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Justin W.
Stemple

  • Partner

Many small and medium-sized businesses, especially those owned by baby boomers, are rapidly approaching a point of transition. Sometimes the kids aren’t interested in taking over. Owners should know there is another option available to them, beyond the more common M&A or divestiture route – namely, the employee stock ownership plan or ESOP. This planning technique offers so much potential – it not only benefits the selling owner, but also the ongoing company and the employees. Win, win, win.

Justin Stemple focuses his practice on qualified retirement plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and executive compensation, with a particular emphasis on employee stock ownership plans, incentive programs and equity compensation. Clients hail from the construction, distribution, manufacturing, mechanical contracting and professional services fields, among others.

Tax-Qualified Retirement Plans

  • Drafting plan documents, summary plan descriptions and amendments for qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, profit-sharing plans, ESOPs and union multiemployer pension plans.
  • Successfully negotiating contract dispute with third-party administrator regarding qualified retirement plan distribution issues.
  • Counseling employers regarding the impact of mergers and acquisitions on their retirement plans.
  • Assisting employers with submissions to correct retirement plan operational errors under Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor correction procedures.
  • Implementing the freeze and termination of defined benefit pension plans with the PB

Tax-Qualified Retirement Plans

  • Drafting plan documents, summary plan descriptions and amendments for qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, profit-sharing plans, ESOPs and union multiemployer pension plans.
  • Successfully negotiating contract dispute with third-party administrator regarding qualified retirement plan distribution issues.
  • Counseling employers regarding the impact of mergers and acquisitions on their retirement plans.
  • Assisting employers with submissions to correct retirement plan operational errors under Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor correction procedures.
  • Implementing the freeze and termination of defined benefit pension plans with the PBGC in both standard and distress terminations.
  • Assisting employers to successfully resolve issues raised in Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service audits.
  • Assisting employers with reviewing and challenging multimillion dollar withdrawal liability claims by union multiemployer pension funds.
  • Conducting RFP process and negotiating vendor agreements for retirement plan service providers.
  • Representing employers and trustees with respect to transactions involving an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
  • Assisting corporate counsel regarding the sale of a $100 million+ ESOP-owned company.

