Deborah Koerwitz Bracy focuses her practice in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation. In the current economy, she works closely with upper-level human resources management to seek creative solutions intended to reduce employee benefit costs, while still rewarding and retaining key performers. Ms. Bracy advises on matters including, but not limited to, reducing pension accruals, implementing 401(k) plan contribution freezes and designing severance plan and reduction-in-force programs.
Ms. Bracy counsels clients in nearly every stage of benefit plan design, including initial design and implementation, applications for tax-qualified status, ongoing compliance, claims administration, amendment, merger, freeze of benefits and termination of plans. She assists employers with providing tax-advantaged benefits to employees in a variety of contexts, including tax-qualified traditional pension, profit-sharing, cash balance and 401(k) defined contribution plans, flexible spending accounts and cafeteria plans, group healthcare plans, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, tuition assistance and scholarship plans, adoption assistance programs and other fringe benefits. Additionally, Ms. Bracy assists employers with executive employment agreements, change in control agreements and nonqualified compensation arrangements (including compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A).
Clients seek counsel and advice with respect to employee benefits from Ms. Bracy in the context of mergers and acquisitions, plant shutdowns, reductions-in-force, bankruptcies and restructurings, in addition to assistance with changes in law, company-driven cost savings initiatives and day-to-day plan administration.
Ms. Bracy has coordinated a simultaneous roll-out of reduction-in-force programs at thirteen separate locations for related companies with a common parent company, interpreted union agreements when overlapping with pension benefits and negotiated “fund of fund” arrangements on behalf of a plan sponsor. Current and past clients have included both publicly and privately held entities, domestic and foreign-owned, in a variety of fields, including manufacturing, media, service, real estate development, medical and technology.
Prior to law school, Ms. Bracy worked as a consumer compliance bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and had passed the examination to become a Certified Bank Examiner. Additionally, she participated in an externship with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., where she analyzed mortgage data for purposes of a large bank merger.
Ms. Bracy is a member of the American, Ohio, and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations. Ms. Bracy currently serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the Cleveland Chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB).
4/15/2013 - Benefits Broadcast Newsletter
1/18/2013 - Special Health Care Reform Series: "Employer Mandate" Guidance Issued
9/18/2012 - Deborah Koerwitz Bracy Discusses ERISA Basics at International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists Seminar