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Avoiding Employee Benefits Pitfalls When Making Workforce Reductions: Section 409A, 401(k) Plans, Health and Welfare Plans

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will provide ERISA counsel guidance on a variety of employee benefit issues when companies are making changes to their workforce. The panel will discuss how workforce modifications can run afoul of Section 409A, the legal ramifications of providing subsidies for health and welfare plans, and the impact of workforce changes on 401(k) plans and modifications that may be necessary.


The lingering impact of the pandemic and inflation continues to provide significant employee benefit challenges for businesses making modifications to their workforce. Employee benefits counsel must recognize the legal ramifications and administrative issues that a change in a company's workforce has on non-qualified deferred compensation plans, health and welfare plans, and 401(k) plans.

Employers may consider making changes to their workforce and other mechanisms to reduce costs due to the current state of the economy. However, any changes could bring about significant issues for employee benefit plans. A number of complex rules and regulations under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA must be analyzed to better assess how workforce changes impact employee benefit plans rules and regulations.

When making workforce modifications, employee benefits counsel and employers must avoid pitfalls stemming from bonuses, severance, non-qualified deferred compensation, subsidies, loans, vesting, and other key issues.

Listen as our panel discusses employee benefit issues when making workforce modifications, the application of Section 409A, the legal ramifications of providing subsidies for health and welfare plans, and the impact of workforce changes on 401(k) plans.



  1. Workforce modifications; applicable ERISA rules and regulations
  2. Section 409A; bonuses, severance, and non-qualified deferred compensation plan considerations
  3. Issues for health and welfare plans
  4. Challenges for 401(k) plans
  5. Best practices for employee benefits counsel


The panel will discuss these and other key issues:

  • What ERISA rules and regulations must be considered when making workforce modifications?
  • What are the employee benefits and administration challenges?
  • What is the impact of Section 409A?
  • What are the key considerations for health and welfare plans?
  • What challenges arise for 401(k) plans?
  • How do you avoid potential discrimination issues?
  • Best practices for employers and counsel in reviewing separation agreements


Bokert, Mark
Mark E. Bokert

Davis + Gilbert

Mr. Bokert is co-chair of the firm's Benefits + Compensation Practice Group. His practice encompasses nearly all...  |  Read More

Teigman, David
David B. Teigman

Proskauer Rose

Mr. Teigman is a partner in the Tax Department and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation...  |  Read More

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