Howard Kirkpatrick’s practice focuses on employee benefits law, including all aspects of ERISA. He has experience in designing, drafting, and providing advice regarding plan administration and compliance for all types of employee benefit and executive compensation programs, including tax-qualified and non-tax-qualified retirement and deferred compensation plans (such as 401(k) plans, 403(b), 451, 457, and employee stock purchase plans) and health and welfare benefit plans.
Howard has considerable experience advising employee benefit plan service providers (such as record-keepers, plan administrators, and investment advisors) in connection with their services to their clients. In addition, he has experience with collectively bargained multiemployer plans (“Taft-Hartley plans”) and advises clients on multiple employer plan issues, including controlled group and affiliated service group rules and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs).
Howard regularly advises clients on day-to-day general employee benefit plan administration matters, including the impact of various legal and regulatory changes on their plans, cutting-edge strategies to help simplify plan administration and reflect current best practices, and drafting and negotiating vendor contracts.
Howard also advises clients on all aspects of ERISA fiduciary compliance affecting employee benefit plans, including ERISA Section 404(c) compliance, the prudent selection of service providers, satisfaction of ERISA disclosure obligations, prohibited transactions, fiduciary governance, and litigation relating to claims alleging breach of ERISA’s fiduciary rules.