Andrea I OBrien

Andrea I. O’Brien

Partner

Email: aobrien@islerdare.com

Andrea I. O’Brien is a Partner at IslerDare PC.  Prior to joining the firm in June 2011, Andrea was a long-time partner at Venable LLP.

Andrea assists clients in designing and implementing a wide range of employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements.  Andrea works closely with the HR, legal, tax, financial and benefits professionals of her clients to ensure that their benefit programs not only comply with the labyrinth of technical legal requirements that apply to them, but that these programs also meet her clients’ overall business and employee-relations goals.

Andrea regularly advises clients on a broad spectrum of employee benefits matters, including retirement plans, health and welfare plans, equity programs, and executive compensation arrangements.  She designs and drafts plan documents, summary plan descriptions, legally-required notices and policies, open enrollment materials, and other employee communications that are key to the successful implementation of these benefit plans under ERISA, federal health reform, and other relevant laws.  Andrea also provides technical compliance assistance for benefit plans on a wide variety of matters; handles government filings, inquiries, and audits for her clients’ benefit programs; and implements remedial actions under the government’s numerous voluntary corrective action programs for plan errors.  Andrea also provides support to her business clients by coordinating benefit claims disputes; assessing and negotiating the employee benefit implications of business transactions (including reductions in force, asset and stock sales, mergers and acquisitions), and negotiating vendor contracts for the support of benefit plan administration.

Andrea is a member of the Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia Bars.  She speaks frequently to clients and other groups, providing training on a wide variety of employee benefit issues, such as fiduciary responsibility; current trends in retirement plans; redesigning health plans to meet the requirements of Federal health reform; restructuring executive compensation agreements under 409A; and HIPAA medical privacy and security compliance programs.

Andrea resides with her husband and two children in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


Education

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. 1985

University of Notre Dame
B.A., Medieval Studies, 1982
Magna Cum Laude
Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Memberships

State:
District of Columbia (1986)
Maryland (1985)
Virginia (2012)

Bar Associations:
American Bar Association, Section of Taxation
— Employee Benefits Committee
District of Columbia Bar, Section of Taxation
— Employee Benefits Committee
Maryland State Bar Association, Section of Taxation
Virginia State Bar Association, Section of Taxation
District of Columbia Women’s Bar Association

Honors

AV® rated by Martindale Hubbell

Recognized in The Best Lawyers Business Edition 2017: Women in the Law for work in the practice area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2013 – 2018) for work in the practice area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Recognized in The Best Lawyers Business Edition 2016: Women in the Law for work in the practice area of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Honored as a leading employee benefits and compensation counsel in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers For Business (2016)

Publications

DOL Narrows Standards for Selecting Socially Responsible Retirement Plan Investments, Employee Benefits Update (June 2018)

The Elusive Search: Considerations for Locating Missing Retirement Plan Participants, Employee Benefits Update (April 2018)

Recent Health and Welfare Guidance Affecting Health Plans and Insurance Coverage, Employee Benefits Update (March 2018)

Key Features of the Tax Reform Bill that Could Affect Your Benefit Plans and Executive Compensation Practices, Employee Benefits Update (November 2017)

IRS Announces 2018 Dollar Limits on Compensation and Benefits, Employee Benefits Update (October 2017)

Unpacking the ACA Executive Order and Other Recent Developments Affecting Your Health and Welfare Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (October 2017)

10 Key Things About Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability, Employee Benefits Update (July 2017)

Key Features of the American Health Care Act Affecting Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, Employee Benefits Update (May 2017)

DOL Proposes 60-Day Delay to Fiduciary Rule, Employee Benefits Update (March 2017)

Proposed Regulations Permitting Forfeitures to Fund Safe Harbor and Corrective Contributions, Employee Benefits Update (February 2017)

2017 Benefits Compliance Calendar for Calendar Year Plans, Employee Benefits Update (January 2017)

Responding to the ACA Executive Order, Employee Benefits Update (January 2017)

