The Wagner Law Group | Est. 1996

Sophisticated Legal Solutions Boutique-Style Service

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Shana Saichek

Of Counsel


San Diego

Practice Areas


Shana Saichek has provided legal advice and litigation services to employee benefit plan sponsors in the public and private sectors since 1980. She has experience with a wide variety of health and welfare, pension and profit sharing, 401(k) plans and 457 plans, apprenticeship, prepaid legal, cafeteria, sick leave/salary conversion, and flexible spending account arrangements. In the past decade, Shana developed the "Retiree Medical TrustTM" concept, which provides funding for a highly tax-favored retiree medical reimbursement plan; she has helped to implement more than thirty tax-exempt trusts for funding these plans. In 2007, Ms. Saichek established the Saichek Law Firm, APC, with a focus on employee benefit trusts for public sector employees, as well as general fiduciary counsel.

From 1993-2007, Ms. Saichek was a partner in the Seattle law firm of Carney Badley Spellman, where she headed the Employee Benefits Group. Prior to that, Ms. Saichek was the Associate Director of Research and Vice President for a national actuarial and benefits consulting firm in New York (1987-1991), where she was responsible for research and analysis of legislative, regulatory and judicial developments at the state and federal level affecting employee benefit plans. From 1980-87, Shana was in private practice with a concentration in multiemployer (Taft-Hartley) employee benefit plans in several industries.

Ms. Saichek is also a frequent speaker and author on employee benefit plan issues.

Publications & Media


  • Retiree Medical Trust: How Employers and Employees can Use Pre-Tax Dollars to Create a Lifetime Medical Reimbursement Plan – Presenter, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems webinar, October 13, 2020 – Click here for details
  • Retiree Medical Trust: How Employers and Employees can Use Pre-Tax Dollars to Create a Lifetime Medical Reimbursement Plan – National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems webinar, October 13, 2020 – Click here for details
  • “The Advantages of Creating a Retiree Medical Trust,” National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems 2010 Annual Conference (May 2-6, 2010, Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • “OPEB Alternatives That Let Finance Officers Sleep At Night,” California Society of Municipal Finance Officers 2008 Annual Conference (March 5-7, 2008, Anaheim, California)
  • “Retiree Medical Benefits: Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan”, Public Agency Risk Managers Association 34th Annual PARMA Conference (February 10-13, 2008, Anaheim, California)
  • “Designing A Public Sector Benefit Trust Fund”, IFEBP 53rd Annual Employees Benefits Conference (November 4-7,2007, Anaheim, California)
  • “Bolstering Public Safety Employee Retiree Medical Benefits,” Public Safety Employees Pension and Benefits Conference (October 14-17, 2007, Palm Springs, California)
  • “How to Create a Retiree Medical Trust,” National Association of College and University Attorneys, 45th Annual Conference (June 26-29, 2005, Orlando, Florida)
  • “Creating a Retiree Medical Trust – How Employers and Employees Can Use Pre-Tax Dollars to Fund Retiree Medical Costs,” NCPERS Annual Conference & Exhibition (May 8-12, 2005, Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • “Pension Health Care Crisis,” Public Safety Employees Pension & Benefits Conference (October 20-23, 2002, Palm Springs, California)
  • “The How To’s for Successfully Increasing Your Members’ Benefits,” Guns and Hoses 2002 Fire and Police Pension Fund Forum (September 22-25, 2002, Miami Beach, Florida)
  • “Healthcare Crisis: Our Solutions,” Public Employees Department, International Conference, Laborers International (September 11-14, 2002, Seattle, Washington)
  • “Legislative Developments in Public Sector Plans,” International Foundation 46th Annual Employee Benefits Conference (November 11 – 15, 2000, Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • “Enhancing Financial Security During Retirement,” Public Safety Employees Pension & Benefits Conference (October 22-25, 2000, Palm Springs, California)
  • “Independence and Relationship of Investment Managers and Investment Consultants,” International Foundation 44th Annual Employee Benefits Conference (October 9-14, 1998, Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • “Issues in Trustee Ethics,” International Foundation Benefits Conference for Public Employees (August 18, 1998, Seattle, Washington)
  • “Overview of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act,” Seminar on ERISA Fundamentals by the National Business Institute, Inc. (April 18, 1996, Seattle, Washington)
  • “Health Care Reform in Washington” (impact of federal law), Washington State Council of Police Officers (October 6, 1994, Spokane, Washington)
  • “Health Reform: Opportunity for Trade Associations,” Washington Society of Association Executives (March 15, 1994, Seattle, Washington)


  • University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D.
  • University of California, San Diego, CA
    • B.A.
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Major: History

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • Washington (Inactive)

Professional Associations

  • NCPERS Task Force on Health Care Benefits of Public Employees and Retirees, (National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems, Washington, D.C.), 2002 to 2008
  • Public Sector Plans Subcommittee of the ABA Labor & Employment Law Section, 1993 to 2004
  • Editorial Board of “Health and Welfare Benefits Alert”, (New York Law Publ. Co.), 1993 to 1995
  • Co-chair of the ABA Special Task Force on National Health Care Reform, 1991 to 1992
  • Co-chair of the Welfare Plans Subcommittee of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section, 1990 to 1993
  • Board of Directors of the ABA Standing Committee on Prepaid Legal Services Plans, 1986 to 1991
  • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee of the ABA Business Law Section, 1986 to 1991


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Pre-eminent Rating since 2001, which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards from peers and judiciary.