Joseph K. Urwitz Joseph K. Urwitz

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Joseph (Joe) K. Urwitz focuses his practice on employee benefits, executive compensation and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary matters. He advises clients on a wide range of issues, including fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions, employee benefit matters arising in mergers and acquisitions, benefits issues unique to nonprofit entities, deferred compensation arrangements, equity award and bonus plan design, employment and severance arrangements, and qualified plan work. Read Joe Urwitz's full bio.

Deja Vu with Retirement Plan Extension 2


By , and on Jul 9, 2020
Posted In Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

In response to the administrative difficulties faced by plan administrators due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2020-35, which extends additional retirement plan deadlines for 2020 not previously extended under IRS Notice 2020-23. The IRS also stated that this relief applies for purposes of ERISA if the tax...

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7 Severance Structuring Tips for Tax-Exempt Colleges and Universities


By , and on Aug 20, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Executive Compensation

In-house counsel and human resources professionals at tax-exempt colleges and universities often face a variety of challenges when structuring, and determining obligations due under, severance arrangements. There are some key considerations to bear in mind, which are outlined in this article. Access the full article.

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Georgetown University Defeats Retirement Plan Fee Litigation and “If a Cat Were a Dog, It Would Bark”


By , , and on Jan 29, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

Recently, the US District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit brought by former Georgetown employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) over fees and investments in its two retirement plans. Plaintiffs alleged that Georgetown breached its fiduciary duty of prudence under ERISA by selecting and...

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Top Takeaways for Tax-Exempts from IRS Guidance on Executive Compensation


By , , , and on Jan 10, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation

One of the more controversial and complex provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been the 21 percent excise tax on certain nonprofit executive compensation. On December 31, 2018, the IRS issued interim guidance that addresses how this tax will apply in various situations that commonly arise for tax-exempt employers. Establishing internal systems...

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Free Parking Only Exists in Monopoly: New IRS Guidance Makes Employer-Provided Parking More Costly and Burdensome Than You Think


By , , , , , and on Dec 20, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits

As part of its comprehensive 2017 tax reform bill, Congress repealed deductions for Qualified Transportation Fringes including for employer-provided parking, while also requiring that tax-exempt organizations increase their unrelated business taxable income by the nondeductible parking expenses. Recently released IRS Notice 2018-99 addresses some of the year-end tax filing and tax planning concerns for affected...

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IRS Provides 403(b) Plan Relief for Improper Exclusion of Part-Time Employees


By and on Dec 18, 2018
Posted In Retirement Plans

The IRS recently released Notice 2018-95 to provide transition relief to 403(b) plan sponsors that improperly excluded part-time employees from making elective deferrals under their plans. Employers must begin to operate the part-time employee exclusion under their 403(b) plans correctly for the plan year immediately following the transition relief period, which will mean as soon...

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The Top Hat-Exemption After Sikora


By , and on Nov 29, 2018
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation, Retirement Plans

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) has long been a source of complex and often-expensive litigation for employers. However, as the number of actions brought by employees under ERISA have surged, employer-defendants have often relied on the so-called top-hat exemption to dismiss certain claims involving executives. Now, several federal courts of appeals...

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Employers with Massachusetts Employees Must File Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure Form by November 30


By and on Nov 20, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

Any employer who has six or more employees in Massachusetts in any calendar month after November 2017 is required to complete a Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form by November 30, 2018. The HIRD form is used by MassHealth to collect information about employer-sponsored insurance offerings. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently published a set of...

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IRS Corrections Go Digital in 2019


By , and on Oct 23, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

Late last month, the IRS released the latest version of its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, the IRS’s program for correcting retirement plan errors. The newest version of the correction program—effective beginning in 2019—includes mostly minor changes and clarifications. Most importantly, however, it requires electronic filing of Voluntary Correction Program submissions beginning April 1, 2019....

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IRS Issues Long-Awaited Initial Guidance under Section 162(m)


By , , and on Aug 23, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation

On August 21, 2018, the IRS issued guidance regarding recent statutory changes made to Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. Overall, Notice 2018-68 strictly interprets the Section 162(m) grandfathering rule under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Public companies and other issuers subject to these deduction limitations will want to closely consider this guidance...

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