A Roundup of Recent Guidance Affecting Your Health and Welfare Plans, Employee Benefits Update (January 2017)

2016 Year-End Compliance Checklist, Employee Benefits Update (November 2016)

IRS Issues 2017 Dollar Limits on Compensation and Benefits, Employee Benefits Update (October 2016)

New Section 409A Rules Impact Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans, Employee Benefits Update (July 2016)

EEOC Releases Final Regulations on Employer Wellness Programs, Employee Benefits Update (May 2016)

Court Decisions Highlight the Need for Plan Sponsors to Review Recovery and Anti-Assignment Provisions, Employee Benefits Update (March 2016)

Recent ACA Guidance Provides Needed Relief for Health and Welfare Plan Sponsors, Employee Benefits Update (February 2016)

IRS Issues Welcome Guidance on Safe Harbor Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits Update (February 2016)

Time to Review Your Employee Compensation Arrangements, Employee Benefits Update (December 2015)

2015 Year-End Compliance Checklist, Employee Benefits Update (November 2015)

IRS Announces 2016 Dollar Limits on Compensation and Benefits, Employee Benefits Update (October 2015)

Roundup of Recent Developments Affecting Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits Update (July 2015)

Important New Developments Affecting Health and Welfare Plans, Employee Benefits Update (July 2015)

Retirement Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Duties Following Tibble v. Edison Int’l, Employee Benefits Update (May 2015)

Recent Developments Affecting Retiree Health Coverage, Employee Benefits Update (April 2015)

Recent Case Highlights Potential Liability of Employers for Administrative Errors in Deferred Compensation Plans, Employee Benefits Update (April 2015)

The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Key Retirement Initiatives, Employee Benefits Update (February 2015)

Time to Prepare for New Affordable Care Act Information Reporting Requirements, Employee Benefits Update (February 2015)

Year-End Compliance Checklist for Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (November 2014)

IRS Announces 2015 Dollar Limits on Compensation and Benefits, Employee Benefits Update (October 2014)

Updated Model COBRA and CHIP Notices, Employee Benefits Update (June 2014)

New Guidance for Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses Under Employee Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (April 2014)

IRS Announces New Two-Year Period for Employers to Update Their Adoption Agreement, Employee Benefits Update (April 2014)

New Information Reporting Requirements Under the Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits Update (March 2014)

New Guidance on Limited Benefit Programs That May Be Exempt from Health Reform and Certain HIPAA Requirements, Employee Benefits Update (March 2014)

Counting Your Full-Time Employees and Permitted Waiting Periods Under the Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits Update (March 2014)

Year-End Compliance Checklist for Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (November 2013)

IRS Relaxes Use It or Lose It Rule for Health Flexible Spending Accounts, Employee Benefits Update (November 2013)

IRS Announces 2014 Dollar Limits on Compensation and Benefits, Employee Benefits Update (November 2013)

New Guidance About the Impact of Same-Sex Marriage On Your Employee Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (October 2013)

Deadlines Approaching for Providing Required Notices of Privacy Practices and Notices of Health Insurance, Employee Benefits Update (September 2013)

Plan Sponsors Get Slight Delay in Annual Issuance of Fee Disclosure Comparative Charts, Employee Benefits Update (September 2013)

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision On Your Employee Benefit Plans and Policies, Employee Benefits Update (July 2013)

July 31st Deadline for Initial PCOR Fee Payment and New IRS Filing, Employee Benefits Update (July 2013)

Employer Mandate Under Health Reform Delayed Until 2015, Employee Benefits Update (July 2013)

Updated Model COBRA Notice, Employee Benefits Update (May 2013)

DOL Issues Model Notices on Health Exchanges, Employee Benefits Update (May 2013)

New Guidance on Target Date Retirement Funds and Considerations for ERISA Plan Fiduciaries, Employee Benefits Update (March 2013)

The Potential Impact of Sequestration on FLSA-Exempt Employees and Employee Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (February 2013)

Upcoming ISO and ESPP Reporting Deadlines, Employee Benefits Update (January 2013)

Year-End Compliance Checklist for Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (November 2012)

