In the News

Chapter 11 Plan for Haynes and Boone Client HRSN Wins Approval; Reorganized Network Launches

HOUSTON – Root Sports Southwest successfully launched Nov. 17 following confirmation of the plan of reorganization for Haynes and Boone, LLP client Houston Regional Sports Network, L.P. (HRSN). Root Sports Southwest is the exclusive broadcaster of the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur confirmed the plan of reorganization filed jointly by HRSN, the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets on Oct. 30, over the objection of Comcast. The confirmation battle was led by Houston Partners Charles A. Beckham Jr. and Henry Flores in contentious confirmation hearings throughout October involving an array of interested parties. >>

Susan Wetzel in FundFire: Hedge Funds Face Massive Tax Bill for Billions in Deferred Comp

U.S.-based hedge funds with offshore versions of their funds need to act fast to avoid a massive tax bill as a result of changes to rules concerning deferred compensation in offshore funds. But many fund managers are unprepared for the 2017 deadline. >>

Texas Super Lawyers Features 91 Haynes and Boone Lawyers

Ninety-one Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers have been recognized in the Texas Super Lawyer 2013 award listing. >>



Recent Publications

New IRS Ruling Permits Deferred Compensation Opportunities for U.S. Fund Managers of Offshore Hedge Funds

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently issued Revenue Ruling 2014-18 (the “Ruling”) allowing the deferral of compensation from offshore hedge funds through the use of stock options (“Options”) and stock-settled stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) without running afoul of Section 457A of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 457A”). >>



Susan A. Wetzel

Partner

Dallas


2323 Victory Avenue
Suite 700
Dallas, Texas 75219
T +1 214.651.5389
F +1 214.200.0675

Areas of Practice

Education

  • J.D., Ohio Northern University, 1997, with honors
  • B.B.A., Western Michigan University, 1994, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Texas
  • Indiana

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Susan A. Wetzel

Susan Wetzel is the Chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group. She concentrates her practice in the areas of executive compensation, health and welfare plans, retirement plans, and health law.

Susan is a contributor to Haynes and Boone's Practical Benefits Lawyer blog, which discusses issues and developments in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation.

Selected Client Representations

  • Advising clients regarding ERISA and employee benefit issues in mergers and acquisitions, acting as counsel to both buyers and sellers, including transactions involving benefit and equity issues in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Finland, Singapore, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic.
  • Advising clients regarding the design and implementation of all types of tax qualified plans, including defined benefit plans and Section 401(k) plans.
  • Counseling clients regarding tax compliance and regulatory issues associated with fully-insured and self-funded health plans, VEBAs and MEWAs, including the impact of health care reform on plan documents and operations.
  • Assisting clients with benefits issues relating to inbound and outbound transactions, including Internal Revenue Code Section 409A issues relating to expatriate allowances, tax equalization programs, foreign benefit plans, and equity awards to foreign-based employees.
  • Negotiating executive employment and severance agreements, acting as counsel to both executives and employers, and counseling clients regarding issues under Internal Revenue Code Sections 162(m), 280G and 409A.
  • Designing and implementing all types of equity compensation plans, including stock options, restricted stock, phantom stock, and stock appreciation rights, and sub-plans in foreign jurisdictions. 
  • Counseling plan sponsors regarding how the HIPAA privacy and security regulations affect their group health plans and drafting forms, policies and procedures to assist group health plans in complying with the HIPAA privacy and security regulations.

Professional Recognition

Susan Wetzel was named one of the Best Lawyers under 40 in 2006 and Best Lawyers in Dallas 2011-2013 by D Magazine and was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers (2004-2005, 2007-2009, 2011-2014). She is also listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America in Employee Benefits Law (2009-2015).

Selected Professional, Community and Business Activities

  • American Bar Association Section of Taxation, Employee Benefits Committee
    • Vice Chair, 2011-2014
    • Litigation Subcommittee, Chair, 2010-2011
    • Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2005-2010
  • State Bar of Texas Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee
    • Chair, 2010-2014
    • Vice Chair, 2009-2010
    • Council Member, 2012-2014
  • Dallas Bar Association, Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Section Committee
    • Chair, 2008
    • Member, 2004-2012
  • International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association
    • Member, 2008-2014
  • The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
    • Member, 2014
  • The Trinity Commons Foundation
    • Board of Directors, 2014
  • ONU Law Alumni Association
    • Board of Directors, 2010-2014
  • Dallas Chamber of Commerce
    • Public Policy Committee, Chair, 2010
    • Healthcare Taskforce, 2004-2009

