Employee Benefits

Employee Benefits in the United States

Legal Materials

To find out employers’ costs for employee benefits, see v.1, tab 10, of Collective Bargaining: Negotiations and Contracts (BNA). Also, check out the EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits (EBRI).

Lists of the most family-friendly workplaces are published by Business Week, Fortune,Working Mother and Mother Jones. The Labor Department publishes an “Honor Roll” of employers friendly to families. The White House and the Conference Board give out the Ron Brown award for employee- and community-relations.

Good sources for employee benefits treatises include Thompson Publishing GroupAspen Publishers, the Employee Benefits Institute of America and BNA Books.

BNA’s subscription-based Compensation & Benefits Library and Benefits Practice Center offer benefits-related laws, regulations, agency publications and secondary materials. The 300-series of BNA Tax Management Portfolios cover employee benefits issues.

CCH publishes a Pension Plan Guide, Employee Benefits Management andCompliance Guide for Administrators. These books are available in print, on Lexis and in the subscription-based Pension Library, available through Intelliconnect. CCH also offers Aspen’s benefits books in the Aspen Benefits eLibrary through Intelliconnect. Finally, CCH publishes the Plan Administrator’s Newsletter, which is available on Lexis back to February 2009 (CCHTAX;PLADMN).

Every year the American Academy of Actuaries and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries sponsor an Enrolled Actuaries Meeting, where U.S. government officials answer questions relevant to benefit professionals. There is a Blue Book (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation), a Green Book (Employee Benefits Security Administration) and a Gray Book (IRS). There is also a “Super Gray Book” CD-ROM that includes all the Gray Books from 1990 to the present, with a subject index.

For information on the Employee Benefits Security Administration and/or ERISA Advisory Opinion Letters, see the “United States Department of Labor” entry.

Section 409A: Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of the U.S. Code) sets strict requirements for deferring tax on nonqualified deferred compensation. The section is notoriously tricky. Treatises on the topic include the Section 409A Handbook(BNA) and the Practical Guide to Code Section 409A (CCH).

Stock Plans: The National Center for Employee Ownership publishes a series of books on equity compensation plans. Members of the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals can access a wealth of information on the NASPP web site. Also of possible interest: Compensation Structures for Venture Capital Backed Companies: How to Structure Compensation, Stock Options, Retirement, Debt & Bonus Plans for Management and Employees (West/Aspatore Books). For tax issues, see the relevant BNA Tax Management Portfolios.


See Also

Collective Bargaining
Human Resources
Management Consulting
Labor Law
Labor Statistics
United States Department of Labor
Workers’ Compensation

Further Reading

Employee Benefits: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Employee Benefits. This part provides references, in relation to Employee Benefits, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Employee Benefits by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Employee Benefits and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Employee Benefits or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Employee Benefits and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Employee Benefits. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Employee Benefits should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Employee Benefits when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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