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Mary Ellen Schill

Professional Experience

Mary Ellen Schill's employee benefits law practice involves the representation of both public and private sector employers in their sponsorship of all forms of employee benefit plans as well as compensation planning. Mary Ellen has extensive experience in employee benefit plan selection and design, as well as plan drafting and implementation, whether qualified or non-qualified retirement plans, flexible benefit plans, or welfare benefit plans. She has counseled private sector employers on establishing, maintaining, and terminating ESOPs, and assisted (along with members of the firm's Business Transactions Practice Group) plan sponsors in ESOP redemption transactions. She also provides clients with a wide range of expertise regarding tax qualification, plan administration, preparation of plan participant communications, plan amendments, and plan terminations.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) provides the rules to follow as far as Mary Ellen's private sector clients go and she assists those who sponsor ERISA-covered plans as to the impact of ERISA on the administration and operation of those plans. Mary Ellen has developed a special expertise in the areas of ERISA's fiduciary duty rules and prohibited transactions. She has assisted clients in responding to Department of Labor audits of ERISA plans.

Mary Ellen advises employers on selection and design of executive compensation programs, both equity-based and non-equity based, sometimes "funded" by a rabbi trust. She also counsels our tax-exempt clients and governmental clients on sponsorship of tax-sheltered annuity plans under Code Section 403(b), including plan design, compliance with the myriad of rules limiting contributions, and correction of Code Section 403(b) plan defects.

Mary Ellen advises businesses regarding ERISA and Internal Revenue Code issues arising during mergers, acquisitions, and sales of businesses.

Recent transactions include:

  • Assisted several clients with evaluating the potential for withdrawal liability if multiemployer pension plan contributions were to be discontinued.
  • Assisted a manufacturing client with restructuring company ownership by redeeming shares held by an ESOP and borrowing necessary funds to complete the restructuring
  • Advised several clients with respect to the fiduciary duty rules applicable to those who administer and manage ERISA-covered retirement plans.
  • Assisted clients with designing, drafting, and implementing supplemental retirement plan agreements for senior executives, along with counseling regarding compliance with the IRS rules on deferred compensation.

Mary Ellen Schill has counseled public and private sector employers on the effect of Health Care Reform on their group health plans, including identification of applicable large employer status, and full-time employees.  She frequently presents on the topic, in addition to blogging about it at The Blue Ink, with the aim to uncomplicate a complicated piece of legislation.

Education

  • B.A. (magna cum laude), St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI (1985)
    • Honors: Agnes Ryan Scholarship
    • Wm. O'Callaghan, Award in Arts and Sciences
    • Honor Societies: Phi Sigma Iota; Sigma Tau Delta; Delta Epsilon Sigma
  • J.D. (cum laude), University of Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, IN (1988)
    • Honors: Dean O'Meara Scholarship, Notre Dame Law Review
    • Contributing Author and Note Editor, Author; "Refusals to Deal by Single-Firm Monopolists - Should We Rob Peter to Save Paul?," 63 Notre Dame Law Rev. 214 (1988)

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association - Section Member: Business Law; Taxation
  • State Bar of Wisconsin - Section Member: Business Law; Taxation
  • Marathon County Bar Association

Admitted to Practice

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Professional Recognition

Wisconsin Law Journal's "Women in the Law," Class of 2000
Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Award Finalist - 2011

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association - Business Law Section, Employee Benefits Committee, Member (2002 - present)
  • Greater Milwaukee Employee Benefits Council - Member (1988 - 1992)
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans - Member (1988 - present)
  • National Association of Stock Plan Professionals - Member
  • Wisconsin Retirement Plan Professionals, Ltd. - Member (1988 - 1992)

Civic Activities

  • St. Norbert College Alumni Association - Board of Directors (2009 - present), President (2012 - 2015), Past President (2015 - present), Featured in "Alumni representatives strengthen connections,St. Norbert College Magazine, Summer 2012
  • St. Norbert College - Board of Trustees (2015 - present)
  • The Connections Place, Inc. - Board Member (2015 - present)
  • The Women's Community, Inc., - Hooray for Hollywood, Committee Member (2011 - present)
  • MCDEVCO - Board Member (2016 - present)
  • Wausau Area Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. - Director (2000 - 2006), Education Committee (2006 - 2016)
  • Wausau Conservatory of Music - President (1997 - 1998), Vice President (1996 - 1997), Director (1994 - 2000)

Articles

Legal Updates

 

Blue Ink Blog Articles

 

 

