Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs)
Designed to relieve employers from the liabilities of lifetime health care coverage, pension payments, and other benefits promised to retirees, Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs) have become common tools – particularly in corporate bankruptcies – for companies seeking to cap the cost of retiree benefits and eliminate the necessity of reflecting future benefit obligations on GAAP compliant financial statements.

Stahl Cowen is an experienced innovator with respect to VEBAs: we evaluate employer obligations to confirm that they can take advantage of VEBA trusts. We create VEBAs from the ground up to allow employers to lower their healthcare insurance costs and maximize available retiree benefits. We draft the required trust agreements, IRS filings and benefit plan documents. Once operating, we assist our clients with the requisite ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) notices to plan participants, provide ERISA mandated HIPAA training to VEBA directors, and handle a broad range of related fiduciary and ERISA issues.

Clients appreciate our proactive approach to evaluate and explore options – like VEBAs – that help them better manage the costs of retiree benefits and achieve win-win scenarios for themselves, their employees, and their retirees.

We help clients:

  • Create VEBAs and new welfare benefit plans to replace employer-provided benefits
  • Design VEBAs that with welfare benefit plans that provide health reimbursement for health insurance and life insurance
  • Negotiate VEBA settlement agreements in Chapter 11 bankruptcies
  • Construct VEBA plans, negotiate with vendors, create and draft VEBA trusts, financial investment guidelines, board of director bylaws, provide HIPAA training and long-term assistance in administration of VEBA plans
  • Devise mechanisms tying employee productivity to the employer's obligation to fund the VEBA at various levels
  • Assist non-profits to maximize State contract benefits