dcsimg Employee Benefits

Employee Benefits

McGuireWoods provides comprehensive employee benefits counsel to a wide range of clients, including publicly held corporations, small and large privately held companies, tax-exempt organizations and educational institutions. We regularly represent clients before the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), and in federal and state courts across the country.

We deliver comprehensive solutions that help clients address day-to-day issues and execute long-term business strategies. By establishing efficient, cost-effective teams with a well-rounded view of each client’s needs, we help design and implement customized solutions that are practical, comprehensive and conform to regulatory requirements. To ensure that clients are up to date on emerging employee benefits issues, we constantly monitor legislative, regulatory and judicial developments under the Internal Revenue Code, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and federal and state employment and securities laws.

Our team provides counsel to plan sponsors (employers), institutional fiduciaries, securities issuers, plan administrators, and securities brokers and dealers on the implications of their employee benefit plan activities. We regularly advise companies and fiduciary committees regarding plan governance, plan investment selection and monitoring, the retention and monitoring of third-party administrators, and the handling of benefits claims. This advice encompasses ERISA standards for fiduciary conduct, prohibited transactions, available exemptions, plan asset issues and disclosures to participants and beneficiaries.

We regularly handle employee benefits issues raised in the acquisition and disposition of businesses, such as negotiation of employee benefit agreements, plan assumptions and integrations, plan terminations, plan spin-offs and special problems involving plans for collectively bargained employees. We also provide tax advice regarding the consequences to the plan sponsor, plan and plan participants of all types of employee benefit programs, including obtaining private letter rulings from the IRS.

When disputes arise, we represent employers in arbitrations involving pension and benefit claims arising under collective bargaining agreements and employment agreements, including disputes over “shutdown” pensions, service dates, benefit calculations and other issues. We have negotiated, arbitrated and litigated employee benefits issues with many unions, including the United Steelworkers, PACE (and its predecessors), Machinists, American Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, Teamsters, IBEW, Graphic Communications International Union, United Auto Workers, IUE-CWA (and their predecessors), United Food and Commercial Workers (and its predecessors), Plumbers & Pipefitters, Carpenters, SEIU, UNITE-HERE, and Transport Workers.

The Employee Benefits Group is key practice within our full-service firm, working closely with lawyers in the firm’s labor and employment, corporate, estate planning and litigation departments. We have represented clients in collective bargaining benefits work in virtually every significant American industry, including bakery, aluminum, steel, paper, automotive, communications, chemical, cement, food processing, grocery retail, grocery warehouse, trucking, energy production and distribution, security and others. Our clients have business operations in countries around the world, and we regularly advise clients on the relationship between U.S. and foreign benefits laws; in particular, we provide counsel about foreign law compliance in implementing global stock compensation plans. With offices in capitals and commercial centers worldwide, and well-established relationships with lawyers in an even longer list of jurisdictions, we help clients comply with the unique rules found in different legal systems worldwide.

CONTACTS

Jeffrey R. Capwell Partner T: +1 704 353 6256
Steven D. Kittrell Partner T: +1 202 857 1701
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RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR OUTCOME.

Case Study

Finkl team wins ERISA anti-cutback case in 7th Circuit

McGuireWoods represented the pension plan of A. Finkl & Sons Company in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in a lawsuit claiming that the pension plan had violated ERISA's anti-cutback rule and the terms of the pension plan. The plaintiffs claimed that Finkl had an obligation to terminate the pension plan and provide annuities to the plaintiffs while the plaintiffs were still working for the company. The Court of Appeals, affirming the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, found that Finkl had no obligation to terminate the pension plan and that the plaintiffs' ERISA rights were not violated.

