Overview

HunterMaclean’s ERISA and employee benefits practice group advises public, private, taxable, and tax-exempt clients on a wide variety of employee benefit issues related to the design, documentation, and administration of all forms of employee benefit plans and executive compensation programs, including pension plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, ESOPs, welfare benefit plans, stock option plans, incentive compensation programs, and post-retirement plans.

We also represent plan administrators and investment fiduciaries, advising them on a wide range of issues related to their fiduciary and administrative duties with respect to their employee benefit plans. We have extensive experience advising plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries with respect to plan investment activities, including negotiating investment management agreements and reviewing investment vehicles.

We advise clients on golden parachute, executive and equity-based compensation, and employee benefit plan issues that arise in negotiating mergers and other acquisitions or dispositions. We represent clients in working on the wide range of difficult post-merger or other business combination or disposition issues related to integrating different benefit plans, structures, and compensation policies and practices or breaking-up of such plans, structures, policies, and practices.

Experience

  • Negotiating third party services agreements on behalf of the plan sponsors, including investment management of trustee and recordkeeper agreements.
  • Meeting with and providing regular advice to five fiduciary investment committees for their $1 billion plus pension and 401 (k) plans.
  • Negotiating changes in trustee and other service providers for several large ($1 billion plus) defined benefit and 401(k) plans.
  • Assisting clients in restructuring 401(k) plan investment options, including participant communications and third party agreements.
  • Representing several large employers in the negotiations of key executive employment and deferred compensation agreements.
  • Advising a large tax-exempt organization on compensation issues for key employees under the “intermediate sanctions” provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Advising and representing clients under the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System and Department of Labor Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program to correct certain plan qualification failures and improper fiduciary actions.
  • Representing employers of all sizes in Department of Labor and IRS audits of 401(k) and welfare benefit plans.

Publications & Presentations

Publications

Much Ado About 401(k) Fees

Most business conflicts risk only business assets, but both personal liability and criminal penalties are possible under ERISA, the federal law that governs 401(k) plans. Attorney Rebecca Sczepanski discusses 401(k) plans in this article for Business in Savannah.

Read more »

Hobby Lobby: Planting Confusion on the Contraceptive Mandate

The United States Supreme Court’s 2013 Term ended June 30 with the high-profile Hobby Lobby opinion, which raised more questions than it answered. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, as applied to for-profit closely-held corporations with religious objections, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and is therefore unlawful. The full impact of the Hobby Lobby decision is yet to be seen and developments occur daily.

Read more »

Short ACA Enrollment Window May Offer COBRA Cost Saving

New options available under the Affordable Care Act may provide savings for employers providing COBRA coverage, for newly eligible COBRA beneficiaries, and for a short window of time, for current COBRA beneficiaries as well. These coverage options introduce new opportunities for employers to reduce COBRA costs and new complexities in coordinating coverage and severance benefits.

Read more »

401(k) Plan Expenses: High Courts, High Stakes

Having a well-managed retirement plan is a benefit for employees, their beneficiaries, and their employer. High-profile cases currently working their way through the courts illustrate the high stakes associated with a failure to monitor and manager 401(k) plan fees and expenses. CEOs need to be vigilant about clearly defining and fulfilling fiduciary responsibilities when it comes to managing retirement plans.

 

Read more »

Fiduciary Responsibility for 401(k) Plans

HunterMaclean attorney Rebecca Sczepanski discusses fiduciary responsibility for retirements plans in today’s ever-changing regulatory environment.

Read more »


Expand Collapse

Presentations

Estate Planning with Retirement Accounts

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski for the ICLE Fiduciary Law Institute in St. Simons Island, GA, on July 15, 2016.

Read more »

Designing the Future of Welfare Benefit Plans

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at the SHRM Georgia State Council Annual Conference in Savannah, Georgia, on August 31, 2015.

Read more »

Managing Legal Risks and Fiduciary Responsibilities for Defined Contribution Plans

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski and Julia Butler at the SHRM Georgia State Council Annual Conference in Savannah, Georgia, on August 31, 2015.

