John D. Walch
Salt Lake City
With more than 25-years of experience, Mr. Walch works with employers to resolve issues relating to a broad range of qualified and non-qualified benefit plans, including equity-based incentive plans, ESOPs, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, qualified retirement (pensions, profit-sharing, 401(k), 403 and 457) plans and welfare benefit plans, including health, cafeteria and flexible spending plans. Mr. Walch has designed, drafted and obtained IRS approval of hundreds of qualified retirement plans. For plans facing disqualification or other sanctions, he has obtained dozens of compliance statements from the IRS and negotiated positive outcomes in response to U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) investigations. He advises plan fiduciaries on operational issues involving fiduciary liability and plan administration issues, QDROs and benefit claims or appeals.
He also drafts service provider and business associate agreements for plans and plan sponsors. He has tried over 50 ERISA benefit cases in federal court. Mr. Walch also designs deferred compensation arrangements and incentive plans involving stock options, restricted stock, stock appreciation rights and phantom stock. He advises employers on parachute payments, COBRA, HIPAA and other benefit plan issues, including prohibited transactions and obtaining DOL exemptions. He also advises plans and plan sponsors involved in corporate transactions, including whether an ESOP should accept or decline a tender offer, sell employer stock, or spin-off plan assets.
Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark College of Law
Brigham Young University
Federal District Courts in Utah, Oregon and California
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Tax Court
- American Bar Association
- Utah, Oregon and California Bar Association
- Western Pension & Benefits Council, Salt Lake Chapter
- President, Tigard High School Athletic Booster Club
- Site Council, Templeton Elementary
- Youth Indoor Soccer Coach
- Boy Scout Troop Leader
- Legal Elite, Utah Business Magazine
- Frequent lecturer on employee benefit topics
- Vital Signs: Make sure your work wellness program is healthy (Utah Business Magazine, Nov. 2016)
- No More Free Parking, The Enterprise, Jan. 2018
- Fringe Benefit Provisions of the New Tax Act, Utah Bar Tax Section (2018)
- ERISA Lunch & Learn: What your ERISA Attorney Wished you Knew (April 2017)
- Practical Considerations for Negotiating Service Agreements, Western Pension & Benefits Council (2017)
- Industry Updates, Western Pension & Benefits Council (2016)
- ERISA 3(16) – Covering your Basics, Western Pension & Benefits Council (2015)
- PPACA: What Employers Should be Doing, Western Pension & Benefits Council (2013)
- Represent plan sponsor in obtaining closing agreement with IRS allowing a retroactive amendment to pension plan benefit accrual formula, erroneously that increased benefit 12x.
- Obtain closing agreement that allowed retroactively adding an employer contribution to avoid a top-heavy plan failure, saving over $160,000.
- Obtain closing agreement to retroactively amend 401(k) plan to exclude certain employee groups from plan.
- Defend VEBA providing welfare benefits to 20,000+ participants in Department of Labor investigation.
- Obtain “no action: letters in numerous audits of qualified retirement plans
- Negotiate Business Associate Agreements for HIPAA covered entities.
- Negotiate and draft service agreements for both benefit plans and service providers.