- The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D., 2014, summa cum laude
- Ohio State Law Journal, chief managing editor, 2013-2014
- University of Notre Dame, B.A., 2008
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Elizabeth is an associate in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the labor and employment group. Her practice focuses on employee benefits. She has experience working with employers and multiemployer plans on benefit issues, including assisting with the design, administration, and compliance of qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation plans, health and welfare plans, and fringe benefits. She also has experience representing clients with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
Career Highlights Include:
- Assisted clients in design, drafting and amending plan documents for their qualified retirement plans, 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, 457(f) plans, cafeteria plans, and welfare benefit plans.
- Advised clients on correcting administration, operational, and fiduciary issues with their qualified retirement plans and welfare plans, including preparing voluntary compliance filings with the IRS and DOL.
- Represented clients in IRS and DOL audits of their qualified retirement plans.
- Counseled clients on the design and compliance of nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, including compliance with Internal Revenue Code section 409A.
- Worked with clients on the day-to-day aspects of benefit administration, including responding to claims and appeals, reviewing qualified domestic relations orders, and preparing notices and communications.
- Assisted clients with threats of litigation. Elizabeth also has significant experience representing clients in ERISA litigation, including actions for claims for benefits and claims of fiduciary violations.
Elizabeth received her J.D. summa cum laude from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where she was chief managing editor of the Ohio State Law Journal. She received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Honors & Awards
- Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2021
- 8/20/2020112 Vorys Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America List; 26 Vorys Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers’ Inaugural “Ones to Watch” ListOne hundred and twelve lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® 2021 edition. In addition, 26 Vorys attorneys were named to the inaugural Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” list.
- 10/31/2014Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease is pleased to welcome nine new first-year associates to the firm.
- 10/12/2020Vorys was proud to host a weeklong virtual program providing insights and updates for HR professionals from October 12-15, 2020.
- 3/25/2020Vorys attorneys Christine Poth, Jen Dunsizer, Dawne McKenna Parrish, and Elizabeth Howard discussed some common questions the Vorys benefits team was getting about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on employee benefit plans in a webinar.
- 10/16/2019The Vorys benefits team hosted the inaugural Vorys Benefits Conferences in Cincinnati on September 11, 2019 and in Columbus on October 16, 2019. These conferences were designed and developed specifically for in-house benefits professionals.
- 8/6/2019Become a “Qualified” Expert: Legal Requirements and Best Practices in Administering Qualified Domestic Relations OrdersVorys attorneys Peggy Baron and Elizabeth Howard hosted a webinar titled, “Become a “Qualified” Expert: Legal Requirements and Best Practices in Administering Qualified Domestic Relations Orders” on August 6, 2019.
- 11/15/2018Vorys attorneys Peggy Baron and Elizabeth Howard presented a webinar on November 15, 2018 entitled, Missing Plan Participants: Best Practices in Light of Increased DOL Scrutiny.
- 6/25/2020Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Thole v. U.S. Bank, holding that participants in defined benefit pension plans do not have standing to bring breaches of fiduciary duty claims under ERISA unless and until their own benefit has actually been impacted.
- 6/5/2020Can’t Find an In-Person Notary to Witness a Spousal Consent? IRS Provides Relief to Retirement PlansThe IRS temporarily waived the physical presence requirement for spousal consent to participant benefit elections in a qualified retirement plan.
- 5/22/2020On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued Notices 2020-29 and 2020-33. Notice 2020-29 provides employers with more flexibility for mid-year changes under cafeteria plan as well as permits the extension of grace periods and carryovers of unused 2019 FSA amounts through the end of 2020.
- 5/8/2020The Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a Joint Notice extending the time frames for a wide range of group health plan participant related events.
- 6/25/2019The new regulations (published June 13, 2019) preserve preceding exceptions from the ACA prohibition on annual dollar limits and create two more: (1) an excepted benefit HRA and (2) an individual coverage HRA.
- 4/26/2019In 1990, Congress enacted the Federal Debt Collection and Procedures Act. One feature of that law allows a federal court to issue a “writ of continuing garnishment” to access a convicted participant’s retirement plan benefits to satisfy a restitution order entered as part of the participant’s criminal sentencing.
- 12/18/2018Labor and Employment Alert: District Court Holds ACA Unconstitutional – But That’s Not The Final Word On The IssueOn December 14, 2018, a District Court in Texas held that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. Texas v. United States, No. 4:18-cv-00167 (N.D. Tex. 12/14/2018). While the case makes its way through the appeal process, group health plan sponsors should continue to comply with the ACA.
- 12/3/2018On November 29, 2018, the IRS announced a 32-day extension of the deadline to distribute 2018 Form 1095-Cs to employees.
- 11/13/2018Labor and Employment Alert: Treasury Department Releases Proposed Regulations Addressing Awaited Guidance On Hardship DistributionsNew hardship distribution regulations have been proposed for 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans. Clients will need to make decisions about what changes they want to adopt and when.
- 8/28/2018Labor and Employment Alert: Addressing Student Loan Debt in a 401(k) Plan: Recent IRS Private Letter Ruling Provides New Options for EmployersOn August 17, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Private Letter Ruling 201833012, which directly addressed an employer’s ability to provide a student loan repayment benefit in its 401(k) plan.
- 1/25/2018Labor and Employment Alert: PBGC Missing Participant Program – It’s Not Just For Defined Benefit Plans AnymoreOn December 22, 2017, the PBGC issued final regulations that expand their acceptance of benefits for missing participants.
