We assist our clients with the effective design, implementation and legal compliance issues associated with qualified retirement plans, welfare benefit plans, and non-qualified deferred compensation and bonus plans. We understand that every client’s circumstance and objectives are unique – and we pride ourselves on giving our clients both technical and practical advice, resulting in a better understanding of the legal alternatives available to them.

The attorneys in our employee benefits group bring more than 100 years of collective experience to the table, including practice history with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and community leadership with the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and through other local and national presentations and published works.

Our Services

  • Qualified retirement plan design and implementation: from simple SEP IRAs to cash balance pensions in tandem with 401(k) plans
  • Maintenance of qualified retirement plans: adoption of amendments; submission to IRS; plan description summaries; disclosure documents
  • Analysis and advice on fiduciary duties: best practice implementation; compliance processes (e.g. expense monitoring)
  • Non-qualified deferred compensation plan design and implementation: compliance with section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as exemption through plan amendments or administrative adjustments and compliance confirmation
  • Merger and acquisition due diligence: assist both buyers and sellers in regard to the sale or purchase of their business; advice on asset sales versus stock sales
  • ESOP due diligence, design and implementation: assisting the client, designated trustees or valuation experts with planning for adoption of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)
  • Health and welfare plans: medical, dental, vision, health reimbursement, flexible spending, etc.; compliance with ERISA, COBRA and HIPAA; documentation review and preparation; expertise in health care reform and Obamacare
  • Qualified domestic relation orders: review for all types of qualified retirement plans; draft and/or review of orders to maintain legal compliance and to maximize benefits for the participant while minimizing complexities for the plan administrator
  • Collectively bargained employee benefit plans: assistance and advice on laws around retiree health care; drafting collective bargaining agreements; negotiating program modifications
  • ERISA litigation: representation of employers surrounding bargained benefits; enforcing non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements; representing employer in connection with withdrawal liability from multiple employer pension plans; representation before the IRS, Department of Labor, PPGC and other government entities

Our Clients

Our clients include both privately and publicly held companies, from single-member LLCs to large corporations. The common denominator? A desire to recruit – and retain – employees that will maximize a company’s business success and the seamless implementation of retirement and benefit packages that will draw the best employees into the company. We regularly work with:

  • Colleges and universities: adjunct professors; ERISA compliance of 403(b) plans; documentation compliance
  • Financial institutions: administration of IRAs and similar benefit plans; designation of trusts as beneficiaries
  • Banking institutions: design and implementation of deferred compensation arrangements; ensuring compensation packages (e.g. 457 plans) are tax and Dodd-Frank compliant
  • Restaurants/food and beverage service: issues related to part-time and hourly employees (e.g. tip income); assistance with health care reform concerns

We have assisted and advised a number of key clients, including counsel to:

  • a leading system of health and human services with locations throughout Ohio regarding transitioning its 402(k) plan to new provider
  • a pizza restaurant chain with nearly 200 locations across the Midwest regarding its qualified and non-qualified retirement plans
  • a publicly traded health care company listed among the Fortune 20 regarding employee benefits due diligence in the context of multiple acquisitions
  • one of the largest private universities in Ohio regarding ERISA compliance issues and 403(b) plan documentation
  • a fast-growing religious organization serving more than 20 counties in Ohio regarding its benefit plans
  • an employee-owned automobile dealership based in central Ohio regarding ESOP and non-qualified deferred compensation plans
  • an industry leader in the concept, design, development and manufacturing of commercial vehicle component systems worldwide regarding union-negotiated benefits, defined benefit pension plan administration and compliance, QDROs, deferred compensation for international employees, and due diligence in the context of its acquisitions

Contact Us

For more information on our ERISA and employee benefits services, please contact Tom Sigmund or Paul D. Ritter, Jr.