Overview

Melissa B. Kurtzman focuses her practice on representing management in a variety of employee benefits matters, including the design and implementation of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and welfare and fringe benefit programs, employee benefits tax matters and employee benefits in mergers and acquisitions. She also provides advice on:

  • Employee benefit plan administration
  • Reporting and disclosure obligations
  • Fiduciary responsibilities
  • Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor correction programs
  • Contingent workforce issues
  • The efficient design of retirement and welfare plans

Melissa acted as an expert witness in a federal bankruptcy matter in connection with qualified plan issues.  Additionally, she represents plan sponsors in employee benefit plan IRS and DOL audits. She assists plan sponsors in self-audits of employee benefits plans prior to or in connection with government audits. Her benefits clients include the following types of companies and industries:

  • Universities
  • Retail
  • Contingent workforces
  • Legal services
  • Accounting services
  • Construction
  • Airlines
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Financial services
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Consulting services

Melissa is a member of Littler Mendelson's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group.

Prior to joining Littler, Melissa served as a partner at Wolf Block LLP where she focused on employee benefits. She was also the former director of ERISA compliance at a large retirement plan administration company.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Board Member

Benefits Council of Greater Philadelphia

American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

Member

The Mid-Atlantic Pension Liaison Group

Member

Employee Benefits Section

Philadelphia Bar Association

Member

Tax and Business sections

American Bar Association

Former Board Member

Interact Theatre Company

Former Board Member

Children's Village Child Care Center of Philadelphia

News, Analysis & Press

Pensions & Retirement Plans 2016

Getting the Deal Through

May 1, 2016

401(k) Basics

Littler Employer

April 2011

IRS/DOL Steps Up Enforcement Efforts On Qualified Retirement Plans

March 2011

First Glimpse at Grandfathered Health Plans Regulations

June 2010

Healthcare Reform

Littler ASAP

November 2009

Books & Book Chapters

  • Pensions & Retirement Plans - USA, Getting the Deal Through, Law Business Research Ltd., chapter co-author: Steven J. Friedman, 2013-2014, 2016

Speaking Engagements

Retirement Plans Under Attack by Plan Participants and Government Agencies: An Action Plan for Employers

2016 Employee Benefits Regional Roadshow, Charlotte, NC

July 28, 2016

Retirement Plans Under Attack by Plan Participants and Government Agencies: An Action Plan for Employers

2016 Employee Benefits Regional Roadshow, New York, NY

June 15, 2016

Retirement Plans Under Attack by Plan Participants and Government Agencies

Withum Audit Tax Advisory, Somerset Palace, Somerset, NJ

May 26, 2016

Dealing with Plans Under Attack

NJCPA Conference

May 24, 2016

Retirement Plans Under Attack by Plan Participants and Government Agencies: An Action Plan for Employers

The 2016 Executive Employer® Conference

May 5, 2016

2016 Employee Benefits Update - Rochester

Fairport, NY

January 28, 2016

2016 Employee Benefits Summit - Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

January 14, 2016

Why Quibble with Tibble? The Supreme Court Reminds Fiduciaries of the Wide Scope of Their Duties

Employee Benefits Summit NYC 2015

Littler Mendelson, New York, NY

June 9, 2015

Benefits Document Drafting is Key to Staying Out of Court

The 2015 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Phoenix, AZ

May 8, 2015

Pension Plan Lump Sum Windows: Legal Issues

Pension Lump Sum Elections Event - CREWS, Conshohocken, PA

April 28, 2015

ERISA Budget Accounts

Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Baltimore, MD

February 26, 2015

Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS)

25th Annual Benefits Compliance Conference - SouthWest Benefits Association, Dallas, TX

November 13, 2014

How To Prepare For and Handle DOL Audits

11th Annual Fiduciary Services Retirement Plans Conference - Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Inc., San Juan, Puerto Rico

October 24, 2014

2014 Employee Benefits Summit

Atlanta, GA

June 19, 2014

What Plan Administrators Should Be Doing Now To Prepare For A 401(k) Or 403(b) Plan Audit

2014 Employee Benefits Summit

Littler Mendelson, Atlanta, GA

June 19, 2014

Sandy Beach and a Pina Colada? Think Again. The Challenges and Opportunities of Doing Business in Puerto Rico

The 2014 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Phoenix, AZ

May 8, 2014

Overview of ERISA Fiduciary Responsibilities

2014 New Jersey Fiduciary Summit - Xponential Growth Solutions (XGS), Bridgewater, NJ

April 24, 2014

Common Retirement Plan Deficiencies and Corrective Actions

Client Presentation - Fiduciary Fixes: A Guide to Correcting 401(K) Issues

August 28, 2013

Trials and Tribulations of Auto Enrollment

Mid-Atlantic Benefits Conference - Greater Philadelphia ASPPA Benefits Council, Philadelphia, PA

May 16-17, 2013

Oops…How did that happen? What do we do now?

