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Gary Blachman is a partner in Ice Miller’s Employee Benefits Group where he works to protect companies from financial and legal risk by developing best practices for corporate governance and compliance policy.
 
Gary advises clients on corporate benefits issues in mergers and acquisitions, including the design and implementation of post-acquisition benefit strategies. He regularly provides fiduciary compliance training for senior executives and retirement committee members. Gary has extensive experience with IRS and U.S. Department of Labor audits, negotiating settlements and voluntary correction programs.
 
His practice involves designing and ongoing compliance for non-qualified executive compensation arrangements. Gary also advises on HIPAA-related matters, such as health coverage portability, health information privacy, data security and ongoing welfare plan compliance.
 
Prior to entering private practice, Gary served as a consultant and in-house counsel for an independent human resources and employee benefits solutions firm. In this role, he advised internal and external clients regarding federal tax, pension and health and welfare law issues; designed and maintained qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, 401(k) plans, cafeteria plans, stock bonus plans and other executive compensation arrangements and negotiated voluntary compliance matters with the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor.
 
Gary also previously served as a pension investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor where he investigated prohibited transactions and fiduciary violations. In that role, he interviewed fiduciaries, issued subpoenas, drafted voluntary compliance letters and prepared cases for litigation. Gary conducted civil investigations and financial audits of corporations and banks that sponsor 401(k) plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) and other qualified pension and welfare plans.
 
Gary has served in local and national leadership positions for the American Retirement Association (ASPPA), including vice-chair of IRS regional conferences, vice-chair of national conferences and chair of general conferences. He previously served as chair of the employee benefits committee of the Cincinnati Bar Association, president of the Cincinnati chapter of ASPPA and an emeritus member of the IRS Great Lakes TE/GE Counsel in Chicago.
 
Gary received his juris doctor from The John Marshal Law School. During law school, he held an externship with Judge Alexander White in the Tax and Remedies Division of Cook County Circuit Court, served as vice justice on the Moot Court Honors Board, was a finalist in the Fred F. Herzog Moot Court Competition, participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition and was a member of Phi Alpha Delta.
 
He earned his Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business and Marketing from Baruch College, City University of New York. He received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and English and a Criminology Certificate from Rutgers University.
 
Gary is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
 
Firm Publications
News
Published In
  • “University Retirement Plans Under Fire for Excessive Fees,” Plan Consultant, Spring 2018
  • “How to Prepare a Plan Sponsor for the IRS Correction Program,” Plan Consultant, Fall 2018
  • “Will Spokeo Open the Floodgates,” Plan Consultant, Fall 2016
  • “PPA Restatements Are Right Around the Corner,” Plan Consultant, Winter 2014
  • “Executive Severance Agreements Line by Line: A Detailed Look at Executive Severance Agreements and How to Change Them to Meet Your Client’s Needs,” Aspatore Books, A Thomson Reuters Business, January 2012
  • “Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation, and Non-Disclosure Agreements Line by Line: A Detailed Look at Restrictive Covenants and How to Change Them to Meet Your Client’s Needs,” Aspatore Books, A Thomson Reuters Business, November 2011
  • “Recent Case Law and Regulatory Developments Affecting Plan Asses and Financial Services, Inside the Minds,” Aspatore Books, A Thomson Reuters Business, 2011 Edition
  • “How to Avoid Conflicts of Interest When Selecting Service Providers,” The ASPPA Journal, Fall 2009
Speaking Engagements
  • “Case Studies: Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System,” ASPAA Annual Conference, 2013
  • “Best Practices for Fiduciary Compliance,” ACI Forum on Employee Benefits Plan, May 2013
  • “Recent ERISA Litigation and the Potential Impact on Your Retirement Plan,” Horan Associates Annual Seminar, 2012
  • “Staying Ahead of the Curve: Retirement Plan Hot Topics,” Thompson Hine LLP Employee Benefits Update, April 2012
  • “Recent DOL Guidance, Getting Your Fiduciary House in Order,” Thompson Hine LLP Employee Benefits Update, March 2011
  • “Recent and Anticipated Health and Welfare Legislation,” Annual Employee Benefit Advisor Summit, 2010
  • “Operational Aspects of Merging Plans,” Annual Forum-National Institute of Pension Administrators, 2010
  • “Health Care Reform,” ACI National Advanced Compliance Forum on Employee Benefits Plans, 2010
  • “My Perfect Retirement Plan Has a Compliance Error – Now What? ASPPA Cincinnati Pension Conference, 2009
  • “Legal and Regulatory Update,” Annual Meeting of Cleveland Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB), 2009
  • “Employee Benefits in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Legal Beat, March 2008
  • “Ask the Experts: Panel of IRS Conference Speakers,” 18th Annual Cincinnati Bar Association Employee Benefits Conference, 2005
  • “IRS Final 401(k) Regulations,” Great Lakes Area IRS TE/GE Council Meeting, 2005
  • “How to Survive a U.S. Department of Labor Audit,” 17th Annual Cincinnati Bar Association Employee Benefits Conference, 2004
  • “The Year in Review – Hot Topics for Retirement and Welfare Plans,” Annual Meeting of Cincinnati/Dayton Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS), 2003
  • “QDROs and Other Pension Law Issues,” Toledo Bar Association, Family Law Section, 2000
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