Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Helping you design and maintain employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements.

Meet the team
WHY LOCKE LORD

The laws affecting employee benefits and executive compensation are complex and ever-changing. Our lawyers advise our clients on every aspect of employee benefits and executive compensation — from designing, drafting and implementing plans and agreements to counseling on compliance, fiduciary duties, privacy and cybersecurity obligations and plan administration. We know that practical and timely solutions to employee benefits and executive compensation issues are critical to maintaining the proper balance between advantage and cost.

Visit our Employee Benefits Blog for the latest news and developments.

Executive Compensation

Attracting and retaining top executives are critical to company success. We advise clients on a wide range of executive compensation matters, including:

  • Designing equity-based compensation plans, including stock option, restricted stock, restricted stock unit and phantom equity plans
  • Preparing targeted incentive-for-performance pay plans and bonus plans
  • Designing supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs) and mirror supplemental savings plans
  • Designing 457(f) plans for tax-exempt organizations
  • Designing employment, change-in-control, retention and severance agreements
  • Compliance with Code Sections 409A, 83 and 280G

Qualified Retirement Plans

Our lawyers provide a comprehensive service, advising employers in designing, implementing, amending and terminating all types of tax-qualified retirement plans, including 401(k), profit sharing, 403(b), 457(b), cash balance, traditional defined benefit and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). We regularly assist clients with:

  • Responding to IRS, U.S. Department of Labor and PBGC audits, investigations and enforcement actions
  • Correcting operational errors through the IRS voluntary compliance procedure
  • Drafting record retention and security policies to comply with the documentation, confidentiality and privacy requirements under HIPAA, ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and other applicable laws and regulations
  • Reviewing and negotiating service provider agreements and investment management agreements
  • Managing controlled group and affiliated service group issues as well as matters arising from corporate transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions

Health, Managed Care and Welfare Plans

Employees prize their health benefits, but these programs are tough to manage and are at the mercy of economic and regulatory forces. We regularly assist clients with:

  • Designing, implementing, documenting and administrating all types of welfare benefit plans and arrangements, including health, dental, life, disability, cafeteria, flexible spending account and severance plans as well as wellness programs and supplemental health benefit programs
  • Understanding and complying with the requirements of COBRA, HIPAA and the Affordable Care Act
  • Negotiating stop loss, minimum premium and outsourcing agreements
  • Advice about retiree medical benefits and other post-termination benefit liabilities

Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures

Our lawyers frequently collaborate with our colleagues in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Practice Groups, advising clients on the employee benefits and compensation issues that may arise as a result of a merger, acquisition or other business transaction.

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