Virginia McGarrity is a member of the firm's Employee Benefits + Compensation Group, counseling employers, insurance carriers, and service providers on a wide range of complex employee benefits and executive compensation matters. She serves as co-chair of the firm's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, + Belonging Committee.
Retirement Plan Design and Administration
Virginia’s practice addresses a broad array of issues relating to the design, drafting, and operation of qualified and nonqualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans, including 401(k), profit-sharing, multiemployer, employee stock ownership and Section 403(b) and 457(b) plans of tax-exempt organizations. She represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in connection with audits, qualification submissions, plan corrections, and other matters.
Virginia frequently works with state and municipal governmental clients sponsoring and administering benefit plans and programs. She advises these clients on qualified retirement plans and 457(b) plans, from generally applicable requirements to unique rules addressing vesting requirements for governmental plans, pick-up of employee contributions, purchase of service and 415(m) excess plans. Additionally, she advises clients on state statutes relating to the implementation and governance of public plans, as well as the interpretation of specific enabling statutes creating various governmental entities.
Health and Welfare Benefit Plans
Virginia has considerable experience counseling clients on a wide range of health and welfare benefits matters, including issues related to the Affordable Care Act, self-funded health arrangements, wellness and disease management programs, HIPAA privacy and security rules, COBRA administration, and various state laws and regulations governing health and welfare plan design and administration.
Executive Compensation and Equity Arrangements
Virginia has a broad depth of experience in designing, implementing and maintaining executive and outside-director compensation and incentive programs, including equity-based plans. She regularly provides counsel on the tax consequences of such programs, as well as assisting in structuring those arrangements to comply with ERISA, Section 409A, and Section 457(f) (for tax-exempt organizations). Virginia also advises clients regarding change in control issues involving golden parachutes. In addition to designing executive compensation programs, she assists compensation committees of public companies on compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure and reporting requirements.
Virginia routinely counsels boards of directors, trustees, investment committees, plan administrators, and plan fiduciaries regarding their duties and responsibilities under federal law. She counsels plan sponsors on all aspects of ERISA fiduciary compliance, including plan governance, plan expense issues, and the selection and monitoring of plan investment options.
The author of numerous articles on employee benefits matters, Virginia is also a frequent speaker at insurance, human resource, financial institution, brokerage and government plan conferences. She is a contributing author to the firm’s Data Privacy + Security Insider and ERISA Claim Defense blogs.
Virginia was named to the Connecticut Super Lawyers® list from 2013 to 2022 and among The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Employee Benefits/ERISA Law since 2018. She was also listed in The Best Lawyers in America© as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law for 2021 and 2023. Virginia currently serves on the firm’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, + Belonging Committee.