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Kellie M. Thomas’ goal with every client is to provide practical and straightforward advice that breaks down and makes accessible the myriad issues and considerations arising under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code (including Sections 280G, 401(k), 403(b), 409A and 457(b) and (f)), the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, HIPAA, and the various other federal and state laws and regulations affecting benefit plans.

As part of her day to day advice and counsel work, Kellie regularly reviews, drafts and amends self- and fully-insured health and welfare plans; cafeteria plans; qualified and non-qualified retirement plans; employment, consulting, severance and change in control agreements; and stock option and other equity-based compensation plans. She drafts and prepares submissions under the Internal Revenue Service’s Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System and the Department of Labor’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program, and reviews and qualifies proposed Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and Qualified Medical Child Support Orders. Kellie also counsels on corporate governance and fiduciary matters, including the structure and duties of retirement and benefit plan committees.

A recent rash of class action lawsuits in California claim that using forfeitures to reduce future employer contributions to tax-qualified retirement plans runs afoul of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). These cases have continued to advance despite their central claim seeming to contradict long-standing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance for the permitted use

High-stress, demanding retail positions where constant customer demands are front and center can leave employees feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, resulting in lower productivity and higher turnover for employers.

Increasing societal awareness of mental health issues, and a general push by employees to recognize their lives outside of the workplace, has fueled a growing call

Employees, especially those far from retirement, are sometimes hesitant to put money into their employer’s 401(k) plan, knowing that their money won’t be available to them if unexpected expenses arise. Congress and the Biden administration, recognizing the long-term benefit of incentivizing retirement savings, included two new means for plan participants to access emergency funds in

We recently summarized the regulatory back and forth of the past few years relating to environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) factors and their impact on ERISA retirement plans and the fiduciaries that oversee them. 

As expected, the Biden administration released a proposed rule last year that re-opened the door (previously closed by the Trump

Beginning as early as January 15, 2023, certain employers will need to ensure they are complying with the District of Columbia’s Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2020, also known as the “Parking Cash Out Law.”

Parking Cash Out Options

By January 15, 2023, or the end of their parking lease, whichever is later, “Covered

For those with an eye on ERISA and its fiduciary rules, the past few years have caused whiplash when it comes to environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) investments in retirement plans.  With a new rule from the Department of Labor imminent, let’s review where we are, how we got here, and what’s next.

ERISA

On May 2, 2022, a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was leaked to the press, and as a result the Court is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, effectively leaving the issue of abortion rights to the states. Thirteen states currently

It started sometime last year and, in hindsight, was inevitable.  Clients with 401(k) plans and a crypto-savvy employee population began asking whether they could offer cryptocurrency as a plan investment option.  In the 401(k) world, where even a self-directed brokerage window with built-in investment limitations can be too risky, the answer seemed obvious – watch

Just three weeks ago, we wrote that employers likely would not receive certain Affordable Care Act reporting relief to which they’ve become accustomed.

But in a welcome turn of events, the IRS just released proposed regulations that make permanent a 30-day automatic extension for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals.  Such forms will now