Provided by Deborah L Grace
Deborah (“Deb”) Grace is an experienced benefits attorney skilled at providing practical advice to CFOs and HR professionals about the complex tax and labor laws that impact retirement and savings (401(k)) plans, executive compensation, and welfare benefit plans. She regularly counsels private companies and private equity funds on the benefit plan implications of business acquisitions and dispositions, including employee benefits tax and ERISA compliance review, and advises buyers on the integration of benefit programs based on the structure of the business deal. She advises US based entities and their non-US based owners on the unique tax rules that require separate legal entities under common control to be treated as one employer for US coverage and non-discrimination rules.
Her position as Chair of the Firm’s Benefits Committee means that she has practical experience in applying ERISA’s prudent fiduciary rule including facilitating discussions with service providers about the reasonableness of fees charged and the need to monitor investments offered by the retirement plan. She has negotiated favorable results for clients correcting retirement plan design and administration errors, including late transfer of deferrals, using the IRS’ Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System and the Department of Labor’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program. She advises clients about compliance with the Affordable Care Act and the privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
American Bar Association Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee; Michigan Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee; Past Chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association; Member, ASPPA Governmental Affairs Committee
Author, "What Do a Newly Married Employee, A Long-Term Employee, and a Change of 401(k) Recordkeepers Have in Common? Beneficiary Designation Forms," Dickinson Wright All Things HR Blog, October 2021; Author, "IRS Provides Details on the Extension of the April 15 Filing Date," Dickinson Wright Tax Blog, March 2020; Author, “What to do if your Company is Close to the Affordable Care Act’s 50 Full-Time Employee Threshold”, Dickinson Wright HR Blog, September 2019; Author, “Form 5500 Provides Insight on Compliance with IRS and DOL Plan Administration Priorities”, Dickinson Wright Tax Blog”, June 2019; Presenter, “Retirement Plan Audit Risks”, National Webinar for Strafford Publications, May 2019; Author, “The Top 5 Things to Know if You Are New to 401(k) Benefits Administration”, Dickinson Wright HR Blog, February 2019
Employee Benefits Law
Best Lawyers in America®
“Lawyer of the Year”, Employee Benefits Law
Best Lawyers in America®
Employee Benefits/ERISA Law
Michigan Super Lawyers®
“Top Lawyers”, Employee Benefits Law
Wayne State University Law School
Deborah Grace is a well-respected employee benefits lawyer, noted for her work in the healthcare sector
"She’s always responsive, knows our business well, proactively keeps us advised of changes in law and, perhaps most importantly, is practical in her advice." "Deb Grace is an excellent attorney that provides the highest level of advice when it comes to employee benefits."