Brian Giovannini

Brian Giovannini, PHR, is an associate in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group in the Houston office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. His practice focuses primarily on compliance work for defined benefit plans (e.g., traditional pension plans, cash balance plans and variable annuity plans) and defined contribution plans (e.g., ESOPs, 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans).

Brian is a contributor to Haynes and Boone's Practical Benefits Lawyer blog, which discusses issues and developments in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation.

Brian regularly counsels clients on administration issues including:

Interpreting plan documents
Possible tax qualification failures
Coverage testing and nondiscrimination testing
Prohibited transactions and other fiduciary issues
Benefit calculations
Participant disputes regarding the distribution or denial of benefits
Qualification of domestic relations orders
Determining the proper beneficiary
Missing participants

In addition, Brian works closely with plan fiduciaries and third party service providers to ensure that plan documents are carefully drafted to meet the business needs of the client. He keeps clients informed of changes in the law and alerts those clients to upcoming deadlines so that plans are timely amended to comply with changes in tax and benefits law. He advises clients regarding discretionary changes (e.g., the addition of retroactive annuity starting dates, changes to death benefits, changes to service crediting, and participation and accrual freezes).

Brian also assists clients in developing supplementary documents and participant communications such as administrative and investment committee charters, plan amendments and resolutions, summary plan documents, summaries of material modifications, QDRO procedures, ERISA section 204(h) notices, plan loan documents, beneficiary designation forms, spousal consent forms, investment policy statements, and annual funding notices. He reviews domestic relations orders and benefit statements and counsels clients on matters of benefit calculation and distribution.

Brian assists clients with government compliance, including filing the annual Form 5500 with the IRS and cyclical determination letter filings. He also helps clients correct plan errors through the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.

Brian also assists clients with executive compensation programs including incentive plans, bonus plans, and severance plans, as well as international compensation questions.

Before joining the firm, Brian was a graphic designer and cartoonist.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2) Counseling for Plan Fiduciaries, 3) ESOPs and Other Stock-Based Plans, 4) Executive and Incentive Compensation, 5) Government Audits and Investigations and 6) Health and Welfare Plans
Law School University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 2006)
Admitted Year 2008
Education University of Houston (B.A.,2005)
Bar Member / Association Texas State Bar Associations
Most recent firm Haynes and Boone, LLP
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