ERISA/Multiemployer Benefits

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Overview
Experience
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Briggs’ ERISA/Multiemployer Benefits Practice Group has significant experience representing plans and their trustees in all aspects of plan design, funding, and administration. Our attorneys help pension, health, and other fringe-benefit plans navigate the complex legal and regulatory landscape that governs their daily operations. Briggs understands that while multiemployer plans exist first and foremost to provide benefits to their members and dependents, these plans are sophisticated enterprises with a variety of business and commercial legal needs. These needs range from compliance with a broad range of federal laws governing benefits, tax matters, healthcare, and privacy to more general counseling in the areas of employment, real estate, and private equity. Whatever the situation may require, Briggs takes pride in providing its clients with a team of legal advisors with deep and specialized subject-matter expertise, ensuring that multiemployer plans receive coordinated legal advice.

Representative Matters

  • Serves as fund counsel to multiemployer benefit plans, including but not limited to self-funded Health and Welfare Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, and Defined Contribution Plans.
  • Experience in drafting, restating, and amending plan documents and trust agreements for Defined Benefit Plans, Defined Contribution Plans, Health and Welfare Plans, and other Single and Multiemployer ERISA Plans to comply with changes in federal laws and regulations (ERISA, IRC, ACA, and HIPAA) and to reflect updates in plan design to address changing actuarial assumptions and economic realities, including through the creation of investment alternatives such as Variable Annuity Pension Plans (VAPPs).
  • Advises plans regarding transactional structures that satisfy the qualified professional asset manager (QPAM) exemption, investment considerations under the Plan Asset Regulation, and employer withdrawal liability disputes and funding obligations.
  • Experience negotiating and closing agreements for the investment of plan assets in a broad range of private-equity funds, real estate investment trusts, and in other investment structures; assistance with the selection of investment advisors and managers and with ongoing compliance with investment policies.
  • Negotiates and drafts service contracts between multiemployer benefit plans and pharmacy benefit managers, third-party administrators, investment managers, advisers, actuaries, asset custodians, and other service providers.
  • Represents multiemployer benefit plans in DOL inquiries, investigations, and audits.
  • Experience advising tax-qualified plans regarding compliance with the IRC.
  • Identify and resolve plan errors through self-correction and, if necessary, through the  Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS).
  • Protects and recover fund assets through subrogation actions, intervention actions, and collection actions.
  • Represents clients in collection of employer contributions.
  • Reviews and qualifies domestic relations orders.
  • Advises on HIPAA and HITECH compliance, including drafting business associate agreements, drafting policies and procedures, and conducting employee training.
  • Negotiates employment agreements and defends against employment disputes and litigation.
  • Drafts employment handbooks and policies and provides employee training.
  • Represents clinics, physicians, managed care organizations, and drug suppliers to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, on transactions, and in litigation.