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Catherine T. Gonzalez



Catherine Gonzalez works with closely held, mid-market and tax-exempt employers to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of their retirement plans.

What do you focus on?

I focus on helping employers and plan fiduciaries navigate the challenges of operating and maintaining their qualified retirement plans.

Qualified Plan Compliance

A large part of my practice involves plan administration. This typically involves ongoing counseling work, such as helping HR staff understand plan operation or advising a plan committee on important decisions. It also involves long-range projects like designing and implementing a new plan, merging plans after a business acquisition or changing key service providers.

I also help employers respond to or prepare for IRS plan audits. This involves identifying errors in the employer’s plans, developing strategies for addressing these errors and presenting the corrections to the IRS to avoid or minimize unfavorable outcomes.

Fiduciary Communications

I help fiduciaries to understand new disclosure requirements that have been imposed in the last few years and to design the necessary participant communications. I also help the fiduciaries evaluate the legal sufficiency and participant effectiveness of vendor-provided communications.

What do you see on the horizon?

The courts and the media will continue to focus on 401(k) plan fees. This scrutiny will put pressure on employers to examine the total fees and expenses being charged to their 401(k) plans and to determine whether such amounts are reasonable and are being allocated fairly among plan participants.

Representative Experience

  • Advising clients on plan design, qualification, operation, merger and termination.
  • Drafting a wide range of retirement plan documents, including 401(k) and defined benefit plans.
  • Representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service during the favorable determination letter process and plan audits.
  • Representing clients before the Department of Labor.
  • Preparation of qualified domestic orders.
  • Advising employee welfare benefit plan clients on compliance with HIPAA’s privacy and security requirements.
  • Advising corporate clients and plan committees regarding ERISA fiduciary responsibilities for plan administration and investments.
  • Facilitating conversion of plans to new prototype providers, trustees and record keepers.
  • Performing due diligence in corporate stock and asset transactions.
  • Reviewing “leased employee” status and qualified plan coverage issues.

Contact

Catherine T. Gonzalez

Counsel

Chicago

Phone: 312-977-4327


Fax: 844-571-5873

Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., with honors; Order of the Coif; Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award in Corporations and Securities Regulation; Notes and Comments Editor,Chicago-Kent Law Review

Northeastern Illinois University, B.A., with honors

Illinois

  • American Bar Association, Tax Section
  • Working in the Schools Reading Buddy
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