George J. Kasper is a partner in the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits practice where employers and plan fiduciaries seek his counsel on all types of employee benefit plans, including defined benefit pension plans, 401(k) and 403(b) plans, multiemployer plans, medical benefit plans, cafeteria plans, and disability plans.
Pulling from many years of diverse experience, George designs retirement and health care programs to meet the needs of today’s employers and their workforces. He has substantial experience with executive compensation issues and drafts non-qualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive retirement plans, severance plans, change-in-control agreements and stock-based compensation plans.
Employers seek George's advice to work with them to manage the transition of employees and their benefits during and after a merger or acquisition, as well as ERISA issues stemming from investing in and structuring private equity and similar investments. He is sought after for his advice to employers and administrative committees on the fiduciary oversight of ERISA plans, including retirement plan investments, appropriate plan expenses, claims for benefits, self-funded health plans, and other plan administration issues. George has significant experience representing employers on IRS and Department of Labor audits and enforcement actions.
In June 2014, the Governor of Connecticut appointed George to the newly-established Connecticut Retirement Security Board. The Board explored options for a state-sponsored retirement plan for employers of small private sector employers and submitted a comprehensive proposal in April 2016 to implement the plan.
IRS Compliance Programs
- Represented large retirement plans in a variety of IRS correction program filings involving operational and non-amender failures
- Represented large financial institution before the IRS in compliance procedures necessary to correct prior plan document and administrative failures
- Represented tax-exempt employers, including one that had numerous operational failures in its 403(b) plan, significantly reducing the penalty. Redesigned and redrafted the client’s benefits program
- Assisted clients in audits and reviews of retirement plans, ESOPs, and executive compensation arrangements at both the IRS and the Department of Labor
- Represented clients on recent DOL investigations of health plan compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and HIPAA
- Revised clients’ executive compensation programs and documents to comply with Section 409A of the Code, including a thorough review of clients’ plans in connection with a merger and sale
- Assisted clients in utilizing IRS correction programs for 409A compliance failures
- Advised clients on the DOL delinquent filer voluntary compliance program (DFVC) and filing of statement for top-hat retirement plan
- Advised numerous 401(k) plan committees regarding adoption of safe harbor formula and Roth accounts. Drafted necessary plan amendments and employee communication materials
- Reviewed documentation prepared by mutual fund company and outside consultant for use with individual retirement accounts (IRA)
- Examined the effect of an employer’s rehiring of former employees on the employer’s pension and health insurance plans
- Addressed vesting and distribution issues for a municipal pension fund
- Advised global technology company on offering retirement benefits to its U.S. and Puerto Rico resident employees
- Addressed the impact of a service industry employer’s controlled group status on compliance with the ERISA and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Advised medical practice group regarding impact of acquisitions on retirement and health plans, including application of controlled group and affiliated service group rules under the Internal Revenue Code
- Negotiated terms of group health plan administrative service agreement and stop loss insurance policy for large health care organization
Severance and Claims Issues
- Reviewed and reworked severance arrangements for numerous tax-exempt clients; revised standard “Change of Control” Agreements and reviewed relevant corporate board materials
- Negotiated settlement of pension eligibility dispute and severance arrangement for U.S.-based executive of international media company securing multi-million dollar pension benefit
- Participated as a member of the Connecticut Retirement Security Board and proposed legislation establishing the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority and Marketplace.
- Assisted with design and implementation of hybrid/defined benefit-defined contribution retirement program for a town and its police officers
- Reviewed and advised town pension board on various alternative investment offerings
- American Bar Association - Tax Section, Joint Committee on Employee Benefits
- Connecticut Bar Association - Tax Section Executive Committee, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (2014-2015)
- Society for Human Resources Management, Southern Connecticut Chapter
- Greater Bridgeport Bar Association
- New England Employee Benefits Council
- Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Hartford Chapter
- Bridgeport Regional Business Council - Health Care Council
- Council on Law in Higher Education
- Lifebridge Community Services, Inc. - board of directors
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Fairfield County Chapter - past board member
- Connecticut Retirement Security Board - past board member