- What We Do
- Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation strategies are a useful tool in attracting and retaining the best talent, but the laws governing the benefits are some of the most complex. Foster Garvey delivers high-quality, practical advice to clients, enabling them to provide competitive benefits and compensation packages that further their business goals while keeping compliant and within budgetary constraints.
Our attorneys advise private and public sector companies and individuals in virtually every aspect of employee benefits, executive compensation and stock, as well as other equity-based compensation law.
We regularly serve as advisors to boards, committees, trustees, general counsel and C-suite executives. Among our clients are financial institutions, professional practices, health care organizations, tax-exempt organizations (including churches) and governmental entities.
Foster Garvey emphasizes a proactive approach to inform clients of potential problems and help them stay current with trends and changes in the law. Our proactive team anticipates issues before they happen and, when disputes arise, are ready to advocate for our clients’ positions.
Foster Garvey attorneys are proud to be nationally recognized by the highly regarded Chambers USA legal directory in the Pacific Northwest, which annually interviews firm clients.
Our group's services include:
We design plans, prepare plan documents and handle operational compliance issues and Internal Revenue Service submissions for defined benefit pension plans (including cash balance plans and pension equity plans), profit-sharing plans, 401(k) plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
Plan Investments and Fiduciary Counseling
To help investment committees and plan trustees meet their obligations, we do everything from conducting training sessions for plan fiduciaries, to drafting investment policy statements, to counseling clients about prohibited transaction rules.
We assist clients undergoing Internal Revenue Service or Department of Labor audits of their employee benefit plans to resolve the audits in a timely and efficient manner.
Tax-Exempt Organization, Governmental and Church Plans
We understand and know how to apply the special legal rules that must be followed by tax-exempt organizations, governmental employers and churches for their retirement plans, including 403(b), 457(b) and 457(f) plans.
We design, document and help clients operate competitive compensation packages for executives and key management employees, including deferred compensation plans and bonus and incentive plans.
Mergers & Acquisitions and Other Corporate Transactions
In addition to conducting due diligence reviews, we negotiate and draft ERISA provisions in acquisition and sale agreements. We also design and draft change-in-control agreements, retention agreements, severance packages and window retirement programs.
To help publicly traded clients meet their governance obligations, we provide compensation committee charters and counsel clients on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
We counsel plan sponsors of insured and self-insured health plans on ERISA, ACA, COBRA and HIPAA compliance.
Fringe Benefit Plans
We help clients install and operate cafeteria plans (section 125 plans), educational assistance plans, adoption assistance plans and transportation plans.
Multiemployer (Union) Plans
We advise clients on negotiating the benefits provisions of collective bargaining agreements and on handling withdrawal liability issues, including challenging and negotiating withdrawal liability assessments.
News & Events
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 5.20.21
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 11.5.20
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 4.23.20
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 11.1.19
- "Structuring Warrants in ESOP Transactions: Avoiding Unintended Consequences,"NCEO 2020 Employee Ownership ConferenceSpeaking EngagementVirtual Event, 4.21.20
- "Cash Balance Pension Plans—Maximizing Deductions While Building Your Retirement Nest Egg," 2018 OSCPA Retirement Planning ConferenceSpeaking EngagementBeaverton, OR, 11.2.18
- Speaking EngagementSpringfield, OR, 9.21.18
- "Deferred & Incentive Compensation Plans for Closely Held Businesses, Taxation & Accounting Issues," 2017 OSCPA Employee Benefits ConferenceSpeaking EngagementPortland, OR, 10.26.17
- SeminarGarvey Schubert Barer, Seattle, WA, 9.18.12
- Speaking EngagementPortland, OR, 6.8.12
- "Hot Topics (Tax-Related) in Employee Benefits andExecutive Compensation," Oregon State Bar Taxation, Business Law and Estate Planning SectionsSpeaking EngagementPortland, OR, 11.10.11
- Downsizing, Executive Severance and 409A Tax Compliance: How to Implement a Layoff and Avoid Long-term ConsequencesSeminarGarvey Schubert Barer, Seattle, WA, 12.3.08
- "409A: Do They Really Mean It This Time," Oregon State Bar Taxation SectionSpeaking EngagementPortland, OR, 8.14.08
- "409A: End Game Strategies," Western Pension and Benefits Conference Annual MeetingSpeaking EngagementSeattle, WA, 7.13.08
- "Coping With the Final 409A Regulations - A Practitioner's Viewpoint," Oregon State Bar Taxation SectionSpeaking EngagementPortland, OR, 5.10.07
- New IRS Rules Allow for Mid-Year Changes to 401(k) Safe Harbor Contributions - But, to qualify for this, employees must receive notice by December 2, 2013 that changes might be made in 201411.27.13
- Employers Are Required to Give Employees Notice of the New Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013 - But there’s no fine or penalty for not giving the notice!9.17.13
- Voter Approved Domestic Partnership Rights: Are You Prepared for Changes to Your Employee Benefits and Policies?12.2.09
- Top 10 Questions About the New COBRA Rules: April 18 Deadline Requires Employers to Take Immediate Action3.17.09
- Failure to Amend Common Compensation Arrangements by December 31, 2008 Could Result in Huge Tax Penalties11.19.08
- Your Business Needs To Be Concerned About § 409A (Even If It Doesn't Have A Deferred Compensation Plan)10.24.08
- Portland Business Journal, 9.21.18
- Of Counsel