Melissa J. Sandak is a partner in Goodwin’s ERISA & Executive Compensation practice who focuses on a wide variety of employee benefits matters for private and public companies, private equity and hedge funds and single and multiemployer plans. She advises her clients on the design, implementation and ongoing administration and compliance of their health and welfare benefit plans and retirement plans. She routinely represents clients in connection with Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation investigations, audits and filings. She regularly prepares voluntary correction filings under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System and applications for determination letters on tax qualification and plan termination.

Ms. Sandak also has extensive experience counseling clients with respect to federal health and welfare laws, especially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, COBRA and HIPAA. She frequently works with employers, vendors and multiemployer health funds to design and administer a wide range of benefit packages and programs, including medical, dental, vision and prescription drug benefits, wellness programs, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. She also counsels clients on compliance with the HIPAA privacy and security rules, including drafting appropriate policies and procedures.

Ms. Sandak also advises boards of trustees of multiemployer plans on all aspects of governance and compliance, including trustee fiduciary obligations, issues related to the funding status of defined benefit pension plans and ongoing legislative updates. She works closely with multiemployer plan administrators, actuaries, investment consultants and other service providers to ensure the proper administration of the plans. Ms. Sandak also counsels employers contributing to multiemployer plans with respect to their contribution obligations and various plan interpretation matters.

Ms. Sandak also advises her clients with respect to the employee benefit considerations of various business transactions. In particular, she has extensive experience negotiating ERISA plan asset investments in separately managed accounts, private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds, secondaries funds, funds of funds and other alternative asset classes. She also advises fund managers regarding ERISA’s fiduciary and prohibited transaction rules in connection with the offering and structuring of their investment vehicles.

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Professional Experience
Prior to joining Goodwin, Ms. Sandak was a special counsel at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. Previously, she was an associate at Proskauer Rose LLP. 
Professional Activities
Ms. Sandak has spoken, taught and written widely on compliance issues for ERISA retirement, health and welfare plans.

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Education

LL.M., Taxation, 2010
New York University School of Law
J.D., 2008
Cornell Law School
(Cornell Law Review, Editor; Arthur S. Chatman Labor Law Prize)
M.A., 2006
Brown University
B.A., 2005
Brown University
(with honors)

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New York
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