skip to content
Employee Benefits

Employee Benefits


Smith Moore Leatherwood's employee benefits and ERISA attorneys have significant experience in the design, drafting, establishment and ongoing administration of all types of employee benefit arrangements.  We deal regularly with the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service on issues of plan qualification, audits and compliance.  We design deferred compensation and welfare benefit plans and counsel companies concerning retirement plan qualification, reporting and disclosure, operational requirements for qualified plans including participation, vesting and contribution limits, and plan terminations.  We address the effects of mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs on retirement and welfare plans, taxation of distributions from qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, COBRA notification and coverage requirements, and employee benefit issues arising in collective bargaining negotiations.

Our attorneys regularly design incentive compensation plans to attract and retain key employees; advise clients of requirements to maintain qualified status of retirement plans; assist with day-to-day administrative issues arising under benefit plans; handle plan amendments, mergers and terminations of plans resulting from business acquisitions.

In addition to having served as benefits counsel in a $1 billion acquisition involving the purchase by a for-profit corporation of a tax-exempt entity, we have addressed the following issues for our clients:

Qualified and Tax-Favored Retirement Plans

  • IRC § 401(k), Profit-Sharing and Keogh Plans
  • Defined Benefit Pension Plans
  • Collectively Bargained Plans
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans ("ESOPs")
  • Individual Retirement Accounts
  • IRC § 403(b) and IRC § 457 Plans for Nonprofit Employers
  • IRS corrections procedures for operational and document compliance

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Retirement Plans

  • Stock Plans for Foreign Corporations
  • Incentive Stock Options and Nonstatutory Stock Options Insurance-based Deferred Compensation (e.g., split-dollar insurance)
  • Trust-based and Unfunded Deferred Compensation
  • Phantom Stock and Restricted Stock
  • Golden Parachutes and other Employment Agreements

Welfare Benefit Plans and Issues

  • IRC § 125 Plans, Including Full Benefit Cafeteria Plans, Premium Conversion Only Plans and Flexible Spending Account Plans
  • Medical, Life and AD&D Insurance, Employee Assistance Programs, and Short- and Long-term Disability Plans
  • Severance Pay Plans, Dependent Care Assistance Programs, and Other Taxable and Nontaxable Welfare Benefit Plans
  • Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations ("VEBAs")
  • Health Insurance Portability
  • COBRA Requirements
  • Third-Party Administrative Contracts


(864) 751-7606
(910) 815-7166
(336) 378-5294

Each of our lawyer's e-mail address is provided with his or her biography. If you are not a current client of our firm, you should not e-mail our lawyers with any confidential information or any information about a specific legal matter, given that our firm may presently represent persons or companies who have interests that are adverse to you. If you are not a current client and you e-mail any lawyer in our firm, you do so without any expectation of confidentiality. We will not establish a professional relationship with you via e-mail. Instead, you should contact our firm by telephone so that we can determine whether we are in a position to consult with you about any legal matters before you share any confidential or sensitive information with us.