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Executive compensation and employee benefits

The corporate lawyers at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper (NGC) help businesses and business owners throughout Ohio navigate the complex world of executive compensation and employee benefits law.

Innovative and diverse forms of compensation are becoming increasingly popular as part of employee compensation packages.  Employee benefit plans must comply with a host of state and federal laws, such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the voluminous income tax code.  When the employees in question are highly-paid executives, the benefit plans and compensation packages tend to get more exotic and fall subject to additional federal and state regulation as well as government, public and media scrutiny.

Companies that are publicly traded must further comply with federal securities laws enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Public companies must file with the SEC disclosures and other documents such as the annual proxy statement and the Summary Compensation Table regarding the compensation packages of CEOs, CFOs and other high-ranking executives.

Our attorneys provide comprehensive legal assistance to business and corporate clients.

  • Advice in age-weighted plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
  • Assistance in designing distribution schedules to comply with the complicated IRS rules and regulations regarding required beginning dates and minimum required distributions
  • Assistance in selecting the appropriate tax-effective beneficiaries
  • Assistance in setting up golden handcuffs
  • Assistance in setting up golden parachutes
  • Assistance in setting up salary continuation plans outside of the nondiscriminative rules of ERISA
  • Deferred compensation agreements
  • Design of plans and advice to corporations in adopting prototype plans of third-party providers in order to meet the clients’ specific needs
  • Development of IRA’s and 401(k) plans
  • Employment agreements
  • Incentive compensation arrangements
  • Stock option arrangements
  • Supplemental retirement benefits

Representative matters