Allison Wilkerson Allison Wilkerson

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  Allison Wilkerson focuses her practice on employee benefits matters. She has extensive experience handling issues pertaining to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Read Allison Wilkerson's full bio.

McDermott Announces Determination Letter Replacement Program, Addressing the Gap in Retirement Plan Compliance


By , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and on Oct 10, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

Since the announcement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that sponsors of individually designed retirement plans may no longer receive a periodic determination letter, plan sponsors have faced uncertainty about how to demonstrate compliance for their retirement plans. Our McDermott Retirement Plan Compliance Program, a new opinion letter and operational review program for individually designed...

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Hurricane Harvey Relief for Employee Benefit Plans


By , and on Sep 7, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Employment, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Health and Welfare Plans, Labor, Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor relaxed some deadlines for eligible employee benefit plans and expanded the availability of withdrawals and loans for eligible defined contribution plan participants in the disaster area. However, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation announced that some of its required filings will not be extended automatically. Continue reading.

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Employers Can Provide Tax-Free Disaster Assistance to Employees


By , , , and on Sep 5, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Labor

Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code allows an employer to provide tax-free qualified disaster relief payments to Texas and Louisiana employees in designated areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Continue reading.

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Proposed Changes to § 409a Regulations: Greater Clarity and Better Planning Alternatives


By and on Jun 22, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation

Andrew Liazos and Allison Wilkerson wrote this bylined article on Tax Code Section 409A’s deferral and payment requirements for nonqualified deferred com­pensation plans. Recent IRS Section 409A guidance makes “several helpful changes that employers will want to consider and take advantage of,” the authors wrote, and they warned employers that they ignore final IRS “at...

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ESOP Trends in the Marketplace


By on May 25, 2017
Posted In Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Over the years, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) have evolved in many ways. Currently, ESOP transactions began to resemble traditional M&A transactions including financial structures, warrants and market rate sub-debt. In a recent presentation at the NCEO Employee Ownership Conference, Allison Wilkerson discusses current marketplace trends in structuring ESOP transactions, including the importance of pre-transaction...

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Proposed Changes to 409A Regulations Provide Greater Clarity and Planning Alternatives


By and on Dec 27, 2016
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Executive Compensation

On June 22, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations to modify and clarify existing regulations under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. The proposed changes were in response to practitioner comments and the IRS’s experience with Section 409A after the issuance of the final regulations in 2007. Overall, the proposed modifications are...

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View From McDermott: Fifth Circuit Focuses on Process in ESOP Valuations


By and on Jul 28, 2016
Posted In Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Labor, Retirement Plans

Though the Supreme Court’s 2014 unanimous ruling in Fifth Third Bank v. Dudenhoeffer announced the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) standards for stock valuation in the context of a large public employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), the vast majority of ESOPs are still grappling with valuation issues. ESOPs that hold stock of closely-held corporations—approximately...

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Form 5500 Deadline Extension Repealed


By , and on Mar 11, 2016
Posted In Health and Welfare Plans

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). In addition to authorizing $305 billion in funding for federal highway projects, the FAST Act also repeals the recently enacted extension to the Form 5500 filing deadline included in the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act (Surface...

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