University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, J.D. 1969
College of the Holy Cross, B.A. 1966
Bernard Peter's practice concentrates in employee benefits law and the application of employee benefits law to business transactions. He has worked on a broad range of employee benefits compliance and regulatory issues for clients ranging from small corporations to very large publicly traded companies, not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities.
He has drafted and amended qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and medical and other welfare benefit plans, to comply with the Employment Retirement Security Act of 1974, as amended, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and regulations and rulings issued under ERISA and the Code. He has worked on Employee Stock Ownership Plans and has handled multi-employer withdrawal liability matters and IRS, U.S. Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation audits of retirement plans. He has prepared communication pieces, such as Summary Plan Descriptions and retirement statements, to communicate to employees of his clients the value of the employee benefits they are receiving from their employers.
He has implemented non-qualified retirement arrangements for executives and drafted severance plans and change of control provisions. In addition, he has provided legal services to clients on COBRA issues, the employee benefits aspects of acquisitions, mergers and divestitures, the termination of qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and on post-retirement medical, flexible benefits issues and on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- Drafted and amended qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans, including ESOP’s, medical, and other welfare plans to comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
- Successfully negotiated resolutions of audits by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation of alleged prohibited transaction loans made by a fiduciary of from qualified retirement plans to real estate developers; ultimately recovered for the plans over $400,000 of the $1 million in defaulted plan loans.
- Favorably withdrew a New England grocery distribution cooperative from a multi-employer pension plan, and reentered the client into the multi-employer pension plan where the future withdrawal liability was limited substantially.
- Successfully handled two audits by the U.S. Department of Labor and one audit by the Internal Revenue Service of loans made by the named fiduciary of a defined benefit pension plan to a real estate developer, in which loans were never paid back to the plan resulting in a loss to the plan of approximately $1 million.
Implemented a rabbi trust agreement to secure manufacturing company promise of supplemental retirement benefits for senior management.
3rd annual Elder Law Bootcamp: Basics and Beyond, "Retirement Plans and Distributions", ISBA Elder Law Section, April 2016
“Employer 401(k) And Health Care Plan Disclosures To Be Made In Second Half of 2012,” The Corporate Lawyer Newsletter, Illinois State Bar Association, August 2012; and the Employee Benefits Newsletter, Illinois State Bar Association, September 2012
“Employee benefit plans – The importance of classifying individuals correctly,” The Corporate Lawyer Newsletter, Illinois State Bar Association, October 2012; Employee Benefits Newsletter, Illinois State Bar Association, April 2013; and Primerus Corporate Client e-Newsletter, Summer 2013