Jeffrey has a broad ERISA practice, counselling clients regarding virtually all types of employee benefit plans and programs, and on benefits-related and employment-related tax matters. He focuses primarily on design, drafting and advising on the administration of all types of qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation plans and arrangements, including those for tax-exempt and governmental employers, as well as welfare benefit plans and fringe benefits. Jeffrey designs and deals with deferred compensation and other executive compensation plans and programs, including stock options and other equity-based programs. He also has an extensive tax background which complements his benefits practice, and he counsels clients on various plan-related and employment-related tax matters, such as complying with the deferred compensation tax requirements or application of the employment tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Jeffrey deals with the various government agencies that regulate employee benefits, including the Internal Revenue Service, United States Department of Labor, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and others. This could involve obtaining a ruling from the IRS on the tax qualification of a pension plan, representing a client in an audit of its benefit plan(s) by the Labor Department or handling employee-classification inquiries or examinations by the IRS.
His practice also involves the fiduciary responsibility provisions of ERISA, as well as prohibited transaction provisions of both ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. In most situations, he advises clients on their fiduciary duties and the best ways to avoid liability under those rules, but in appropriate cases, an exemption may be sought,
Prior to joining Ford & Harrison, Jeffrey practiced with another law firm in New York for twenty-four years. Prior to that, he served as Deputy General Counsel of a New York City bank, and before that was with the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C.
- Amending numerous clients' retirement plans for compliance with various recent law and regulatory changes, and, when appropriate, submission of applications for Internal Revenue Service determination letters.
- Negotiating favorable settlements with the Internal Revenue Service in matters involving potential disqualification of qualified retirement plans.
- Amending plans and policies for numerous not-for-profit organizations in order to comply with current changes in the applicable law and regulations, including various issues peculiar to tax-exempt employers.
- Filing applications under various governmental correction programs maintained by IRS and DOL for violations of Internal Revenue Code and/or ERISA requirements.
- Negotiating with a large multiemployer plans in order to minimize withdrawal liability assessments against clients who were engaging in sales of businesses and other transactions.
- Advising clients regarding treatment of employee benefit plans and programs in mergers and other corporate transactions, and assisting in taking necessary actions.
- Design and drafting of equity compensation programs and other executive compensation plans and arrangements.
- Advising tax-exempt employers regarding deferred compensation programs and other matters pertaining to compensation of their executives, such as potential excise tax liability.
- Advising employers regarding tax and employee benefit aspects of international employee transfers and secondments, both inbound and outbound.
- Assisting plan sponsors and administrators with DOL and IRS examinations.
- Assisting employers with challenges to employee/independent contractor classifications, and related employment tax examinations.
- Reviewing and renegotiating administrative servicing and other agreements for plan administrator clients.
- Provided opinion to charitable foundations regarding ERISA matters, including application of ERISA controlled-group rules.
- "New York City Transit Benefit Requirement Fast Approaching," BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, November 5, 2015
- "2016 Cost of Living Increases Are Rare," Employee Benefit Adviser, November 3, 2015
- "Extending Form 5500 Deadlines," Lexology, September 9, 2015
- "Benefits You Can Offer on a Non-Taxable Basis under the N.Y. Wage Parity Act," HomeCareEmploymentLaw.com, May 25, 2015
- "Labor Department Proposes Fiduciary Conflict of Interest Rules — Again," FordHarrison Legal Alert, April 17, 2015
- "Upcoming New Rules for a New Category of PEO," Lexology, February 23, 2015
- "Employer Errors In Dealing With Additional Medicare Tax," Mondaq, November 22, 2014
- "IRS Provides Protection against Upcoming Change in Rollover Rules," FordHarrison Legal Alert, November 11, 2014
- Understanding and Drafting "Rabbi" Trusts with sample "rabbi" trust agreement, Lexis Practice Advisor, October 31, 2014
- Understanding and Drafting "Secular" Trusts with sample "secular" trust agreement, Lexis Practice Advisor, October 31, 2014
- "Business Associate Agreements May Require Amendment," FordHarrison Legal Alert, September 3, 2014
- "When is a Retirement Account not a Retirement Account?" FordHarrison Legal Alert, June 16, 2014
- "Many Employers Will Owe Increased Unemployment Tax," FordHarrison Legal Alert, April 17, 2014
- "IRS Answers Some Outstanding Questions for Same Sex Spouses," FordHarrison Legal Alert, December 17, 2013
- "IRS Modifies ‘Use It or Lose It' Rule for Health Flexible Spending Arrangements," FordHarrison Legal Alert, November 1, 2013
- "IRS Answers Residence Question for Same Sex Spouses," FordHarrison Legal Alert, September 3, 2013
- "Health Care Benefits After the Supreme Court's Windsor Decision," Bloomberg-BNA Health Care Policy Report, August 19, 2013