Presentations

  • Workplace Threats and Crisis, Ruder Ware Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Conference - 11/2/17
  • ACA Update - What Employers Need to Know Now, Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce - 10/3/17
  • Impact of the Administrations of President Trump and Governor Walker on Local Governments, Ruder Ware Local Government Seminar - 4/25/17
  • ACA and Wellness Presentation, Wausau Paralegal Association - 11/22/16
  • ACA and Wellness Program Update, Ruder Ware Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Conference - 11/3/16
  • The New Overtime Rules and Their Impact on Benefit Plans, State Bar of Wisconsin 12th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/2/16
  • Health Care Requirements, Ruder Ware Local Government Seminar - 9/28/16
  • Affordable Care Act Update - What Employers Need to Know Now, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce - 9/27/16
  • School Law Issues, Ruder Ware School Law Seminar - 9/19/16
  • The New Overtime Rules and Their Impact on Benefit Plans, State Bar of Wisconsin 12th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/2/16
  • Never a Dull Moment in the Employee Benefits World!!, Ruder Ware Eau Claire Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Law Conference - 5/25/16
  • Legal Issues for DC Plan Sponsors:  It's More Than Just Fee Disclosures!, CWSHRM - 5/12/16
  • Recent Legislative Changes Impacting Local Governments; Review of Laws Impacting Local Government Officials, Ruder Ware Local Government Seminar - 5/4/16
  • Medicare/Affordable Health Care Act, UWEC Continuing Education-Planning for a Confident Retirement - 4/26/16
  • Look Back, Look Forward -- Measuring Periods and the Affordable Care Act, MRA-The Management Association, Waukesha - 4/6/16
  • Form 1094/1095 Reporting and Tracking, MRA-The Management Association, Waukesha - 3/20/16
  • Know Your 1094's and 1095's - ACA Reporting Requirements, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce - 12/8/15
  • 2015-2017 Budget Update, Retiree Benefits and other ACA Related Issues, Ruder Ware School Law Seminar - 12/3/15
  • Are You Ready for the Cadillac Tax in 2018?, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce Affordable Care Act Update Seminar - 11/10/15
  • Never a Dull Moment in the Employee Benefits World!, Ruder Ware Annual Employment, Benefits, and Labor Relations Conference - 11/5/15
  • Update Regarding Affordable Care Act:  Reporting Requirements for Local Governments - 9/30/15
  • Affordable Care Act - What Employers Need to Know, Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce - 9/29/15
  • Know Your 1094's and 1095's - ACA Reporting Requirements, State Bar of Wisconsin 11th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/3/15
  • ACA 2015 Compliance Requirements, Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management - 6/11/15
  • Affordable Care Act Update Including Guidance on Reporting Requirements - 4/30/15
  • Hot Topics in Local Government Law - 4/30/15
  • Affordable Care Act: New Reporting Requirements for 2015, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce - 3/26/15
  • Health Care Reform Update - Know Your 1094's and 1095's, MRA Health Care Reform Workshops 2015 - 3/24/15
  • Affordable Care Act New Reporting Requirements and Update, EC area Employment, Benefits, and Labor Relations Law Conference - 3/4/15
  • Legal Issues for DC Plan Sponsors:  It's More Than Just Fee Disclosures! - 3/3/15
  • Affordable Care Act New Reporting Requirements and Update, Ruder Ware Annual Employment, Benefits, and Labor Relations Conference- 11/6/14
  • The Affordable Care Act: How Will it Affect Your Clients and Their Business; Getting Down to Business: Implementing the ACA, State Bar of Wisconsin, co-presenter - 10/8/14
  • Managing Employees in the Public Sector: A Dialogue on the Public Sector and Private Sector Models - Panel Discussion - 9/30/14
  • Affordable Care Act: ACA Update & Determining Full-time Employees Using the Look-Back Measurement Method, Tricor Insurance - 9/24/14
  • Affordable Care Act Update - What Employers Need to Know Now, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce - 9/9/14
  • Preventing Benefits Issues From Derailing Your Next Deal, State Bar of Wisconsin 10th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/5/14
  • Tactical Impact of Health Care Reform on Reporting Benefits, Taxes and More - New Federal Reporting, Evolving Fees & Taxes, Automatic Enrollment, MRA's Health Care Workshop 2014 Series - 8/12/14
  • Affordable Care - What Employers Need to Know!, Ag Agency Breakfast - 7/22/14
  • Affordable Care Act - Pay or Play Rules, What Employers Need to Know!, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce - 5/14/14
  • April 2014 Update on the Affordable Care Act - We're Getting Closer!, Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management Group Conference - 4/10/14
  • Local Government Issues Under the Affordable Care Act - 2/27/14
  • Update 2014: How the Affordable Care Act Affects Your Business, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce - 2/4/14
  • It's Here, the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service public forum - 11/7/13
