Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

In today’s competitive environment, hiring and retaining the best talent is one of your key commercial objectives. Ensuring the wellbeing and motivation of these employees once they are working for you is quite another. Employee benefits, pensions, retirement plans and executive compensation are critical areas for a business’ success and growth and you need the support of high quality counsel to provide a seamless and comprehensive service and are there when you need them. SWA is your counsel.

Public, private and tax exempt entities turn to SWA in relation to all their compensation and employee benefits, reassured by the team’s depth of tax and ERISA expertise and track record in the creation and implementation of a range of sophisticated executive compensation plans.

We provide clients with a cradle to grave service from the moment the plan is created, through its administration and management, to any benefits-related issues arising from any corporate transactions and restructurings, while working alongside them to ensure constant regulatory compliance. In addition to advising on the bigger picture, we pride ourselves on our availability as go-to day-to-day support for outside counsel in connection with their companies’ distributions, loans, withdrawals, investment changes and option exercises.

Engagements Have Included

  • Drafting and negotiating employee benefits and ERISA provisions in connection with the spin-off and sale of a telecommunications company.
  • Providing tax and ERISA consulting services to Fortune 50 insurance and financial services company, including assessment of qualification, tax, and ERISA considerations in implementing long-term disability coverage in 401(k) plan.
  • Counseling pharmaceutical cooperative as to formation of tax-exempt affiliate as sponsor of ERISA qualified health insurance program.
  • Conducting compliance review of publicly traded company’s existing equity compensation program.
  • Modifying publicly traded company’s Change in Control Arrangements in order to comply with Code Section 409A and evaluate the implications of changes under Internal Revenue Service golden parachute rules.
  • Structuring management incentive program and severance arrangements consistent with Section 409A for specified employees.
  • Analyzing modified plan asset rules for family of investment funds seeking pension fund investors and fiduciary implications of investment education programs for employees participating in investing 401(k) plan.
  • Evaluating insurance-based compensation program for executive of national tax-exempt organization, with emphasis on unique excise tax regime applicable to executives of exempt organizations.
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