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Debra Hoffman has practiced in the employee benefit and executive compensation area for over 30 years and had significant depth and breadth in all relevant areas, both in the domestic and international context. Her practice focuses exclusively in the areas of employee benefit plans and executive compensation and she advises both public and private clients daily with respect to on-going benefits and executive compensation matters, such as issues relating to employment agreements, equity and equity-based arrangements (including for LLCs and non-corporate entities), deferred compensation arrangements (including application of Code Section 409A), bonus and incentive arrangements (including application of Code Section 162(m)), severance agreements, change in control/golden parachute issues, governmental audits, pension de-risking, and compliance issues (including the IRS and DOL voluntary compliance submissions). Debra also advises creditors and debtors in connection with various types of financing structures, bankruptcy and reorganizations. In addition, Debra has extensive expertise with respect to issues arise in the context of corporate transactions, including divestures, acquisitions, mergers, spin-offs, and initial public offerings.

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Acknowledging the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US IRS and Treasury Department have issued notices granting much-sought flexibility for health and dependent care flexible spending accounts and health plans.  The relief includes permission for plan sponsors to amend their Section 125 cafeteria plans to allow employees to make prospective changes to their elections,

For almost all US public companies, COVID-19 has created unique and very profound challenges. For the board of directors, which is charged with overseeing the short-term and long-term health of the corporation and its business prospects, navigating the COVID-19 crisis requires careful consideration of a range of issues under these unprecedented circumstances. This Legal Update

The majority of the benefit and compensation provisions of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) provide critical relief to companies and rank and file employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (see our previous blog posts on the impact of the CARES Act on health and welfare plans, on the impact on retirement plans, and on executive compensation, employment, leave and payroll tax issues). In addition to supporting their general employee population, most company boards of directors (or applicable board committees) are also grappling with the unique issues relating to compensation and benefits of their executive employees at an uncertain time when such employees are critical to the company’s ability to weather the storm. The following is a summary of key executive compensation issues that boards and executives may want to consider during these trying times.

Continue Reading Key Issues for Companies to Consider Regarding the Impact of COVID-19 On Executive Compensation

In the second of a series, our benefits team takes an in depth look at the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act” or the “Act”) affecting retirement plans. For a description of changes affecting health and welfare plans, see our prior post.

Retirement Plans

Tax-Favored Coronavirus-Related Distributions

The CARES Act introduces a new category of withdrawals, referred to as “coronavirus-related distributions,” under retirement plans. These withdrawals are eligible for beneficial tax treatment that is not available to withdrawals from retirement plans that do not satisfy the requirements of a coronavirus-related distribution.


Continue Reading CARES ACT – Changes for Retirement Plans

In a significant US legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into federal law on March 18, includes a broad requirement that group health plans and health insurance issuers provide coverage for COVID-19 testing without cost sharing, prior authorization or other medical management requirements. Read more about this legislative