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Jodi Epstein, Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Chartered Photo

Jodi H. Epstein

Partner

Jodi has a great knack for translating complex benefits issues into simple terms for wide audiences, a skill that's highly valued by her clients in Legal and HR departments and makes her a sought-after speaker at conferences.

Profile

Jodi has more than 20 years of experience with all aspects of employee benefits, with a particular focus on defined benefit plans and 401(k) plans. She is particularly adept at managing integrations after acquisitions, setting up new benefit platforms, pension plan lump sum windows and terminations, and advising qualified plan committees regarding their fiduciary duties. Jodi’s practice includes day-to-day compliance issues, such as assisting with implementation of new legislation and regulations, trouble-shooting when glitches arise in plan operations, and helping qualified plan committees monitor plan investments and plan vendors. Her practice also includes the one-of-a-kind issues that can arise, usually in connection with M&A activity.  

Jodi is well-versed in the complexity and challenges raised by large controlled groups.  Clients appreciate Jodi’s ability to manage projects involving multiple plan vendors, often on a tight timetable. Her client service and responsiveness are unsurpassed.

Education

Harvard Law School, 1993, J.D., cum laude

Stanford University, 1988, B.A., with distinction

Bar & Court Admissions

District of Columbia

Illinois

Clerkships

Clerkship with the Honorable Suzanne B. Conlon, Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Memberships & Affiliations

D.C. Bar Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee

American Bar Association

Experience

Representative Matters

  • For over a decade, for a single multinational client, Jodi helped merge more than 100 frozen defined contribution plans down into 2 plans. She helped develop a “Gatekeeper Process” for merger approvals, and she assisted with the blackout notice and other participant communications.
  • Jodi advises Plan committees on a regular basis. She helps them navigate the complex rules involved with IRC and ERISA compliance, and helps them fulfill their ERISA fiduciary duties by monitoring vendors and overseeing investments. 
  • Jodi has drafted full-scale benefits programs following an acquisition or spinoff. Developing these new benefit platforms has included drafting new plan documents and SPDs, negotiating trustee and other vendor agreements, and crafting participant communications. 

News & Events

Speeches & Presentations

  • June 13, 2018, “2018 Washington Update”, speaker, Plan Sponsor National Conference, Washington DC
  • June 13, 2108, “DC Bootcamp: Understanding ERISA and Fiduciary Fundamentals”, speaker, Plan Sponsor National Conference
  • October 26, 2017, “Best of” Plan Sponsor National Conference (PSNC), New York City program, Regulatory/Litigation Update – Panelist. 
  • October 12, 2017, Women, Influence & Power in Law conference, Navigating & Surviving an IRS or DOL Audit of Your Benefit Plans – Panelist. 
  • October 9, 2017 Pension & Investments West Coast Defined Contribution Conference, Navigating the White Label Process – Panelist.
  • May 12, 2017, Tax Executives Institute full-day seminar at Meadow Wood Manor, NJ, Top Tax Compliance Risks and Pitfalls in Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits (with Robin Solomon). 
  • April 25, 2017, Mid-Sized Retirement and Healthcare Plan Management Conference in Baltimore MD, Surviving a DOL Audit (with Spencer Walters).
  • February 24, 2017, Tax Executives Institute, Carolinas Chapter in Charlotte, NC, Global Mobility of Employees: Practical Strategies (with Doug Andre).
  • April 5, 2016, Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) Public Policy Forum: Minimizing 401(k) Plan Litigation Risk – Panelist.
  • May 14, 2015, DC Bar Employee Benefits Committee Program: Qualified Plan Corrections and Revenue Procedures 2015-27 and 2015-28 – Panelist.
  • March 3, 2015 Pension & Investments East Coast Defined Contribution Conference -- Moderator, Large Plans Roundtable.
  • February 9-10, 2015  Tax Executives Institute, Cincinnati-Columbus Chapter -- "Protecting Yourself from ERISA Fiduciary Liability" Presenters (with Benjamin Grosz).
  • March 4, 2014 Pension & Investments East Coast Defined Contribution Conference -- Moderator, Large Plans Roundtable.
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