Kirsten Stewart

Member

Denver, Colorado

Phone: 303.299.8272

Fax: 303.298.0940

kstewart@shermanhoward.com

Education

  • Juris Doctor, cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 1995
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, Indiana University, 1992

Kirsten has more than twenty years of experience providing guidance to employers in all areas of employee benefits.

Kirsten Stewart provides day-to-day advice to employers, including publicly-traded entities, government employers and non-profit entities regarding qualified plans (including 401(k), defined benefit, cash balance, and 403(b) plan), non-qualified plans, and welfare benefit plans. She assists her clients with plan design and compliance with all applicable laws, including Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Multi-Employer Pension Plan Amendments Act (MEPPAA), Medicare Secondary Payer rules, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Kirsten strives to make these complex issues and requirements easier for her clients to understand and follow.

Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Employee Benefits Law for more than ten years, Kirsten is also a board member of the Denver Chapter of the Western Pension & Benefits Conference, and is a frequent speaker on employee benefits topics.

Experience

  • Assists clients with the design, implementation and termination of employee benefit plans.
  • Navigates clients through the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System when plan errors occur.
  • Performs fiduciary compliance audits and administrative audits and reviews of employee benefit plans to help clients identify compliance risks and represents clients in IRS and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) audits of plans.
  • Advises clients maintaining welfare benefit plans regarding compliance with the Affordable Care Act (including Employer Shared Responsibility Penalties), ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, the Internal Revenue Code (including nondiscrimination requirements, cafeteria plan rules, and coordination among health reimbursement accounts, health savings accounts, and medical flexible spending accounts) and Medicare Secondary Payer rules.
  • Represents parties in mergers and acquisitions with employee benefits due diligence issues, and advises buyer on benefit design for post-deal coverage of employees.
  • Advises clients regarding participation in multiemployer pension plans (including withdrawal liability, delinquent contributions, and audits).
  • Advises clients regarding deferred compensation arrangements subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 409A.

Publications & Presentations

PUBLICATIONS

 

PRESS

  • Another Year, Another 401(k) Suit
    Law Week Colorado | February 15, 2018
  • Without Clarity, Wellness Incentive Goes up in Smoke
    Employee Benefit Advisor | September 11, 2017

 

PRESENTATIONS

  • Health and Welfare Plan Update
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference | May 2019
  • Health and Welfare Plan Update
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference | May 2018
  • Health and Welfare Plan Update for Employers
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference | May 2017
  • ACA Update
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Conference | April 2015

Professional Activities

  • Western Pension & Benefits Conference
    • Former Member, Board of Directors
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association (inactive)

Highlights

  • Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2009 – 2020)
  • Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Colorado (2014)
  • Phi Beta Kappa