Recent Publications and Speeches

  • "Practical considerations for benefits counsel in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions," International Pension Lawyer, July 2010.
  • "Practical Considerations When Drafting Covenants in Stock and Asset Purchase Agreements," ERISA Compliance & Enforcement Strategy Guide, Benefits Practice Center of the Bureau of National Affairs, February 2010.
  • "Practical Considerations for Making Global Equity Grants," Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal, Vol. 37, No. 11, November 6, 2009.
  • "Global Issues Receiving Increasing Attention By IRS, Benefit Practitioners, Speakers Say," panelist, American Bar Association Section of Taxation, September 29, 2009.
  • "A Practitioner's Guide to Addressing 409A Tax Issues In Mergers and Acquisitions" Texas Tax Lawyer, May 2008.

Selected Representative Experience


Innovative Mag-Drive, LLC Acquisition
Represented Flowserve US Inc. in its acquisition of Innovative Mag-Drive, LLC d/b/a Innomag, a manufacturer of advanced sealless magnetic drive centrifugal pumps.

Equity Rollover Transaction
Represent U.S. sellers in an equity rollover transaction in which a U.S. private equity firm acquired a controlling interest in the target U.S. and Canadian businesses.

Alliance Acquisition
Represented CD Listening Bar, Inc. d/b/a Super D in its acquisition of Alliance Entertainment Holding Corporation, a multimedia wholesale distributor.

Ruby Tuesday Acquisition of Assets of Lime Fresh
Represented Ruby Tuesday, Inc. in its $24 million acquisition of assets of Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Inc. and its affiliates. The asset purchase includes the brand's intellectual property rights and the assets of seven company owned restaurants, as well as royalties from five franchised restaurants.

Wingate Partners in its Acquisition of Preferred Compounding Corp.
Represented Wingate Partners in its acquisition of Preferred Compounding Corp., a supplier of proprietary and custom mixed rubber compounds.

Benefits-Related Issues in Acquisition of Stock
Represent food distribution company on benefits related issues arising in its purchase of the outstanding stock of another food distribution company.

EF Johnson Technologies, Inc. Going-Private Sale
Represented publicly traded EF Johnson Technologies, Inc. in a going-private sale of the company to private equity firm Francisco Partners II, L.P.

Acquisition of Assets of Altec Lansing Division of Plantronics, Inc.
Represented Prophet Equity LP in its purchase of assets of Altec Lansing from Plantronics, Inc.

Apollo Management VII, L.P. Acquisition of Parallel Petroleum Corporation
Represented Parallel Petroleum Corporation in the sale of the company to Apollo Management VII, L.P.

Sale of TeacherWeb, Inc.
Represented Archipelago Learning, LLC in the sale of TeacherWeb, Inc. to Edline, LLC.

Renwood Acquisitions, LLC Acquisition of Assets of Heckethorn Manufacturing Co., LLC
Represented Rosewood Investments, Inc. in its purchase of assets from Heckethorn Manufacturing Co., LLC.

CARBO Ceramics, Inc. in its Acquisition of BBL Falcon Industries, Ltd.
Represented CARBO Ceramics, Inc. in its acquisition of BBL Falcon Industries, Ltd., a leading supplier of spill prevention and containment systems for the oil and gas industry.

Agreement and Plan of Merger Between Applied Research Associates, Inc., et. al. and Geo-Marine, Inc., et. al.
Represented Geo-Marine, Inc. in the sale of the company to Applied Research Associates, Inc.

PlainsCapital Corporation in its Acquisition of First Southwest Holdings, Inc.
Represented PlainsCapital Corporation in its acquisition of First Southwest Holdings, Inc.

AT&T, Inc. in its $275 Million Acquisition of Wayport, Inc.
Represented AT&T, Inc. in its $275 million acquisition of Wayport, Inc., a network and applications management company that provides back-office management for Wi-Fi hot spots.

Merger with the Boeing Company and Aviall
Haynes and Boone represented Aviall Inc. in the company’s $2.05 billion merger with the Boeing Company. The deal represented the largest purchase for Boeing in a decade. As the world's largest independent provider of new aerospace parts and related aftermarket services, Aviall is a leading solutions provider of aftermarket supply-chain management services for the aerospace, defense and marine industries.

