Today I welcome back Marcia Wagner, ERISA Attorney and founder of the Wagner Law Group, to tackle the not so straightforward lifecycle of a 401(k) or workplace retirement plan document. Logically we start at the beginning on what it takes to create a 401(k) plan document, and move through common steps to maintain a document and things that happen along the journey, and close with terminating a retirement plan. With several changes in rules, IRS programs and some general confusion in many of these areas, this was a fun and informative conversation that hopefully helps you as much as it did me!
Marcia S. Wagner is the founder of The Wagner Law Group, a certified woman-owned and operated business and one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded boutique law firms, specializing in ERISA, employee benefits, executive compensation, employment, labor, human resources, personal law (estate planning, family and immigration) and investment management law.
Ms. Wagner has been practicing employee benefits law for over 32 years. She founded The Wagner Law Group more than 20 years ago and is the Firm’s Managing Partner. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Ms. Wagner is an authority on employee benefits matters, including qualified and non-qualified plans, fiduciary issues, deferred compensation, and welfare benefit arrangements. Her experience in employee benefits includes plan design, drafting and preparation, compliance, tax planning and consultation on all aspects of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. She consults with law firms, employee benefits organizations, and corporate and public plan sponsors, and serves as an expert witness in ERISA litigation.
She counsels plan sponsors on qualified plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, multiple employer plans (MEPs), IRAs, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), executive compensation arrangements and retiree medical benefits in matters involving plan operation and maintenance, plan terminations, mergers and acquisitions, tax treatment of plan participants, use of life insurance and annuities, and derisking of pension liabilities.
Ms. Wagner also specializes in Title I of ERISA, and has obtained advisory opinions, information letters and prohibited transaction exemptions from the U.S. Department of Labor. She handles fiduciary matters impacting plan sponsors, investment and other fiduciary committees, investment managers and advisors, recordkeepers, broker-dealers, banks, and other financial services firms. Ms. Wagner advises clients on the avoidance and rectification of prohibited transactions, the development of compliance programs, and investment policies. She is a renowned expert in issues concerning pension plan investments and fiduciary issues, and her opinion has been sought by noted authorities in the employee benefits area, including governmental agencies.
Ms. Wagner works on Department of Labor, IRS and PBGC audits of plans as well as of financial institutions that service plans, and has negotiated numerous favorable closing agreements.
She was appointed Chair of the Employee Plans subcommittee of the IRS Tax Exempt & Government Entities Advisory Committee and received that agency’s highest honor. She is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is the recipient of more than 50 professional honors.
Finally, Ms. Wagner has written hundreds of articles and 15 books. She is a highly sought after lecturer, and is widely quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Pension & Investments. She has been a guest on Fox, CNN, Bloomberg, and NBC.
401(k) Fridays Podcast Overview
Struggling with a fiduciary issue, looking for strategies to improve employee retirement outcomes or curious about the impact of current events on your retirement plan? We've had conversations with retirement industry leaders to address these and other relevant topics! You can easily explore over 150 prior on-demand audio interviews here. Don't forget to subscribe as we release a new episode each Friday!