Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Today’s employers – large and small – know the value of an effective employee benefit plan. The best plans are those designed to serve both the company and its employees equally well. Balancing the needs of the company and its employees with other external factors, such as costs, regulatory issues and administrative complexities, requires careful attention to detail and thorough knowledge of all the related legal, regulatory and tax considerations.

Attorneys in Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group know what it takes to provide clients with the tools and resources necessary to meet both short- and long-term goals. Whether positioning the company as an attractive place to work or taking advantage of a variety of tax programs, we counsel companies and fiduciaries on the full array of issues related to the operation, design, implementation and review of employee benefit and compensation programs.  Our Employee Benefits Group is ranked among the top such practices in New Jersey in the 2010 inaugural "Best Law Firms" rankings published by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi counsels companies of all sizes – from major Fortune 500 firms to small independent organizations – on the entire range of fiduciary and compliance issues related to employee benefit plans. We work closely with company executives, human resources managers and small company owners to develop the most appropriate plan for their needs. We also advise plan fiduciaries and administrators in fulfilling their ERISA duties, including plan operational issues, plan asset diversification/investments, and compliance with the myriad regulations prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Our experience gives us a deep understanding of the underlying implementation dynamics and costs inherent in today’s employee benefit programs and allows us to counsel our clients accordingly so that they can make informed and prudent business and fiduciary decisions. Every aspect of developing an employee benefit program is assessed for potential risk as well as reward, including critical compliance issues.

Our attorneys advise clients on a wide range of employee benefit plans and topics including:

  • Pension benefit plans
  • Profit-sharing plans
  • Cash or deferred arrangements [401(k)]
  • Employee stock ownership plans
  • Non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements
  • Welfare benefit plans
  • Executive compensation agreements
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Compliance with ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and other applicable laws

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi’s attorneys proactively counsel clients on the most current pension benefit and welfare benefit plan developments. With our counsel, companies are able to comply with all applicable regulations, adhere to administrative and procedural changes, and stay abreast of industry trends.

We regularly work with plan sponsors, advising them on the development, implementation and operation of their plans. We also counsel plan trustees about their fiduciary duties and plan investment obligations, as well as the prohibited transaction rules. In addition, we assist clients in structuring executive compensation programs – including stock bonus, non-qualified and deferred compensation plans.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in developing and negotiating compliance agreements with the IRS through the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) and with the U.S. Department of Labor in resolving plan-compliance issues. We also help clients navigate MPPAA withdrawal liability claims.