For 25 years, Kirstin Poirier-Whitley has been a trusted counselor to both tax-exempt employers, including hospitals, universities, and local governments, and for-profit employers on complex tax, fiduciary, and other regulatory issues impacting employee and executive benefit programs. She provides creative advice and practical solutions for thorny plan design and administration issues, addresses the benefit plan liability and transition issues that arise in M&A transactions, and helps clients favorably settle compliance issues with government agencies.
Kirstin regularly advises on emerging options for employer-provided health care benefits, such as direct-contracting between employers and health care providers, and stand-alone options like telemedicine and second opinion services. She has extensive experience advising on ERISA, tax, Affordable Care Act, HIPAA privacy, and myriad other regulatory requirements impacting clients' health and welfare plans and related funding vehicles (e.g., 401(h) accounts, VEBAs). She often negotiates health plan service agreements with third-party administrators and network providers.
Kirstin also frequently counsels sponsors and fiduciaries of retirement plans (cash balance, pension, 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans) on tax and fiduciary issues, including topical matters such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment considerations. She also assists tax-exempt and for-profit clients with executive deferred compensation programs (457 and 409A issues) and on all manner of fringe benefits (educational assistance, employer-provided vehicles, wellness incentives). Additionally, she counsels clients on payroll tax matters, including FICA taxation of nonqualified deferred compensation, and is experienced with state law issues impacting governmental plans, such as the vested rights doctrine.
The Affordable Care Act's "Play or Pay" Decision: How Do You Handle Contingent Workers Hired Through a Staffing Agency?
- January 15, 2019
PLI: 2019 Applying ERISA Fiduciary Rules to Health Plans, Services and Products
- University of California, Los Angeles (J.D. 1994; Order of the Coif; Moot Court Honors Program; B.A. 1991; Phi Beta Kappa)