Lisa B. Zimmer

Partner | lzimmer@wnj.com | V-Card | Profile PDF SouthfieldT 248.784.5191F 248.603.9791 Lisa Zimmer has more than 26 years of experience in employee benefits, almost 21 of those years as an attorney. She counsels employers in the design, documentation, implementation and compliance of their 401(k) plans, pension plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. She has successfully represented clients with matters before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Before entering law school... Read More
Lisa Zimmer has more than 26 years of experience in employee benefits, almost 21 of those years as an attorney. She counsels employers in the design, documentation, implementation and compliance of their 401(k) plans, pension plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. She has successfully represented clients with matters before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Before entering law school, Lisa worked in human resources and benefits administration.
  • Experience
  • Biography
  • News
  • Publications
  • Leadership
  • Speaking Engagements

Experience

  • Successfully negotiated settlement of two-year DOL investigation of client’s two multiple employer defined contribution plans with combined assets of more than $285 million
  • Managed employee benefit plan issues in connection with bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of company, including eventual termination of all benefit plans; for defined benefit pension plan, prepared all required filings and notices to the PBGC and handled all discussions with PBGC, including those leading to PBGC’s trusteeship of the plan
  • Successfully negotiated IRS voluntary compliance program application for 401(k) plan operational failure, saving the client more than $100,000 in potential additional contributions to the plan
  • Negotiated investment manager agreements for client’s defined benefit and defined contribution plans with combined assets of $1.8 billion
  • Managed disaffiliation/withdrawal process for multiple employer pension plan with over $36 million in assets; during a three year period approximately 20 employers either spun-off from the plan (and created their own pension plans) or withdrew from the plan (and agreed to pay their unfunded liability)
  • Prepared documents to merge two multiple employer defined contribution plans with approximately 200 participating employers in each plan and combined assets of more than $285 million, taking into account all of the available options in the main plan documents and corresponding adoption agreements
  • Developed and supervised qualified domestic relations order review process for client’s pension and 401(k) plans covering more than 100,000 participants and with combined assets of more than $5.4 billion
  • Analyzed and prepared PBGC reportable event filings and 4062(e) filings (in connection with facility closures) for several defined benefit pension plan clients and handled subsequent discussions with PBGC
  • Drafted requests for proposal for investment advisory, recordkeeping and trustee services for pension and 401(k) plan clients
  • Revised investment advisor clients’ advisory and recordkeeping agreements for compliance with the reporting requirements under ERISA Section 408(b)(2)
  • Counseled investment advisor clients on a range of ERISA compliance issues in connection with the services they provide to their retirement plan clients, including compliance with ERISA’s prohibited transaction rules
  • As ERISA counsel for Cerberus Capital Management, successfully obtained dismissal of class action lawsuit by former Chrysler executives alleging that their nonqualified deferred compensation plan benefits should have survived bankruptcy

Industries

Practices

Education

  • Wayne State University J.D. 1993
  • University of Michigan B.B.A. 1985

Admitted

  • 1993, Michigan

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits Law, 2011-Present
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers 2010-Present
  • Named a Top Lawyer Employee Benefits Law by DBusiness 2010
  • Chambers USA (received a No. 1 ranking among the Leading Practitioners in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Field), 2008-Present
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Taxation Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Taxation Section, Employee Benefits Committee (1993-Present, Chair 2007-2009)

Speaking Engagements

  • "Thorny issues in retirement plans," Emplowering Women & Developing Future Leaders, Novi, Michigan (October 20, 2014)
  • “HR and Benefits Executive Panel,” WNJ Human Resources Seminar, Midland, Michigan (October 9, 2013) and Birmingham, Michigan (October 15, 2013)
  • "How Does the Historic DOMA Decision Impact Employers?," Michigan Chamber of Commerce Webinar (August 28, 2013)
  • "What the DOMA Decision Means for Employers," The Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) On-Demand Seminar (July 19, 2013)
  • "6 Steps to Better Governance of Benefit Plans," Employment Outlook & Strategy Seminar (October 2, 2012)
  • "2012 - The Year of the ERISA Fiduciary," Warner Norcross & Judd LLP HR Seminar (May 2012)
  • "Impact of ERISA 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosures on Investment Advisers" Warner Norcross & Judd LLP Webinar (May 2011)
  • "2011 Fiduciary Changes - What Is An Employer To Do?," joint Webinar with Westminster Consulting, LLC (April 12, 2011)
  • "Retirement Plan Issues in Uncertain Times," Warner Norcross & Judd LLP HR Seminar (March 2010)
  • "COBRA Subsidy Extension: What This Means For You," Warner Norcross & Judd LLP Webinar (January 2010)
  • "COBRA Premium Subsidy Update," Warner Norcross & Judd LLP Human Resources and Risk Management Mini Seminar Series (October 2009)
  • "401(k) Automatic Enrollment and the Qualified Default Investment Arrangement Rules," Warner Norcross & Judd LLP Human Resources Seminar (September 2008)
  • "Managing Health and Controlling Costs – A Practical Guide to Health Management Programs," joint presentation with Buck Consultants (May 2006)
  • "Goodbye Medical Savings Accounts, Hello Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts," Lorman Education Services (October 2005)
  • "The Importance of SPDs," ALCOS (June 2005)
  • "HSAs: Fad or Fact for Motor City Employers?", joint presentation with Mellon Human Resources and Investor Solutions (March 2005)
  • "Fiduciary Considerations of Electronic Investment Advice," Michigan Employee Benefits Conference (March 2002)

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