- What We Do
- Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
GSB delivers high-quality, practical advice to clients, enabling them to provide competitive benefits and compensation packages that further their business goals while keeping within budgetary constraints. We also help clients navigate and avoid legal problems with regulators or employees, and, if problems arise, we help resolve them quickly and cost-effectively.
Our attorneys serve as advisors to boards, committees, trustees, general counsel and key executives of private and public companies, financial institutions, professional practices, health care organizations, tax-exempt organizations (including churches) and governmental entities.
We represent both our firm’s long-standing clients as well as clients hiring us solely for advice about employee benefits and executive compensation. Many clients are referred to us by accountants, actuaries, consultants and third-party administrators, and even by other attorneys. They know and trust our legal skills and commitment to clients.
Our group's services include:
- Retirement Plans. We design plans, prepare plan documents and handle operational compliance issues and IRS 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.
- Plan Audits. We assist clients undergoing IRS or DOL 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.
- Executive Compensation. 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.
- 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.
- Corporate Governance. To help publicly traded clients meet their governance obligations, we provide compensation committee charters and counsel clients on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
- Health Plans. 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
- GSB Recognized on U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 'Best Law Firms' 2019 List; Earns Rankings in 40 Practice CategoriesGSB Newsroom, 11.1.18
- 28 GSB Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2019 List; Two Portland Lawyers Named ‘Lawyer of the Year’GSB Newsroom, 8.15.18
- GSB Newsroom, 11.1.17
- 30 GSB Attorneys Named to the 2018 The Best Lawyers in America® List; Three Lawyers Named ‘Lawyer of the Year’GSB Newsroom, 8.15.17
- GSB Press Release, 2.1.16
- GSB Press Release, 2.28.14
- GSB Press Release, 9.25.08
- "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
GSB is ranked Tier 1 for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law in Portland, Oregon.