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.

UPDATE for Federal Contractors… The Magic Language and updated FAQs!

Posted on October 8, 2021 by and

The Magic Language: The Federal Acquisition Regulation Council (FAR Council) was charged with drafting contractual language to require compliance with the guidance from the SAFER Task Force (Guidance). For a more in-depth discussion of the Guidance, see our blog post from September 24, BREAKING NEWS! Guidance Issued on Biden’s Contractor Vaccine Mandate! The FAR Council […]

BREAKING NEWS! Guidance Issued on Biden’s Contractor Vaccine Mandate!

Posted on September 24, 2021 by and

On Friday, September 24, 2021, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force) issued its COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (Guidance) as directed by President Biden in an executive order (EO) on September 9, 2021. Click here to see the full Guidance (a helpful FAQ starts on page nine of the Guidance.) […]

Breaking News! Biden Orders Vaccine Mandates for Certain Employers

Posted on September 10, 2021 by and

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, President Biden announced his new COVID-19 plan entitled “Path out of the Pandemic” (Plan). While this Plan includes several provisions, this e-alert highlights a few of those of most interest to employers: OSHA was directed to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  This ETS will require private sector employers with […]

OSHA Updates Guidance on COVID-19 in the Workplace – Masking and Vaccines

Posted on August 17, 2021 by and

On August 13, 2021, OSHA updated Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (Guidance) related to the COVID-19 vaccine and masking. The Guidance now incorporates the new CDC recommendations including: Wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission; Choosing to wear a […]

Will Employee Handbooks Need To Be Changed Again?

Posted on August 16, 2021 by and

The newly-appointed General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Jennifer Abruzzo, has issued a memorandum to NLRB regional offices saying that she intends to “reexamine” positions taken by her predecessors and the Trump Era Board. During the Trump Administration, the NLRB overruled a number of legal precedents while taking a more employer-friendly stance.  […]

OSHA Responds to CDC’s Updated Mask Guidance – No Changes to the ETS… Yet

Posted on August 10, 2021 by

OSHA issued a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on June 10, 2021 that applied to the healthcare sector. Included in the ETS is an exemption from the masking, distancing, and barrier requirements for employees who are fully vaccinated when in a well-defined area where there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or […]

OSHA Inspections – Back to the Basics

Posted on August 3, 2021 by

After many months of mostly virtual enforcement, OSHA is back to in-person site inspections and OSHA enforcement has become a priority for the Administration. As such, businesses should be aware of rights they have and how to best respond when OSHA comes knocking OSHA Just Showed Up, What Can I Do? With some exceptions, OSHA’s […]

BREAKING NEWS-CDC Now Recommends Masking Indoors for Certain Areas of Country and DOJ Clears Way for Employers to Mandate the Vaccine

Posted on July 28, 2021 by

Yesterday the CDC issued new guidance recommending Americans to “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” The site includes a link so individuals can search their particular county to find out if transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high.  As of the date of this […]

EEOC Issues Long-Awaited LGBTQ+ Guidance for Employers

Posted on June 23, 2021 by

It was about this time last summer when the U.S. Supreme Court extended Title VII protections to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. Now the federal agency tasked with enforcing these new protections has clarified just what the new protections mean for employers. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission […]

Employers Don’t Have to Record Adverse Vaccine Reactions on Their OSHA Logs

Posted on May 26, 2021 by and

OSHA has changed course and is now advising employers they do not need to record employees’ adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines on their OSHA logs.  A month ago, OSHA’s position was adverse vaccine reactions had to be recorded as illnesses if an employer required its employees to be vaccinated.  The new guidance now relieves employers […]

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