Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group at Miller Johnson has a single focus:  helping our clients successfully manage every aspect of employee benefits and executive compensation.  We accomplish this by:

Carefully listening to our clients to thoroughly understand their benefit program goals and objectives.  We believe that a benefit program is not useful or effective unless it is specifically tailored to the client who uses it.

Using “plain English” in the plan documents and employee communications we prepare for our clients, including in our interaction with clients as we work through projects together.  We want our clients and their employees to fully understand the benefit programs being established.

Consistently monitoring legislative and regulatory developments regarding employee benefits.  We timely notify our clients, through our electronic bulletin called Client Alerts, of changes that will affect them as they navigate through an ever-changing and complex stream of laws and regulations.

We represent many types of clients, from those with less than a dozen employees to those with thousands of employees, including both union and/or nonunion groups.  Our clients include, but are not limited to:

  • Manufacturing corporations (closely-held and publicly-traded)
  • Professional corporations
  • Retail and wholesale companies
  • Hospitals
  • Financial institutions
  • Service organizations
  • Nonprofit agencies
  • Governmental agencies
  • Colleges
  • School districts

We work with our clients on a wide variety of projects:

  • Helping our clients navigate through the maze of nondiscrimination rules and other legal requirements which apply to their employee benefit plans
  • Representing our clients in dealings with the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and state insurance regulators
  • Advising our clients regarding compliance with COBRA health care continuation requirements
  • Guiding our clients who are buying/selling businesses that have employee benefit plans through the transition period
  • Litigating many types of employee benefit issues with assistance from lawyers in our Litigation Practice Group
  • Pursuing strategies with our clients to combine benefits and services to contain costs
  • Designing and drafting qualified retirement plans and [help] [helping] our clients to effectively communicate the plans to their employees
  • Showing our clients how to maximize benefits in qualified retirement plans for owners and other executives
  • Preparing nonqualified deferred compensation plans that help our clients attract and keep key employees
  • Designing employee stock ownership plans that can facilitate changes of ownership in closely-held corporations and also create incentives for employees
  • Helping our clients deal with collectively-bargained benefit plans by developing bargaining strategies and showing them how it is possible to minimize liability under multiemployer pension plans
  • Showing both individual employers and trade associations how self-funded health care plans may be used to curb health costs
  • Designing cafeteria plans that enable our clients to offer flexible benefit options and control costs at the same time
  • Comparing and contrasting the different health design options currently available to employers (including HRAs and HSAs) to find the best fit for our clients
  • Designing wellness benefits that promote healthy lifestyles for employees and reduce the health plan expenses of our clients
  • Facilitating compliance with the HIPAA privacy, security rules and HITECH by providing starting point documents, individual counseling, compliance kits and training

In keeping with our “client-specific” approach regarding benefits, we assist our clients by designing and preparing a complete array of employee benefit plans.  These include:

Retirement Plans

  • 401(k) plans
  • Defined benefit pension plans (including cash balance plans)
  • Employee stock ownership plans
  • Phantom stock plans and stock options
  • Profit-sharing and incentive bonus plans (hourly employees and/or executives)
  • Nonqualified deferred compensation plans (including those funded with rabbi trusts)
  • Section 457 deferred compensation plans
  • Section 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plans

Health and Welfare Plans

  • Self-funded group health plans
  • “Wrap” plans and summary plan descriptions (to supplement an employer’s existing health and welfare benefit documents)
  • Cafeteria plans (including flexible spending accounts)
  • Pre-tax premium only plans
  • Dependent care assistance plans
  • Medical reimbursement plans/Health reimbursement plans
  • Health savings accounts
  • Wellness plans
  • Self-funded short-term disability plans
  • VEBAs (voluntary employee beneficiary associations)
  • MEWAs (multiple employer welfare arrangements)

Fringe Benefit Plans

  • Adoption assistance plans
  • Educational assistance plans
  • Qualified transportation plans