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Rob Gauss concentrates his practice in helping local and state governmental employers and retirement systems with employee benefit questions and concerns on matters of retirement, health and welfare benefits. This includes working with governmental pension plans and boards across the country on federal tax, compliance, correction and fiduciary issues. In particular, Rob works with clients in the design, administration and federal tax law compliance of their qualified defined benefit and defined contribution/deferred compensation plans. Rob's work with defined contribution/deferred compensation plans includes 401(a), 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) type plans and includes all areas of compliance for the plans under the Internal Revenue Code. By way of example, Rob's work regularly includes assisting the plans with issues related to plan participation/enrollment, employee and employer contributions, required minimum distributions, compensation limits, rollovers and plan-to-plan transfers, 415 limits and plan corrections. The size of the plans with which Rob works ranges from under $1B to over $200B in total assets.

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Rob brings a unique perspective to his practice as he also has significant trial experience, having conducted, or been involved in, multiple bench and jury trials in both state and federal courts, as well as commercial arbitrations. Rob's trial experience started before he joined Ice Miller during his service with the United States Marine Corps where he obtained the rank of Captain. During his service as a Judge Advocate, Rob primarily served as a prosecutor and was involved in over 30 criminal trials, primarily as the first chair. Because of his trial experience, Rob is focused on collaborating with our clients as it relates to problem solving.

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An Indianapolis native, Rob received his Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University in 1990. He earned his juris doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1993, where he was a recipient of the Cale J. Holder Memorial Scholarship in 1992 and a member of the Order of the Barristers in 1993.

Rob enjoys serving in the Firm and in the community. He has served as a Deputy Managing Partner, as the Indianapolis Office Managing Partner, as the Chair of the Firm's Employee Benefits Practice Group, Chair of the Firm's Personnel Committee, Chair of the Firm's Professional Development Committee, and Chair of the Firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In these roles, Rob has been involved in all aspects of the Firm's efforts and strategic planning involving diversity, recruiting, training, and mentoring. Throughout his career, Rob has been involved in community organizations whose missions also were personally important to him. Currently, Rob is the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Greater Indianapolis Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Rob is admitted to practice law in the State of Indiana, but works with governmental entities and retirement plans around the country.
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Rob speaks frequently on matters related to governmental retirement plans.  Recent presentations include:
  • NCPERS Fall Conference, 2023 – Legal, Legislative, and Regulatory Update; October 23, 2023.
  • P2F2 Annual Conference, 2023 – Evolving Federal Tax Requirements Made Understandable.
  • NCPERS Annual Conference, 2023 – Federal Legislative and Regulatory Update; May 23, 2023.
  • NAPPA Winter Conference, 2023 – Federal Tax Update (SECURE Act 2.0); February 2023.
  • NAPPA Winter Conference, 2023 – Considerations for Enhanced and Supplemental Benefits-Aggregation of Limits; February 2023.
  • National Pension Education Association Webinar - SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022; February 22, 2023.
  • CALAPRS Attorney Roundtable – Update regarding SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022; February 10, 2023.
  • NCPERS Legislative Conference, 2023 – Holiday Miracle Part Deux SECURE 2.0; January 2023.
  • NASRA 2022 - Federal Update, August 7, 2022.
  • NCPERS 2022 - Legal, Legislative, and Regulatory Update, May 25, 2022.
  • NASRA/NCTR 2022 - Federal Regulatory Issues Impacting Plan Operations and Investments, February 28, 2022.
  • NAPPA 2021 - RIP Determination Letter Program Plan Amendments for Consideration and Other Important Bogies for your Radar, October 6, 2021.
  • NAPPA 2021 - Federal Legislative & Regulatory Update, October, 2021.
  • NASRA 2021 - Tax Panel Presentation, August 4, 2021.
  • NAPPA 2021 - Federal Legislative & Regulatory Update, June 24, 2021.
  • A webinar for NCPERS entitled "Overview of SECURE Act Impact on Governmental Plans," April 21, 2020.
  • NAPPA 2020 - Vesting - Not Another Discussion of the California Rule, February 20, 2020.
  • A webinar for NCTR entitled "SECURE Act Implementation Issues," February 5, 2020.
  • NAPPA 2019 - "I Can't Believe They Did This!" Educating Your Legislature on Tax Laws Affecting Pension Reform Legislation, June 27, 2019.
  • NCPERS 2019 - Panel Discussion entitled: "Legal Panel: Benefits, Tax and Regulations," May 21, 2019.
  • NASRA/NCTR 2019 - Panel Discussion regarding Emerging Federal Tax Compliance Issues Affecting Public Plans, Joint Conference, February 25, 2019.
  • NAPPA 2019 - Tax Section Panel on Compliance Considerations, February 21, 2019.
  • NAPPA 2017 - Fiduciary Duties and Considerations Regarding Recent Lawsuits Against Retirement Plans, June 27, 2017.
  • NCPERS 2017 - Annual Conference and Exhibition - Regulatory Update: Developments from the IRS, DOL and SEC Affecting Governmental Plans.
  • NAPPA 2017 - Winter Meeting - USERRA and The HEART Act, February 23, 2017.
  • NCPERS 2016 - Public Safety Employees Pension & Benefits Conference - Federal Regulatory Update, October 26, 2016. 
  • NCPERS 2016 - Annual Conference and Exhibition - Federal Regulatory Update, May 16, 2016. 
  • NAPPA 2016 - Winter Seminar - The Supreme Court's Windsor and Obergefell decisions and their implications for governmental plans. 
  • 2015 National Association of Governmental Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) - Annual Conference - Panel Discussion regarding Regulatory Updates.
  • NAPPA 2015 - Winter Seminar - Panel Discussion regarding Litigation with Plan Sponsors and Members and specifically discussed compliance considerations regarding settlements and overpayment corrections, February 12, 2015.
  • NCPERS 2014 - Gauss was a presenter at the NCPERS Public Safety Conference entitled "DROP Plans: Current IRS Concerns, Real-World Experiences and Insights on Sustainability", October, 2014.
  • Gauss presented a webinar for NCPERS on Oct. 14, 2014 entitled "An Introduction to Qualification and Taxation Issues for Governmental Retirement Plans."
  • Gauss was a presenter at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Illinois Public Pension Fund Association Midwest Pension Conferences regarding "Issues of Importance for Public Pension Plans".
  • Gauss has presented at the Diversity in Practice Conference presented by the Indiana Lawyer and on issues regarding the practice of law for the Indianapolis Bar Association's Bar Leadership Series.
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