Dennis G. Bouxsein

Dennis Bouxsein counsels employers in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors on legal and tax issues that affect retirement plans, executive compensation programs and welfare benefit plans.

What do you focus on?

I focus my practice on sophisticated issues that arise under my clients’ retirement plans, executive compensation plans and welfare benefit plans. With over 30 years of experience in employee benefits law, I understand how overwhelming and complex the benefit plan rules can seem to employers. I try to cut through all the technical jargon to provide practical, focused solutions for my clients.

I help clients design, implement and maintain all types of qualified retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b), defined benefit and cash balance plans. When necessary, I help clients navigate the correction programs offered by the IRS and Department of Labor. I also have considerable experience with nonqualified plans for executives, including executive severance and change in control plans.

I am actively involved in the firm’s transactional practice and work with corporate clients and private equity funds to address benefit plan issues in mergers and acquisitions, including the transition of employees and benefit plans from seller to buyer.

I have substantial experience with plans of tax-exempt organizations, from small, local organizations such as churches and schools, to large, church-affiliated hospital systems. In this space, I have been actively involved with all types of church plans and am well acquainted with the unique challenges these plans face. My understanding and appreciation of the special rules that apply to tax-exempt employers allow me to be a more effective advisor in this arena.

What do you see on the horizon?

 “Retirement readiness” (or lack thereof) will continue to be a major issue for both employers and employees. Because people are living longer and our retirement system has moved steadily away from defined benefit toward 401(k) and other defined contribution models, we can expect a continued push for automatic enrollment and other strategies to increase retirement savings. We will also see more proposals to expand lifetime payment options for retirees.

Representative Experience

  • Designing and drafting a wide range of retirement plan documents, including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and “cross-tested” plans
  • Providing legal advice and documentation to private equity funds, corporate clients, and tax-exempt health care systems for benefit plan restructurings and consolidations in connection with acquisitions and divestitures
  • Facilitating conversions of retirement plans to new investment providers and recordkeeping systems
  • Advising corporate clients and their principals regarding ERISA fiduciary responsibilities for plan administration and investments
  • Analyzing 401(k) plan nondiscrimination tests and recommending strategies to eliminate or reduce corrective refunds
  • Designing and preparing executive severance plans, change in control plans, and 457(b) plans for hospitals, nursing homes, and large health care systems
  • Conducting employee education meetings for a client’s new flexible benefits plan


Dennis G. Bouxsein



Phone: 312-977-9204

Fax: 844-566-1443

University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

St. Olaf College, B.A., cum laude



  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Member, Employee Benefits Committee of Chicago Bar Association
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