In the increasingly regulated world of compensation and employee benefits programs, compliance alone demands considerable skill, but compliance is not enough. Employers need imaginative solutions to the problems of plan design and implementation, fiduciary oversight, communications to participants, and handling benefits matters in business acquisitions and divestitures and the transition periods that so often follow (and sometimes precede) a transaction. With clients from sole proprietors and small businesses to public companies and established financial institutions and service businesses with thousands of employees and offices worldwide, Sullivan’s compensation and benefits specialists, tax attorneys by training, bring deep expertise and a practical approach to bear on each situation to help you achieve your goals.

We regularly work with domestic and multinational employers to design and implement qualified retirement plans (profit sharing, money purchase pension, defined benefit, and 401(k) plans, as well as employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)), retirement plans for tax-exempt organizations (including 403(b) and 457 arrangements), nonqualified deferred compensation and all forms of equity compensation arrangements (including the use of rabbi trusts and secular trusts, phantom equity arrangements, golden parachutes, deferred compensation, severance, and top hat and excess benefit plans), and structure tax-efficient welfare and fringe benefit plans (medical, life insurance, disability, dependent care, and education assistance, as examples). With our grounding as tax attorneys, our Benefits colleagues are always sensitive to ensuring that tax benefits are achieved and assist clients in ensuring compliance with an alphabet-soup of benefits related laws and regulations including COBRA, HIPAA, and ACA/PPACA. And our expertise covers applicable ancillary laws, including federal securities laws (Form S-8 requirements, for example) and employment tax reporting and withholding.

Our benefits team members regularly review or prepare not just plan documents but vendor agreements and jargon-free employee facing communications. We provide fiduciary support and training to Boards, staff, and Plan Administrator committees and assist with Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor filings. And should things go awry, we provide representation for clients in IRS and DOL audits, and have extensive practical (and often creative) experience in helping employers utilize available correction programs issued by both agencies to correct a multitude of problems.

Useful Resources

Benefits Regulatory Compliance Checklist

Key Contacts

Related Practices

Related Industries

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