Health Plan Checklist for Open Enrollment Season and Beyond,  Employee Benefits Update (October 2012)

Important Changes in 2013 Affecting Social Security and Medicare Taxes, Employee Benefits Update (October 2012)

2013 Dollar Limits on Compensation and Benefits, Employee Benefits Update (October 2012)

Important Update Affecting Severance Agreements, Employee Benefits Update (September 2012)

Don’t Cash Your MLR Rebate Check Before You Understand Your Legal Duties, Employee Benefits Update (August 2012)

Health Flexible Spending Accounts Must Be Amended to Reflect $2,500 Limit Taking Effect in 2013, Employee Benefits Update (July 2012)

Key Pension Provisions of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 and Recent IRS Guidance Affected Defined Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits Update (July 2012)

DOL Rules That Certain Tax-Exempt Organization 403(b) Plans Are No Longer Exempt from ERISA, Employee Benefits Update (July 2012)

DC Reverses Course (Partially) on Mandatory Withholding for Retirement Payments to Washington, D.C. Residents, Employee Benefits Update (April 2012)

Helpful Tips for New Summaries of Benefits and Coverage Required Under Your Group Health Plan, Employee Benefits Update (April 2012)

New Mandatory Withholding on Retirement Payments to Washington, D.C. Residents, Employee Benefits Update (February 2012)

Important New Developments Affecting Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits Update (February 2012)

Important New Developments Affecting Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, Employee Benefits Update (February 2012)

Year End Checklist, Employee Benefits Update (November 2011)

2012 Dollar Limits on Compensation and Benefits, Employee Benefits Update (October 2011)

New Disclosures Required for Group Health Plans, Employee Benefits Update (August 2011)

Expanded List of Preventive Care Services for Health Plans,Employee Benefits Update (August 2011)

Health Care Reform: Form W-2 Reporting of Employer-Provided Group Health Coverage, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (April 2011)

Form 5500 Update:  IRS Issues Guidance on Replacement to Schedule SSA, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (April 2011)

Health Care Reform: Another Extended Grace Period, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2011)

Year-End Wrap-Up for Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (November 2010)

Year-End Deadline for Penalty-Free Section 409A Corrections, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (November 2010)

New Opportunities for In-Plan Roth Conversations, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2010)

Extended Grace Period Available (What Internal Claims Procedures Apply Now?), Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2010)

New Federal External Claims Review Procedures (What Does a Health Plan Have to Do)?, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (September 2010)

New Preventive Care Coverage Rules Under Health Care Reform, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (August 2010)

New Service Provider Fee Disclosure Rules for Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (August 2010)

Material Changes Now, More Material Changes Coming, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (August 2010)

It Ain’t Easy Being Green:  More Changes to Form 5500 Electronic Filing, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (July 2010)

Grandfathered Status for Your Group Health Plans under Health Care Reform:  What is at Stake?, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (July 2010)

Highlights of the New “Patient’s Bill of Rights” Regulations Implementing Key Features of Federal Health Reform, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (July 2010)

First Come, First Served:  New Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (May 2010)

Mental Health Benefits:  More Changes Needed to Your Health Plan,    Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (April 2010)

Important Changes to Form 5500 Filing Requirements, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2010)

Important April 30, 2010 Deadline for Employers Who Have Adopted Pre-Approved Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2010)

IRS Issues Section 409A Plan Document Correction Procedures With Potential Advantages to Correction by December 31, 2010, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (January 2010)

Federal COBRA Subsidy Expanded, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (December 2009)

What Your Business Needs to Do About the New HIPAA Rules, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2009)

Update on Legal Developments Affecting Employee Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (August 2009)

Looking Toward 2010 – Key Legal Changes to Keep in Mind While Designing Your 2010 Health Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (July 2009)

Important News for 403(b) Plan Sponsors, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (July 2009)

Department of Labor Issues Model Notices on COBRA Subsidy, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2009)

Supreme Court Rules Plan Documents, Not Divorce Decree, Control in ERISA Beneficiary Dispute, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2009)

