Overview

Employee benefits and executive compensation plans are instrumental in motivating employees and executives, positively affecting workplace morale, and meeting organizational and individual goals. The Burns & Levinson Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice uses these tools to help our clients meet their objectives, while saving costs through tax efficiencies. We provide our organizational and individual clients thoughtful and experienced counsel in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation.

Experience

Burns & Levinson offers employers and executives the following types of services, among others in this area:

  • Cost-Efficient Plans: Design executive compensation arrangements, tax-qualified retirement plans and healthcare programs that defray and defer tax costs, comply with law, and help meet the client’s goals.
  • Protect Trade Secrets, IP and Confidentiality: Design severance, bonus, equity compensation, and deferred compensation arrangements in exchange for releases that allow for the protection of the business.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Counsel clients involved in the sale or acquisition of a business in vetting and transitioning retirement plans, stock options and employee benefit plans, handling  pension withdrawal liabilities, addressing §280G issues, and managing other benefits issues.
  • Succession Planning: Develop deferred and equity compensation arrangements to aid in the succession of business ownership or the transitioning of new or retiring executives.
  • Health Care: Counsel clients in healthcare benefits, including compliance with the ACA and COBRA, and using pre-tax dollars to defray the cost of health care and other employee plans.
  • Privacy: Counsel clients in handling private medical and financial information of employees or patients.
  • Fiduciary Counsel: Counsel clients in meeting fiduciary requirements when operating employee benefit programs and managing plan assets.
  • Tax Counsel: Provide a wide range of tax advice on compensation issues, such as the deferral of tax in executive compensation programs, avoiding §409A taxation, and establishing tax shelters for retirement plans.
  • Representation in Controversy: Represent clients before the IRS and the US Department of Labor on issues related to employee plans, such as meeting tax and fiduciary requirements, handling Form 5500 filing issues, and correcting operational errors.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: Provide counsel to schools, colleges, and other non-profit organizations, and help design programs tailored to the specialized needs and goals of such organizations.
  • Equity-Based Compensation: Provide clients tax counsel on ESOPs, stock option plans, employee stock purchase plans, profits interests plans, and other equity-based compensation.
  • Creditors’ Rights: Assist clients in assessing creditors’ rights related to retirement assets.
  • Private Equity Funds: Assist private equity funds in meeting plan asset exemptions under ERISA.
  • International Retirement Issues:  Advise clients on the taxation of foreign retirement and other benefits subject to U.S. treaties.
  • Updates: Update clients on changes in the law relating to employee compensation and benefits.
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