When Steve is not serving as primary benefits counsel to numerous employers, or as a leader in the negotiation of benefits vendor contracts and M&A transactions, he can often be found volunteering on youth soccer or baseball fields.
Steve heads the firm’s Los Angeles office. He serves as primary outside employee benefits counsel for numerous clients, handling all legal aspects of design, compliance, administrative, fiduciary and other plan functions. In addition, Steve is a practice leader in assisting clients with their HR contracting and outsourcing efforts, and also with the firm’s employee benefits merger and acquisition efforts. Clients describe Steve as quick and creative, with the ability to translate complicated legal analysis into practical business solutions and opportunities.
Harvard University Law School, 1990, J.D., cum laude
Lebanon Valley College, 1987, B.A., summa cum laude
Bar & Court Admissions
District of Columbia
Memberships & Affiliations
American Bar Association, Tax Section, Employee Benefits Committee
Western Pension Benefits Conference
- Lead or sole negotiator on more than 1,500 recordkeeping, consulting, trustee, payroll, insurance and other benefits and HR vendor agreement negotiations.
- Advised clients with respect to employee benefit matters in scores of acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, IPOs and other corporate transactions. He has assisted with everything from populating the data room, to due diligence, to negotiating the purchase/sale agreement, to supporting all aspects of the benefits transition.
- Steve was recognized in Corporate Counsel magazine for his role in a particularly unusual and creative corporate disposition.
- Lead on numerous IRS, DOL and PGBC matters.
- Convinced an IRS review team to issue one of the first favorable determination letters on a complicated cash balance pension plan design.
- Obtained PBGC waiver of a $200 million+ plus funding obligation
- Worked with a foreign government’s Secretary of Labor, the DOL, IRS and Department of State, to create a U.S.-based Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) as part of a successful negotiation to withdraw all penalty assertions.
News & Events
- Code Section 162(m) Planning Strategies | 01.25.2019
- Code Section 162(m) Grandfathering Rule Under TCJA | 01.25.2019
- Employee Benefits Alert: New Disability Claims Rules | 03.23.2018
- EB Newsletter: Tax Reform | 11.17.2017
- IPB Attorneys Present TEI Employee Benefits Seminar | 11.03.2017
- Steve Witmer Rejoins Ivins | 02.14.2017
- IPB Alert: Notice 2019-09 and Section 4960 | 04.02.2019
- Affordable Care Act Update | 10.18.2018
- Employee Benefits Update | 12.20.2017
- EB Update: Tax Reform | 11.17.2017
- Employee Benefits in Focus: The DOL Fiduciary Rule | 06.07.2016
- Employee Benefits in Focus: Wellness Plans | 05.25.2016
- Responding to a Data Breach in Your Health Plan | 02.12.2015
- Now What? Employee Benefits After DOMA | 07.02.2013
- State Withholding from Qualified Plan Distributions | 04.02.1993
Speeches & Presentations
- American Bar Association, "Business Law Basics” Webinar Series - Employee Benefits, April 28, 2016. Chair/Moderator: Benjamin L. Grosz; Panelist: Steven H. Witmer
- Presentation to large multinational client embarking on merger and acquisition activities: Employee Benefits Merger and Acquisitions Issues, March 1, 2016
- "Employee Benefit Basics for Business Attorneys," American Bar Association, San Francisco, CA, April 17, 2015. Chair/Moderator: Benjamin L. Grosz; Panelist: Steven H. Witmer.
- Western Pension & Benefits Council: Benefits Outsourcing Contracts, October 22, 2015
- ERISA Fiduciary Refresher: Vendor Fee Disclosure, December 16, 2014 (Presentation)
- Tax Executives Institute, Orange County Chapter: Employee Benefits Merger and Acquisition Issues, April 2, 2014