Mid-Atlantic Benefits Conference - Greater Philadelphia ASPPA Benefits Council, Philadelphia, PA

May 16-17, 2013

Rockin’ 401(k) Plans: The Hot Issues

The Shifting Landscape of Employee Benefits — Imperatives for 2013

Littler Mendelson, Dallas, TX

April 24, 2013

Best Practices for Navigating 401(k) Fiduciary Challenges

The Shifting Landscape of Employee Benefits — Imperatives for 2013

Littler Mendelson, New York, NY

April 18, 2013

What Every Plan Sponsor Should Know From A Legal And Fiduciary Standpoint

Wharton Retirement Consultants, Philadelphia, PA

March 27, 2013

The Flood of Things a Plan Committee Must Do Differently in 2012

23rd Annual Employee Benefits Conference for Practitioners and Plan Sponsors - SouthWest Benefits Association, Dallas, TX

November 15, 2012

Retirement Plan Summit 2012

New York, NY

September 28, 2012

Retirement Plan Fiduciary Best Practices

Philadelphia, PA

September 20, 2012

Healthcare: Obamacare and Beyond

National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), Washington, D.C.

May 21, 2012

Fiduciary Update for 401(k) Sponsors

The Philadelphia Group, West Conshohocken, PA

May 16, 2012

Guiding Your Company through Dramatic Changes: The Critical Legal/HR Role in Major Transactions

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 11, 2012

Steering Clear of Benefits Litigation through Better Document Drafting

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2012

Steering Clear of ERISA Litigation Through Better Document Drafting

Association of Corporate Counsel, Delaware Valley (DELVACCA) Chapter, Philadelphia, PA

April 16, 2012

The Corporate Retirement Plan Industry: Regulatory Changes and Fiduciary Best Practices

Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

April 12, 2012

Pressing Issues Facing 401(k) Plan Sponsors in 2012: Vendor Agreements, Participant Disclosures, IRS/DOL Audits and Inquiries, and Other Nuts and Bolts

NFP Monday Mentoring - BenefitsPartners

March 26, 2012

Retirement Session: Regulatory Update and How New Regulations May Open Doors

Spring Conference - National Financial Partners, Dallas, TX

March 5, 2012

Pressing Issues Facing 401(k) Plan Sponsors and Service Providers in 2011 and 2012: Legislative Update, Vendor Agreements, Participant Disclosures, IRS/DOL Audits, and Other Nuts and Bolts

Transamerica Retirement Services Conference, Lutherville, MD

September 14, 2011

Pressing Issues Facing 401(k) Plan Sponsors and Service Providers in 2011 and 2012: Legislative Update, Vendor Agreements, Participant Disclosures, IRS/DOL Audits, and Other Nuts and Bolts

Transamerica Retirement Services Conference, Washington, DC

September 13, 2011

New York Benefits Summit

New York, NY

February 10, 2011

Update on Employee Benefits Law

DeVry University

February 2011

Healthcare Reform: Are You Ready for 2011?

Valiant Conference, Atlanta, GA

November 2010

Healthcare Reform

Littler Mendelson Webinar

October 2010

Healthcare Reform Including Grandfathering

Thesco Benefits Conference, New York, NY

September 2010

Healthcare Bill Review for Contingent Workforce Issues

The 2010 Executive Employer Conference® - Littler Mendelson, Phoenix, AZ

March 2010

Best Practices for Operating a Retirement Plan

Littler Seminar, Philadelphia, PA

November 2009

Retirement Plan Update for Tax-Exempts

Penjerdel Employee Benefits and Compensation Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA

September 2009

Retirement Plan Issues for Tax Exempt Organization

PEBA Conference featuring TIAA-CREF, Philadelphia, PA

September 2009

Education

  • LL.M., The George Washington University Law Center, 1988
  • J.D., University of Toledo College of Law, 1985
  • B.A., Michigan State University, 1983

Bar Admission

Pennsylvania
New Jersey
Ohio
District of Columbia

Courts

  • U.S. Tax Court