Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Ruder Ware attorneys assist businesses of all sizes in complying with the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code.

Our attorneys work with clients in connection with the design, implementation, and administration of various types of employee benefit programs, such as defined benefit plans, profit sharing plans, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), employee stock purchase plans, executive compensation plans, group health plans, and cafeteria plans. Our clients range in size from small family owned businesses to large, publicly held corporations. Our services include:

  • Drafting benefit plan and trust documents to meet both the client’s specific plan design needs and the requirements of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code
  • Providing guidance on matters such as the deductibility of contributions to and the taxation of distributions from tax-qualified retirement plans
  • Advising on employee communication matters for tax-qualified retirement plans, welfare plans (including group health, life, and disability programs), and fringe benefit plans (such as cafeteria plans, flexible spending accounts, and qualified transportation fringe benefit plans)
  • Analyzing and addressing retirement plan, welfare plan, and executive compensation plan issues that arise in connection with corporate mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions
  • Representing clients and their plans before the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; obtaining determinations from those regulatory agencies; and assisting with the many interpretive questions that inevitably arise in the course of employee benefit plan administration
  • Assisting clients with correcting employee benefit plan deficiencies through the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor voluntary compliance programs
  • Analyzing withdrawal liability issues and negotiating withdrawal liability assessments arising in connection with participation in multi-employer pension plans on behalf of both private and public employers
  • Advising clients with respect to all aspects of implementing and administering group health plans, including compliance with applicable state and federal laws affecting group health plans such as ERISA, COBRA, and HIPAA
  • Designing and implementing nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, nonqualified and incentive stock option plans, stock purchase plans, severance arrangements, life and disability insurance programs, split-dollar arrangements, rabbi trusts, and other types of benefits for both executives and other employees
  • Working on executive compensation and employee benefits issues that arise in connection with mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions
  • Working with chief executive officers and other senior executives in negotiating employment, severance, and change-of-control arrangements with their current and successor employers
  • Advising employee benefit plan administrators and plan sponsors regarding ERISA fiduciary responsibilities.

Founded in 1920, Ruder Ware provides business, employment, estate planning, and litigation services through its offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.  A full-service law firm, over 40 attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware, Business Attorneys for Business Success.

The Wisconsin Mask Mandate Renewed!

Posted on February 4, 2021 by , , and

On Thursday, February 4, 2021, the Wisconsin State Assembly (“Assembly”) voted on a resolution to repeal the mask mandate. This vote came a week after the Wisconsin State Senate (“Senate”) voted on the same resolution to repeal the mask mandate. The same statute that gives the Governor power to create executive orders, also allows the […]

OSHA Issues “Stronger” Guidance on COVID-19 in the Workplace

Posted on February 1, 2021 by

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new, “stronger” Guidance on identifying and preventing coronavirus exposure risks in the workplace.  Although this is labeled a “Guidance” and OSHA says that it is advisory, employers are cautioned that they can be at risk for standard OSHA penalties under the General Duty Clause if […]

Biden Issues an Executive Order Related to COVID-19 and Worker Safety

Posted on January 25, 2021 by

On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order (“Order”) which directs the Secretary of Labor, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to: Issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic within two weeks of the Order; Consider whether an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19, including whether masks […]

CDC Issues Vaccine Toolkit for Employers!

Posted on January 21, 2021 by , , and

Today the CDC issued its “COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers: Getting Started”, which includes posters, FAQs, and templates to use when communicating with your workforce about the vaccine.  In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ webpage on the vaccine has a great deal of information specific to our state. As always, as you […]

Emergency Use Authorization Vaccines – A Caution to Employers

Posted on January 4, 2021 by and

Happy New Year!  As we move into 2021, we know that many of you are considering whether to require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination.  The current COVID-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) from the Food and Drug Administration.  The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) governs the conditions of emergency use […]

Lower Gasoline Prices Means Decrease in Optional Standard Mileage Rates for 2021 Wage Base

Posted on December 23, 2020 by

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the optional standard mileage rates for computing the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, medical, and moving expenses for 2021, and the decrease in rates reflect the decrease in the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle.  Effective January 1, 2021, the optional standard mileage rates […]

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Borrowers Will Find Deductions Under the Tree This Holiday Season

Posted on December 22, 2020 by and

On the evening of December 21, 2020 the House and Senate passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”), a 5,593 page bill that funds the federal government for the next fiscal year and provides long anticipated COVID-19 pandemic relief to individuals and businesses.  President Trump is expected to sign the legislation shortly. It is […]

FFCRA Not Mandated in 2021, But Optional!

Posted on December 22, 2020 by and

On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which President Trump is expected to sign.  The Act does not extend the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).  The FFCRA mandated leave is still set to expire on December 31, 2020. In 2021, covered employers (less than 500 employees) can choose to continue […]

Breaking News! EEOC Issues Vaccine Guidance

Posted on December 16, 2020 by and

Today the EEOC updated its guidance surrounding COVID-19 and vaccinations in the publication titled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” In its most recent update, the EEOC has added questions and answers to help employers navigate the new COVID-19 vaccine. The questions are added as a new section, Section K. Vaccinations, and include […]

New Guidance on COVID-19 Quarantine Duration

Posted on December 7, 2020 by

On December 2, the CDC updated its guidance for quarantining after exposure to COVID-19. The CDC still recommends a 14-day quarantine as the safest option, however, it has provided two acceptable alternatives to shorten the quarantine period depending on local circumstances and resources. Quarantine can end after 10 days without testing if no symptoms have […]

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