Executive Compensation

  • Counseling employers and compensation consultants in regard to the design and implementation of equity incentive programs, including stock options, stock appreciations rights, restricted stock and stock awards.
  • Designing and drafting early retirement incentive programs.
  • Drafting and conducting Internal Revenue Code Section 409A reviews of deferred compensation plans, including phantom stock plans, individual account balance plans, non-account balance plans, incentive based plans and severance agreements.
  • Assisting publicly traded companies to structure their non-qualified deferred compensation plans to achieve their original business purpose and retain flexibility while bringing the plans into compliance with Section 409A.
  • “Retirement Plan Update,” Warner 2022 HR Seminar In-Person Event, May 4, 2022, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • The New Normal and What’s Next for Retirement Plans,” Warner Webinar, June 11, 2020
  • “What Is an ESOP and Why Should I Care?,” ESOP Quarterly Meet-Up, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, March 10, 2020, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “MBA Retirement Trust Committee SECURE Act”Webinar, December 20, 2019
  • “Employee Benefits Update,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 7, 2019,
  • “Retirement Plan Update,” Warner 2022 HR Seminar In-Person Event, May 4, 2022, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • The New Normal and What’s Next for Retirement Plans,” Warner Webinar, June 11, 2020
  • “What Is an ESOP and Why Should I Care?,” ESOP Quarterly Meet-Up, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, March 10, 2020, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “MBA Retirement Trust Committee SECURE Act”Webinar, December 20, 2019
  • “Employee Benefits Update,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 7, 2019, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Equity Compensation for Startups,” WMU Innovation Lunch-and-Learn Series, September 20, 2018, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • “Benefit Plan Nondiscrimination Testing,” WarnerHuman Resources Seminar, May 3, 2018, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ESOP Administration Horror Stories,” National Center for Employee Ownership Annual Conference, April 19, 2018, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Fueling Growth Through Acquisitions,” Michigan Chapter of the ESOP Association Spring Conference, April 11, 2018, Lansing, Michigan
  • “Myth or Truth: Employee Benefits Panel,” Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panels, November 17, 2017, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “401(k) Wthdrawal Dos and Don’ts” and “Incentivizing Your Employees,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 23, 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Managing an Evolving Workforce” and “Attracting and Retaining Millennials,” Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, October 18, 2016, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • 2016 West Michigan Fiduciary Forum, June 28, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ESOP Ownership Transition, June 21, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Correction Programs,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, June 9, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, Warner Seminar, October 5, 2015, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “Retirement Plans, Benefit Plans in Mergers and Acquisitions, ACA Update and Requirements,” Radiology Business Managers of Michigan Spring Conference 2015, May 1, 2015, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “What to Do When a Client Wants Out,” co-presented with Scott Eisenberg, John Carter and Jeffrey Groen, The Michigan Association of Public Accountants Anti-Fraud Issues, Litigation & Business Valuation, and Mergers & Acquisitions Conference, May 19, 2015, Livonia, Michigan
  • “Retirement Plan Panel Discussion” and “Benefit Plans in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 20, 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “GreatBank/DOL Settlement: What Should You Know,” Michigan Chapter of The ESOP Association, co-presented with Nick Adamy, Adamy Valuation Advisors, March 30, 2015, Lansing, Michigan,
  • Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Panel, Labor and Benefits Executive Panel-Government Enforcement Initiatives, October 23, 2014, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • ESOP Features You May Not Have Considered,” Michigan Chapter of The ESOP Association Annual Conference, September 25, 2014
  • “Hot Topics in Retirement Plans,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 22, 2014, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Best Practices in Retirement Plan Governance,” presented to Advantage Benefits Group client seminar and separately at a Principal Financial Group client seminar, both held at Frederick Meijer Gardens, September 11, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Retirement Plan RFPs” and “Roadmap to Designing Compensation Plans,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 29, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “New Fiduciary Liabilities for Retirement Plans,” Healthcare Financial Management Association (West MI Chapter) Spring Conference, March 20, 2013, Caledonia, Michigan
  • “A Legislative Update on Retirement Plans,” West Michigan Chapter of International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Nov. 15, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Boatload of Ideas on ESOP Communication,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Fall Conference, October 23, 2012, Lansing, Michigan
  • Regular speaker with The ESOP Association
  • “The Perfect Retirement Plan for Small Businesses?,” and “DOL’s New Fee Disclosure Rules: Are You in Compliance?,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 2, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Are You Ready for New DOL Fee Disclosure Rules?,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 25, 2011, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Plan Mechanics,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Meeting, October 27, 2010
  • 2010 Legislative Update, West Michigan Chapter of ISCEBS, November 17, 2010
  • “Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans: What and Why?,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, March 23, 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Last Call for 409A,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, September 11, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Generational Differences in the Workplace,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Meeting, October 23, 2007
  • “Electronic SPDs, Notices and Consents: What You Need to Know,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 10, 2007, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Structuring Equity Compensation in ESOP Companies,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Meeting, March 28, 2007
Image for Justin W. Stemple

Justin W.
Stemple

  • Partner
Grand Rapids

My admin

Many small and medium-sized businesses, especially those owned by baby boomers, are rapidly approaching a point of transition. Sometimes the kids aren’t interested in taking over. Owners should know there is another option available to them, beyond the more common M&A or divestiture route – namely, the employee stock ownership plan or ESOP. This planning technique offers so much potential – it not only benefits the selling owner, but also the ongoing company and the employees. Win, win, win.

Justin Stemple focuses his practice on qualified retirement plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and executive compensation, with a particular emphasis on employee stock ownership plans, incentive programs and equity compensation. Clients hail from the construction, distribution, manufacturing, mechanical contracting and professional services fields, among others.