Read more »

Healthcare Reform: ACA Reporting Requirements

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at a Breakfast & Learn on June 3, 2015, at the Savannah Golf Club.

Read more »

ACA/Obamacare: What Employers Need to Know

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at Employment Law: Beyond the Basics, a Sterling Education seminar, on May 14, 2015, in Savannah, Georgia.

Read more »

Meeting Fiduciary Duties, Reducing Liabilities, and Improving Effectiveness

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at the 2015 Savannah Fiduciary Seminar on April 30, 2015, at the Savannah Golf Club.

Read more »

Health Care Reform: Impact on Health Care Insurance and Employee Benefits

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at the NBI Employment Law: 2014 Comprehensive Guide on December 10, 2014.

Read more »

What You Need to Know Now About the Affordable Care Act

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at Employment Law Update in Georgia, a seminar by Lorman Education Services, on August 8, 2014, in Albany, Georgia.

Read more »

ACA/ERISA/Retirement Plans: Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at TSAC-SHRM Annual Retreat on July 24, 2014.

Read more »

Leveraging the CPA’s Consulting Expertise: Increasing Awareness of Employee Benefits Issues

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski to CPAs and financial professionals at Hancock Askew & Associates on June 17, 2014, in Savannah, Georgia.

Read more »

ACA/Obamacare: What Employers Need to Know

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski at Employment Law: Beyond the Basics, a Sterling Education seminar, on June 3, 2014, in Savannah, Georgia.

Read more »

The Inattentive Fiduciary: Risks, Costs, and Tips

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski on May 29, 2014, in Savannah, Georgia, at a seminar on Meeting Fiduciary Duties, Reducing Liabilities, and Improving Effectiveness of 401(k) and Defined Contribution Plans.

Read more »

ACA/ERISA/Retirement Plans: Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now

Presented at the Hardwood Manufacturer’s Association National Conference on March 13, 2014, by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

Benefits: Health Insurance, Flex Spending and Retirement Plans

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski on September 19, 2013, at HR Law: What You Need to Know Now, a seminar by the National Business Institute.

Read more »

ACA & Other Developments in Employment Law

Presented by Rebecca L. Sczepanski on September 19, 2013, at HR Law: What You Need to Know Now, a seminar by the National Business Institute.

Read more »

Affordable Care Act: Your Questions Answered

Presented at Employers Like Me/Georgia Tech on August 22, 2013, by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

An Exchange of Ideas: Evolving Models of Purchasing and Taxing Health Coverage Under PPACA

Presented at Healthcare Reform Current Updates for TSAC-SHRM in Rincon, Georgia, on April 26, 2013, by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

What Labor & Employment Attorneys Need to Know About Employer Health Care Obligations: Negotiating Medical Plan Options, COBRA Notices, and Protecting Employee Information Under HIPAA

Presented at the ACI Compensation & Benefits Boot Camp for Labor & Employment Practitioners in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 25, 2011, by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

Pension Overview: How Retirement Plans Really Work

An American Society of Employers, Learning and Advancement Course taught by Rebecca L. Sczepanski from 2004 to 2007 in Southfield, Michigan.

Read more »

New Plan Loan Rules

Presented for Women in Employee Benefits in January 2003 by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

Final 401(a)(9) Regulations Overview

Presented for Women in Employee Benefits in Southfield, Michigan, in May 2002 by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

Ding Dong, the Same Desk Rule Is Dead - Or Is It?

Presented for the Employee Benefits Committee of the State Bar of Michigan in May 2002 by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

New Proposed 401(a)(9) Regulations

Presented for Women in Employee Benefits in August 2001 by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »

Prohibited Transactions and Fiduciary Issues with Benefit Plan Investments

Presented at the Michigan Employee Benefits Conference in May 2001 by Rebecca L. Sczepanski.