  • Impact of Windsor and IRS Recognition of Same Sex Marriages on Wisconsin Employers, Ruder Ware Annual Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Conference - 11/7/13
  • Health Care Reform and the Impact on Rural Health - How to Make it Work for You, Agricultural Seminar Series - Improving Rural Health - 11/5/13
  • Update on Health Care Reform: Are You Going to Pay or Play? -09/24/13
  • How the Affordable Care Act Affects Your Small Business, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce Affordable Care Act Seminar - 9/24/13
  • Health Care Reform and the Impact for Local Governments, Wisconsin City/County Management Association - 9/19/13
  • Shopping the Marketplace in 2014 - Health Care Options for Small Employers, State Bar of Wisconsin 9th Annual Employee Benefits Update -09/12/13
  • Affordable Care Act - What's the Risk? What Employers and Benefit Consultants Need to Know and Do, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce - 8/21/13
  • Affordable Care Act - How Will it Affect My Business?, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce - 6/25/13
  • Preparing for the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace: A View from Wisconsin, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service - 6/13/13
  • Affordable Care Act Strategy Session: Pay or Play and Determining FTE Count, MRA Institute of Management Sessions - 4/10/13 (Madison), 5/2/13 (Tomah)
  • Health Care Reform: Which Employees are Covered? Are You Going to Pay or Play? - 4/30/13
  • Why an Employment Professional Needs to Worry About Benefits Now, Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management Group Conference - 4/11/13
  • How the Affordable Care Act Affects Small Business, Main Street Wausau, Inc. - 3/5/13
  • Are You Ready for 2014? Shared Responsibility Under ACA, Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management Group - 2/14/13
  • How Does the Affordable Care Act Affect My Business?, CVSHRM Health Care Reform - 1/17/13
  • How ACA Impacts You and Your Business, Plover Area Business Association - 11/15/12
  • Pay, Play, or Delay: Status of Health Care Reform - 11/8/12
  • Wellness Programs: Are They the Next Savior for Controlling Health Insurance Costs in Your Municipality? - 9/26/12
  • Health Care Reform: What are the Next Steps for Local Government? - 9/26/12
  • What You Need to Know: Affordable Care Act, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce - 9/20/12
  • Employee Benefits - Free Doesn't Always Mean No Taxes, State Bar of Wisconsin, 8th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/12/12
  • New ERISA Disclosure Guidance, Ruder Ware Annual Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Law Conference - 11/4/11
  • The IRS is Your Friend: Local Government Issues With the Internal Revenue Service - 9/28/11
  • Employee Benefits Issues for the Small Employer, State Bar of Wisconsin, 7th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/7/11
  • Special Briefing - What's Next Under the New Public Sector Bargaining Law? - 7/14/11
  • What You Need to Know and Do - Understanding the New Health Care Laws, 2011 Annual Paralegal Seminar - 5/6/11
  • What You Need to Know and Do - Understanding the New Health Care Laws, Central Wisconsin TEC/VISTAGE CEO Group - 3/16/11
  • Special Briefing - Budget Repair Bill - 2/23/11
  • What You Need to Know and Do - Understanding the New Health Care Laws - 2/2/10
  • Understanding the New Federal Health Care Laws - What Employers and Benefit Consultants Need to Know and Do - 12/7/10
  • Health Care Reform - Coverage of Adult Children, Small Employer Tax Credits, and Early Retiree Reinsurance Program - 11/4/10
  • Health Care Reform and its Impact on Local Government - 10/27/10
  • Health Care Reform - Coverage of Adult Children, Small Employer Tax Credits, and Early Retiree Reinsurance Program - 10/21/10
  • Health Care Reform - Coverage of Adult Children and Small Employer Tax Credits, State Bar of Wisconsin, 6th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/16/10
  • Employee Benefits Update - 11/04/09
  • 2010 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2010 Social Security Taxable Wage Base - 10/16/09
  • Employee Benefits Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, COBRA, SCHIP, and HIPAA, State Bar of Wisconsin, 5th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 9/15/09
  • Update on COBRA and Wisconsin Health Coverage Continuation - 2/26/09
  • COBRA and State Health Continuation Rights, State Bar of Wisconsin, 4th Annual Employee Benefits Update - 8/21/08
  • Lessons From the Trenches on Negotiating and Designing Employment and Severance Agreements - 6/25/08
  • You Call It Quadro, I Call it Q-DRO, State Bar of Wisconsin, 3rd Annual Employee Benefits Update - 8/21/07
  • Show Me the Money! A Wage and Hour Forum - 4/19/07
  • What's New in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation - 11/3/06
  • Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans: Can We Even Call Them "Nonqualified" Anymore - 5/2/06 and 5/9/06
  • Taking Control of the Rising Cost of Health Coverage Through Plan Design Changes - 10/14/05 and 6/8/06
  • Are You or Your Client an ERISA Fiduciary?? Why You Should Care!, State Bar of Wisconsin, 2nd Annual Employee Benefits Update - 8/18/06