Benefits Law Group helps companies of all sizes establish and maintain their retirement and welfare plans and resolve employee benefits issues. Our attorneys have extensive experience with all types of retirement plans and health and welfare plans, including:Qualified Retirement Plans
Health and Welfare Plans
Nonqualified and Deferred Compensation Plans
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
HIPAA Privacy Compliance
Institutional Investment Services
IRS Audits and Department of Labor Investigations
Mergers & Acquisitions
Qualified Retirement Plans
Employers of all sizes require benefit plans that meet their human resource and business goals, while taking full advantage of the available tax benefits.
Benefits Law Group offers a complete line of employee benefits services for employers who maintain qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and defined benefit plans.) We provide guidance in implementing plans, plan design consultation, drafting plan documents, board resolutions and employee communications materials, and in submitting those documents to the IRS and other governmental agencies. We also aid employers with ongoing plan administration by interpreting plan language and government regulations, performing compliance reviews, providing advice for correcting plan defects and resolving questions regarding benefit planning and plan administration. We will perform vendor searches and help with all documentation necessary for plan conversions. We also assist employers with the retirement plan issues in mergers and acquisitions and plan terminations.Health and Welfare Plans
Employers require assistance with a broad range of health and welfare services, from developing traditional cafeteria and health benefit plans to establishing new health and welfare plans like qualified transportation plans.
Benefits Law Group will draft and review health and welfare plan and trust documents of all types. We regularly assist clients in developing and documenting flexible benefits programs and in keeping those programs in compliance with the law. We assist our clients with regulatory obligations and represent them before government agencies on these matters. We counsel our clients as to their obligations under the health continuation coverage rules under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) and their obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). We apply on behalf of our clients for tax-exempt status as Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs). We assist our clients with the selection of service providers, negotiation of vendor services agreements and answering administrative questions that arise, including COBRA and HIPAA issues.Nonqualified and Deferred Compensation Plans
Benefits Law Group assists clients in preparing supplemental executive retirement plans, including pension and 401(k) benefit excess plans. We also work with stock option plans, 403(b) plans, 457(f) plans and various other types of non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements.Government Plans
Benefits Law Group provides legal consulting services to governmental entities in Georgia that sponsor pension plans, 401(a) plans, 457(b) plans and 403(b) plans. We have extensive experience with the issues unique to government plans including the state laws applicable to plan investments and fiduciary conduct. In addition, we help governmental entities with self-insured health plan issues, HIPAA compliance and OPEB issues.Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
Benefits Law Group provides total QDRO management services for qualified plans and employer-sponsors. We develop QDRO procedures, draft manuals and work with clients to develop model QDROs and model response letters for each of their plans. In addition, we administer QDROs from initial notification of a pending order through final approval, providing legal review and preparing response letters. The administration of QDROs is often a complex and litigious task. Benefits Law Group’s QDRO services alleviate our clients’ administrative burdens and potential liability. Benefits Law Group also prepares QDROs for individuals in connection with a divorce, as well as advising family law counsel with respect to the division of retirement assets in divorce proceedings.
Administrative Document Design
Employee benefits plan fiduciaries often have the need to resolve complicated ERISA fiduciary issues while ensuring they are operating within the boundaries of the law.
Benefits Law Group is dedicated to educating plan fiduciaries of their duties and responsibilities in order to prevent litigation and plan disqualification. We offer claims resolution services, guidance on plan administration, compliance audits, communications audits, fiduciary manuals and seminars. These services are a response to our clients’ concerns regarding the rising costs associated with plan administration and benefits litigation, employee mistrust of plan administration and government required fee disclosure. We believe these services enhance the value of employee benefits by reducing confusion and suspicion about plan administration and maximizing cost-saving measures.Prohibited Transactions
Benefits Law Group assists employers and plan service providers in analyzing whether transactions and investment arrangements implicate ERISA’s broad prohibited transaction rules, and in structuring arrangements to avoid violating these provisions. We work with clients in negotiating with the Department of Labor for prohibited transaction exemptions where appropriate and in audit situations.HIPAA Privacy Compliance
Benefits Law Group provides legal consulting services to employer sponsors of health and disability plans that may be subject to privacy regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. We help these companies understand the impact of these regulations and operate within the confines of the law.Institutional Investment Services
Benefits Law Group’s work with institutional clients, who provide investment management and other related services to ERISA plans, has given us extensive experience with ERISA, tax, securities and other issues relating to common and collective trust funds, brokerage services provided to ERISA plans, the creation of operating companies, the collection of fees for these services and numerous other issues that arise from the investment of plan assets.IRS Audits and Department of Labor Investigations
Recently, the IRS increased its audit activity on qualified retirement plans to identify plans that are not in compliance with the tax code. Failure to comply with the tax code can result in plan disqualification or large penalties.
Benefits Law Group can provide assistance in performing compliance audits before an IRS notice, planning for IRS audits and working with the IRS to resolve any issues and minimize the financial exposure.
The Department of Labor continues to focus on fiduciary issues such as timely deposits of 401(k) deferral contributions, the proper investment of plan assets and plan loans. We provide advice and counseling to review employer practices and make sure that plans are in compliance before a Department of Labor investigation occurs. In the event of an investigation, we can work with DOL officials to resolve any issues.Mergers & Acquisitions
Benefits Law Group helps clients who are involved in buying or selling a business address the treatment of their employee benefit plans. In some transactions, the buyer assumes the seller’s plans, while in other transactions the buyer wants to implement its own benefit programs. Important benefit issues in mergers and acquisitions include the treatment of qualified retirement plans and responsibility for providing continued medical coverage under COBRA.
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