March 19, 2015

Our Mini-Theme: Employee Benefits

Employee benefits and executive compensation continue to be evolving and diverse practice areas. A practice in employee benefits and executive compensation touches on myriad other dedicated practice areas: health law, taxation, information protection and privacy, trusts, and others. The Business Law Section’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee is dedicated to keeping the Business Law Section current on these issues and is pleased to present this mini-theme to discuss general employee benefit topics. The four articles we present, described below, illustrate the broad implications of employee benefits and executive compensation in any business-focused practice.

  1. Betty Boyd’s Your Partnership’s Employment Tax Debt May Come Back to Bite You describes how employee paycheck withholding errors, such as with “FICA” taxes, can surprisingly become the liability of general partners of an entity.
  2. Sharon Hearn’s ESOPs: A Tax Advantaged Exit Strategy for Business Owners provides a comprehensive overview of how an Employee Stock Ownership Plan can be not only a valuable employee benefit, but also a personal financial planning tool for business owners.
  3. Any merger and acquisition activity needs to carefully consider the various employee benefits that may be sponsored by the involved businesses. Jason Lacey’s Affordable Care Act Considerations in Mergers and Acquisitions illustrates how M&A activity must now carefully consider healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) to ensure the buyer of a business knows what potential legal issues it is buying.
  4. Finally, Joe Penko’s and Pushkal Mishra’s Sections 409A and 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code: Top Compliance Pitfalls discusses the various traps that can sneak up on any of us who have executives and their compensation arrangements in our practices. The issues with executive compensation continue to be intricate and tricky. 

The Committee hopes you will join us at the upcoming Business Law Section Spring Meeting in San Francisco, CA, April 15–19, 2015. In addition to our committee and subcommittee meetings, which offer roundtable discussions of current events and other ongoing issues, the Committee is proud to sponsor the “Employee Benefit Basics for Business Attorneys” CLE session, scheduled for Friday, April 17, at 8:00 A.M. These are open sessions for registrants that provide a terrific opportunity to get more involved in the Committee’s important and diverse work. I hope you will join us!