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Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits

Members of Nutter’s Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits practice group help design and implement compensation and benefit programs efficiently and cost-effectively for a broad spectrum of clients including publicly and privately held companies, tax-exempt organizations and start-ups, representing a range of industries including healthcare, banking and finance, life science, manufacturing and high tech.

Our Executive Compensation Practice. Members of our Executive Compensation practice regularly provide advice and representation regarding design and implementation of tax advantaged arrangements for:

  • Equity and equity-based compensation (including SARs, ISOs, NQSOs and restricted stock); 
  • Retention, profit-sharing and other incentive-based compensation; 
  • Change–in-control and severance benefits designed to facilitate management changes; 
  • Supplemental executive retirement plans and other “top hat” deferred compensation arrangements designed to satisfy Section 409A of the U.S. tax code; and 
  • Eligible deferred compensation plans for tax-exempt entities designed to meet the requirements of Section 457 of the U.S. tax code.

Our ERISA Practice. Nutter has more than 40 years experience in representing clients in the operation of tax-qualified and non-qualified retirement and deferred compensation plans for employees and executives. Our representation also includes all aspects of continuing compliance with both the federal tax code and ERISA, as well as other applicable federal and state laws affecting compensation and employee benefit arrangements including the Pension Protection Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Massachusetts Health Mandate and COBRA. Representative services provided by members of the practice group responsible for ERISA and employee benefit matters include:

  • Representation of plan sponsors, administrators and fiduciaries in audit and other proceedings before government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation;
  • Advice regarding maintenance of tax-qualified status of 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457 and other individual account plans (including traditional and Roth IRAs), defined contribution plans and defined benefit pension plans;
  • Counseling regarding fiduciary rules of conduct and the development of “best practices” for fiduciary decision making;
  • Developing and implementing internal audit and self-correction procedures for operational failures, including failures that could adversely affect a plan’s tax qualified status;
  • Providing advice regarding the application of the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the federal tax code to conduct contemplated or undertaken by fiduciaries and other parties-in-interest;
  • Drafting employee communications regarding employee benefits;
  • Assisting clients on non-pension matters, including insured and self-insured group health plans, cafeteria/Section 125 plans, flexible spending arrangements, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, long-term care arrangements and severance plans.