Employee Benefits

Charles A. Dunnagan

Sarah E. Josephson

Ryan A. Stuart

Benefit Programs Present Complex Challenges

Employers and unions that offer pension and health benefit programs face a complex challenge – deliver stable and reliable benefits to plan participants amidst an uncertain economy and increasingly complex federal and state regulations. For 30 years, we have been helping employers and unions design, implement and maintain employee benefit plans that achieve successful compliance, while delivering increased benefits to employees.

We bring our clients extensive experience and creative thinking in most aspects of employee benefits planning and administration, including: qualified retirement plans (both defined benefit pension plans and defined contribution plans); welfare plans (medical and dental plans); apprenticeship and training trusts. We assist our clients responding to Department of Labor audits and investigations; addressing and drafting needed plan amendments; responding to employer withdrawals and assisting in all benefit administration issues including claim appeals and denials in conformance with ERISA requirements.

JDO Track Record Speaks for Itself

When our clients face legal challenges, JDO steps to the forefront. We routinely handle litigation regarding claim denials and benefits and aggressively and successfully defend clients against breach of fiduciary duty allegations. Our track record speaks for itself – no trustee of any plan represented by JDO has ever been found to have breached its fiduciary obligations.

We have been involved in many of Alaska’s most significant ERISA disputes. After construction of the Trans-Alaska pipeline, there were a large number of class action lawsuits against pension plans. The departing pipeline construction workers who had only 2 to 5 years of participation in the Pension Plans challenged the Plan provisions and requirements of 10 years of work and contributions paid into the Plans to vest and obtain a pension benefit as unlawful under ERISA. JDO is the only law firm that successfully litigated and won one of those class action lawsuits.

Expertise and In-Depth Experience

We take pride in bringing our clients meaningful, relevant and effective counsel – combining our employee benefit program expertise, with in-depth collective bargaining experience, and a common sense approach to problem solving. For 30 years our attorneys have worked effectively with employers, unions, plan administrators and consultants, and government agencies that regulate these plans. We also work hard to stay abreast of constantly changing legal developments in employee benefits law, including Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service rulings and regulations – allowing us to anticipate and successfully address each client’s challenges in both the near and long term.

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