Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

At a time when public agencies and private employers are facing significant challenges brought by the rising cost of pension, health and fringe benefits, increased regulatory scrutiny and an evolving market affecting revenues, the experienced counsel of Best Best & Krieger LLP can achieve significant savings and value.
 
BB&K attorneys in our Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice provide a full range of services in the areas of employee and retirement benefits and executive compensation. With decades of experience representing public agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations, BB&K’s Employee Benefits attorneys are adept at devising practical solutions to help clients retain their most valuable asset – their employees – while remaining fiscally responsible. We take the time to understand our clients’ motivations and key drivers to design the right benefit programs and compensation arrangements to meet each client’s specific needs and goals.
 
The representation of public agency and private (including nonprofit) employers each presents its own unique challenges, and our Employee Benefits attorneys are skilled at identifying and resolving such challenges in a timely and cost-efficient manner. We provide practical solutions to daunting challenges and assist with facilitating implementation, from drafting documents to communicating with employees, retirees and third-party stakeholders. Following is a sample of the various services that we offer to our clients. 

 

Public Agency Representation

  • Resolve controversies resulting from an employer’s participation in multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans, including CalPERS, 1937 Act systems, CalSTRS and PARS
  • Assist with compliance with various federal and state laws, including federal and state tax code, Affordable Care Act, Public Employee Retirement Law and Public Employee Pension Reform Act
  • Review personnel policies to identify potential tax liabilities, recommend corrections and assist with implementation
  • Identify permissible ways of modifying pension and retiree health benefits under California’s “vested rights” doctrine
  • Design, draft and implement:
    • 401(a) defined benefit and defined contribution plans
    • 457(b) deferred compensation plans
    • 403(b) plans for school employers
    • Irrevocable trusts to prefund pension and retiree health benefits, including Section 115 and VEBA trusts
    • Section 125 cafeteria plans
    • Health reimbursement arrange­ments
    • Fringe benefit policies/plans (e.g., expense reimbursement, mobile device, educational assistance, transportation)
  • Assist with IRS and CalPERS audits
  • Prepare and submit IRS corrections, including VCP
  • Review elected official compensation and benefits

 
Private Employer Representation

  • Design, draft and implement a variety of retirement and welfare plans:
    • Defined benefit, cash balance and money purchase pension plans
    • Profit-sharing, 401(k) and employee stock option plans (ESOPs)
    • 457(b) and 403(b) plans for nonprofits
    • Group health plans
    • Section 125 cafeteria plans
    • Health reimbursement arrangements
    • Fringe benefit policies/plans (e.g., expense reimbursement, mobile device, educational assistance, transportation)
  • Draft required plan documents and communications (e.g., summary plan descriptions, safe harbor notices, blackout notices, group health plan notices)
  • Design and draft stock option plans as well as nonqualified executive compensation plans and rabbi trusts
  • Conduct compliance and fiduciary reviews of retirement and welfare plans
  • Assist with compliance with various federal and state laws, including federal and state tax code, Affordable Care Act, HIPAA and ERISA
  • Review qualification of QDROs under ERISA and state law
  • Assist with DOL and IRS audits
  • Prepare and submit IRS and DOL corrections, including VCP, VFCP and DFVCP
Karen S. Fogarty

Karen S. Fogarty

Paralegal*

(951) 826-8403

Areas of Focus: Business | Business Litigation | Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Laurie A. Ibarra

Laurie A. Ibarra

Paralegal*

(951) 826-8354

Areas of Focus: Business | Business Litigation | Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Trusts & Estates
Marissa Morimoto

Marissa Morimoto

Associate

(951) 826-8277

Areas of Focus: Business | Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Isabel C. Safie

Isabel C. Safie

Partner

(951) 826-8309

Areas of Focus: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Labor & Employment | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Tax
Katrina Veldkamp

Katrina Veldkamp

Associate

(909) 466-4904

Areas of Focus: Business | Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Labor & Employment | Tax
John D. Wahlin

John D. Wahlin

Partner

(951) 826-8313

Areas of Focus: Business | Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Labor & Employment | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Tax | Trusts & Estates

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