Defined contribution pension funds, or annuity funds, are another focus of Watkins, Pawlick, Calati & Prifti's overall practice. Our employee benefit fund attorneys provide legal advice and guidance for all aspects impacting our annuity fund clients, from plan drafting and general compliance matters to all aspects of individual participant and beneficiary claims.
While funding concerns may be avoided with an annuity fund plan design, providing investment growth expected by participants while maintaining reasonable service provider costs is just as important.
As the world of investment options continues to grow, we work with our client’s investment consultants to protect their interests and ensure our clients meet their fiduciary obligations and understand the role each new investment plays in their overall portfolio. We have reviewed various types of investment vehicles and negotiate investment management agreements and side letters that address the unique concerns of each investment and the general tax and ERISA requirements our annuity fund clients face.
While we do our best to steer our clients away from disputes, we have successfully resolved benefit claims as well as DOL and IRS investigations. That work starts well before the dispute or investigation arises through our making sure that the right process and procedures are in place and followed, with exceptions documented and explained. We do this when contracts are prepared, when investments are made, when plan documents are drafted, when service providers are engaged, when participant claims and appeals are handled, and when other decisions are made. The key to laying a strong foundation to stand against future questions is following a prudent process.
We stay in touch with our national peers to learn of developing trends in enforcement and other matters. This further expands the knowledge base of our team to directly benefit our clients.
For more information about our annuity fund practice, we welcome you to contact WPCP.