Susan Katz Hoffman concentrates her practice in the areas of employee benefits litigation, plan design and administration, and issues in corporate transactions, representing:

  • Plan sponsors
  • Prototype plan sponsors
  • Institutional trustees
  • Investment managers
  • Employer associations
  • Multi-employer plan trustees
  • Insurers

Susan has more than 35 years of experience representing employers in cutting edge benefits litigation, plan design and transactions. With clients in the transportation, banking, manufacturing, and retail industries, as well as public sector and public utility employers, she has specific expertise with matters involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code and the Bankruptcy Code.

Susan regularly writes for various national legal and accounting publications regarding developments in employee benefits tax issues and employee benefits litigation and regulation. She also lectures on subjects relating to benefit plans in mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies, ERISA litigation and multi-employer pension plans. At the invitation of the IRS, she presented a program for IRS National Office Employee Benefits attorneys and plan reviewers on merger and acquisition issues.

She has been recognized by her peers by serving in leadership positions on bar association benefits committees since 1977.  She is also a sought-after speaker in benefits legal education addressing litigation, bankruptcy, transactions, and legal ethics as it relates to benefits.

A shareholder of Littler Mendelson, Susan has previously served as Co-Chair of the firm's ERISA and Benefits Litigation Practice Group and Co-Chair of the Employee Benefits Practice Group.

Susan also is a crossword champion.  She regularly finishes among the top 50 competitors in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and appeared briefly in the movie “Wordplay” when she won the “C” division in that Tournament.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Charter Fellow

American College of Employment Benefits Counsel, Inc.

Former Chair

Employee Benefits Committee, Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association

Former Chair

Litigation Subcommittee of Employee Benefits Committee, Section of Taxation

American Bar Association

Former Chair

Fiduciary Subcommittee of Employee Benefits Committee, Section of Taxation

American Bar Association

Former Chair

Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee of Employee Benefits Committee, Section of Taxation

American Bar Association

Former Chair

Employee Benefits Subcommittee of Tax Committee

Massachusetts Bar Association


Recipient, BTI Client Service All-Star Award


Named, Lawyer of the Year

Employment Benefits (ERISA) Law, Philadelphia

The Best Lawyers in America©


Named, The Best Lawyers in America©


Named, Lawyer of the Year

ERISA-Litigation, Philadelphia

The Best Lawyers in America©


Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating


Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Recipient, Goldstein Prize in Labor Law

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Order of the Coif

News, Analysis & Press

IRS Issues Guidance On Multiemployer Pension Plans Applying For Suspension Of Benefits

Standard Federal Tax Returns, Taxes on Parade

June 25, 2015

Same-Sex Marriages and Benefit Plans After Windsor

Thomson Reuters Westlaw Journal Employment

August 28, 2013

Same-Sex Ruling Has Employers Tweaking Benefits

Associated Press

July 5, 2013

Employers Get Moving on ACA Compliance After Obama's Re-Election, Speakers Say

Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report

December 7, 2012

Patients could get cash for finding cheaper care

Washington Business Journal

June 15, 2012

El Paso cash balance plaintiffs lose appeal

Pensions & Investments

August 15, 2011

Massachusetts DOMA Ruling On Hold


August 23, 2010

Books & Book Chapters

  • ERISA - A Comprehensive Guide, Withdrawal Liability (and annual supplements), Aspen Publishers

Speaking Engagements

Second Annual Puerto Rico Conference

Hato Rey, PR

August 18, 2016

Ethical Issues for In-House Counsel: “What Do You Mean It’s Not Privileged?”

The 2016 Executive Employer® Conference, Scottsdale, AZ

May 6, 2016

ERISA Section 510 Retaliation Claims

Stafford Webinar

July 15, 2014

A Conversation with Josh Gotbaum on the Future of Pensions

Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, New York, NY

March 21, 2014

Steering Clear of Benefits Litigation through Better Document Drafting

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2012

New York Benefits Summit

New York, NY

February 10, 2011

Health Care Reform: What Employers Need to Know Now

Philadelphia, PA

September 16, 2010

A Benefits Double-Feature

Denver, CO

October 4, 2007

A Benefits Double - Feature

Boston, MA

June 26, 2007

Fiduciary Misrepresentation Claims

Pennsylvania Bar Institute

Ethics Issues for Benefit Lawyers

Pennsylvania Bar Institute

Statutory Claims Under ERISA

ALI-ABA Advanced Pension Program

ERISA Enforcement of Executive Compensation Agreements

ALI-ABA Advanced Pension Program

Collectively Bargained Benefits Plans

ABA National Institute on Mergers and Acquisitions

Negotiating the Acquisition Agreement

ABA National Institute on Mergers and Acquisitions


  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1974 cum laude
  • M.B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1974 With Distinction
  • B.A., Lake Forest College, 1970 With Honors in Economics

Bar Admission



  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit