Investing the assets of employee benefit plans (both pension and welfare) presents unique issues. That’s why we regularly advise plan sponsors and trustees on the plan asset, fiduciary conduct and prohibited transaction rules to help them comply with the numerous requirements of ERISA Title I and, to the extent possible, ensure that their investments live under ERISA.
In conjunction, we provide advice on the structural issues surrounding investments and the associated tax consequences such as unrelated business income.
Our group routinely provides legal guidance about traditional investments as well as private placements, offshore, real estate and other alternative investments. This includes advising about the prohibited transaction rules and related exemptions, investment structures and unrelated business income tax.
We have a long history of negotiating and drafting discretionary investment management agreements, side-letter agreements, investment policy statements, custodial agreements, service provider agreements and other related documents.
We regularly counsel clients on compliance with ERISA Section 404(c) when defined contribution plans permit participants to direct investments, including the selection of qualified default investments. We have provided expert advice to help several investment-managed defined contribution plans convert to participant directed.
We also routinely address issues involving the fiduciary aspects of reporting and disclosure including the representation of employee benefit plans in audits and investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.