Wingate Partners IV, L.P. Acquisition of Sunrise Oilfield Supply, Inc.
Represented Wingate Partners in its purchase of stock of Sunrise Oilfield Supply, Inc.

Acquisition of USA Environment by Wingate Partners IV, L.P.
Represented Wingate Partners in its purchase of USA Environment L.P.

ClubCorp, Inc. in its $1.8 Billion Sale to KSL Capital Partners, an affiliate of KKR
Represented ClubCorp in its $1.8 billion sale to KSL Capital Partners (an affiliate of KKR). ClubCorp is the leading operator of golf courses and country clubs in the world.

Dell, Inc. in its Acquisition of Everdream Corporation
Represented Dell, Inc. in its acquisition of Everdream Corporation, a leading provider of software-as-a-service solutions for remote-service management.

Texans Credit Union
Represented Texans Credit Union (the second largest credit union in Dallas) in the divestiture of its commercial real estate lending subsidiary, Texans Commercial Credit LLC, in a transaction valued at approximately $210 million.

Merger
Represented Voyence, Inc. in the sale of the company to EMC Corporation.

Exchange and Contribution between Lighting Science Group Corporation and LED Holdings, LLC
Represented Lighting Science Group Corporation in its purchase of assets from LED Holdings, LLC.

Voyence in Connection with its Acquisition by EMC Corporation
Represented Voyence (a private company) in connection with its acquisition by publicly-traded EMC Corporation. Voyence is a leading provider of automated telecommunications network configuration and change management. Haynes and Boone has represented Voyence since its initial venture funding.

Roll-Up - Animal Health Facilities
Represented Unified Growth Partners, LLC, through its acquisition company in a strategic roll-up of multiple advanced care veterinary facilities around the United States.

AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, a subsidiary of AmerisourceBergen in its Acquisition of Xcenda, LLC
Represented AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, a subsidiary of AmerisourceBergen, in its acquisition of Xcenda, LLC, a leading provider of pharmaceutical brand services, applied health outcomes and biopharma strategies.

Agreement and Plan of Merger
Represented Trilogy, Inc. in its acquisition of Artemis International.

Restructuring
Represented Highland Capital Management, L.P. in its purchase of stock in and restructuring of Home Interiors & Gifts, Inc.

Health and Welfare Plans - Food Distribution
Helped in drafting all self-insured plan documents, and in drafting summary plan descriptions for all self-insured and fully-insured benefits, including medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, business travel and accident.

ERISA Litigation and Benefit Disputes with Organized Labor
Assisted in ERISA benefit claim litigation on various clients’ welfare benefit plan litigation. Counseled employers on ERISA issues presented in grievances.

Executive and Incentive Compensation - Private Corporation
Successfully negotiated an employment agreement with the company’s new CEO.

Executive and Incentive Compensation - Private Corporation
Worked with a large privately-held company to obtain shareholder approval of change in control payments so executives would avoid a 20% excise tax under Section 280G and the corporation would avoid a loss of the deduction for the change in control payments.

Health and Welfare Plans - Hotel and Services Company
Helped in drafting a cafeteria plan, including a health care flexible spending account and dependent care flexible spending account.

Health and Welfare Plans - Technology
Drafted the HIPAA privacy policies and procedures, conducted HIPAA privacy training, and negotiated its business associate agreements.

Analysis of Health Plan Issues
Analyzed extensive health plan issues under COBRA, HIPAA portability, HIPAA privacy and other laws. Provided expert opinion to plan administrator in contested appeal of health plan benefit denial. Assisted corporations and managed care organizations regarding legal operating issues related to employee benefit plans.

Counseling of Benefit Plan Committees
Counseled benefit plan committees for both public and non-public companies with respect to plan administration, operation and design, including fiduciary issues in corporate transactions. Analyzed prohibited transaction issues and exemption issues.

Retirement Plan Design and Counseling; Health and Welfare Plans; ESOPs and Other Stock Based Plans - Health Plan Provider
Drafted defined benefit plans, 401(k) plans, medical and dental plans and ESOP plan documents, and  updated benefit plans for major health plan provider.

Executive and Incentive Compensation - Private Start-Up Companies
Represents many start-up companies in the design of phantom unit and change in control “carve-out” plans.

Retirement Plan Design
Counseled both public and non-public companies on alternative qualified plan designs considering testing and cost implications for both new and existing plans.

