Employee Benefits

Taft-Hartley benefit funds are cornerstones in employer-union relationships. A board of trustees, comprised equally of labor and management trustees, is responsible for the administration and oversight of pension, health and welfare, training, and other trust funds. Trustees are expected to understand and make regular decisions on plan funding, investments, schedules of benefits, participant appeals, and a variety of other issues. Trustees may also face issues such as fund mergers, benefits restructuring, and changes in fund service providers.

Professional Trustees

Management Guidance, LLP offers employers a unique expertise in employee benefit fund matters. Our attorneys have extensive experience serving as management appointed professional trustees on multiemployer pension, health and welfare, vacation, training, and other Taft-Hartley trust funds. A professional trustee accepts the same fiduciary duty that is required of all trustees, and brings a level of experience and expertise to the trust that supports all trustees and fund professionals in fulfilling their responsibilities to the plan. Information about the fund's financial position, recent or pending plan changes, potential risks or concerns, and opportunities for positive change are communicated to the appointing authority (i.e. the employer or employer association) on a regular basis, typically at board of directors or membership meetings in person or via a written report.

Management Counsel

Management Guidance, LLP also serves clients by acting as an advisor to management trustees on employee benefit funds. Management counsel may attend fund meetings regularly or upon special request --the client directs the level of service. If the client desires a high level of service, management counsel might function similarly to a non-voting trustee by attending all trust meetings, actively working with the trustees on fund issues, and providing detailed reports to the appointing employer(s). If the client requires support regarding a single issue only, the advisor might consult privately with the management trustee(s) and/or the contributing employer(s) and advise them as necessary to resolve the issue.

Counsel to Contributing Employers

Management Guidance, LLP provides counsel to employers and employer associations about benefit plan issues to help employers better understand and better manage their responsibilities and exposures. Our attorneys regularly field questions about subjects such as plan mergers and other major plan changes, defined benefit pension plan withdrawal liability, and the relationship between the collective bargaining agreement and the benefit plan(s).

It is possible that, in specific arrangements and with the support of the board of trustees, the fund itself could pay for the expense associated with a professional trustee or management counsel. To discuss these possibilities please contact Bill Grimm or John Nesse directly.

Management Guidance, LLP | 1270 Northland Drive, Suite 150 | St. Paul, MN 55120 | (651) 686-2835