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Edmund Emerson III serves as Chair of the firm’s Employment and Employee Benefits Practices. Mr. Emerson counsels clients, including tax-exempt organizations and governmental entities, with respect to qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, welfare and fringe benefit plans, and executive compensation.
Mr. Emerson assists employers with the design, implementation, and administration of employee benefit plans. He prepares various types of tax-favored retirement plans, including 401(a), 403(b) and 457 plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). He advises clients on a broad range of benefit issues, including plan administration and compliance, DOL and IRS reporting and disclosure requirements, employee communications, benefit claims, the merger or termination of employee benefit plans, benefit issues arising in connection with acquisitions and divestitures, and deferred compensation issues arising under section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. He also advises clients on fiduciary issues and compliance and frequently provides fiduciary training programs.
Mr. Emerson frequently represents governmental employers and committees overseeing governmental plans and has extensive experience addressing the specialized needs of governmental plans, including compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws. He also negotiates and designs compensation programs, including equity-based compensation programs, employment agreements, change of control agreements, retention programs, executive severance programs, supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs), and other deferred compensation arrangements, for public and private companies and governmental organizations. In addition, Mr. Emerson often assists clients with the correction of plan operational errors and other failures, dealing with the IRS and the Department of Labor both informally and in voluntary correction programs. He also represents clients before the IRS in connection with plan audits and determination letter filings.
"Trustee Responsibilities I and II," Georgia Association of Pension Plan Trustees Certified Pension Plan Trustee School, 2014-2017
"Legal and Legislative Update," Georgia Association of Pension Plan Trustees Certified Pension Plan Trustee School, 2015-2017
“Update on Georgia Laws and IRS Compliance” Georgia Association of Pension Plan Trustees Annual Conference, 2015-2016
“IRS Compliant Language Requirements vis-à-vis Spouse, Partner, etc.,” Georgia Association of Pension Plan Trustees Annual Conference, 2014
"Roles and Responsibilities of Key Players – Fiduciary Responsibilities," Georgia Association of Pension Plan Trustees Annual Conference, 2010-2013
“Ask the Experts Panel,” UBS Fiduciary Forum, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
"Service Provider Fee Disclosures Under 408(b)(2) and Schedule C of Form 5500," American Bar Association, Joint Fall CLE Meeting (Denver, CO), October 21, 2011
"Dissecting Common Design Issues and Problem Areas Under 409A," American Conference Institute – Forum on Executive Compensation (Chicago, IL), July 2010