- 1/9/2018After postponing the effective date of Obama-era regulations on claims and appeals for disability benefits, the Department of Labor announced on January 5, 2018 that it would allow the regulations to go into effect for claims filed after April 1, 2018.
- 11/8/2017Labor and Employment Alert: Finding Lost Participants, Annual Limit Update and Tax Bill ImplicationsWe have become aware that the Department of Labor (DOL) has started to take issue with the standard processes used by retirement plans to identify and locate lost participants in ongoing plans.
- 11/6/2017On November 2, 2017, the IRS updated FAQs 55-58 on the ACA employer pay or play penalties to explain how it intends to assess and collect 2015 penalties under Code Section 4980H.
- 9/15/2017After years of anticipation, sponsors of 403(b) plans have finally received guidance from the IRS regarding preapproved 403(b) prototype and volume submitter documents.
- 8/3/2017Unfortunately, sometimes an employer needs to end an employment relationship. In many situations, it is in the best interests of the parties to enter into an agreement that defines the terms of the separation. Whether called a “separation agreement,” “severance agreement,” “retirement agreement” or any other name, the issues remain the same.
- 5/15/2017Labor and Employment Alert: Court Faults Employer for Failing to Provide Accurate Information Regarding Life Insurance ConversionA federal court recently ordered an employer, WellStar Health System Inc., to pay $750,000.00 to a former employee’s widow for breaching its fiduciary duty in administering its group life insurance plan.
- 1/5/2017Labor and Employment Alert: A Flurry of Employee Benefit Guidance in the Closing Days of the Obama AdministrationAccording to IRS FAQs on IRC §4980H, published December 22, 2016, the IRS will begin contacting employers in “early 2017” regarding potential liability for 2015 pay or play penalties under IRC §4980H.
- 1/3/2017Labor and Employment Alert: Are Individually Designed Retirement Plans an Endangered Species? Impact of Changes to the IRS Determination Letter ProgramIn January 2017, the last regular determination letter applications will be filed for sponsors of individually designed retirement plans. After that last Cycle A determination letter application, individually designed plans will no longer be able to get a ruling from the IRS that the plan terms comply with law (except for the initial ruling on formation of the plan and a final ruling at plan termination), although the IRS may specify other ruling opportunities in the future.
- 12/16/2016On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34) into law. The 21st Century Cures Act contains two provisions that relate to group health coverage.
- 11/30/2016On November 18, 2016, the IRS announced a 30-day extension of the deadline to distribute 2016 Form 1095-Cs to employees.
- 11/11/2016For now, stay the course and stay tuned…
- 7/21/2016At the end of June, the federally-facilitated health insurance exchanges (as known as the Marketplace) sent out the first batch of Marketplace Notices to employers.
- 6/27/2016You hired a summer intern who is eager to work as many hours as possible. If you allow the intern to work 30-plus hours per week during the summer, at what point would you have to offer medical coverage in order to avoid the risk of Affordable Care Act (ACA) pay or play penalties?
- 6/17/2016Labor and Employment Alert: Major Changes Proposed for Incentive Compensation – Limited to Financial Institutions or Preview of Coming Attractions for Other Types of Employers?On June 10, 2016, six agencies that regulate financial institutions (FDIC, SEC, OCC, Federal Reserve Board, National Credit Union Administration, and Federal Housing Finance Agency) jointly proposed regulations regarding incentive compensation for financial institutions.
- 5/20/2016If your company sponsors a wellness program, you are undoubtedly familiar with IRS and DOL rules for participatory, activity, and outcomes-based wellness programs.
- 11/13/2015The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (11/2/2015) includes a rare bipartisan amendment to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA would have required that employers with 200 or more full-time employees auto-enroll their full-time employees in health coverage.
- 5/18/2015Labor and Employment Alert: Monitor 401(k)s, Or Else - Supreme Court Overturns Tibble v. Edison InternationalOn May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in the case of Tibble v. Edison International that fiduciaries of an ERISA plan have a continuing duty to monitor investments and to remove imprudent ones. This decision continues a recent trend in which the Court has demonstrated its willingness to overturn courts of appeals in ERISA cases.
- 5/14/2015The IRS announced the 2016 indexed amounts for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs).
- 4/23/2015Labor and Employment Alert: EEOC Proposes Rules for Wellness Programs (Could Have Been Better, Could Have Been Worse)For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declined to provide formal guidance on the application of the ADA to wellness programs. It has now issued rules.
- Spring 2015As 2015 gets under way, bank compensation committees are tasked with setting the bank’s executive compensation strategy for the year and effectively communicating that compensation structure to shareholders. Compensation committees need to strike a balance between a compensation program that attracts and retains employees and encourages those employees to take appropriate business risks while advancing the bank’s growth strategies and discouraging inappropriate risks.
- 3/16/2015The IRS will need detailed information from employers to enforce three Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax provisions. The IRS must determine whether: (1) an employer owes a pay or play penalty for failing to offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to its full-time employees; (2) employees and/or their family members are entitled to tax credits (subsidies) for the purchase of health insurance in the public exchanges; and (3) employees and/or their family members owe penalties for failing to maintain health coverage.
- 11/12/2014Labor and Employment Alert: Agency Guidance on Health Plan Strategies that Don’t Work as Advertised and Other Employee Benefit NewsStarting in 2015, a large employer will be subject to pay or play penalties if it fails to offer affordable health coverage that provides at least minimum value to its full-time employees. A health plan provides “minimum value” if it is designed to pay at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population. This is generally equivalent to a bronze level plan sold in the public health insurance Exchange.