Read more »


Expand Collapse

News

Savannah Fiduciary Seminar Provides Online Information for 401(k) and Defined Contribution Plan Managers and Administrators

The Savannah Fiduciary Seminar has made the 2015 presentations and exhibits available online in the form of podcasts, PDFs, and PowerPoint presentations. The Seminar presents important information for 401(k) and Defined Contribution Plan managers and administrators.

Read more »

Georgia CEO: HunterMaclean Marks 135 Years in the Practice of Law

The year 2014 marks the 135th anniversary of HunterMaclean. Lucy Adams from Georgia CEO interviewed Managing Partner Frank Macgill regarding HunterMaclean’s history, areas of expertise, milestone anniversary, and future.

Read more »

HunterMaclean ERISA Attorney Rebecca Sczepanski Presents in Seminar on Defined Contribution Plans

HunterMaclean ERISA Attorney Rebecca Sczepanski presented on a panel of local fiduciary professionals on May 29, 2014 at the Savannah Golf Club. The informational seminar covered meeting fiduciary duties, reducing liabilities, and improving effectiveness of 401(k) and defined contribution plans

Read more »

25 HunterMaclean Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America® 2014

HunterMaclean is pleased to announce that 25 lawyers from the firm were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.

Read more »

Businesses scramble to comply with same-sex ruling: Supreme Court decision to bring changes in retirement, healthcare, other employee benefits

Rebecca Sczepanski spoke with Mary Mayle from Savannah Morning News about how the recent changes in DOMA will affect businesses.

Read more »

Employee Benefits Attorney Rebecca Sczepanski speaks with WJCL about the impact of the Supreme Court DOMA decision.

Employee benefits attorney Rebecca Sczepanski stopped by the WJCL/WTGS studios to talk with Rob Macko about Wednesday’s Supreme Court rulings regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and California Proposition 8.

Read more »

Attorney Rebecca L. Sczepanski Joins HunterMaclean’s ERISA and Employee Benefits Group

Attorney Rebecca L. Sczepanski has officially joined HunterMaclean’s ERISA and Employee Benefits Practice Group. She brings extensive experience advising for-profit and non-profit clients on ERISA and employee benefits issues.

Read more »

HunterMaclean Honored with First-Tier Rankings in 2013 Edition of U.S. News - Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”

Nine HunterMaclean practices were recognized by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers withFirst-Tier rankings.

Read more »

28 HunterMaclean Attorneys Among 'Best'

HunterMaclean, a business law firm with offices in Savannah and Brunswick, has announced that 28 lawyers from the firm were selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013.

Read more »


Expand Collapse

Videos & Podcasts

Videos

Video: Fiduciary Seminar for Administrators and Sponsors of 401(k) and Defined Contribution Plans

ERISA/Employee Benefits attorney Rebecca Sczepanski  joined Julia Butler of The Fiduciary Group, Randall Webb of TJS Deemer Dana LLPand Rick Pummill of The Retirement Plan Company in a seminar presentation on meeting fiduciary duties, reducing liabilities, and improving effectiveness of 401(k) and defined contribution plans.

Read more »

Podcasts

Podcast: Rebecca Sczepanski presents at the 2015 Savannah Fiduciary Seminar

In this HunterMaclean podcast Rebecca Sczepanski presents on identifying fiduciaries, tips and best practices for avoiding or mitigating risk associated with retirement plan fiduciaries, and an update of major fiduciary litigation.

Read more »

Spotlight

2015 Savannah Fiduciary Seminar

The Savannah Fiduciary Seminar is a panel of five experienced professionals in the field of defined contribution plans who come together to share insights and practical tips on meeting key fiduciary duties of sponsors and administrators in participant-directed 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. The 2015 event was held at the Savannah Golf Club on April 30.

Read more »

Fiduciary seminar ERISA Rebecca Sczepanski

Seminar on 401(k) and Defined Contribution Plans

Employee Benefits/ERISA attorney Rebecca Sczepanski presented an update on litigation and rulings related to 401(k) and defined contribution plans as part of a Fiduciary seminar for plan administrators and sponsors.

Read more »