Government Benefit Plans

With a group of attorneys and support staff dedicated to the unique needs of our public sector clients, Ice Miller has served governmental clients in over 35 states for over 30 years. 

In the field of public pensions, Ice Miller offers one of the largest and most experienced groups of attorneys in the country. Our public pension clients include public pension systems, municipal units, states, higher educational institutions, school corporations, hospitals, public safety systems, and other public entities. 

We understand the special considerations and constraints faced by our public sector clients. Our attorneys regularly work with our public sector clients in the following areas:
 
  • Design, formation, and amendment of governmental employee benefit plans;
  • Federal tax compliance review of the pension laws of various states and municipalities; 
  • Advice regarding tax reporting and federal withholding, FICA coverage, and unrelated business income tax; 
  • Preparation and submission of numerous private letter rulings, ranging from taxation of line-of-duty death and disability benefits to asset transfers between plans; 
  • Prior to changes in 2016 to the IRS' determination letter program, assist governmental plans in obtaining determination letters (over 250 during the last Cycle C-2); 
  • Provide guidance through the IRS' voluntary correction program ("VCP") and self-correction program ("SCP");
  • Submit comments to the Internal Revenue Service on various proposed federal law changes; and
  • Train and brief boards of trustees, local officials, state office holders, and legislative staff on compliance issues and matters relevant to a plan's qualified status.

As attorneys and professionals who work in the employee benefits arena, we are acutely aware of the critical importance of staying informed of all developments in this area. Regulations, legislation, court opinions, and the "best practices" in the industry—all are crucial to being able to provide the best possible legal advice to our clients. Ice Miller keeps abreast of current trends in benefit design for governmental plans, an area which has taken on heightened importance over the past several years in light of plan funding concerns.
 
Ice Miller maintains a national presence on issues affecting pension, health, and welfare plans, both public and private, through our active participation and membership with the key associations dedicated to these plans. Participation in these organizations enhances our ability to be involved in federal legislative activities that affect pension plans. These associations provide our attorneys with another important resource—a network of administrators and advisors facing similar issues. The information and insights gained through conversations and interactions with the other members of these organizations is invaluable. For example, Ice Miller is involved with the following organizations: 
 
  • National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems ("NCPERS"); 
  • American Benefits Council (Fortune 500 Companies);
  • the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys ("NAPPA"); 
  • National Council on Teacher Retirement ("NCTR"); 
  • National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators ("NAGDCA"); 
  • National Association of State Retirement Administrators ("NASRA"); 
  • Public Pension Financial Forum ("P2F2"); 
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys ("NACUA"); 
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers ("NACUBO"); 
  • Illinois Public Pension Fund Association ("IPPFA"); and 
  • National Institute on Retirement Security ("NIRS").
As you navigate through the challenges and complexities of your public retirement plan(s) and/or system(s), contact our team of attorneys for guidance, and let us put our experience to work for you.
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