Employee Compensation and Benefits
Whether you are a business owner trying to design an Employee Compensation and Benefits program for your employees or an employee trying to understand your rights and benefits under employer sponsored benefit plans, our attorneys are available to design, review, analyze and explain in understandable terms your employee benefit programs.
The most common areas within Employee Compensation and Benefits:
Qualified Retirement Plans
Our attorneys represent and guide employers through every phase of the complex regulatory and legislative mandates employers face in sponsoring qualified retirement plans, whether defined contribution plans (401(k), profit sharing, money purchase pension, SEP, SIMPLE) or defined benefit plans (pension, cash balance).
Retirement plans that work
We work with employers, their financial advisors, accountants and third party administrators on the initial plan design or review of an existing plan design, to design a plan to meet the specific needs of the employer. We then draft the necessary plan and administrative documents and guide the employer through its roles and responsibilities in connection with sponsoring the plan.
We monitor the plan throughout our engagement
We continue to monitor the plan throughout our engagement for legislative, regulatory or administrative changes affecting the plan and routinely represent plan sponsors in connection with the audit and examination of the plan by regulatory authorities, including the Internal Revenue Service and United States Department of Labor.
In the event plan defects are discovered during our review of an existing plan, we guide plan sponsors through various voluntary correction programs sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and United States Department of Labor to bring the plan into full compliance with the least amount of penalties to the plan sponsor. Upon termination of the plan, we guide plan sponsors step by step through the termination process.
Executive Compensation Planning
Employers often need to tailor the executive compensation of key employees and executives to reward and retain these employees, which have been identified as integral to the future success of the organization. We work with employers to design specific programs for its key employees to provide them with incentives and rewards in achieving the goals and objectives established by the employer and with employees who participate in these programs so they fully understand their rights and benefits under these programs.
Welfare Benefit Plans
Employers have many vehicles available to help reduce the cost of offering certain Welfare Benefit Plans to its employees through certain types of welfare benefit plans. Employers also have administrative and reporting requirements when offering welfare benefits to its employees.
Proactively reviewing your Welfare Benefit Plans
We proactively work with employers by reviewing their benefit offerings and recommending the appropriate benefit plans to accompany their benefit offerings to reduce the cost through tax savings to both the employer and employee and comply with plan document and reporting requirements. These welfare benefit plans include ERISA Wrap Plans, Cafeteria Plans, Flexible Spending Plans, Educational Assistance Plans, Adoption Assistance Plans, Health Savings Accounts, and Health Reimbursement Arrangements.
Nonqualified Retirement Plans
Our attorneys represent both employers with the design, implementation and administration of nonqualified retirement plans and employees who participate in these plans to understand their rights and income taxation of these arrangements. With the enactment of Internal Revenue Code Section 409A, nonqualified plans are now subject to more legislative and regulatory requirements than in the past and both employers and employees must adhere to these new strict requirements to avoid adverse income tax consequences and penalties.
Nonqualified Retirement Plans that encompass both…
These types of arrangements encompass both funded and unfunded nonqualified deferred compensation plans, top-hat plans, excess benefit plans, Rabbi trusts, secular trusts, split dollar life insurance, corporate owned life insurance (COLI), incentive stock options (ISOs), nonstatutory stock options (NSOs), restricted stock, stock appreciation rights, and phantom stock plans.
Under New Jersey law, most employees are considered “at-will” employees. This means that such individuals are employed at the will of their employer and their employment may be terminated for any reason that is not discriminatory. Certain types of employees (e.g. professionals, management positions, certain sales personnel, etc.) are not “at-will” employees.
Execute written employment agreements
These types of employees generally execute written employment agreements which among other things defines their duties, responsibilities, benefits, compensation, deferred compensation (if applicable), specific grounds for termination and post-employment restrictions, if any. At Kulzer & DiPadova, we have extensive experience in preparing and/or reviewing employment agreements both for the employee as well as the employer.