Jonathan Cerrito

Jonathan Cerrito is retained by sponsors of multiemployer & single-employer plans, executives and professionals, and tax-exempt entities to handle their most sensitive employee benefits matters because of his unique blend of can-do attitude, keen instincts and technical proficiency. He regularly wrestles the most complex aspects of ERISA and tax law and provides straight talk with respect to qualified pension plans, health plans and executive compensation arrangements.

Nevertheless, in an industry based on logic and precedent, Jonathan separates himself from the pack because he brings imagination, intuition and an entrepreneurial spirit to his practice. And, it’s not just his clients that recognize the value of his distinct skill set—for example, Super Lawyers Magazine has repeatedly selected Jonathan as a Rising Star and the Whitman School of Management of Syracuse University designated him as one of the 2009 “40 Under 40.”

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Jonathan Cerrito
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Areas Of Practice
Education
  • LL.M. in Taxation, New York University
  • J.D., Quinnipiac School of Law
    • Magna Cum Laude
    • Academic Excellence Award
    • Distinguished Academic Achievement Award(s) in: Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Products Liability Law, Juvenile Law and Entertainment Law
    • Gerald F. Stevens Workers’ Compensation Award
  • B.A., English, Fordham University

Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York State, Connecticut, U.S. Tax Court

Significant Representations
  • Counsel to Boards of Trustees of multiemployer pension and welfare plans with individual assets of several billion dollars on day-to-day matters as well as special transactions.
  • Draft and negotiate investment manager agreements, adoption agreements for group trusts and side letters with various private equity and hedge funds concerning the investment of plan assets.
  • Counsel to several different fiduciaries in a series of U.S. Department of Labor investigations concerning fiduciary matters and plan investments.
  • Successfully structure cutting-edge welfare benefit plan with multiple employer participation and secured IRS determination letter.
  • Handled the employee benefit aspects of several merger transactions for federal credit unions involving employment, severance, change-in-control, pension and welfare plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
  • Represented trade association in IRS audit involving activities unrelated to the association’s tax-exempt purpose, the creation of a for-profit subsidiary and implementation of employee benefit plans.
  • Counsel to plan administrator in a U.S. Department of Labor audit involving an alleged statutory violation and demonstrated how the accountant’s methodology of testing employer payroll records satisfied ERISA and generally accepted auditing standards.
  • Secured individual prohibited transaction exemptions from the U.S. Department of Labor involving the sale of real property between related parties.

Publications
  • “The 457 Trap: Taxing Executives Upon Vesting, Really?,” CUEd In: The Law and Business of Employee Benefits for Credit Union Executives, Volume I, Issue 1, March 2011.
  • “Defending Trustees Against Failure to Diversify Claims,” Benefits & Compensation Digest, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Volume 47, No. 12, December 2010.
  • “Defending ERISA Fiduciaries Against Claims of Failure to Diversify in a World of Multi-Manager Investments,” BNA Pension & Benefits Daily, 147 PBD, 08/03/2010.
  • “VII. Pension and Benefits” in the chapter on U.S. labor and employment law in International and Employment Laws, Third Edition, Vol. IB (Keller & Darby eds., BNA Books 2006 – present)
  • “Employee Benefits & ERISA Update,” Labor & Employment Law Program, National CLE Conference, January 2010.
  • “Foreign Partnership Interests: How Do ERISA Fiduciaries Maintain Indicia of Ownership Within the Jurisdiction of U.S. Courts?,” BNA Pension & Benefits Daily, 147 PBD, 08/04/2009.
  • “Employee Benefits & ERISA Update,” Labor & Employment Law Program, National CLE Conference, January 2009.
  • “Multiemployer Plan Funding: The Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008,” 19th Annual Labor Law Seminar, January 2009.
  • “Separation Agreements: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do!,” Employment Law Update, Continuing Legal Education Seminar presented by Sterling Education Services, Inc., January 2009.
  • “Proxy Voting,” B&K ERISA Newsletter, July 2008.
  • “How Health Reimbursement Arrangements Can Reduce Your Cost and Increase Your Benefits,” Continuing Legal Education Seminar presented by Lorman Education Services, May 2008.
  • “Health Reimbursement Arrangements,” 14th Annual ERISA and Employee Benefits Seminar, July 2008.
  • “Employee Benefits & ERISA Update,” Labor & Employment Law Program, National CLE Conference, January 2008.
  • “Coping with the Aftermath of the Pension Protection Act of 2006,” 18th Annual Labor Law Seminar, January 2008.
  • “The ABC’s of Taxing Stock-Based Compensation,” Perspective Newsletter, Fall 2007, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.
  • “Defined Contribution Plan Fee Disclosures,” 13th Annual ERISA and Employee Benefits Seminar, July 2007.
  • “Where, Oh Where, Has My Pension and Benefits Plan Gone? ERISA Update,” Labor & Employment Law Program, National CLE Conference, January 2007.
  • “The New World of Qualified Deferred Compensation under the Pension Protection Act of 2006,” 17th Annual Labor Law Seminar, January 2007.

Speaking Engagements
  • Annual ERISA and Employee Benefits Seminar, Blitman & King (2007 – Present).
  • Annual Labor Law Seminar, Employee Benefits Breakout, Blitman & King (2007 – Present).
  • A Salesperson’s Rights (Employee Benefits Negotiation), Central New York Sales & Marketing Executives, January 2010.
  • Employment Law Update, Continuing Legal Education Seminar presented by Sterling Education Services, Inc., January 2009.
  • “HSAs, HRAs, FSAs: How They Can Reduce Your Cost and Increase Your Benefits,” Continuing Legal Education Seminar presented by Lorman Education Services, May 2008.

Affiliations
  • American Bar Association (Tax Section and Labor and Employment Section), New York State Bar Association (Tax Section and Labor and Employment), Connecticut Bar Association, Onondaga County Bar Association (Tax Section and Labor and Employment)