Foster Swift's employee benefits practice offers a full range of tax, labor law and litigation services relating to employee benefit plans. We advise clients who are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as well as state and local governments and qualifying church organizations that are exempt from ERISA.
Our attorneys assist with the design and drafting of benefit plans and related employee disclosure materials. We also help employers ensure that their programs comply with changes in relevant law. We negotiate closing agreements and private letter rulings with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and work with employers regarding IRS and U.S. Department of Labor Audits. Our practice also includes advising clients regarding important corporate transactions that involve Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), and prohibited transaction and other special legal problems.
Our team provides advice to employers regarding the corporate governance and fiduciary duty aspects of implementing and administering an employee benefit plan. We also advise clients regarding the growing area of international employee benefit planning. This work includes the taxation of employee benefit plans pursuant to tax treaties.
Our work covers all kinds of qualified retirement plans, including (1) 401(k), ESOP, 403(b) and other defined contribution plans, and (2) defined benefit plans (including cash balance plans). Foster Swift also has an extensive practice relating to nonqualified top hat plans, excess benefit plans, Internal Revenue Code Section 409A compliance, funded nonqualified deferred compensation and rabbi trust issues, and the securities law (SEC and blue sky) implications of nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.
We have extensive experience with health plan compliance and documentation (including Affordable Care Act issues); funded welfare benefits; the creation of Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA) programs; cafeteria flex plan design and implementation; welfare benefit plan discrimination testing; COBRA compliance; Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA); Health Savings Account (HSA); dependent care assistance; transportation fringe; and other welfare benefit programs. We have also advised clients regarding the establishment of Revenue Credit Account (RCA) arrangements (ERISA expense accounts) and the related U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance.
Foster Swift clients have been as varied as the challenges they’ve faced over the years. When it comes time to meet your own unique challenges, be comforted knowing that members of our Employee Benefits Practice Group are on your side, drawing upon our breadth of experience and skill to assist you.
Foster Swift has been named a Tier 1 firm in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in Lansing by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Recent Blog Posts
- Enforceability and Incorporation of Online Terms and Conditions
- Benefit Plans Established by Church Affiliates Are Exempt From ERISA
- Employee or Independent Contractor? Uber Wages Battles to Answer Critical Question for On-Demand Economy Companies and Their Workers
- Remedying Past Employee/Independent Contract Misclassification Through IRS’s Voluntary Settlement Program
- U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Rules Concerning Association Health Plans
- Affordable Care Act Reporting Deadlines Extended
- The IRS Provides Temporary Relief for Certain Health Reimbursement Arrangements
- Obama Administration Makes Changes to Medicare to Accommodate Same-Sex Marriages
- Employers Must Provide Notice of Health Insurance Exchanges
- ERISA Challenge to Michigan’s Health Insurance Claims Tax is Rejected
Publications & Alerts
- New Policy Makes it Easier for Municipalities to Terminate Participation in MERS Defined Benefit Plan, February 2019 Municipal Law News E-blast, February 27, 2019
- The Ninth Circuit Questions the Sixth Circuit's Understanding of "Actual Knowledge" in ERISA Statute of Limitations Decision, January 2019 Business & Tax Law News, December 13, 2018
- Proposed IRS Regulations Clarify New Rules Relating to Hardship Distributions, November 2018 Business & Tax Law News, November 20, 2018
- 642(c) Pooled Income Funds: Unique Advantages to new Charitable Compensation Plans-Part One, November 2018 Business & Tax Law News, October 9, 2018
- New Hardship Distribution Rules Take Effect in 2019, October 2018 Employment Labor & Benefits News, October 5, 2018
- Best Practices to Follow When Creating or Revising an Employee Handbook, October 2018 Employment Labor & Benefits News, October 2, 2018
- Hiring, Investigating and Discipline/Discharge in the Law, Foster Swift: Developing Labor Law Update, May 9, 2018
- Hiring, Investigating and Discipline/Discharge in the Law, Foster Swift: Developing Labor Law Update, February 7, 2018
- Employee Benefits Basics from 401(k) to PPACA", Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association Great Lakes Trade Expo, January 26, 2015
- An Introduction to ESOPs, WEBINAR: The National Center for Employee Ownership, December 2, 2014
- A Look Into A DOL Audit, Michigan Chapter of the ESOP Association, September 25, 2014
- Second-Stage ESOP Transactions, National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), March 25, 2014
- ESOP: The Cliffs Notes' Version, Michigan Chapter of the ESOP Association, March 13, 2013
- Johnson Appointed as Business Practice Group Co-Leader, April 12, 2019
- Foster Swift Rated Tier 1 in 27 Practice Areas in Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms", November 1, 2018
- Johnson Selected to “Women in the Law” Class of 2018, Grand Rapids Business Journal, August 2, 2018
- Attorney Howard Named to Novi Planning Commission, Detroit Legal News, January 19, 2018
- Foster Swift Attorney Re-Elected as Council Member with the SBM's Taxation Section, Grand Rapids Bar Association, October 12, 2017
- Foster Swift Southfield Office Has Second Growth Spurt, September 18, 2017
- 30 Foster Swift Attorneys Selected to 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists, September 8, 2017