Representative Matter

Fortune 300 mutual life insurance company

Member of national litigation counsel panel for Fortune 300 mutual life insurance company's ERISA and individual disability policy lawsuits.
Representative Matter

Global paper and packaging company

Defense of a global paper and packaging company in disability retirement benefit and pension benefit claims throughout the United States, including in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington and Texas.
Representative Matter

Large European based electronic and electrical engineering company

Representation of large European based electronic and electrical engineering company in ERISA benefits case. The former employee alleged that our client violated ERISA by improperly calculating his benefits under a special type of pension plan known as a “top hat plan,” available only to senior executives. The dispute centered on the former executive’s years of credited service, the amount of the employee’s average compensation and the amount of an offset for an early distribution the executive took from his pension before he retired. Achieved a full defense verdict following a bench trial. The court found for our client on all disputed areas regarding the benefit calculation.
Representative Matter

Trust operations of a mid-size bank

Performed a variety of services for trust operations of a mid-size bank in the mid-Atlantic Region.
Representative Matter

Plan and plan fiduciaries

Summary judgment for plan and plan fiduciaries affirmed on appeal regarding anti-cutback and benefit claims by pension plan participants for immediate benefits based on alleged termination of pension plan.
Case Study

McGuireWoods' summary judgment victory for financial services client in wage and hour/ERISA class action

McGuireWoods' Labor and Employment Department in Los Angeles recently defended one of its financial services industry clients in a wage and hour/ERISA class action regarding several of its employee incentive compensation plans. The ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of our client on all claims brought by three former financial advisors.

Case Study

SEC no action letter for Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions

McGuireWoods recently obtained a no action letter from the SEC for Emeriti Retirement Health Solutions. The Emeriti program enables colleges and universities to offer employees a way to invest and accumulate assets during working years with a tax advantage, to help pay for medical costs in retirement. The no action letter allows Emeriti to make changes in its (pre-age 65) health insurance program without losing the benefit of a prior no action position from the SEC.

Representative Matter

American Benefits Council

Amicus Brief  filed on behalf of American Benefits Council in support of CitiGroup’s effective appeal of cash balance plan issues, involving application of ERISA §204(b) Anti-Backloading rules and ERISA §204(h) notice.  In reversing the District Court and ruling in favor of CitiGroup, Court of Appeals cited our brief favorably.
Representative Matter

CEO approaching retirement

Assisted long-serving CEO approaching retirement with design and implementation of a transition program. Working with the board and management, developed structure that balanced the needs of the company and the potential concerns of the investment community.
Representative Matter

CEO of Fortune 100 company

Representation of CEO of Fortune 100 company on employment agreement and later separation agreement.
Representative Matter

Client actively acquiring and selling various subsidiaries and plants

Ongoing representation as to retirement plans of client actively acquiring and selling various subsidiaries and plants. We advise the client on the employee benefits issues that arise in these transactions, including negotiating the terms of the sale/purchase agreements and advising the client regarding the administration/legal considerations involved with transitioning employees into or out of the company’s benefit plans.
Representative Matter

Client outsourcing the administration of welfare benefit plans

Assisted with outsourcing of the administration of its welfare benefit plans to a third-party administrator. The tasks included developing criteria for evaluating the capabilities and expertise of potential vendors, negotiating a master services agreement and plan-specific schedules and agreements with the vendor that the client selected, and developing performance standards.
Representative Matter

Client redesigning retiree medical program

Advised a client regarding the redesign and implementation of a retiree medical program. The changes included cost-sharing for current retirees and access-only for future retirees. Assessments were provided regarding litigation rules for various groups affected by the changes.
Representative Matter

Clients in in acquisition and sale transactions

Representation on employee benefits issues in acquisition and sale transactions, including due diligence, negotiating the terms of the sale/purchase agreements, and the administration/legal considerations involved with transition and post-closing operations.
Representative Matter

Collectively Bargained Benefits and Multiemployer Plans

We regularly represent employers in arbitrations involving pension and benefit claims arising under collective bargaining agreements and employment agreements, including disputes over collectively bargained pensions, benefit calculations, “shutdown pensions,” and multiemployer plan withdrawal liability.
Representative Matter

