Thomas Vasiljevich

Shareholder Chicago

Thomas Vasiljevich is a shareholder in the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group and has nearly 30 years of experience representing and advising clients on a broad range of employee benefits issues arising under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and related federal and state laws and regulations.  Mr. Vasiljevich serves as employee benefits counsel to a variety of publicly and privately owned employers and large multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) pension, annuity and welfare funds.  He is a nationally recognized expert in the representation of multiemployer plans, its fiduciaries, contributing employers and employer associations and the myriad of issues arising from such relationships including plan funding, governance and privacy issues, fiduciary responsibility, collective bargaining benefits issues, prosecution and defense of withdrawal liability disputes and ERISA litigation.


Experience

  • Multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) Plans.  Mr. Vasiljevich serves as employer side Fund Co-Counsel to a number of Taft-Hartley pension, annuity and welfare funds (primarily in the construction industry) covering, in the aggregate, nearly 200,000 covered lives and maintaining in excess of $8 billion in Plan assets.  He provides day to day legal advice and counsel to Trustees and Plan officials in connection with compliance with applicable laws and their interaction with participants, Fund Office employees, contributing employers, governmental agencies and other service providers.
  • Employee Benefit Design and Administration.  Mr. Vasiljevich has extensive experience in drafting plan documents, trust agreements, summary plan descriptions, meeting minutes, policies and procedures, resolutions and other operational documents.  He has also reviewed, drafted and negotiated all types of service provider agreements, including actuarial, consultant, pharmacy benefit manager, preferred provider organization, third party administrator and software licensing agreements.  He has been involved in numerous pension and welfare plan mergers.
  • Plan Investments.  Mr. Vasiljevich has reviewed, drafted and negotiated 100s of investment management agreements/side letters for ERISA benefit plan investor clients and has had extensive involvement in investment committee meetings and creation of investment policy statements.
  • Controversies and Litigation.  Mr. Vasiljevich regularly represents clients in connection with DOL and IRS audits involving pension, annuity and welfare plans, IRS plan correction procedures, withdrawal liability disputes, Trustee deadlocks, benefit claims and appeals litigation and other ERISA related litigation.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association (Federal Tax and Labor and Employment Sections)
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission, 2017-2018; Federal Taxation Section Council, Chairman, 2006-2007; Employee Benefits Section Council; Chairman, 1996-1997)
  • Chicago Bar Association (Federal Tax and Employee Benefits Committees)
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (Member)
  • Associated General Contractors of America Labor and Employment Lawyers Council (Chairman 2009-2010)
  • Associated General Contractors of America Multi-Employer Pension Task Force
  • Committee to Elect Patrick Heneghan Circuit Court Judge of Cook County, Illinois Campaign Chairman (2015-2016)
  • University of Wisconsin Alumni Association (Member)
  • University Club of Chicago (Member)

Speeches:

  • International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers – Collective Bargaining Conference - ''Pensions – The Issue of the Day'' - Washington, D.C. - September 2015
  • 30th Annual AGC Construction Labor Law Symposium - ''Multiemployer Plans - Deconstructing a Trust Agreement’s Operational and Governance Provisions'' - Washington, D.C. - May 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Multiemployer Plans: Origin, Operation and Special Issues'' - May 2014
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans – 59th Annual Employee Benefits Conference - ''An Overview of Withdrawal Liability'' - Las Vegas - October 2013
  • AGC of Michigan – Tax & Fiscal Committee Meeting Webinar - ''Calculation of Employer Withdrawal Liability''
  • Mason Contractors Association of Greater Chicago - ''Multiemployer Pension Plans Withdrawal Liability Workshop: What Employers Need to Know'' - Chicago - April 2013
  • AGC of Minnesota Annual Meeting - ''Multiemployer Pension Plans Withdrawal Liability Workshop: What Employers Need to Know'' - Minneapolis - March 2013
  • 28th Annual AGC Construction Labor Law Symposium - ''Multiemployer Pension Plans -Withdrawal Liability Workshop'' - Washington, D.C. - April 2012
  • Mason Contractors Association of America - ''Developments in Taft-Hartley Pension Plans – What Contractors Need to Know'' - Las Vegas - January 2012
  • Electrical Contractors Association of the City of Chicago – 40th Annual Spring Conference - ''Developments in Multiemployer Benefits Plans – What Contractors Need to Know'' - Lake Geneva - June 2011
  • 27th Annual AGC Construction Labor Law Symposium - ''Multiemployer Pension Issues-Calculating Withdrawal Liability; Update on FASB Initiatives'' - Washington, D.C. - April 2011
  • Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association 26th Annual Convention - ''Unfunded Pension Liability'' - Hollywood - February 2011
  • AGC of Minnesota Annual Meeting - ''Developments in Multiemployer Benefits Plans'' - Minneapolis - January 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''The Multiemployer Pension Plan Morass'' - Phoenix - May 2010
  • 26th Annual AGC Construction Labor Law Symposium - ''Interesting Issues in Multiemployer Pension Plans'' - Washington, D.C. - April 2010
  • Midamerica AGC Chapter Executives Conference - ''PPA Funding and MPPAA Issues'' - Chicago - February 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Financial Markets Collapse—Impact on Retirement Plans'' - Miami - May 2009
  • Midamerica Regional Bargaining Association Seminar - ''ERISA Fiduciary, Withdrawal Liability and PPA Funding Issues for Taft-Hartley Trustees'' - Des Plaines - March 2009
  • ABA Section of Labor and Employment Employee Benefits Committee Seminar - ''PPA Multiemployer Pension Plan Funding and Disclosure Issues'' - Charleston - February 2009
  • Central Illinois Builders of AGC Seminar - ''The Nuts and Bolts of Serving as an ERISA Trustee'' - Springfield - October 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Gearing Up for a Downturn—A Primer on Key Benefits Issues'' - June 2008
  • 24th Annual AGC Construction Labor Law Symposium - ''Multiemployer Pension Plans-Current Developments and Insights'' - Washington, D.C. - April 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Practical Tips on Negotiating Service Provider Contracts'' - January 2008
  • 23rd Annual AGC Construction Labor Law Symposium - ''What the Construction Industry Needs to Know About the Multiemployer Provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006'' - Washington, D.C. - April 2007
  • Illinois State Bar Association Annual Federal Tax Conference - ''Recent Developments Regarding Employee Benefit Plans'' - Chicago - March 2007
  • Central Illinois Builders of AGC Seminar - ''Defined Benefit Programs in the Construction Industry'' - Springfield - January 2007
  • WEB/Chicago - West Suburban Chapter - ''Annual Legal Update – Retirement Plans'' - Oak Brook - December 2006
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefings - ''Good News (Mostly) for Your 401(k) Plan'' - Chicago, Tampa and Kansas City - November/December 2006
  • MidAmerica AGC Chapter Executives Conference - ''The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (and other recent developments) – What Every Construction Industry Employer, Plan Trustee and Employer Association Needs to Know'' - Phoenix - November 2006
  • International CEBS Society – Chicago Chapter - ''Legal Update – Retirement Plans'' - Chicago - October 2006
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Top Ten Benefits Headaches'' - September 2006
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''The Pension Protection Act of 2006'' - August 2006
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Trends in Retirement and Welfare Benefit Plans'' - Atlanta - May 2006

Published Works

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Our Insights

Media

Media Quotes

June 07, 2016 - Bloomberg BNA Pension and Benefits Daily - "Central States' Strategy: Litigate Less, Regroup More?"
October 01, 2006 - Inside Counsel - "Illinois Court Blesses Cash-Balance Pension Plans"

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