Morgan Lewis

Defined Benefit and Cash Balance Plans

Our work with defined benefit pension plans is one of the core areas of our practice. Our experience encompasses collectively bargained plans, conversions from one type of plan to another, plan terminations, and issues in spin-offs, mergers and divestitures. Our lawyers and benefit advisors have worked with some of the largest employers in the country in redesigning their traditional defined benefit plans.

These projects have included the integration and rationalization of diverse benefit structures resulting from multiple corporate acquisitions and mergers, and have frequently involved the establishment of cash balance plans or conversion of traditional defined benefit plans to a cash balance formula. We have guided our clients with respect to the tax qualification and potential age discrimination issues that arise from these plans.

We also have extensive experience with creative methods for optimal use of pension surplus. These have included the establishment of QSERPs, plan mergers designed primarily for funding purposes, and other innovative techniques.