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Jason Levy helps clients navigate complex issues related to employee benefits and executive compensation, including compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. Mr. Levy utilizes his deep knowledge in the ERISA space and his background as a former litigator to craft advice that is both practical and strategic. His practice includes:

  • counseling on design, establishment, administration, and maintenance of qualified defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plans;
  • designing, drafting, and amending a wide range of executive compensation arrangements, including nonqualified deferred compensation plans, equity incentive plans, and change in control bonus plans;
  • representing employment, human resources, and benefit interests in mergers and acquisitions;
  • advising clients on multiemployer plan operations and risk management, including withdrawal liability and plan funding issues; and
  • providing benefits expertise in legislative initiatives.

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Advised Illumina, Inc. on employee benefits and executive compensation matters in its $1.2 billion acquisition of Pacific Biosciences.
  • Advise private equity and corporate clients regarding multiemployer plan issues in corporate transactions, including valuing and managing contingent withdrawal liability risk.

Tax Qualified Plans and Executive Compensation

  • Counsel clients ranging from small companies to the nation’s largest employers on design, creation, administration, and governance of tax qualified retirement plans.
  • Advise on all aspects of nonqualified plan design and administration for Fortune 500 companies, including Code Section 409A compliance issues.
  • Provide analysis and counsel concerning emerging multiemployer legislation, as well as proposals to address PBGC multiemployer program funding.
  • Negotiate and draft employment agreements for high-level executives.
  • Comprehensive compliance review and advice concerning use of VEBAs and other funding mechanisms for health and welfare benefits.
  • Counsel clients with respect to pension fund investments in private equity funds and hedge funds.

Pension Plan De-Risking

  • Advised WestRock Company in one of the largest U.S. pension transfers — the settlement of $2.5 billion in pension obligations via the purchase of a group annuity contract covering approximately 35,000 retirees and beneficiaries.
  • Advised Fiduciary Counselors as independent fiduciary for a JC Penney pension plan regarding an annuity purchase.
  • Successfully defended Verizon Communications and Verizon’s in-house fiduciaries against claims that one of the largest de-risking annuity purchases of its kind was contrary to plan terms and constituted a breach of fiduciary duty. Lee v. Verizon Communications Inc., 2015 WL 4880972 (5th Cir. 2015).

Fiduciary Advice

  • Advise plan fiduciaries regarding their obligations under ERISA, including their duties with respect to plan assets, plan expenses, and prohibited transactions.
  • Drafted several Comment Letters and successfully engaged in follow-up advocacy concerning changes to proposed Fiduciary Conflict Rule and Best Interest Contract Exemption.

Investigations

  • Internal investigation for public investment fund relating to selection of vendors to execute equity trading.

Pro Bono

  • Give presentations and trainings on benefits topics for U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program.
  • § 1983 action against the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana police department and other individuals allegedly responsible for the criminal investigation and prosecution of a plaintiff who was released after 15 years of wrongful incarceration.