Church and Nonprofit Organizations Benefit Planning


Conner & Winters has an extensive, national church benefits practice, representing the interests of a number of major denominational benefit programs throughout the country. In addition, Conner & Winters also assists other nonprofit organizations with their employee benefit planning needs.

Churches and nonprofit organizations present unique employee benefit challenges and issues. Working through and with the firm’s well-established employee benefits and tax-exempt organization practice groups, the church and nonprofit benefit attorneys at Conner & Winters bring many years of experience to the table when advising our church and nonprofit organization clients.  For example, in the church plan area, it is important to determine if church and church-affiliated employer benefit plans have church plan status, so that they are exempt from ERISA. Our attorneys’ many years of practice in this area ensures that Conner & Winters benefit attorneys can advise interested organizations on these issues without having to spend significant time getting up to speed on the church plan rules.

The firm’s church and nonprofit employer benefit counseling includes:

  • Securing church plan rulings for church-affiliated entities from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor
  • Designing and drafting 403(b)(9) retirement income account plans for churches and church-affiliated organizations and reviewing 403(b)(1) annuity contracts or 403(b)(7) custodial account agreements adopted by other nonprofit employers
  • Designing and drafting section 401(a) qualified plans (including section 401(k) plans), section 457(b) and (f) plans, and nonqualified deferred corporation plans, for churches and other nonprofit employers
  • Advising churches and nonprofit organizations on 403(b) retirement plan regulatory issues 
  • Assisting churches and nonprofit employers in correcting defects in their 403(b) and 401(a) qualified plans under the IRS’s error correction system
  • Assisting churches and nonprofit employers in understanding the differences between 401(k) and 403(b) plans, so that the retirement plans adopted by such organizations best suit their needs
  • Advising churches and nonprofit employers on health care benefit issues arising under the Affordable Care Act and other federal laws
  • Advising churches and nonprofit employers on all types of welfare benefits issues, including self-insured health care plans, cafeteria plans, and flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), group life and disability plans, and educational assistance plans
  • Assisting with vendor searches and RFPs for employer-sponsored retirement and welfare benefit plans

Through our Washington, D.C. office, we are also able to keep our church and nonprofit employer clients advised on the latest legislative and regulatory developments of interest to them.  Unparalleled church plan and nonprofit sector experience means that we can efficiently and effectively meet a church’s or nonprofit organization’s benefit needs.

Click here to access our Employment Law for Ministries Newsletters.

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