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Edward Bernard

Edward M. Bernard



Ed's experience in the field of employee benefits and related issues includes more than 10 years as an attorney and more than 10 years as a consultant and plan administrator.

Ed advises employers and employee benefit plans, both public and private, large and small, on all aspects of plan design, implementation, administration, and tax, regulatory, and fiduciary compliance.

Ed's work as a consultant and plan administrator with a major mutual fund company, bank and insurance company before becoming a lawyer gives him unique hands-on experience administering employee benefit plans. In these roles, he was responsible for designing, drafting and administering qualified retirement and section 403(b) plans, including performing nondiscrimination testing and preparing and filing Forms 5500 Annual Return/Report.

While at previous firms, Ed gained considerable experience advising for-profit, tax-exempt and governmental clients on complex employee benefit transactions and federal and state tax and regulatory compliance. In addition, he has experience advising Taft-Hartley funds.

Ed has extensive experience in qualified and nonqualified defined contribution and defined benefit plan design, implementation, administration and compliance, including designing top-hat supplemental executive retirement plans and Section 457(f) plans. His experience in the health and welfare arena includes designing, drafting and implementing cafeteria plans, retiree medical plans, and advising clients regarding ACA, HIPAA and COBRA compliance.

Areas of Focus


J.D. University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law ( 2003 )
B.A. Earlham College ( 1986 )

Admissions and Courts



Employee Benefits Practice Leader

Advised large public agency on options for redesigning its entire retirement benefit program to better suit its demographics and organizational objectives in accordance with state and federal law, and led team that coordinated and implemented the selected design.


Represented clients in IRS voluntary correction program filings dealing with a broad range of complex qualified retirement plan issues, and successfully resolved IRS qualified plan audit.

Advised clients on taxation of fringe benefits, including paid-time off, leave-sharing programs, and transportation benefits, reimbursements, service-related disability payments and Employer Paid Member Contributions to state retirement system.

Advised client regarding Affordable Care Act compliance and implementation of required tracking and reporting processes and procedures.

Advised clients on negotiating benefit changes for represented employees in accordance with state and federal law.

American Bar Association

American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries

Western Pension & Benefits Conference

"Employer-Paid Abortion Travel Coverage Triggers Tax Consequences," Bloomberg Law (June 2022)

"IRS to halt issuing certain determination letters," Pensions & Investments (June 2015)

"Be Ready for More ACA Penalties," Society for Human Resource Management (August 2018)