What Every Employer Needs to Know (and Do) About the New COBRA Subsidy Provisions in the Economic Stimulus Act, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (February 2009)

Year-End Checklist for Benefit Plan Sponsors, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (December 2008)

Roundup of Important Developments Affecting Health Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2008)

The Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (the “HEART” Act), Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (September 2008)

More Items for Your Section 409A Compliance Checklist, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (July 2008)

Highlights of Retirement Plan Distribution Changes for 2008, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (May 2008)

Compliance Checklist for 403(b) Plan Sponsors, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2008)

Highlights of the Final 403(b) Regulations and What the Changes Mean to Plan Sponsors, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2008)

Top 5 Things to Know About the New World of 403(b) Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2008)

401(k) Participants Can Sue Plan Fiduciaries For Losses to Individual Accounts, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (March 2008)

Year-End Wrap-Up for Qualified Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (December 2007)

Section 409A Final Regulations Delayed to 2009, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2007)

Important Developments Affecting Health Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (August 2007)

IRS Issues Final Deferred Compensation Rules:  Tax-Exempt Compliance Countdown, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (May 2007)

Final Regulations Regarding Deferred Compensation Under Section 409A Released Today, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (April 2007)

Tidbits from the Trenches:  Indemnifications, Gross-Ups and Code Section 409A, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (April 2007)

November 14th Deadline for Sending Annual Medical Part D Notice Fast Approaching, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2006)

The IRS Extends Deferred Compensation Plan Deadlines Under Section 409A, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2006)

Landmark Pension Reform Law Enacted:  How Your Retirement Programs Will Be Affected, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (September 2006)

Revised Model Medicare Part D Notices Are Now In Effect, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (May 2006)

New Guidance and Reminders for Health and Welfare Benefits:  Military Leave, CMS Notification of Creditable Coverage, HIPAA Portability, Privacy and Security Compliance, and More, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (January 2006)

Recent Health and Welfare Changes:  New Notice Obligations, A Valuable Subsidy for Retiree Programs, and More Flexibility for FSAs, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (August 2005)

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again:  HIPAA Security Standards Take Effect on April 20, 2005, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (February 2005)

New Automatic Rollover Rules for Mandatory Cashout Distributions from Retirement Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (February 2005)

New Definition of “Dependent” Affects Employee Benefit Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (December 2004)

New Rules on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Require Immediate Review of Existing Plans, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Alert (October 2004)

Professional/Continuing Legal Education Presentations

IslerDare Breakfast Briefing: Fees, Benchmarking, and Best Practices: Steps You Should Take to Protect your Retirement Plans (May 2018)

MACPA 2017 Employee Benefit Plan Conference: Anticipating, Preparing, and Effectively Responding to Government Oversight of Employee Benefit Plans (May 2017)

IslerDare Breakfast Briefing: Employee Benefit Trends for 2017: Hot Topics for Every HR Professional (May 2017)

IslerDare Breakfast Briefing: Hot Topics in Employee Benefits: What Every HR Professional Should Know For 2016 (April 2016)

IslerDare Breakfast Briefing: Responding to the Affordable Care Act: Steps for 2016 and Beyond (April 2015)

IslerDare Breakfast Briefing: Key Benefit Trends for 2014: What Every HR Professional Should Know (April 2014)

Society for Human Resource Management Chapter Meeting for Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper: Key Benefit Trends for 2014 – What Every HR Professional Should Know (March 2014)

IslerDare Breakfast Briefing: Hot Topics in Employee Benefits – What Every HR Professional Should Know For 2013 (April 2013)

Society for Human Resource Management Chapter Meeting for Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper: Hot Topics in Employee Benefits – What Every HR Professional Should Know About Benefit Plans in 2013 (March 2013)

Human Resource Association of the National Capital Area 2013 Compensation & Benefits Summit Conference: The Top 10 Legal Trends Affecting Benefit Plans in 2013 – What Every HR Professional Should Know (February 2013)

Mercer Consulting Roundtable: 401(k) / 403(b) Fiduciary Responsibilities – The Rest of the Story (June 2012)

