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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 practical 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. She has experience with government entities as well as corporate clients. Her practice also includes the one-of-a-kind issues that arise 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. Jodi has been individually recognized by Chambers & Partners for Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation.

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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

Honors & Awards

Chambers & Partners USA 2019-2020 Guide

Best Lawyers 2017-2021

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Jodi helped a large multinational client 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. 
  • Jodi has drafted a defined contribution plan for a governmental entity.

News & Events

News

Speeches & Presentations

  • May 8, 2020, DCIIA webinar, "Managing through the Crisis: Evaluating Distribution and Loan Provisions under the CARES Act" – Moderator
  • June 25, 2019, ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (JCEB) webinar, "A Deep Dive: Who is an Employee?" – Panelist
  • June 5, 2019, Plan Sponsor National Conference, "DC Plan Essentials: Are You an ERISA Fiduciary and What Does That Mean?" and "Latest Plan Document Requirements and Operating According to the Plan"– Speaker
  • March 11, 2019, Pension & Investments East Coast Defined Contribution Conference, "Overseeing Acquired Defined Contribution Plans" – Panelist
  • November 13-15, 2018, "Best of" Plan Sponsor National Conference (PSNC) programs in Chicago, New York City and Boston, "Regulatory/Litigation Update" – Panelist
  • October 12, 2018, IBCN National Forum, Washington DC (with Kevin O'Brien) – Speaker 
  • June 13, 2018, Plan Sponsor National Conference, Washington, DC, “2018 Washington Update,” – Speaker 
  • June 13, 2018, Plan Sponsor National Conference, “DC Bootcamp: Understanding ERISA and Fiduciary Fundamentals,” – Speaker 
  • 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 Seminar at Meadow Wood Manor, NJ, "Top Tax Compliance Risks and Pitfalls in Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits" (with Robin Solomon) – Speaker  
  • April 25, 2017, Mid-Sized Retirement and Healthcare Plan Management Conference, Baltimore MD, "Surviving a DOL Audit" (with Spencer Walters) – Speaker 
  • February 24, 2017, Tax Executives Institute, Carolinas Chapter, Charlotte, NC, "Global Mobility of Employees: Practical Strategies" (with Doug Andre) – Speaker 
  • 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, "Large Plans Roundtable" – Moderator
  • February 9-10, 2015, Tax Executives Institute, Cincinnati-Columbus Chapter,"Protecting Yourself from ERISA Fiduciary Liability" (with Ben Grosz) Presenter
  • March 4, 2014, Pension & Investments East Coast Defined Contribution Conference, "Large Plans Roundtable" – Moderator
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