Compensation committee of a publicly-traded REIT

Advised the Compensation Committee of a publicly-traded REIT on restructuring the employment agreement with its Chief Executive Officer.
Representative Matter

Educational institution

Designed and implemented a unique defined contribution retiree medical program for faculty and staff of educational institutions.
Representative Matter

Employer

Defend NLRB charge and handle litigation over scope of the duty to bargain with union over benefits issues, including whether benefit claims are covered within the grievance/arbitration clause of the collective bargaining agreement or restricted under the ERISA claims procedures of the ERISA benefit plan.
Representative Matter

Employer

Representation of client in litigation commenced by the U.S. Department of Labor, which alleged that our client had committed ERISA fiduciary violations and prohibited transactions based on its services in connection with an ESOP.
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Results 1-25 of 27
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Brian D Barger Brian D. Barger
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2072
F: +1 704 343 2300
vCard
John S Barr John S. Barr
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4709
F: +1 804 698 2238
vCard
Rosemary Becchi Rosemary Becchi
Partner
1345 Avenue of the Americas
7th Floor
New York, NY 10105-0106

T: +1 202 857 2946
F: +1 202 828 2971
vCard
Kimberly Q Cacheris Kimberly Q. Cacheris
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 373 8954
F: +1 704 373 8825
vCard
Jeffrey R Capwell Jeffrey R. Capwell
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 353 6256
F: +1 704 373 8823
vCard
Robyn Carlson Robyn S. T. Carlson
Attorney
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4353
F: +1 804 698 2234
vCard
Dan Chung Daniel M. Chung
Associate - Not admitted in DC; Admitted to CA, NC Bar and U.S. Tax Court
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 857 1759
F: +1 202 857 1737
vCard
Robert M Cipolla Robert M. Cipolla
Senior Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4713
F: +1 804 698 2109
vCard
Larry J Dagenhart Larry J. Dagenhart
Counsel
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2010
F: +1 704 444 8725
vCard
Elizabeth Diller Elizabeth A. Diller
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4358
F: +1 804 698 2195
vCard
Taylor Wedge French Taylor Wedge French
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 373 8037
F: +1 704 373 8838
vCard
Felicia L Mitchell Felicia M. Gardner
Associate
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 373 8995
F: +1 704 353 6193
vCard
Larry R Goldstein Larry R. Goldstein
Senior Counsel
77 West Wacker Drive
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601-1818

T: +1 312 849 8216
F: +1 312 920 3692
vCard
Cheryl O'Donnell Guth Cheryl O'Donnell Guth
Counsel
7 Saint Paul Street
Suite 1000
Baltimore, MD 21202-1671

T: +1 410 659 4420
F: +1 410 659 4525
vCard
Elizabeth Hilles Elizabeth Leverage Hilles
Counsel
Court Square Building
310 Fourth Street, N.E.
Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902-1288

T: +1 434 977 2585
F: +1 434 980 2257
vCard
Sally Doubet King Sally Doubet King
Partner
77 West Wacker Drive
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601-1818

T: +1 312 849 3684
F: +1 312 849 3050
vCard
Steven D Kittrell Steven D. Kittrell
Partner
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 857 1701
F: +1 202 828 2975
vCard
James P McElligott Jr. James P. McElligott Jr.
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4329
F: +1 804 698 2111
vCard
Katie Rak Katie M. Rak
Associate
77 West Wacker Drive
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601-1818

T: +1 312 849 8291
F: +1 312 920 6196
vCard
Maria Rasmussen Maria P. Rasmussen
Senior Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4334
F: +1 804 698 2212
vCard
Bradley A Ridlehoover Bradley A. Ridlehoover
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4312
F: +1 804 698 2171
vCard
Jessica S Sackin Jessica S. Sackin
Associate
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 857 1712
F: +1 202 828 3334
vCard
Russ Sullivan Russell W. Sullivan
Partner
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 857 2938
F: +1 202 828 3338
vCard
Allison Tanner Allison P. Tanner
Associate
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2203
F: +1 704 353 6169
vCard
Carolyn M Trenda Carolyn M. Trenda
Counsel
77 West Wacker Drive
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601-1818