Retirement Plan Design and Counseling; Health and Welfare Plans - Manfacturing
Revised all retirement, equity compensation, executive compensation and health and welfare plans and employee communications to address plan changes and fiduciary duty reallocations.

Fixing Complex Retirement Plan Issues
Represented public and non-public clients before the Internal Revenue Service in correcting qualification issues in a number of qualified retirement plans under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System. Represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service to correct violations in 401(k), defined benefit and other qualified retirement plans, and 403(b) plans. Obtained private letter rulings resolving difficult defined benefit plan issues.

Executive and Incentive Compensation - Public Companies
Represents publicly-held companies in reviewing and amending foreign compensation and benefits plans to comply with U.S. federal income tax requirements and in designing and drafting U.S.-based equity compensation plans to comply with foreign jurisdiction requirements for foreign-based employees.

Analysis of Deferred, Equity, and Incentive Compensation Issues
Worked with corporations analyzing their nonqualified deferred compensation and executive compensation issues under Code Section 409A and proposed alternate designs. Represented public and non-public companies with respect to equity compensation issues in corporate transactions. Assisted public and non-public companies in designing and drafting of incentive compensation plans considering corporate transactions and Code Section 409A issues.

Executive and Incentive Compensation - Public Companies
Represented many publicly-held companies in the preparation of proxy disclosures for shareholder approval of executive bonus and equity compensation plans.

Online Publications

07/09/2014 - New IRS Ruling Permits Deferred Compensation Opportunities for U.S. Fund Managers of Offshore Hedge Funds
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently issued Revenue Ruling 2014-18 (the “Ruling”) allowing the deferral of compensation from offshore hedge funds through the use of stock options (“Options”) and stock-settled stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) without running afoul of Section 457A of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 457A”).

06/23/2011 - Beware of the Claw: Implementing Mandatory Clawback Provisions in Executive Employment Agreements Under the Dodd-Frank Act
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”) was signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010. In the middle of the Act’s 800-plus pages is a short provision that packs a lot of punch for Executive Employment Agreements and Policies: Section 954, entitled “Recovery of Erroneously Awarded Compensation.”

05/24/2010 - Health Reform: 2011 Design Considerations
Many employers are already planning revisions to their medical plans for 2011. However, under health reform, if “grandfathered plans” (generally plans with at least one participant on March 23, 2010) make changes in their benefit structure, they may lose “grandfathered” status. This article answers some of employers' most pressing questions.

05/06/2010 - Employers May Offer Coverage of Children up to Age 26 Now
Although healthcare reform does not require group health plans to provide coverage for children up to age 26, without regard to marital or student status, until the first plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010, many insurers are now offering employers with fully insured plans the opportunity to continue the health coverage of children who would otherwise lose coverage this year. This alert describes how employers with self-insured plans also may provide such coverage to children up to age 26 before it is otherwise legally required.

04/08/2010 - Healthcare Reform: What You Need to Do Now and in the Future
This alert summarizes the major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (together with the PPACA, the “Act”) that will impact employers and their group health plans (“GHPs”).

03/19/2010 - New Model Notices Reflect Latest Extension of COBRA Subsidy
The Department of Labor issued new model notices that reflect the most recent extension of the COBRA subsidy, which covers involuntary terminations that occur through March 31, 2010. The updated model notices are summarized in this alert.

03/12/2010 - COBRA Subsidy Extension - Déjà vu, but much more…
Once again, Congress has extended the period during which an individual must be involuntarily terminated (as defined for purposes of the COBRA subsidy, an “Invol Term”) to be eligible for the COBRA subsidy. Invol Terms occurring through March 31, 2010 will be eligible for the COBRA subsidy. This change is effective retroactively, so that those persons with an Invol Term on March 1, 2010 are still eligible for the COBRA Subsidy.

02/04/2010 - Deadline for Compliance with the HITECH Act Approaching
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (the “HITECH Act”) makes significant changes to the privacy and security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (“HIPAA”). Group health plans and other covered entities must comply with the HITECH Act by February 17, 2010.

01/29/2010 - DOL Issues Final Safe Harbor Rules for Timely Deposits of Participant Contributions and Loan Repayments
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued final regulations, effective January 14, 2010, that (1) clarify that the contribution timing rules apply to plan loan repayments, and (2) provide a safe harbor for depositing participant contributions (including loan repayments) to employee benefit plans with fewer than 100 participants on the first day of the plan year.

