Jonathan Zimmerman helps clients design and maintain all types of employee benefit plans and programs. His practice focuses on Internal Revenue Code and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) compliance for retirement, health and welfare, and executive compensation plans. He has particular experience with Code Sections 409A, 162(m), and 280G, and with taxes and fees arising under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Jonathan, a co-leader of the firm’s Reproductive Rights Task Force, also devotes a large part of his practice to payroll, withholding, and fringe benefits matters. He works with clients of all sizes and routinely handles matters ranging from large transactions to day-to-day administrative questions.
Jonathan responds quickly and efficiently to client inquiries, with a focus on each client’s practical concerns. He constantly monitors new developments in employee benefits law and proactively alerts clients to new requirements and planning opportunities. Additionally, he has spoken to audiences across the United States on a variety of benefits topics.
Led compliance reviews of some of the nation’s largest qualified plans to identify plan document and operational errors and design reasonable correction measures to minimize future audit risk.
Handled multiple pension derisking transactions, including plan terminations, lump sum offerings, and annuity purchases in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Designed company policies for the tax treatment of employees’ aircraft, automobile, and lodging expenses that comply with IRS guidance and offer clear and practical standards for employees.
Provided pre- and post-deal due diligence support in connection with mergers and acquisitions, including plan mergers and spin-offs, assumption and transfer of nonqualified deferred compensation plans, administration of flexible spending and health savings accounts, and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) restart requirements.
Designed and drafted omnibus equity and incentive plans and individual award agreements; reviewed and drafted proxy language describing these arrangements.
Negotiated numerous benefits outsourcing agreements with investment advisors, record-keepers, trustees, and other types of service providers.
Steered clients through the transition from traditional retiree medical plans to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) with private exchanges, including ERISA compliance and participant communications.
Advised benefit plan committees on their fiduciary obligations, provided counsel during committee meetings, and drafted responses to participant claims and appeals.
Guided two parties to an acquisition through the shareholder approval process under Code Section 280G, potentially saving millions of dollars in excise taxes.
Routinely provides in-person presentations to educate in-house personnel about various benefits issues, including stock drop litigation, global mobility, and ACA compliance.
New York University School of Law, 2003, J.D.
Brandeis University, 1999, B.A., magna cum laude
District of Columbia
Clerkship to Judge James Lawrence King of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida (2003 - 2004)
Awards and Affiliations
Ranked, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, District of Columbia, Chambers USA (2022)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, Chambers USA (2019)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Employee Benefits (ERISA Law), US News/Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms (2019)
Recommended, Labor and employment: Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design, The Legal 500 US (2018)
Recognized, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Washington, DC, The Best Lawyers in America (2019, 2020, 2022)