Marcia S. Wagner is the founder of The Wagner Law Group, a certified woman-owned and operated business and one of the nation’s largest and most highly regarded boutique law firms, specializing in ERISA, employee benefits, executive compensation, employment, labor, human resources, personal law (estate planning and family) and investment management law. Ms. Wagner has been practicing employee benefits law for over 30 years. She founded The Wagner Law Group approximately 25 years ago and is the Firm’s Managing Partner. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Ms. Wagner is an authority on employee benefits matters, including qualified and non-qualified plans, fiduciary issues, deferred compensation, and welfare benefit arrangements. Her experience in employee benefits includes plan design, drafting and preparation, compliance, tax planning and consultation on all aspects of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. She consults with law firms, employee benefits organizations, and corporate and public plan sponsors, and serves as an expert witness in ERISA litigation.
She counsels plan sponsors on qualified plans, 403(b) and 457 plans, multiple employer plans (MEPs), IRAs, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), executive compensation arrangements and retiree medical benefits in matters involving plan operation and maintenance, plan terminations, mergers and acquisitions, tax treatment of plan participants, use of life insurance and annuities, and derisking of pension liabilities.
Ms. Wagner also specializes in Title I of ERISA, and has obtained advisory opinions, information letters and prohibited transaction exemptions from the U.S. Department of Labor. She handles fiduciary matters impacting plan sponsors, investment and other fiduciary committees, investment managers and advisors, recordkeepers, broker-dealers, banks, and other financial services firms. Ms. Wagner advises clients on the avoidance and rectification of prohibited transactions, the development of compliance programs, and investment policies. She is a renowned expert in issues concerning pension plan investments and fiduciary issues, and her opinion has been sought by noted authorities in the employee benefits area, including governmental agencies.
Ms. Wagner works on Department of Labor, IRS and PBGC audits of plans as well as of financial institutions that service plans, and has negotiated numerous favorable closing agreements.
She was appointed Chair of the Employee Plans subcommittee of the IRS Tax Exempt & Government Entities Advisory Committee and received that agency’s highest honor. She is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is the recipient of more than 50 professional honors.
Finally, Ms. Wagner has written hundreds of articles and 24 books. She is a highly sought after lecturer, and is widely quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Pension & Investments. She has been a guest on Fox, CNN, Bloomberg, and NBC.
IRS Updates Guidance Regarding Correction of Tax-Qualified Plan Errors on Employer Plans Compliance Resolutions System (EPCRS) - 401(k) Advisor, September 2021
Do You Have Questions About How to Comply with New DOL Fiduciary "Investment Advice" Prohibited Transaction Exemption? Part 2 - 401(k) Advisor, July/August 2021
Important Benefit Plan Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 - 401(k) Advisor, June 2021
Liability Driven Investing and Other De-risking Strategies for Pension Plans - Co-author, Lexis Nexis Practical Guidance Practice Notes, June 2021
Disclosure to Welfare Plan Participants: A Fiduciary Duty - Bloomberg Tax, March 2021
IRS New Guidance on State Unclaimed Property Laws and IRS Helpful Reminders on Missing Participants - 401(k) Advisor, February, 2021
PEPs Will be Up and Running by January, 2021 - 401(k) Advisor, January, 2021
IRS and PBGC Provide Guidance on CARES Act Relief for Funding of Single Employer Defined Benefit Plans - 401(k) Advisor, November 2020
Proposed Changes to the DOL Fiduciary Investment Regulation: What You Should Know and How The Wagner Law Group Responded - 401(k) Advisor, October 2020
The DOL's Final Regulations on E-Disclosure of Retirement Plan Documents Become Effective Soon - Are You Ready? - 401(k) Advisor, September 2020
DOL Offers Guidance to Fiduciaries Considering Private Equity in Defined Contribution Plans - 401(k) Advisor, August 2020
Cybersecurity and Retirement Plans: What Plans Sponsors Should Do - 401(k) Advsior, July 2020
Withdrawals and Loans from Defined Contribution Retirement Plans - 401(k) Advisor, June 2020
Time to Finish What Was Started...ERISA and Fiduciary Processes Have Evolved...Have You? - 401(k) Advisor, May 2020
Application of Dudenhoeffer in Private Company Settings - 401(k) Advisor, April 2020
Mandated Benefits 2021 Compliance Guide - Co-author, Watson, Wolters Kluwer, April 2021
JOURNALS AND PERIODICALS QUOTING MARCIA WAGNER
Hoping to use your IRA to start your own business? Think again, says new bill - MarketWatch, September 25, 2021 (PDF)
Target Date Funds: A 'Time Bomb' in a Retirement Tool for the Masses? - ThinkAdvisor, June 8, 2021 (PDF)
The CAA: A Fiduciary Guiding Light for 401k and Benefits Advisors - 401(k) Specialist, May 28, 2021 (PDF)
MetLife Says Labor Department Is Overstepping Authority in Probe - LifeAnnuity Specialist, May 10, 2021 (PDF)
Wagner Law Founder Talks Philosophy And Forging Own Path - Law360, May 7, 2021 (PDF)
The Rules for Flexible Spending Accounts Are More Generous (For Now) - CNBC, March 12, 2021 (PDF)
The IRS Is Coming For Federal Tax On DFS Entries, Just Like Sports Betting - SportsHandle, October 28, 2020 (PDF)
DOL Scrutinizing RIAs’ Use of ESG Investments in Retirement Plans - ThinkAdvisor, August 13, 2020 (PDF)
DOL's ESG Proposal Blasted in Public Comments - ThinkAdvisor, August 7, 2020
Employers May Drop 401(K) Matches as Companies Look to Cut Expenses - Newsmax, April 5, 2020
Employers Could Drop 401(k) Matches As Companies Look To Save Money - Black Enterprise, April 3, 2020
SEMINARS AND PRESENTED PAPERS
Does ESG Have A Place In 401(k) Plans? - Co-speaker, 2021 Wealth@wor(k), October 24 -26, 2021, Nashville, TN - More details here
Preparing for the Coming Thing: Practical Solutions to Real-World Challenges - Panelist, The 2021 Fiduciary Excellence Forum, sponsored by FiduciaryNews.com and RiXtrema, March 24 -25, 2021. Click here for details
WEBINARS AND PODCASTS
What Do Advisors Absolutely Need to Know About ERISA-Related Issues? Marcia Wagner Explains - 401(k) Specialist, August 9, 2021
Pensions & QDROs: Navigating Divorce Minefields - MCLE New England, December 10, 2020 - PowerPoint presentation available here
Withdrawals and Loans from Defined Contribution Retirement Plans - Rethinking65.com, March 2, 2021 (PDF)
Appointments and Committee Memberships