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An important aspect of mergers and acquisitions involves addressing employee benefits integration issues. Trest regularly conducts due diligence on the employee benefits arrangements maintained by buyers and sellers to ensure the absence of hidden liabilities and operational failures that jeopardize regulatory compliance and tax status. We also advise employers on how to integrate employee benefits arrangements in a seamless manner. Maintaining employee morale during transactions can prove to be a difficult task – that’s why we work carefully to ensure that benefits are not interrupted during transactions and that employees don’t have the perception that their benefits have been adversely affected. We make recommendations on pre-closing and post-closing benefits integration and dispositions, write the applicable portion of the purchase agreement and work with other service providers to address the disposition of benefits.

Compliance Audits

Trest performs preemptive audits of plan documentation, operation and administration to enable plan sponsors to correct non-compliance prior to a regulatory examination, which allows the avoidance of costly fees and penalties.

Defense of Regulatory Audits

Trest aggressively defends IRS, PBGC and DOL employee benefit plan audits. Our professionals prepare the client for the examination onsite and organize responsive documents, after limiting the scope of the review.

Government Plans

Our employee benefits lawyers and consultants are experienced in counseling Federal, State and local levels of government on the operation and administration of public sector retirement and health and welfare plans.

Retirement Plan Design

Our professionals assist the client in defining their goals and objectives in offering defined contribution, defined benefit and executive retirement benefits and strategically recommends designs based upon the client’s intentions. Our professionals assist the client in defining their goals and objectives.

Participant Communications

We bring a broad knowledge of best practices to our benefits communications strategy, and ensure that the complexity, tone and presentation is appropriate for the audience. Our team is uniquely qualified to serve as an organization’s resource in preparing these documents.

Fiduciary Advice and Governance

Our talented employee benefits lawyers have decades of experience advising plan fiduciaries on their fiduciary duties and on the avoidance of fiduciary status. We also provide guidance on prohibited transactions, including self-dealing and party-in-interest transactions.

Forms 5500

Trest works directly with the plan sponsor and the service providers to obtain the information necessary to prepare the Form 5500 and all of the applicable schedules, as Forms 5500 are the most important informational returns filed on behalf of employee benefits plans with the content easily subjecting the employee benefit arrangement to costly regulatory examination.

Investments

We regularly negotiate investment management and advisory agreements on behalf of retirement plans, as well as instruments governing alternative investments, including subscription agreements to private placement memorandums.