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 design, funding issues, schedules of benefits, participant appeals, and a variety of other matters.

Counsel to Contributing Employers

Management Guidance, LLP counsels individual employers and groups of employers on specific benefit fund issues.  We have worked with businesses of all sizes to develop risk mitigation strategies related to the company's participation in one or more multiemployer plans, with particular emphasis on pension plan withdrawal liability.  Our attorneys are uniquely well qualified with extensive practical experience in addition to expertise in the broad array of laws that apply to trust fund issues.

Professional Trustees

Management Guidance, LLP attorneys serve as professional management trustees to Taft-Hartley benefit funds, including pension, health and welfare, training, and other trust funds. A professional trustee accepts the same fiduciary duty that is required of all trustees, brings a level of experience and expertise to the trust that supports all trustees and fund professionals in fulfilling their responsibilities to the plan, and maintains regular communications with the appointing employers to ensure that they are well informed about the plan's operations. Professional trustees may also serve in limited roles to assist trustees with special issues and and deadlock resolution.

Management Counsel - Trustee Meetings

Management counsel advises the management trustees of a benefit plan.  Counsel may attend fund meetings regularly, upon special request, or work only behind the scenes -- the client directs the level of service. In a full-service scenario, management counsel would normally attend all trust meetings, actively working with the management trustees on fund issues and providing detailed reports to the contributing employer(s). If the client requires support regarding a single issue only, management counsel would meet privately with the management trustee(s) and/or the contributing employer(s) and advise them as necessary to resolve the issue.

Management Counsel - Dispute Resolution

When boards of trustees are unable to agree on certain issues, the trust document may call for an arbitration to resolve the deadlock.  Our attorneys have successfully represented employer associations and employer trustees in the resolution such disputes, including the arbitration process.

 

It is possible that, in specific circumstances 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