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.

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 […]

EEOC Answers More COVID Questions!

Posted on September 10, 2020 by

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted an update to “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” on September 8, 2020. The update modified the Q&As to create a user-friendly comprehensive guide addressing common questions about COVID-19 and federal equal employment opportunity laws for employers. […]

New Guidance Regarding Deferral of Withholding of Employees’ Social Security Taxes

Posted on September 2, 2020 by

On August 8, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an executive order titled “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster.”  The order directed the Secretary of the Treasury to use its authority to defer the withholding, deposit, and payment of certain payroll tax obligations. On August 28, 2020 the U.S. […]

Judge’s Order Expands the FFCRA—What Should You Do Now?

Posted on August 10, 2020 by

By now, many of you have heard that last week a federal judge expanded several provisions of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  We have been postponing our alert on this hoping the Department of Labor would issue some guidance for employers.  So far, there has been no word from the DOL.  If you […]

Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Charging Process – UPDATE

Posted on August 6, 2020 by

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response bill (2019 Wisconsin Act 185) was enacted by the Wisconsin legislature in mid-April. It included provisions to charge unemployment claims caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency to the state’s balancing account, rather than to employers’ accounts, in order to relieve employers from increased unemployment taxes in 2021. This Act was tied […]

Reopening safely after COVID-19

Posted on July 28, 2020 by

You are excited to get back to work! However, a few of your employees are not so eager to shed their jammies for pleated pants or steel-toed shoes. Can you force them to return? On the other hand, some employees who are happy to return have asked that you monitor off-duty conduct. You are getting […]

Minnesota Most Recent to Issue Statewide Mask Order

Posted on July 23, 2020 by

Beginning on Friday, July, 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., face coverings must be worn in Minnesota by all persons at indoor businesses, indoor public settings, and by workers outside when social distancing practices cannot be followed. Businesses are required to update their COVID-19 Preparedness Plans to include this requirement, inform their workers of this update, […]

Agency Alert! DOL Announces New FMLA Forms and WI DWD Provides Unemployment Credit Instructions

Posted on July 20, 2020 by

Last week, the Department of Labor announced new Family Medical Leave Act forms were available on its website. (Note these forms are not applicable to the “Expanded FMLA” available under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. Please don’t tell me you have no idea what I am talking about… ) The Department clarified, as with […]

SBA and Treasury Release Revisions to Interim Final Rules on Loan Forgiveness and Loan Review Procedures

Posted on June 24, 2020 by , and

On Tuesday evening (June 22nd), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of the Treasury released revisions to the interim final rule on forgiveness (issued May 22nd) and the interim final rule on loan review procedures (issued May 22nd).  The revisions can be found here and are intended to update the rules in light of […]

EEOC Says Employers CANNOT Require Antibody Testing!

Posted on June 22, 2020 by

On June 17, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 Guidance to clarify that unlike COVID-19 testing, an anti-body test would be a prohibited medical examination.  The FAQ (at A.7) states as follows: Question: The CDC said in its Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” In […]

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