01/28/2010 - IRS Issues 409A Document Correction Program: The Six Month Payment Delay for Key Employees (second in a series)
As described in an earlier alert, the IRS has announced a document correction program covering certain failures to comply with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 409A”), which contains tax rules for nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.

01/19/2010 - Model Notices and Additional Guidance Issued on COBRA Subsidy Extension
The Department of Labor recently issued model notices for employers to use under the COBRA subsidy extension, and the Internal Revenue Service issued additional guidance for an employer claiming on its federal employment tax return (Form 941) the credit for 2009 retroactive coverage arising from the subsidy extension for those individuals who had otherwise exhausted the subsidy period.

01/13/2010 - IRS Issues 409A Document Correction Program: Immediate Action May Be Needed
The IRS has issued a Notice that describes a document correction program covering certain failures to comply with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“409A”). 409A contains tax rules for nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. While this IRS program offers employers welcome relief from inadvertent drafting mistakes and other failures to conform applicable documents to the requirements of 409A, it also raises some additional concerns.

12/29/2009 - COBRA Subsidy Extended - Prompt Action Required (Updated)
On December 19, 2009, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 (the “Act”) extended the COBRA continuation coverage subsidy, which originally was due to expire at the end of 2009. While the mechanics of the COBRA subsidy generally remain unchanged, the Act expands the coverage previously provided under the COBRA subsidy.

12/08/2009 - Year-End Changes Needed for Some 162(m) Performance-Based Compensation Plans
Publicly held corporations may need to adopt an amendment by December 31, 2009 for certain performance-based compensation plans and agreements, including incentive compensation and equity plans and executive employment agreements.

12/07/2009 - There's Still Time! Correct Code Section 409A Violations By December 31, 2009
Employers have until December 31, 2009 to take advantage of opportunities to avoid the 20% and other penalty taxes that otherwise would be imposed by Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. We recommend employers review all their plans and agreements that are subject to Section 409A, including nonqualified deferred compensation, severance, change of control plans and agreements, and employment agreements.

11/06/2009 - Practical Considerations for Making Global Equity Grants
The challenge in implementing equity-based compensation plans is maximizing employee value with minimum tax impact while limiting the detrimental effect such benefits may have on existing stockholders. In the United States, there are many methods for providing employees with equity-based compensation that provide maximum value to employees while minimizing stockholder impact.

10/28/2009 - IRS Provides Guidance on Waiving 2009 Required Minimum Distributions
In Notice 2009-82, the IRS announced that plan sponsors must make decisions relating to the waiver of 2009 required minimum distributions (“RMDs”) for defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, by November 30, 2009.

10/13/2009 - IRS Issues Final Regulations on Defined Benefit Plan Funding Requirements and Benefit Restrictions
Last week the IRS released final regulations covering most aspects of the minimum funding requirements and funding-based benefit restrictions imposed on single-employer defined benefit plans by the Pension Protection Act of 2006. These regulations generally apply for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, but can be relied upon before that date. Some plan sponsors may need to take immediate action in light of the regulations.

09/29/2009 - Global Issues Receiving Increasing Attention By IRS, Benefit Practitioners, Speakers Say
Reproduced with permission from Pension & Benefits Daily, 186 PBD, Sept. 29, 2009. Copyright 2009 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com
Speaking as part of a panel at the fall meeting of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, Haynes and Boone Partner Susan A. Wetzel discussed the practical challenges of providing global benefits and compensation.

09/18/2009 - New Health Plan Privacy Notice Requirements Under HITECH Act
The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently issued an interim final rule (the “Rule”) under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act explaining the notification requirements for breaches of protected health information that has not been encrypted or destroyed (“Unsecured PHI”). Employer-sponsored health plans should immediately review and revise their HIPAA privacy policies and procedures to ensure that they adequately address the Rule’s requirements for investigating and reporting breaches of Unsecured PHI. The new requirements are effective for breaches occurring on or after September 23, 2009.

08/14/2009 - Employers Should Be on the Lookout for Common Retirement Plan Errors
The Internal Revenue Service recently published a list of common recurring mistakes it sees in large case audits of qualified retirement plans and in submissions under its Voluntary Correction Program. This list provides employers with a useful checklist for reviewing the operations of their qualified retirement plans.