Mercer Consulting Roundtable: 401(k) / 403(b) Fiduciary Responsibilities – The Rest of the Story (May 2012)

Mercer Consulting Roundtable: 401(k) / 403(b) Plan Fiduciary Best Practices Workshop (November 2011)

Mercer Consulting Roundtable: Highlights of Fee Disclosure Regulations Affecting 401(k) and 403(b) Plans (May 2011)

Venable LLP/Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.:Healthcare Reform 2.0:  Redesigning Your Health Plan and Open Enrollment (September – October 2010)

Venable LLP/Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc./AH&T Insurance/The Insurance Exchange: Health Care Reform:  What It Means for Employers and the Health Plans They Sponsor(April – May 2010)

Venable LLP: The Changing HIPAA Landscape (September-October 2009)

Venable LLP: Business & Tax Planning Techniques in a Changing World (February 2009)

Venable LLP: New and Revised Rules under the Family and Medical Leave Act:  What Employers Need to Know (December 2008)

Venable LLP: 403(b) and 457(f) Boot Camp:  Getting Your Nonprofit Retirement Plans in Shape (April 2008)

National Convention of the Association of Health Care Journalists: The Future of Employee Health Benefits (March 2008)

MassMutual Retirement Services Symposium: Highlights of the Final 403(b) Regulations and What the Changes Mean to Plan Sponsors (March 2008)

Venable LLP: 409A Bootcamp:  Getting Your Plans in Shape (4 Part Series): This Is Your Wake-Up Call: Hot Topics and Compliance Deadlines; Before You Sign on the Dotted Line:  Employment Agreements & Separation Pay Agreements Under the Final 409A Regulations; What Are Our Options:  Equity Compensation Under the Final 409A Regulations; and The Wait is Over For Those Who Serve:   Tax-Exempt and Governmental Entity Compensation Under the Final 409A Regulations (April – May 2007)

ALI-ABA Program on Representing the Growing Business: Tax, Corporate, Securities and Accounting Issues:  Overview of Deferred Compensation Arrangements Under Section 409A(February 2008)

ALI-ABA Program on Representing the Growing Business: Tax, Corporate, Securities and Accounting Issues: Overview of Employee Benefit Considerations in Mergers and Acquisitions(February 2008)

ALI-ABA Program on Representing the Growing Business: Tax, Corporate, Securities and Accounting Issues:  Overview of Deferred Compensation Arrangements Under Section 409A(February 2007)

ALI-ABA Program on Representing the Growing Business: Tax, Corporate, Securities and Accounting Issues:  Overview of Employee Benefit Considerations in Mergers and Acquisitions(February 2007)

CBIZ National Tax Conference:  Overview of Deferred Compensation Arrangements Under Section 409A (October 2006)

D.C. Bar Employee Benefits Committee:  The Pension Protection Act of 2006:  What You Have To Know and Do Right Now(September 2006)

ALI-ABA Program on Representing the Growing Business: Tax, Corporate, Securities and Accounting Issues:  Overview of Deferred Compensation Arrangements Under Section 409A(November 2005)

ALI-ABA Program on Representing the Growing Business: Tax, Corporate, Securities and Accounting Issues:  Overview of Employee Benefit Considerations in Mergers and Acquisitions(November 2005)

International Municipal Lawyers Association:  What Every Municipality Should Know About HIPAA’s Medical Privacy Rules (April 2003)

William & Mary Tax Institute:  Employee Benefits Issues in the Purchase and Sale of Privately-Held Businesses (November 2002)

Venable LLP:  What HIPAA’s Privacy Rule Means for Employers (September 2002)

Venable LLP:  Managing Change:  Benefit Issues (September 2001)

Virginia Society of CPAs:  Beyond Qualified Retirement Plans:  Executive Compensation Issues for Closely-Held Businesses(September 1998)

Tucker, Flyer & Lewis, P.C.:  Overview of the Small Business Jobs Protection Act of 1996 and HIPAA (October 1996)


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