  • “Retirement Plan Update,” Warner 2022 HR Seminar In-Person Event, May 4, 2022, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • The New Normal and What’s Next for Retirement Plans,” Warner Webinar, June 11, 2020
  • “What Is an ESOP and Why Should I Care?,” ESOP Quarterly Meet-Up, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, March 10, 2020, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “MBA Retirement Trust Committee SECURE Act”Webinar, December 20, 2019
  • “Employee Benefits Update,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 7, 2019,
  • “Retirement Plan Update,” Warner 2022 HR Seminar In-Person Event, May 4, 2022, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • The New Normal and What’s Next for Retirement Plans,” Warner Webinar, June 11, 2020
  • “What Is an ESOP and Why Should I Care?,” ESOP Quarterly Meet-Up, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, March 10, 2020, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “MBA Retirement Trust Committee SECURE Act”Webinar, December 20, 2019
  • “Employee Benefits Update,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 7, 2019, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Equity Compensation for Startups,” WMU Innovation Lunch-and-Learn Series, September 20, 2018, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • “Benefit Plan Nondiscrimination Testing,” WarnerHuman Resources Seminar, May 3, 2018, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ESOP Administration Horror Stories,” National Center for Employee Ownership Annual Conference, April 19, 2018, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Fueling Growth Through Acquisitions,” Michigan Chapter of the ESOP Association Spring Conference, April 11, 2018, Lansing, Michigan
  • “Myth or Truth: Employee Benefits Panel,” Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panels, November 17, 2017, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “401(k) Wthdrawal Dos and Don’ts” and “Incentivizing Your Employees,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 23, 2017, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Managing an Evolving Workforce” and “Attracting and Retaining Millennials,” Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, October 18, 2016, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • 2016 West Michigan Fiduciary Forum, June 28, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ESOP Ownership Transition, June 21, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Correction Programs,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, June 9, 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, Warner Seminar, October 5, 2015, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “Retirement Plans, Benefit Plans in Mergers and Acquisitions, ACA Update and Requirements,” Radiology Business Managers of Michigan Spring Conference 2015, May 1, 2015, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “What to Do When a Client Wants Out,” co-presented with Scott Eisenberg, John Carter and Jeffrey Groen, The Michigan Association of Public Accountants Anti-Fraud Issues, Litigation & Business Valuation, and Mergers & Acquisitions Conference, May 19, 2015, Livonia, Michigan
  • “Retirement Plan Panel Discussion” and “Benefit Plans in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 20, 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “GreatBank/DOL Settlement: What Should You Know,” Michigan Chapter of The ESOP Association, co-presented with Nick Adamy, Adamy Valuation Advisors, March 30, 2015, Lansing, Michigan,
  • Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Panel, Labor and Benefits Executive Panel-Government Enforcement Initiatives, October 23, 2014, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • ESOP Features You May Not Have Considered,” Michigan Chapter of The ESOP Association Annual Conference, September 25, 2014
  • “Hot Topics in Retirement Plans,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 22, 2014, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Best Practices in Retirement Plan Governance,” presented to Advantage Benefits Group client seminar and separately at a Principal Financial Group client seminar, both held at Frederick Meijer Gardens, September 11, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Retirement Plan RFPs” and “Roadmap to Designing Compensation Plans,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, April 29, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “New Fiduciary Liabilities for Retirement Plans,” Healthcare Financial Management Association (West MI Chapter) Spring Conference, March 20, 2013, Caledonia, Michigan
  • “A Legislative Update on Retirement Plans,” West Michigan Chapter of International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Nov. 15, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Boatload of Ideas on ESOP Communication,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Fall Conference, October 23, 2012, Lansing, Michigan
  • Regular speaker with The ESOP Association
  • “The Perfect Retirement Plan for Small Businesses?,” and “DOL’s New Fee Disclosure Rules: Are You in Compliance?,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 2, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Are You Ready for New DOL Fee Disclosure Rules?,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 25, 2011, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Plan Mechanics,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Meeting, October 27, 2010
  • 2010 Legislative Update, West Michigan Chapter of ISCEBS, November 17, 2010
  • “Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans: What and Why?,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, March 23, 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Last Call for 409A,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, September 11, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Generational Differences in the Workplace,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Meeting, October 23, 2007
  • “Electronic SPDs, Notices and Consents: What You Need to Know,” Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 10, 2007, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Structuring Equity Compensation in ESOP Companies,” ESOP Association Michigan Chapter Meeting, March 28, 2007