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Tim Kennedy focuses his practice on advising clients on legal issues pertaining to retirement plans, health and welfare benefits, executive compensation arrangements, and fringe benefits.

His experience includes assisting employers in complying with the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and advising employers on best practices in the design, implementation, and administration of employee benefit plans. Tim routinely drafts and reviews employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements, negotiates employee benefit plan service provider agreements, prepares Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determination letter filings and voluntary compliance program submissions, and counsels employee benefit plan fiduciaries on their duties under ERISA.  He also advises employers on payroll tax and reporting obligations arising from employee benefit and compensation programs.

In addition to serving private sector employers across a range of industries, Tim has significant experience with the retirement benefit programs of tax exempt and governmental employers, including 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, 457(f) arrangements, and 415(m) qualified governmental excess benefit arrangements.

Prior to joining FordHarrison, Tim was an associate in the employee benefits and executive compensation practice group of a large international corporate law firm. He also previously served as an Assistant Regional Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Social Security Administration, where he participated in the agency’s state and local government entity coverage compliance efforts, defended agency disability decisions in federal district and circuit courts, and represented the agency in employment matters before the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Representative Experience
  • Provided guidance to an employer on a defined benefit pension plan de-risking program that involved freezing a defined benefit pension plan and offering a lump sum election window to certain former defined benefit pension plan participants.
  • Advised an employer on implementing enhancements to its 401(k) plan, including the introduction of automatic enrollment, automatic contribution escalation, Roth contribution, and brokerage window features.
  • Counseled an employer transitioning its Medicare-eligible retirees to a benefit program featuring a defined contribution to a health reimbursement account (HRA) and access to a private exchange.
  • Trained the members of a retirement plan fiduciary committee on ERISA fiduciary duties and trends in enforcement and litigation.
  • Negotiated recordkeeping agreements for the qualified and nonqualified retirement plans of a hospital system that sponsored separate plans for its nonprofit and for-profit components.
  • Identified compliance issues in the retirement plans of a client’s newly-acquired subsidiaries, prepared an IRS voluntary compliance program submission that successfully obtained IRS approval of proposed corrections, and advised on the merger of the plans of the client and its subsidiaries.
  • Guided an employer through the correction of delayed distributions from nonqualified deferred compensation plans subject to Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.
Honors & Awards
  • Clarin M. Schwartz Memorial Award, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • John M. Olin Prize in Law and Economics, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Earle K. Shawe Labor Relations Award, University of Virginia School of Law