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.

Cheaper Gasoline Prices Means Decrease in Optional Standard Mileage Rates for 2020

Posted on January 2, 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 2020, and the decrease in rates reflect the decrease in the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle.  Effective January 1, 2020, the optional standard mileage rates […]

Happy New Year! Pass the Champagne AND a Joint—Illinois Legalizes Marijuana Effective 1/1/2020

Posted on December 30, 2019 by

Here in Wisconsin marijuana is still illegal.  However, this week our neighbor Illinois becomes the 11th in our nation to legalize marijuana which may cause complications for Wisconsin employers who recruit or have locations in that state.  Our neighbor Minnesota has had marijuana legal for medicinal purposes since 2014 (recreational use is not yet legal […]

The DOL Issues Final Rule to Update Regular Rate Regs!!

Posted on December 18, 2019 by

Late last week the Department of Labor announced a Final Rule that will allow employers to more easily offer bonuses and benefits without worrying about the regular rate of pay. The rule is the first major change to the regulations governing regular rate requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in over 50 years. […]

2020 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2020 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

Posted on November 6, 2019 by

On November 6, 2019 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. All 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 2019-$19,000 2020-$19,500 $200,000 compensation limit 2019-$280,000 2020-$285,000 $160,000 defined benefit limit 2019-$225,000 2020-$230,000 […]

Sara Ackermann Presentation at Mfg First Expo

Posted on October 22, 2019 by

My practice is dedicated to helping business owners and HR professionals work through some pretty sticky employment issues.  Although there is not much I have not seen, employee behavior never ceases to amaze me.  With the evolution of marijuana and CBD legalization, it is going to get even more interesting.  For the latest information on […]

It’s a Bird – It’s a Plane – It’s the Final Overtime Rule!!!

Posted on September 24, 2019 by

The long wait is over. Today, the U.S. Department of Labor confirmed the final rule on the overtime “white collar” exemptions. Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum salary level for exempt workers will be $684 per week ($35,568 annualized). As you may remember, in 2015, the DOL attempted to increase the exemption to $913 per […]

2020 HSA Contribution Limits are Announced

Posted on May 28, 2019 by

Today the IRS announced the HSA limits for calendar year 2020.  Hard to believe we are already talking 2020, especially after a Memorial Day weekend in Wisconsin where the air conditioning and furnace were both needed.  As you long for summer, look forward to slightly higher limits in 2020, as set forth in the chart […]

DOL Overtime Rule Update: Breaking News!

Posted on March 8, 2019 by

Today the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would substantially increase the number of workers eligible for overtime. Most significantly, the DOL has recommended the salary threshold for workers required to be paid overtime be raised from $455 a week ($23,660 annually) to $679 a week ($35,308 annually). The […]

OSHA Pulls Back on Electronic Reporting Rule

Posted on February 1, 2019 by

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has partly pulled back on its controversial requirement that certain employers electronically file injury and illness data with OSHA.  Last week, OSHA announced that employers with 250 or more employees no longer need to electronically submit information from their OSHA 300 forms (the Log of Work-Related Injuries and […]

Increased Gasoline Prices Lead to Increase in Optional Standard Mileage Rates for 2019

Posted on December 14, 2018 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 2019, and the increased rates reflect the increase in the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle.  Effective January 1, 2019, the optional standard mileage rates will […]

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