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.

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 […]

OSHA Issues New Guidance for Reopening “Non-Essential Businesses”

Posted on June 19, 2020 by

OSHA has just issued a “Guidance on Returning to Work” for what it calls “non-essential businesses”.  According to OSHA’s press release, the Guidance supplements OSHA’s previously issued guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 and the White House “Guidelines for Opening up America Again”. The Guidance recommends a phased approach to reopening workplaces, as well as […]

SBA Issues Updated Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application and Issues New “EZ” Application Form

Posted on June 17, 2020 by , and

On June 16 the SBA issued a revised Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application along with updated instructions.  The update in large part reflects the changes made to PPP by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, enacted on June 5.   The new form can be found here, and the new instructions can […]

Supreme Court Rules That Title VII’s Prohibition on Sex Discrimination Extends to LGBT Employees

Posted on June 15, 2020 by and

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a 6-3 decision that Title VII provides protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal Justices for the majority.  Justice Alito, Justice Thomas, and Justice Kavanaugh dissented in lengthy […]

Favorable Changes to PPP Passed by House and Senate

Posted on June 4, 2020 by , and

Both the House and the Senate have now passed HR 7010 providing PPP borrowers more favorable terms.  We  first alerted you on May 27th of possible changes to PPP being considered by both the House and the Senate.  Last night in a second vote (the first vote failed), the Senate passed the House Bill 7010, […]

I Know What You Did Last Weekend… Should Employers Regulate Off-Duty Conduct?

Posted on June 1, 2020 by

Many of you are reopening (if you were closed) or bringing back staff who were either laid off or teleworking.  With this comes MANY questions, such as: CAN we monitor off-duty conduct, and if so, SHOULD we?? If you are a private sector employer, your employees work in Wisconsin, and barring an employment contract or […]

Paycheck Protection Program Could Get Some Welcome Changes

Posted on May 27, 2020 by , and

As some Paycheck Protection Program loan borrowers approach the close of their eight week covered period (the period during which loan proceeds can be used for certain expenses and the corresponding loan amount can be forgiven), Congress is considering making significant changes to the program that would apply to existing loans and new PPP loans.  […]

2021 HSA Limits Are Announced

Posted on May 20, 2020 by

In a bit of a respite from COVID-19, today the IRS announced the Health Savings Account limits for 2021.  With respect to contribution limits, the limits are slightly higher than the ones for 2020.  As a reminder, these inflation adjusted amounts are effective for calendar year 2021. HSA/HDHP Requirement Cost-of-Living Adjustments Limit on HSA Contributions […]

OSHA Will Again Require Employers to Record COVID-19 Illness Cases

Posted on May 20, 2020 by

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced yesterday that it will resume enforcing its illness reporting requirements with regard to COVID-19 cases for most employers.  The new guidance may be found here. This is a reversal of the relaxation that OSHA announced six weeks ago that it was putting a hold on most COVID-19 […]

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