Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (ERISA)

In today’s world, the people of an organization are its most important asset. In order to care for this critical resource, employers must provide a benefits and compensation package that is competitive in the marketplace, is aligned with the interests of the organization, and does not constitute a source of unnecessary risk or cost to the organization due to compliance issues.

Our benefits and executive compensation attorneys collaborate with clients of all sizes in a variety of different industries to design and develop benefit programs and incentive compensation arrangements that meet these key goals, while also navigating the complex regulatory and tax laws that impact these arrangements. Once programs are in place, we provide on-going counsel and support to ensure they are administered prudently and to address any compliance issues which may arise.

Our attorneys support organizations and other attorneys in situations where benefits and compensation issues are a priority and the skill, experience, and knowledge to handle those issues is a necessity. These circumstances include handling benefit issues that arise in corporate transactions, representing clients in ERISA litigation, supporting a client in an IRS or DOL audit relating to employee benefit plans, or advising public pension plans that are solely in the business of providing and administering retirement benefits for public employees.

Our attorneys also advise individual employees in connection with evaluating and negotiating compensation and incentive packages offered by their employer and mitigating any adverse tax consequences or risks.

Whatever the need or circumstance, our benefits and executive compensation attorneys strive to provide creative and cost-efficient solutions to best protect, manage, and retain our clients’ number one asset: their people.

Our employee benefits and executive compensation experience includes a variety of different compensation and benefit arrangements, as well as specialized areas practice. These areas of service include:

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August 30, 2021

Vaccination Incentives as Wellness Programs – Getting Back to Business Incentives

By Greta Cowart | Employers wanting to encourage employees to get vaccinated can phrase vaccination incentives as a wellness incentive program so that it is part of an outcome-based wellness program, which may include other wellness programs such as a smoking cessation incentive.

August 19, 2021
Attorney News

‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 178 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2022 Edition, Including 8 “Lawyers of the Year” and 31 “Ones to Watch”

The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 178 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 67 specialty practice areas in its 2022 edition, including 8 Lawyers of the Year and 31 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.

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July 27, 2021

Labor & Employment Dispatch: July 2021

The June 2021 issue of Jackson Walker’s Labor & Employment Dispatch features insights on President Biden’s antitrust executive order, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, the 87th Texas Legislature, new guidance on PrEP coverage and retirement plans, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, ransomware attacks, and more.

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July 22, 2021

Guidance Reminds Health Plans to Check Up on Preventive Care Compliance

By Greta Cowart

On July 19, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act that provide plans and issuers with enforcement relief until September 17, 2021.

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July 20, 2021

Qualified Retirement Plan Correction Program Expanded and Revised

By Greta Cowart

The Internal Revenue Service updated and expanded the ability to correct plan operational and document defects with the new and improved Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (Rev. Proc. 2021-30) (EPCRS). Issued and effective generally as of July 16, 2021, the EPCRS revises and expands the prior version of the same program in a number of ways, and continues its goal to encourage voluntary corrections with limited fees while protecting employees and their retirement benefits. This article highlights some of the more significant changes for employers sponsoring qualified retirement plans.

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June 21, 2021

Labor & Employment Dispatch: June 2021

The June 2021 issue of Jackson Walker’s Labor & Employment Dispatch features insights on recent diversity, equity, and inclusion-related bills, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for workers in the healthcare industry, the American Rescue Plan Act’s premium assistance, EB-5 industry changes, and more.

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June 17, 2021

What the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Affordable Care Act Means for Employers

By Greta Cowart
In a 7-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 17, 2021, decided that Texas and the other states challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not have standing to challenge the ACA as they lacked an injury in fact. While the analysis of standing is an important issue for lawyers to debate, the importance of this decision for employers to take away is that the ACA is still the law.

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May 24, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act’s COBRA Premium Assistance – A New Ball Game and New Rules

By Greta Cowart

The IRS has provided additional guidance on the the American Rescue Plan Act’s COBRA premium assistance. This article summarizes the top 10 takeaways of Notice 2021-31 specifically related to group health plans subject to federal COBRA.

Greta Cowart

May 10, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act’s COBRA Subsidy – Déjà Vu But Different: Considering the Guidance Issued Through April 30, 2021

In the Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal, Greta Cowart authored an article on the American Rescue Plan Act’s COBRA subsidy.

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