January 26, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 26

Christine M. Kong

Christine M. Kong is a partner in the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice Group.  Chris’s practice focuses on three areas of employee benefits for public and private companies and tax-exempt entities:  broad-based retirement plans, deferred compensation and incentive compensation plans, and the benefits aspects of corporate transactions.

Chris’s practice in the area of broad-based retirement plans includes counseling clients regarding Code Section 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit-sharing plans, money purchase plans, and defined benefit plans.  Chris assists employers with the documentary and operational requirements that apply to broad-based retirement plans, including keeping plan documents in compliance with changes in the law, assisting employers with correcting operational compliance errors, and submitting qualified plans to the IRS for determination letters.

Representative Experience

  • Represented an NYSE listed manufacturer of over-the-counter drugs with executive compensation, equity compensation, and employee benefit issues arising in connection with its acquisition of an Irish corporation in a corporate inversion cash and stock deal valued at approximately $8.6 billion
  • Represented a tax-exempt health care system with executive compensation and employee benefit issues arising in its affiliation with a leading non-profit healthcare provider in a transaction valued at approximately $1 billion
  • Represented a tax-exempt health care system with executive compensation and employee benefit issues arising in a member substitution and asset acquisition from an NYSE listed healthcare system in a transaction valued at approximately $425 million
  • Represented a NASDAQ listed retailer with employee benefit matters arising in a sale valued at approximately $890 million
  • Negotiated an ERISA Section 4062(e) settlement agreement with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on behalf of the sponsor of a defined benefit pension plan in a going-concern asset sale to a publicly-traded health care system
  • Represented a plan sponsor before the Internal Revenue Service in the audit of its defined contribution and nonqualified plans, resulting in an 80% reduction of the Service’s proposed sanction of $2.5 million
  • Represented clients with qualified plan matters that include the addition of cash balance provisions to a frozen defined benefit pension plan, the termination of plans (including defined benefit pension plans, money purchase pension plans and 401(k) plans), and the post-closing integration and design of defined contribution plans

Articles in the National Law Review database by Christine M. Kong


Faegre Drinker’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group is a National Law Review Go-To Thought Leader for their in-depth analysis of employer-sponsored retirement plans, health and welfare plans and executive compensation concerns. Topics addressed include executive compensation reporting changes, how rehiring employees could prevent partial plan terminations, and the tax implications and the pitfalls associated with excessive executive compensation paid by tax-exempt organizations.  Additionally, Faegre Drinker provided valuable guidance to 401k Plan Sponsors regarding how to help employees during the COVID-19 pandemic under the provisions of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), including changes in participant loan repayments, available increases in loan amounts, and changes in hardship distribution rules. Regular contributors from Faegre Drinker’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group include; Bruce L. Ashton,  Mona Ghude,  Christine M. Kong,  Elizabeth Olson,  Monica Novak and Fred Reish.