Jonathan (Jon) D. Karelitzis a partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He helps employers develop and manage legally compliant compensation and benefit programs that are aligned with business and employee relations goals. Mr. Karelitz collaborates with his clients to craft practical solutions to strategic and operational challenges regarding retirement plans, group health plans, and executive compensation arrangements.
He has been recognized by in-house counsel as a BTI Client Service All-Star for “delivering the absolute best client service” and his “unmatched business understanding.” Mr. Karelitz helps clients implement and administer pension and 401(k) plans. He has worked on cutting edge pension de-risking projects, including one of the largest pension buyouts in U.S. history.
He also advises clients on the effects of reductions-in-force, spin-offs and other corporate events on existing retirement plans. Mr. Karelitz routinely assists clients with the correction of plan operational errors, and has represented clients in numerous IRS and DOL audits.
In addition, Mr. Karelitz advises investment committees and plan fiduciaries on the legal implications of all types of managed investments and financial instruments. He also helps plan administrators respond to participant claims and appeals, and uses project management tools and technology to efficiently manage high-volume claim loads.
Mr. Karelitz helps employers hire, incentivize and discharge key employees. This work includes negotiating and drafting employment and severance agreements. Mr. Karelitz also helps clients navigate the complex tax rules governing non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements and performance-based compensation. In addition, he drafts executive compensation proxy disclosure materials and advises clients regarding compliance with related SEC rules.
Mr. Karelitz advises employers regarding the design and day-to-day administration of group health and welfare plans, including compliance with the evolving landscape of health care reform laws. He also trains management and HR employees on legal obligations and best practices for the protection of employee health information, as required under HIPAA.
Mr. Karelitz is a former member of the executive board of the Jewish Council for Youth Services (JCYS), where he chaired the board’s HR committee. He is also a past programming chair and a member of the steering committee for the Chicago chapter of the Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB). He currently participates in several initiatives and committees at Northwestern University and the Francis W. Parker School.
- LL.M., John Marshall Law School (2007)
- J.D., Indiana University School of Law (2005)
- CALI Award in Employee Benefits Law
- B.A., Northwestern University (2002)
- Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Chicago Chapter (Programming Committee)
- National Association of Stock Plan Professionals
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