Legal and Consulting Advice
The regulatory terrain for pension and benefit plans is complex and becoming more so as governments introduce new legislation, governance guidelines and investment rules. Pierlot Pension Law helps retirement plan sponsors and administrators with legal, strategic and consulting advice on all aspects of retirement plan administration and compliance. Key areas on which the firm provides advice include the following:
Good communication and education are essential to ensuring that members understand the value of a retirement plan, are realistic about what it can deliver and receive all information to which they are entitled.
With significant experience delivering educational seminars to pension plan members in unionized and non-unionized workplaces, Pierlot Pension Law can help employers develop and deliver effective member-education programs.
Many pension plans are administered by a pension committee or board of trustees with representation from sponsoring employers, plan members and retirees. Each of these groups has a common interest in ensuring that a pension plan remains sustainable, secure and fair to all stakeholders over the long-term time horizon of a pension plan. Effective communication among board/committee members is essential to ensuring this outcome.
Where disputes among pension stakeholders arise, Pierlot Pension Law can help by providing mediation or arbitration assistance. Parties may provide their submissions in writing or in person at a location of their preference.
Whether a pension plan has one participating employer or many, the roles of plan sponsors (usually employers) and plan administrators are very different.
In a single-employer plan, the employer has a dual role: wearing the "sponsor hat", the employer establishes and maintains a pension plan for a business purpose, such as to attract and retain good employees or to comply with a collective-bargaining agreement; wearing the "administrator hat", the employer has a fiduciary duty to act in the interest of pension plan members and retirees. In the multi-employer environment, the sponsor and administrator roles are separate and most plans are administered by boards of trustees, which may be composed of employer and member representatives. Whether a pension plan is administered by a board of directors, a pension committee or a board of trustees, the duties of plan administrators are complex and can entail considerable fiduciary liability – particularly with respect to the management of pension assets.
Pierlot Pension Law has significant experience delivering training programs to assist pension committees, boards and support staff to discharge their fiduciary and administrative duties effectively. Training programs may address some or all of the following topics, in accordance with each administrator's requirements: