives. Our attorneys assist employers in the design and implementation of retirement plans—from preparing plan documents to obtaining favorable Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) rulings.
Our team works with the plan sponsors, administrators, and fiduciaries of existing retirement plans on day-to-day administrative and compliance matters. We monitor statutory and regulatory changes which impact benefit plans and prepare plan amendments to conform plans to those changes. We counsel plan administrators, HR executives, and retirement committees with regard to their fiduciary and plan oversight responsibilities. Our team can assist clients with corrective actions for plan operational errors and can shepherd those plans through filings under the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (including the Voluntary Correction Program), when appropriate. We assist clients with securities law compliance related to retirement plans either independently or in conjunction with attorneys from the firm’s Securities practice team.
We have a robust defined benefit pension plan practice. This includes all types of defined benefit plans, including cash balance and hybrid plans. Since the Pension Protection Act of 2006 became effective in 2008, we have actively consulted with clients in developing pension funding strategies and liability containment alternatives in a variety of different settings. We represent employer clients in connection with their participation in collectively bargained Taft-Hartley multi-employer pension plans and our team members have broad experience dealing with funding and withdrawal liability issues which can arise from that participation.