T: +1 312 849 8130
F: +1 312 849 8131
vCard
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Speaking Engagement

8th National Forum on ERISA Litigation

Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer: The Impact of the Decision on the Future of Stock Drop Cases and Litigation Regarding Plan Investments

October 27, 2014
New York City, NY
Speaking Engagement

Mass Withdrawal: A Looming Liability for Employers

September 9, 2014
Bloomberg BNA Webinar
Event

The Final Regulations Under the ACA Employer Health Coverage Mandate

February 26, 2014
Complimentary Webinar
Event

Deficits, Debt and Deductions

Will You Be at the Table or on the Menu for the Tax Reform Debate?

September - December 2013
McGuireWoods Offices
Speaking Engagement

6th National ERISA Litigation Conference

October 24-25, 2013
Speaking Engagement

Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia Annual Meeting

New Challenges and Opportunities in Benefits and Compensation for the College Employer

June 19, 2013
Speaking Engagement

41st Annual Estate Planning Seminar

May 21, 2013
Richmond, VA
Speaking Engagement

Benefits Law and Regulation: What More is Coming in 2013?

May 2, 2013
Bloomberg BNA Webinar
Speaking Engagement

ERISA Counsel's Communications with Plan Fiduciaries and Attorney-Client Privilege

Navigating Inconsistent Court Treatment and Protecting Counsel Advice to Plan Participants

April 3, 2013
Strafford Webinar
Speaking Engagement

Employee Benefits in 2013

The 2012 Elections, The American Tax Payer Relief Act, Deficit Reduction and Tax Reform

February 14, 2013
Richmond, VA
Speaking Engagement

5th National Forum on Defending and Managing ERISA Litigation

Cigna v. Amara Revisited: The Ongoing Fallout From this Landmark Case and Its Progeny

January 22 - 23, 2013
New York, NY
Speaking Engagement

ERISA Successor and Affiliate Liability

Navigating Controlled Group and Successor Liability Rules for Defined Benefit Pension Plans

December 6, 2012
Strafford CLE Webinar/teleconference
Speaking Engagement

Impact of the 2012 Elections on Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

November 13, 2012
Bloomberg BNA Webinar
Speaking Engagement

Fifth Annual Forum on ERISA Litigation

Supreme Court's Decision on Cigna v. Amara

October 29, 2012
New York, NY
Speaking Engagement

What Employers Need to Know About Health Reform Rules for Health Benefit Summaries

Summary of Benefits and Coverage

April 10, 2012
Speaking Engagement

ABA National Institute on ERISA Litigation

June 7-8, 2012
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Legal Alert

Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies on Federal Exchanges

McGuireWoods Healthcare Reform Guide: Installment No. 51

June 25, 2015
Legal Alert

Late to the Party: EEOC Proposes Wellness Program Regulations

McGuireWoods Healthcare Reform Guide: Installment No. 50

May 28, 2015
Legal Alert

New FAQs Regarding Preventive Services Under Healthcare Reform

McGuireWoods Healthcare Reform Guide: Installment No. 49

May 15, 2015
Legal Alert

New Regulations Permit Employers to Offer Limited Wraparound Health Coverage as Excepted Benefit

McGuireWoods Healthcare Reform Guide: Installment No. 48

April 29, 2015
Legal Alert

King v. Burwell: A “Straightforward Case of Statutory Construction”?

McGuireWoods Healthcare Reform Guide: Installment No. 47

March 5, 2015
Legal Alert

SEC Proposes Rules for Hedging Disclosure

February 13, 2015
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