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
Alison D. Alpert

Alison D. Alpert

Partner

(619) 525-1304

Areas of Focus: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Labor & Employment | Labor Negotiations & Other Union Matters | Municipal Law | Wage & Hour Law | Workplace Safety
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
Joseph T. Ortiz

Joseph T. Ortiz

Partner

(951) 826-8291

Areas of Focus: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation | Labor & Employment | Labor Negotiations & Other Union Matters | Wage & Hour Law | Workplace Safety
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
Best in Law: California Employers Have New Rules to Follow — Effective Now
Authored Articles & Publications Jan 30, 2017

Best in Law: California Employers Have New Rules to Follow — Effective Now

Companies Should Be Aware of Numerous Bills Signed Last Year

Best in Law: New Law Enables Small Employers to Resume Health Reimbursement Arrangements
Authored Articles & Publications Jan 9, 2017

Best in Law: New Law Enables Small Employers to Resume Health Reimbursement Arrangements

HRAs Eliminated Under ACA, Attorneys Isabel Safie and Katrina Veldkamp Explain in Press-Enterprise

21st Century Cures Act Permits Standalone HRAs for Small Employers
Legal Alerts Dec 19, 2016

21st Century Cures Act Permits Standalone HRAs for Small Employers

Takes Effect in 2017

Annual Labor & Employment Update 2016
Videos Dec 9, 2016

Annual Labor & Employment Update 2016

New Legislation and Case Law Impacting California Employers

BB&K Event Dec 8, 2016

BB&K Webinar: Annual Labor & Employment Update 2016

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. PT | Webinar

Alison Alpert Video Bio
Videos Nov 30, 2016

Alison Alpert Video Bio

Partner

Best in Law: Employers, Be Aware of Just-signed Laws
Authored Articles & Publications Nov 28, 2016

Best in Law: Employers, Be Aware of Just-signed Laws

Bathrooms, Retirement Plans Among New Laws, Partner Brian Reider Writes in the Press-Enterprise

Joseph T. Ortiz Video Bio
Videos Nov 18, 2016

Joseph T. Ortiz Video Bio

Partner

Event Nov 1-4, 2016

Play Hard. Play Fair. Play Together.

CALPELRA 2016 41st Annual Training Conference

Event Oct 10-13, 2016

California Special Districts Association

Annual Conference

Event Oct 5-7, 2016

LCC Annual Conference

League of California Cities

BB&K Attorney on 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars List
Press Releases Jun 7, 2016

BB&K Attorney on 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

Congratulations to Isabel Safie for Her Achievement

Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Takes Effect
Legal Alerts May 16, 2016

Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Takes Effect

Employers Should Immediately Revise Confidentiality Agreements to Comply

Best in Law: Tax Ruling Confirms Protocol on Job-Related Judgments
Authored Articles & Publications Oct 4, 2015

Best in Law: Tax Ruling Confirms Protocol on Job-Related Judgments

BB&K Attorney Katrina Veldkamp Writes on Newly Decided Case That Gives California Employers Clear Guidance on Taxation of Employment-Related Settlements and Judgments

Best in Law: Five Survival Tips for Navigating the Sick Leave Law
Authored Articles & Publications Sep 6, 2015

Best in Law: Five Survival Tips for Navigating the Sick Leave Law

BB&K Attorney Elizabeth Han Discuss the New Sick Leave Law in This Month's Press-Enterprise Best in Law Column

Best in Law: Employers need to heed Obamacare Reporting Rules
Authored Articles & Publications Mar 22, 2015

Best in Law: Employers need to heed Obamacare Reporting Rules

BB&K Partner Isabel Safie Writes About Obligations and Penalties Under the ACA for Employers in The Press-Enterprise

Employers Should Prepare Now for Sick Leave Changes
Authored Articles & Publications Jan 19, 2015

Employers Should Prepare Now for Sick Leave Changes

Changes in California's Sick Leave Policy This Year Are Explored in the Los Angeles Business Journal by BB&K Partner Cynthia Germano

State Controller Rolls Out an Open Data Website on Local Government Finances
Legal Alerts Sep 15, 2014

State Controller Rolls Out an Open Data Website on Local Government Finances

New Website Promotes Government Transparency

Best Best & Krieger Launches BBKnowledge
Press Releases Jan 22, 2014

Best Best & Krieger Launches BBKnowledge

Online Resource for News and Insights Focusing on Public Agencies

Press Releases Jan 7, 2014

BB&K Promotes Eight Attorneys in California and Washington, D.C. to Partner

Attorneys Focus on Environmental, Municipal, Business, Employee Benefits and Telecommunications Law

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