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.

Evers Issues New COVID-19 Order for Wisconsin

Posted on November 11, 2020 by

Last night, after his primetime address, Governor Evers issued Executive Order #94 which advises residents to stay home and take precautions if they have to leave their home.  It also encourages businesses to take additional steps to protect workers, customers, and the surrounding community. While the document is entitled as an “Order” there is no […]

What Kinds of Citations has OSHA Been Issuing During the Pandemic?

Posted on November 10, 2020 by

OSHA’s enforcement activity has been accelerating as the number of COVID-19 cases has increased.  Now OSHA has issued a guidance designed to give employers an understanding of the most commonly cited violations arising from OSHA COVID-19-related inspections.  They are: Not providing a medical evaluation before a worker is fit-tested for or uses a respirator. Not […]

2021 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2021 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

Posted on October 26, 2020 by

On October 26, 2020 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. Some of the limits shown below have increased from last year while others remained unchanged.   Qualified Plan Limit Cost-of-Living Adjustments 401(k) and 403(b) elective deferral limit 2020 – $19,500 2021 – $19,500 $200,000 compensation limit […]

Too Close for Comfort – CDC and DHS Clarify “Close Contact” for Quarantine Purposes

Posted on October 22, 2020 by and

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) have updated the definition of “close contact” for quarantine purposes. Previous guidance provided that close contact meant spending a solid 15-minute period of time within six feet from someone infected with COVID-19. On Wednesday, October 21, 2020 the CDC […]

Wisconsin Employers Must Notify Workers of Unemployment Insurance Upon Separation

Posted on October 8, 2020 by and

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development adopted an emergency rule to create DWD 120.02 which was approved by Governor Evers on September 23, 2020. As of November 2, 2020, Wisconsin employers will be required to notify workers of the availability of unemployment insurance upon separation of employment. The notification can be accomplished through one of […]

The Latest From OSHA on When Employers Need to Report COVID-19 Cases

Posted on October 7, 2020 by

With ever-increasing cases of COVID-19 affecting Wisconsin and U.S. workplaces, many employers have been left confused as to whether, when, and how they are supposed to report those cases to OSHA.  OSHA itself has issued differing guidance since the pandemic began.  It has now, however, come out with some new clarification on those questions. As […]

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services Limits Public Gatherings effective October 8th at 8:00 a.m.

Posted on October 6, 2020 by

Today Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services issued Emergency Order No. 3 limiting public gatherings.  As written, the Order is effective until November 6.  The order limits “public gatherings” to no more than 25% of the total occupancy limits for a room or building established by the local municipality. “Public gathering” means an “indoor event, convening […]

DOL Issues Proposed Rule on IC vs EE!

Posted on September 29, 2020 by and

Employers need to keep abreast of the ever-changing agency rules regarding whether a worker is an “independent contractor” or an “employee.” You might ask, “why does this matter to the government?” The answer is easy: many government agencies—both state and federal—are designed solely to protect employees.  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Occupational Safety […]

Governor Evers Issues New COVID-19 Emergency Order Extending Statewide Mask Mandate

Posted on September 22, 2020 by

Today, Gov. Evers issued Executive Order #90 declaring a new public health emergency in Wisconsin due to recent surges in COVID-19 cases. He also issued a new face coverings order, Emergency Order #1. While these orders are new, they have no material changes from the mask mandate orders Gov. Evers’ issued on July 30 (check […]

DOL Finally Issues New FFCRA Rule—Effective September 16!

Posted on September 15, 2020 by

Late last week, the Department of Labor issued a revised rule to address a New York federal judge’s order from this past August that struck down several provisions of the FFCRA.  (For a copy of Ruder Ware’s article on that order, click here.) The order left employers confused: Should we follow the original FFCRA or […]

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