Leah Singleton

Leah Singleton photo

As counsel in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice in the Atlanta office of Thompson Hine, Ms. Singleton advises a broad range of clients on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation plans, including their design, implementation, maintenance, correction and termination, as well as ongoing compliance with applicable laws such as ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, PBGC, HIPAA, COBRA, GINA and the Affordable Care Act.  She provides practical business guidance to clients on the design, implementation, and operation of defined benefit, defined contribution, profit-sharing, cash balance, ESOP, 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457 and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. She advises on pension plan funding, withdrawal issues for multiemployer plans, de-risking of pension plans, and other retirement plan compliance issues triggered by business reorganizations, plan funding, bankruptcy and reductions-in-force. She counsels clients on compliance issues, including government audits of benefit plans, submissions to the Internal Revenue Service regarding a variety of operational and plan document failures, and submissions to the Department of Labor for fiduciary compliance matters. Ms. Singleton also provides advice on investments under Title I of ERISA that impact fiduciary obligations and relate to exempt and non-exempt prohibited transactions.  In addition, she advises buyers and sellers on benefit plan issues in corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, stock purchases and asset purchases, including controlled group and affiliated service group issues, impacted benefits, plan consolidations, plan terminations and plan asset transfers.  Ms. Singleton also guides public and private companies on executive compensation issues under Sections 409A, 162(m) and 280G of the Internal Revenue Code, including performance pay awards, change-in-control agreements, severance plans, equity plans, incentive plans and employment agreements.  In addition to teaching for IAML, she routinely speaks for organizations such as Employee Ownership (NCEO) Employee Ownership Conference, PlanAdviser National Conference and the Atlanta Bar Association

Education

  • J.D., Mercer University School of Law
  • B.S., University of West Georgia-Carrollton

Publications

  • "Board Member Liability Under ERISA for Retirement Plans," Directors and Boards
  • "Cost-Savings and Risk-Reducing Ideas for Severance Programs," Bloomberg Law Reports
  • "Update on the Federal COBRA Subsidy: Traps for the Unwary and a Possible Savings Opportunity," Bloomberg Law Reports
  • "Could Your Officers or Board Face Personal Liability for 401(k) Plan Investment Losses? Journal of Compensation and Benefits
  • "Offering Company Stock As an Investment Option in Retirement Plans," Employee Benefit Plan Review