Defined Benefit (Pension) Plans

Defined benefit plans, including both traditional pension plans and cash balance plans, present unique and often complex design and compliance issues for employers. Defined benefit plans are subject to a host of statutory and regulatory requirements that do not apply to 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. Frost Brown Todd's employee benefits team has extensive experience helping clients navigate the ever-changing legal landscape in which defined benefit plans operate. Whether you want to explore adopting a new plan, terminate a mature plan, or anything in between, we can help. Some of the services we provide in this area include:

  • Preparing Plan Documents
    • Initial documents for a new plan
    • Amendments to change or freeze benefit formula or implement other design changes
    • Amendments required to maintain tax-qualification status or terminate a plan 
  • Providing or reviewing Participant Disclosures and Administrative Forms
    • Summary plan descriptions and summary of material modifications
    • Notice of change or freeze in benefit formula
    • Notice of benefit payment restrictions due to the funding level of the plan
    • Benefit distribution election packages and forms
    • Qualified domestic relations order procedures and model forms
    • Administrative operating manual and internal administrative guidelines 
  • Plan Administration Advice and Counsel
    • Advice on benefit claims and distributions
    • Review of qualified domestic relations orders
    • Review of Form 5500s
    • Guidance on Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) reporting obligations
    • Correction of plan errors – through self-correction or a Voluntary Compliance Correction Program submission to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Withdrawal Liability  
    • Advice related to withdrawal liability in connection with a complete withdrawal or partial withdrawal from a multi-employer pension plan
    • Advice related to withdrawal liability obligations in connection with corporate transactions