05/20/2009 - Deadline for Complying with Medicare Secondary Payer Reporting Rules Approaching
This alert outlines new reporting requirements under the Medicare Secondary Payer rules that apply to all liability insurance plans (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance plans, and workers' compensation plans, including non-subscribers to the Texas Workers' Compensation Act beginning on July 1, 2009.

05/06/2009 - Restructuring Compensation During Economic Challenges
Employers are facing a number of economic and financial challenges. Some employers have considered restructuring their compensation arrangements with employees as an alternative to avoid a reduction in force or layoffs. Restructuring of compensation packages raises a number of issues. 

04/16/2009 - Proceed with Caution - New COBRA Subsidy Notices Pose Risks to Employers
Employers are working frantically to comply with the new COBRA subsidy requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Act”). However, the rush to compliance poses significant dangers if employers rely on the guidance issued by the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor without careful review and use the Department of Labor sample notices without modification.

03/27/2009 - Significant Changes in the Health Data Privacy for Group Health Plans and their Business Associates
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Act”) broadens the HIPAA privacy and security protections that apply to protected health information (“PHI”) and imposes new requirements on group health plans and their business associates. Under the Act, certain HIPAA privacy and security requirements now directly apply to business associates as if they were covered entities.

02/27/2009 - Guidance and Relief for Deferred Compensation Arrangements of Certain Foreign Corporations and Partnerships
The Internal Revenue Service has issued interim guidance on deferred compensation paid to U.S. taxpayers by certain foreign corporations and partnerships considered to be “tax-indifferent entities.” To read more about Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) Section 457A click here.

02/19/2009 - Stimulus Bill Expands COBRA Benefits
The “Stimulus Bill,” signed Tuesday February 17, 2009, lowered the cost of COBRA continuation coverage for employees whose employment was or is involuntarily terminated on or after September 1, 2008 and before January 1, 2010, and their eligible dependents (together referred to as “Assistance Eligible Individuals”). In addition, those Assistance Eligible Individuals who did not timely elect COBRA are given another opportunity to elect that coverage, although their total period of COBRA coverage generally is not extended.

Economic Bailout Bill Expands Mental Health Parity Laws
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (the “Act”), enacted as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, made permanent the current mental health parity rules regarding annual and lifetime dollar limits effective January 1, 2009, and greatly expanded mental health parity, effective for the first plan year beginning on or after October 3, 2009. Accordingly, for plans with calendar year plan years, these new rules will become effective January 1, 2010.

2008 Legislation Triggers Health Plan Changes
2008 brought a number of new laws impacting a health plan’s eligibility, terms and coverage, including the recently enacted “Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008” (“FCSIAA”) and “Michelle’s Law.” Plan sponsors should review their health plans prior to the end of 2008 to ensure compliance with FCSIAA and consider the impact of Michelle’s Law on their group health plans for the first plan year beginning after October 9, 2009.

Paying for the Bailout by Currently Taxing Offshore Deferrals
Effective January 1, 2009, the ability of U.S. taxpayers to defer taxation on income earned from certain offshore entities will be severely restricted.

“Bailout Bill” Places Strict Limits on Executive Pay of Participating Financial Institutions
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the “Act”), which establishes the Troubled Assets Relief Program (“TARP”), imposes strict new limits on executive compensation, including limits on incentive and severance pay, on certain financial institutions that participate in TARP.

Massachusetts Revises Employer Fair Share Contribution Requirement
10/09/2008

09/16/2008 - Significant Changes Imposed In Pension Plan Valuation of Alternative Investments

08/06/2008 - Medicare Reform Law May Impact Retiree Medical Plans

08/05/2008 - Department of Labor Proposes New Disclosure Requirements For Participant–Directed Individual Account Plans
08/05/2008 

New Disclosure Requirements for Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans

Updated Medicare Part D Notices 2008
07/11/2008

03/10/2008 - ERISA § 404(C) ISSUES RAISED UNDER SEC’S “NOTICE AND ACCESS” PROXY STATEMENT RULES

03/10/2008 - SEC's Notice and Access and ERISA 404(c)
ERISA 404(C) issues raised under SEC's"Notice and Access" proxy statement rules.

02/25/2008 - LaRue Decision

02/07/2008 - PLR Regarding Section 162(m)

10/23/2007 - IRS and Treasury Department Extend Section 409A Deadlines One More Year!

