Areas of Focus
“It’s not enough to know the law. You need to understand how plan administration works so you can appreciate how things on the page translate into real life.”
The importance of proper design and management of employee benefit plans makes Alan Hahn a key figure in the day-to-day business of his clients. As a close advisor to companies in multiple industries, he is instrumental in developing health and welfare plans, pension plans, executive compensation plans, and other ERISA-compliant programs, and in protecting the fiduciaries responsible for them. He also works with insurance professionals and third-party administrators on all aspects of plan maintenance. Additionally, Alan represents executives in negotiating their benefits and compensation packages when they are being hired, promoted or separated.
Alan is attuned to both the complexity of benefit plans and the intensive scrutiny they face from employees and regulators. He helps employers balance concern for their people’s welfare with the escalating costs and complexities of strong plans. He also advises company fiduciaries — those personally liable for a plan’s regulatory compliance — on practical approaches to running those plans as the laws require.
Clients see Alan as a trusted co-pilot, and they rely on him to become ingrained in their company and its culture. This gives him a comprehensive understanding of a company’s administrative processes, from which he can help them fine-tune their benefits programs and anticipate unintended consequences. Taking his clients’ problems personally, he assists them in a variety of ways, interviewing potential benefit managers, vetting vendors, crafting presentations and, generally, helping in ways that provide immediate benefits to the business. Alan is also experienced with privacy matters — particularly those that arise under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in all sorts of settings.
In conjunction with complementary disciplines within the firm — especially the Labor + Employment Group — Alan regularly engages with company officers and human resources professionals to address all types of employment-related concerns and disputes. He also works closely with the firm’s Corporate + Transactions Group to resolve the many benefits issues that inevitably accompany a merger or acquisition, and that might otherwise prevent a deal from closing.
Counseled plan sponsor, a holding company of numerous operating companies, and fiduciary committee on the merger of over 100 401k plans, some with employer stock in the plan, others with esoteric and complicated legacy investments, into a single multi-billion dollar plan, ensuring documentary and operational compliance throughout the process.
Represented a not-for-profit entity emerging from bankruptcy. Handled many dozens of legacy 403(b) contracts and 401(k) plans and coordinated the wind-down of the arrangements. At the same time, positioned the entity for future growth of a new, ongoing 401k plan that qualified as a church plan.
Operated as outside ERISA counsel for benefits brokerage firm, responsible for answering questions about compliance (including the Affordable Care Act) and health care reform regulations from benefits professionals and their clients through the country.
Defended employer in litigation involving a denial of mental health benefit for a participant in self-insured health plan, avoiding large six figure benefit litigation claim. In this case, the employer’s benefit plan claim related to a senior executive at the Company presenting the employer maintaining the plan with several HR and benefit related issues to ensure the health plan claim was handled sensitively, accurately and without jeopardizing the plan as a whole to further litigation.
Represented a team of executives working for a large health care company in a multi-billion dollar transaction. Ensured that the team obtained maximum benefits and protections in connection with and following the transaction, including base compensation, bonus, equity and other incentives and market-appropriate restrictive covenants.
Negotiated withdrawal liability with a union for a contributing employer winding down its business, saving the company 50% of the previously calculated liability.
Represented a nursing home controlled group in challenging the IRS and, ultimately, getting the IRS to abate penalties in the millions of dollars in compliance costs and penalties. Our client employed thousands of part-time, variable hour employees, which necessitated a detailed analysis of which employees might be covered under the Affordable Care Act and which might be exempt. The client in particular had different justifications for why penalties under the Affordable Care Act were inappropriate. Helped them develop their legal arguments, negotiated with the IRS, reduced penalties and avoided costly litigation.
Designed and drafted a deferred compensation plan for a commodity trading company, providing the senior executives with significant deferred compensation payments that were dependent on the success of the company while also addressing cash-flow concerns and compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A.
Insights + Events
- Alert Plan Coverage of At-Home COVID-19 Testing
January 12, 2022
- Publication Employee Relations Law Journal | Significant Retirement Reform Ahead: Key Takeaways from the Anticipated SECURE Act 2.0 of 2021
November 17, 2021
- Alert IRS Updates Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System
September 16, 2021
- Publication Employee Relations Law Journal | To Arbitrate or Litigate Under ERISA – That Is the Question
July 7, 2021
- Publication Employee Relations Law Journal | Bostock, Section 1557, and Transgender Benefits in Self-Funded Health Plans
June 1, 2021
- Alert IRS Provides Much Needed Guidance on COBRA Premium Subsidy
May 27, 2021
- Demystifying COVID-19 Complexities and Thriving in Uncertain Times New York City SHRM 2021 Annual HR Conference | COVID-19 One Year Later: Evolving Employment, Benefits and Tax Issues
April 20, 2021
- Publication Employee Relations Law Journal | ESG Investing by ERISA Plan Fiduciaries: The DOL Final Regulations
April 1, 2021
- Alert COBRA Changes Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
March 17, 2021
- Alert Regulators Clarify COVID-19 Relief Deadline Extension
March 8, 2021
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- Fordham University School of Law (J.D., 1995)
- Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (B.S., 1992)
- The Legal 500 United States® 2015-2016, Labor and Employment: Workplace and Employment Counseling
- New York
Member, Davis+Gilbert Growth and Planning Committee
Member, Davis+Gilbert Health Insurance Plans Committee
Member, New York State Bar Association