ERISA at 45: ESOPs

In our fourth installment of ERISA at 45, Sarah Bassler Millar interviews Jeremy Pelphrey regarding the DOL’s focus on the fiduciary process in ESOP transactions and administration, current trends in ESOP transactions, and the positive implications of ESOPs for employee-owners.

Among the topics referenced are the role of the Department of Labor’s process agreements for fiduciaries, which have also led to comfort in transactions and lending; the uptick in 100 percent transactions due in part to heightened interest in private equity lending; and the push by Congress to expand employee ownership. Data shows the positive impact of ESOPs in the marketplace, as ESOP companies are 25 percent more likely to stay in business, and ESOP employees’ wages are 8-12% higher and retirement account balances are greater, in comparison to their non-ESOP company and employee counterparts.

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About Author: Sarah Bassler Millar

Sarah Bassler Millar counsels employer plan sponsors and service providers on the design, implementation, and administration of health and welfare benefits, retirement plans and nonqualified plans. She routinely advises on fiduciary governance matters, including current best practices and the implications of the prohibited transaction rules. When counseling clients, she focuses on identifying solutions that effectively mitigate risks and manage identified compliance issues, while taking into account the client’s employee recruitment and retention goals. Sarah formerly led the firm’s benefits and executive compensation group. View all posts by and

About Author: Jeremy Pelphrey

Jeremy Pelphrey’s background teaching and lecturing in the areas of tax, statistics and labor management relations reflects the depth of knowledge he applies to counseling businesses, fiduciaries and investment funds on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other tax-qualified plans, as well as on strategic transactions, ERISA and various fiduciary matters. Jeremy has extensive experience facilitating strategic transactions for corporate clients and advising mature companies on their business succession plans. View all posts by and

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