Jeanne V. Gordon focuses her practice on all aspects of ERISA and employee benefit matters, specifically the design, development and implementation of various retirement and welfare benefit plans. She also counsels closely-held business and provides owners of such businesses with contract issues, tax strategies, business succession and estate planning. Jeanne received her B.S.B.A. in Finance and Economics from the University of Richmond. She received her J.D. from the University of Toledo, where she was the Business Editor of the University of Toledo Law Review. In 1999, Jeanne received her LL.M. in Taxation from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Jeanne is a member of the Ohio State Bar and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations. Jeanne is currently a board member for The Music Settlement in Cleveland, Ohio.
• Designed, developed and implemented advanced retirement plan designs including advanced 401(k) profit sharing plan designs, cash balance pension plan designs, profit sharing plan designs and employee stock ownership plan designs.
• Advanced 401(k) profit sharing plan designs have included use of safe harbors (matching and non-elective), carve out eligibility, automatic enrollment, individual platforms and daily valuation.
• Advanced cash balance pension plan designs have included various benefit formulas, carve out eligibility and pairing such plan with other plans provided by the employer for purposes of passing non-discrimination testing.
• Advanced profit-sharing plan designs have included cross-testing formula for passing non-discrimination, carve out eligibility and pairing such plan with other plans provided by the employer for purposes of passing non-discrimination testing.
• Assistance with ESOPs have included preparing financials for feasibility analysis, submitting leveraged ESOP proposals to financial institutions to obtain financing, negotiating financing with financial institutions to implement leveraged ESOPs, introducing ESOP to employee base, providing continuing education to ESOP trustees and administrators for purposes of communication with ESOP participants.
• Submitted more than 200 plans to the Internal Revenue Service for favorable determination letters and have successfully negotiated and obtained such favorable letters for every plan submitted.
• Assisted in Department of Labor audits of plan fiduciary failures and IRS audits of plan with little or no change required by either auditing agency.
• Identified plan failures in previously established plans for multiple client plans (ones which I did not establish) and corrected such errors through the Voluntary Compliance Programs provided for by the IRS and Department of Labor avoiding the discovery of such failures during audit.
• Developed working relationships with all plan actuaries, record keepers, third party administrators, and financial advisors and have collaborated in determining best plan designs, maintenance strategies, participant education programs, and/ or necessary plan corrections to plans with the actuaries.
• Assisted in establishing welfare benefit packages specifically designed for attracting top talent while taking advantage of tax provisions for purposes of reducing costs. Have assisted in establishing VEBAs for alternative benefits so as to reduce costs of overall welfare plans while providing employee desired benefits.
• Reviewed employee welfare plans for compliance purposes and identified and corrected failures. In addition, have completed welfare benefit plan 5500s.
• Consistently provided necessary research and explanations for contemplated actions in terms of ERISA compliance, prohibited transactions, and tax compliance for welfare and pension plans.
• Counseled clients on best fiduciary practices.
• Assisted clients on multiemployer (union) pension withdrawal liability issues.
• Worked with clients to address pension issues during collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
• Assisted clients with Davis Bacon plan provisions.
Trusts and Estates Experience
• Counseled individuals in the areas of business succession planning, estate planning, asset protection planning, life insurance trust planning, charitable gift planning and trust and estate administration.
• Planned for the elderly and individuals with disabilities.
• Represented fiduciaries with complex estate administration issues and prepared state and federal estate tax returns.