09/12/2007 - IRS Announces Limited Extension of Section 409A Compliance Deadline

04/11/2007 - 409A Final Regulations

12/22/2006 - President Bush Signs Bill Permitting One Time Rollovers to Health Savings Accounts

12/22/2006 - Diversification Notice and Pension Benefit Statement Guidance

12/22/2006 - IRS Issues Guidance on Reporting Section 409A Deferred Compensation

10/05/2006 - IRS and Treasury Department Extend Section 409A Deadlines One More Year!

09/25/2006 - Plan Fees and Expenses The Next Wave of Lawsuits Has Begun

07/20/2006 - New Guidance on Using Debit/Credit Cards with HRAs and FSAs

06/14/2006 - Recent Health Plan Prescription Drug Developments

06/01/2006 - New Law Impacts 2006 Income Tax Liability of U.S. Citizens/Residents Working Abroad

05/19/2006 - Supreme Court Revisits Subrogation

01/23/2006 - SECTION 409A NEWS ALERT: Section 409A Stock Valuation Guidance For Privately-Held Companies

01/17/2006 - Health Plan Update

01/04/2006 - SECTION 409A NEWS: Stock Valuation Guidance and Section 409A Technical Corrections

12/15/2005 - IRS Surprises Employers by Suspending Reporting and Witholding Requirements Under Code Section 409A

11/04/2005 - SECTION 409A NEWS: Separation Pay Exclusions

10/21/2005 - SECTION 409A NEWS: 2005 Action Items

10/04/2005 - Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Guidance: IRS Proposed Regulations Provide Relief Until 2007

08/08/2005 - How Long Do Employees Have to Elect COBRA Coverage?

06/21/2005 - DOL and SEC Tell Pension Plan Fiduciaries to Assess Third Party Consultants

06/07/2005 - Hidden Effects of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act's Regulations

06/01/2005 - New Grace Period Permitted for Cafeteria Plan Flexible Spending Accounts

03/10/2005 - New Notice of Rights Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994

03/07/2005 - IRS Issues Executive Compensation Audit Guidelines: What Employers Need To Do Now

01/31/2005 - The Automatic Rollover Rules

01/14/2005 - Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Guidance Under American Jobs Creation Act 04 and Notice 05-1

12/29/2004 - Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Guidance Brings Good News

12/28/2004 - USERRA Modifications

12/01/2004 - Deferred Compensation: Preparing for the Changes

09/07/2004 - Final Incentive Stock Option Regulations

06/01/2004 - HIPAA Privacy Compliance

03/01/2004 - Privacy Regulation Compliance Date Looms Closer for Small Group Health Plans

02/25/2004 - Defined Contribution Plans May Charge Former Employees' Accounts For Administrative Expenses

02/05/2004 - New Privacy Requirements Apply to Employers

12/01/2003 - Mutual Fund Trading Abuses and ERISA's Fiduciary Responsibilities

10/30/2003 - Public Companies, Insider Trading Restrictions and Individual Account Plans

07/17/2003 - EEOC Issues – Good News for Retiree Medical Plans

07/01/2003 - New COBRA Notice Guidance

06/18/2003 - Possible Claims Disruption as HIPAA Compliance Date for Standard Transactions Approaches

06/03/2003 - HIPAA Privacy – It’s Here (Closer Than You Think)

04/23/2003 - Failure to Provide Summary Plan Description Leads to Damages Award

02/03/2003 - Pension Blackout Rules for Individual Account Retirement Plans

01/13/2003 - Consumer Driven Health Plans

11/27/2002 - EGTRRA Amendments May be Required by December 31, 2002

10/22/2002 - 17 - Pension Blackout Rules

09/23/2002 - Compliance Date for Electronic Data Interchange Standards Approaches - Are You Prepared?

04/09/2002 - IRS Suspends 5500 Filing Requirements

02/01/2002 - Serving Two Masters - ERISA Fiduciary Duties Revisted After Enron

01/01/2002 - HIPAA Update

01/01/2002 - To Wrap or Not to Wrap In Light of Privacy

11/15/2001 - IRS Proposes to Tax Incentive Stock Options and Employee Stock Plans

09/01/2001 - IRS Provides Guidance Regarding COBRA Liability in Mergers and Acquisitions

09/01/2001 - Military Leave and the Uniformed Services Employment/Reemployment Rights Act of 1994

08/01/2001 - 457 Plans and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

08/01/2001 - Increased Portability of Rollovers

07/31/2001 - The Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001

07/01/2001 - The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 Health and Welfare Plans

08/01/2000 - Tax-Sheltered Annuities and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act