ERISA, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
Stevens & Lee represents clients in benefit plan design and implementation and related regulatory and legislative matters, litigation and transaction matters. Our expertise extends to all areas of the law that affect employee benefits, including taxation, ERISA compliance and fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, labor relations, securities regulation, executive compensation and health care regulation. In house counsel regularly seek the advice and assistance of our employee benefit lawyers, particularly on matters involving complex, creative, sensitive or unsettled benefit issues.
Our employee benefits practice covers all types of benefit arrangements, from pension, profit sharing and stock bonus plans (including 401(k) plans, ESOPs, multiple and multiemployer plans), to medical (including the Affordable Care Act), life insurance and other welfare benefit arrangements (including cafeteria plans, flexible spending arrangements and retiree medical benefits). Executive compensation, employment agreement negotiation, non-qualified deferred compensation and equity incentive programs are included as well.
Our employee benefits lawyers work closely with our corporate, securities and tax professionals in the context of mergers, acquisitions and other corporate and financial transactions, joint ventures and outsourcing agreements. We negotiate and draft service agreements, consultant agreements and the provisions of other corporate documents that concern employment, employee benefits and retirement benefits that affect our clients whether they have one location or multiple locations all over the world.
We routinely advise clients on matters such as proxy statement and periodic disclosure of employee benefit matters, including the application of the SEC’s executive compensation disclosure rules; corporate governance rules; shareholder approval requirements; the registration of employee benefit plan securities and the securities trading restrictions and reporting requirements imposed on executives. We have extensive experience advising clients under Sarbanes Oxley and on fiduciary plan and design issues involving 401(k) plan investments in company stock.
We also work closely with our dedicated ERISA trial lawyers with respect to fiduciary duty issues, prohibited transactions, benefit claims and other litigation.
Our employee benefits lawyers have particular expertise representing state and local government clients, and presently serve as pension and benefits counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development regarding the Financial Recovery Act (Act 47) Plans for the City of Reading, the City of Harrisburg and the City of Altoona. The team regularly advises cities, boroughs, townships and other instrumentalities of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on all aspects of pension compliance with both Pennsylvania and federal law, including Act 600, Act 30 and Act 51. Our lawyers work together with the firm’s labor lawyers with respect to the pension and benefit implications in the collective bargaining process.