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.

OSHA ETS Halted Again!

Posted on January 13, 2022 by and

Today the Supreme Court ordered that OSHA’s ETS be placed back on hold (a/k/a a “stay”) and sent back to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  In its order, the Court‘s majority noted the ETS may have gone too far because it required employers to remedy a “public health” concern: The Solicitor General does not […]

Reminder—the OSHA ETS is Effective Now!

Posted on January 11, 2022 by

As you all know, last Friday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding whether the OSHA ETS vaccine mandate should be upheld. The Court has not yet issued a ruling on this issue.  As of January 10, large employers need to be in compliance with all ETS requirements.  If an employer can show it is […]

OSHA Gives Holiday Gift—ETS FAQs Updated!!

Posted on December 23, 2021 by and

One quick e-alert before you are off for some holiday cheer!  OSHA just added new FAQs to its ETS webpage.  We do not have time to go into detail as our elves are leaving for the day—however, please review new questions in Section 6 regarding testing.  The link can be found here. Have a safe […]

Breaking News! Supreme Court Accepts Vaccine Mandate Cases

Posted on December 23, 2021 by , and

The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear oral arguments on both the OSHA ETS vaccine mandate and the CMS vaccine mandate on January 7, 2022. On December 17, 2021, we shared with you that the Fifth Circuit limited the scope of the injunction related to the CMS Mandate, which meant that 26 states […]

Increase in Gasoline Prices Means Increase in Optional Standard Mileage Rates for 2022

Posted on December 17, 2021 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 2022, and the increased rates reflect the increase in the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle, primarily due to increased gas prices.  Effective January 1, 2022, […]

Breaking News! Sixth Circuit to Hear OSHA ETS Challenge

Posted on November 16, 2021 by and

On November 16, 2021, a panel on multidistrict litigation announced that a panel of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear the OSHA ETS litigation. All petitions that have been filed will be consolidated to the Sixth Circuit in accordance with the Consolidation Order signed today. What does […]

Federal Appeals Court Halts OSHA ETS! What does this Mean for Employers?

Posted on November 8, 2021 by and

On November 6, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted OSHA’s latest ETS by issuing an order staying the ETS until the court can conduct a full review.  BST Holdings v. OSHA (5th Cir 11/06/2021). The order states: Before the court is the petitioners’ emergency motion to stay enforcement of the Occupational Safety […]

2022 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2022 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

Posted on November 4, 2021 by

On November 4, 2021 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. The vast majority of the limits shown below have increased from last year.   Qualified Plan Limit Cost-of-Living Adjustments 401(k) and 403(b) elective deferral limit 2021 – $19,500 2022 – $20,500 $200,000 compensation limit 2021 – […]

Breaking News! OSHA Issues COVID Vaccination/Testing ETS for Large Employers

Posted on November 4, 2021 by , and

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is here! The ETS and related guidance can be found on its website.  By December 5, 2021, employers must implement a vaccine policy in compliance with the ETS (choices are a hard mandate or a soft mandate) and advise employees as to whether or not testing will be an alternative […]

EEOC Issues Updated COVID-19 FAQs

Posted on October 26, 2021 by

Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) added more FAQs to its COVID guidance to what is becoming a very long list that started months ago. The EEOC highlights the additional religious exemption guidance as follows: Employees and applicants must inform their employers if they seek an exception to an employer’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement due […]

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