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:

Finance tax form paper with Jackson Walker logo

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.

Greta Cowart

April 7, 2021

COBRA Subsidy Forms and Guidance Issued

By Greta Cowart | The Employee Benefits Security Administration has released the Model COBRA Subsidy forms mandated under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), including four new model forms and an alternative form. In addition, the EBSA issued sets of FAQs for employers, workers, and their families.

Jackson Walker "Super Lawyers - Rising Stars" 2021 Edition

March 23, 2021
Attorney News

Jackson Walker Congratulates Its 2021 Texas Rising Stars

Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the selection of 36 attorneys to Thomson Reuters’ 2021 “Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” list. Spanning five offices and eight major practice areas, these up-and-coming attorneys have been nominated by peers within and outside the Firm.

Greta Cowart

March 15, 2021

How the American Rescue Plan Act Affects COBRA Health Coverage

~5 minutes Signed into law on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 affects a number of issues surrounding employer-provided health coverage. ERISA partner Greta Cowart explains some of the key changes related to COBRA coverage for employees who lost their jobs or had a reduction in hours since November 2019.

Greta Cowart

March 12, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act and Changes to Dependent Care

The American Rescue Plan Act expands dependent care assistance tax credits to 50% from 35% and increases the dollar limitation. While this is an individual income tax question, employers offering dependent care assistance will need to understand the changes to the credit so they can properly answer questions and review any disclosures.

Greta Cowart

March 12, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act and the COBRA Subsidy – Déjà Vu All Over Again

In the American Rescue Plan Act, a subsidy was added to permit eligible individuals to elect COBRA at no cost to the individual for a six-month period of premium assistance.

Greta Cowart

March 12, 2021

Multiemployer Pension Plan Changes in the American Rescue Plan Act

To relieve an administrative burden during the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 lets a plan sponsor of a multiemployer pension plan elect to delay its designation as an endangered plan, critical plan, or critical and declining status plan by allowing it to retain its funding status.

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January 21, 2021

Health Plan Changes in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 expanded protections for participants and their beneficiaries provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Some of the changes include the prevention of surprise billing for out-of-network emergency care services, the creation of an independent dispute resolution process for negotiating costs, and additional disclosure requirements.

Tax deduction business planning

January 11, 2021

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 Changes to Qualified Retirement Plans and Certain Fringe Benefits

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 has issued provisions for employee fringe benefits—educational assistance plans, business meal deductions, and flexible spending accounts—and qualified retirement plans, including qualified disaster distributions and loans.

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