Overview

About Bruce

Bruce brings more than 35 years’ experience to the firm and is one of the country’s foremost authorities on executive and deferred compensation. His practice focuses on assisting clients in a variety of employee benefits matters involving executive and nonqualified deferred compensation plans, as well as the tax aspects of equity, phantom equity and employee benefits litigation.

As a leader in employee benefits law, Bruce serves on the board of directors of the Plan Sponsor Council of America and is chair of its Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Committee. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is the Editor-in-Chief of both the Journal of Pension Planning & Compliance and the Journal of Deferred Compensation: Nonqualified Plans and Executive Compensation, quarterly publications published by Wolters Kluwer.

In addition to his legal work, Bruce is frequent author and lecturer on employee benefits matters. He has authored more than 34 books and 100 articles on related topics.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Bruce was a partner at The Wagner Law Group (2016-2018), a shareholder with Littler Mendelson P.C. and a partner with Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He served with the Internal Revenue Service, Employee Plans Technical and Actuarial Division, in Washington, D.C.

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Experience

Experience

  • Consult with clients on a wide variety of issues with respect to qualified retirement and 401(k) plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, split-dollar life insurance arrangements and executive compensation.
  • Counsel clients on:
    • All aspects of qualified and nonqualified retirement and deferred compensation plans and arrangements of taxable and tax-exempt employers.
    • Employee benefit issues in mergers and acquisitions.
    • Fiduciary responsibility and prohibited transaction issues.
    • Executive compensation matters.
    • Benefit programs for tax-exempt entities.
  • Practice before IRS, DOL and PBGC in examinations, correction programs and ruling requests.
  • Serve as expert in federal hearings and investigations, including the following:
    • Testified before the United States Senate Committee on Finance as an expert witness in the hearings on the Enron Corporation.
    • Testified before the United States Department of Labor ERISA Advisory Council as an expert on executive compensation and employee benefits.
    • Participated in an investigation by the United Sates Government Accountability Office (the “GAO”) on the impact of mergers and acquisitions on employee benefits as an expert. That investigation was initiated at the request of Representative Robert Scott (D-VA).
    • Participated in an investigation by the GAO on nonqualified deferred compensation plans as an expert. That investigation was initiated at the request of Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Litigation – ERISA), 2006-2020
  • Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • Board member, chair of Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Committee, Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), 2017-present
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Joint TE/GE Council, 2018-2019
  • Volunteer Service Award, Plan Sponsor Council of America’s 70th Annual National Conference, 2017
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

Bruce is the author of more than 34 books, including the 1994-to-the-present editions of “Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans,” published by Thomson Reuters; several editions of “Tax-Sheltered Annuities Under § 403(b) and Nonqualified § 457 Plans,” published by the RIA Group; “Employee Benefits in Mergers & Acquisitions,” published by the RIA Group; and “401(k) Plans: A Comprehensive Guide,” published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. He is also the author or co-author of over 100 articles on employee benefit matters.

  • Co-author, “Cash Your Check; It Is Yours,” 401(k) Advisor, Oct. 2019
  • Panelist, “Tax Cuts and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation,” Plan Sponsor Council of America webinar, Oct. 9, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “Common Prohibited Transactions,” AICPA 2018 Employee Benefits Plan Conference, May 15–17, 2018
  • Presenter, “A New Sheriff In Town (The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and NQDC),” Florida West Coast Employee Benefits Council (FWCEBC) 2018 Educational Workshop, April 19, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “Executive Compensation 2018: Best-Step Briefing for Private and Public Companies,” webinar, The Wagner Law Group, March 27, 2018
  • Presenter, “Tax Cuts and & Jobs Act and other highlights from the Hill,” Joint TE/GE Council Meeting - Employee Plans (EP) Update, February 22-23, 2018
  • “NQDC Administration Makes the Plan,” PSCA Defined Contribution Insights, Vol. 65., No 4, Winter 2017
  • It’s Great When a Plan Comes Together,” PSCA Defined Contribution Insights, Vol. 65., No. 3, Fall 2017
  • “Exploring NQDC Plan Eligibility,” Plan Sponsor Council of America webinar, Oct. 31, 2017
  • “An ERISA Legal Eagle Fills a PSCA Board Vacancy” The 401(k) Wire, Sept. 13, 2017
  • Co-presenter, “California Dreaming: The Ongoing Problem with the Golden State’s Public Pension Program,” Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) Annual Conference, Aug. 9, 2017
  • Co-presenter, “Separation Agreements – What Can Go Wrong?,” Great Lakes Tax Exempt/Government Entities Council Meeting, July 21, 2017
  • “Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans and Separation Agreements,” Plan Sponsor Council of America webinar, May 23, 2017
  • Presenter, “Executive Compensation,” Plan Sponsor Council of America 70th Annual National Conference, May 2-3, 2017
  • Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans,” Thomson/West, 18 editions
  • “Tax-Sheltered Annuities Under § 403(b) and Nonqualified § 457 Plans,” RIA Group
  • “Employee Benefits in Mergers & Acquisitions,” RIA Group
  • “401(k) Plans: A Comprehensive Guide,” John Wiley & Sons, Inc., three editions



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