Employee Benefits

Our Approach

Compensation and benefit programs can play a critical role in providing a competitive advantage.  By looking for creative opportunities in employee benefits, our Employee Benefits Practice Group helps clients with strategies that directly support employer objectives well beyond employee recruitment and retention.

Sound planning involves more than simple maximization of benefits or minimization of benefit expense.  Benefit programs that have not been optimized to contribute to employer success represent an unjustifiable cost.

Ward and Smith, P.A. is founded on teamwork, making all of our resources available to each client on a cost-effective basis, throughout the state.  Close collaboration with the Labor and Employment and Tax Practice Groups insures a comprehensive perspective on benefits matters.

Our Clients

The skills and experience of the Firm's employee benefits attorneys address the diverse needs of organizations in virtually every industry, and include:

  • Small and mid-sized businesses;
  • Tax-exempt organizations;
  • Educational institutions;
  • Governmental units;
  • Financial institutions; and,
  • Plan administrators, accountants, and benefits consultants. 

Our Services

Our relationship with our clients positions us to support their success.  In the context of employee benefits, this involves a broad range of services, including:

  • Benefits planning, as well as plan design and review;
  • Providing advice and assistance with plan administrative issues, audits, and compliance reviews;
  • Training and consulting on ERISA and other benefits-related legislation;
  • Serving as fiduciary counsel;
  • Troubleshooting and implementing corrective actions; and,
  • Resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation.

We regularly collaborate with other advisors, general counsel, and Human Resource personnel to efficiently serve our clients.

Benefit Programs

Our services encompass the full range of employee benefit structures and plans, including:

  • Executive compensation;
  • Nonqualified deferred compensation;
  • Stock-based compensation arrangements;
  • Qualified retirement plans;
  • Welfare plans; and,
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans.

We are your established legal network with offices in Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington, NC.