Samantha Kopacz's practice centers around the design, implementation and administration of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements. Sam has more than a decade of experience representing employers, trustee boards, group health plans, insurance companies, and third-party administrators in regulatory and compliance issues related to qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, fringe benefit plans, and executive compensation and incentive programs.
Sam has extensive experience structuring and advising on defined contribution plans (such as IRC §401(k), profit sharing, §403(b), and §457 plans), defined benefit / pension plans, self-funded and fully-insured health and welfare benefit plans, IRC §125 cafeteria plans, IRC §501(c)(9) VEBAs, IRC §115 trusts, consumer-driven plans (including flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and health savings accounts) and various other types of benefit plans. Her expertise includes drafting plan documentation and communications, negotiating benefits-related contracts, conducting legal compliance audits, coordinating government filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and spearheading correction of operational and documentation mistakes.
She also advises clients on various laws and regulations that intersect with employee benefits, such as ERISA, IRC, HIPAA, PPACA, FMLA, and COBRA. She is a frequent author and public speaker on topics related to various aspects of employee benefits such as wellness programs and health care reform.
Sam oversees the administration of employee benefits for private, publicly traded, and governmental entities of all sizes. Recognizing that each client's objectives and needs are unique, she helps each client develop, implement and maintain a legally compliant and competitive benefit structure that fits the particular client's business model.
With respect to executive and incentive compensation programs, Sam advises both privately-owned and publicly traded companies on structure, implementation, and operation of compensatory programs such as phantom equity, restricted stock, and stock option programs. She also counsels clients on complex taxation issues associated with IRC §409A and §280G.
Sam also has extensive experience with benefit issues associated with corporate transactions, including plan terminations, change of control parachute excise taxes, and related transition issues. She also represents health plans, medical providers, and business associates on HIPAA compliance issues, as well as businesses and individuals in entity formation, governance, reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate matters.
Samantha is a lifelong Michigan resident and graduate of Wayne State University Law School. She previously interned for the Honorable Judge Nancy G. Edmunds of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Latest Legal and Business Bylines From Samantha A. Kopacz