Pa Banner Pensions Erisa
Pa Banner Pensions Erisa
Pa Banner Pensions Erisa

Pensions & ERISA


Employee benefits are an important component of the compensation package of many companies in Hawai‘i, whether they are corporations, partnerships, LLCs, tax-exempt organizations, or proprietorships. Some benefits, such as bonuses, vacation, and severance pay, are subject to little regulation, but Hawai‘i and federal law, most notably the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), heavily regulate both pension and welfare benefit plans.

Whether your company wishes to adopt or administer such plans for the good of your employees, or to remain competitive, or to comply with union demands, or simply to provide incentives and tax benefits to the owners of the company or its key management employees, it is essential to consult attorneys, accountants, and other professionals in order to maximize benefits, achieve design goals, and avoid costly missteps.

Cades Schutte is one of the very few law firms in Hawai‘i to have attorneys concentrating in Pensions & ERISA. Moreover, as a large full-service firm, we also have tax, corporate, employment, health care, estate planning, and litigation attorneys to work with our Pensions & ERISA lawyers in dealing with all of the challenges that plan sponsors may face.

What We Do

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plans
  • Cash Balance Pension Plans
  • Profit-Sharing Plans
  • 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
  • Money Purchase Pension Plans
  • Davis-Bacon Plans
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and Stock Options
  • 457 Plans and other Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Stock Bonus Plans
  • Phantom Stock Plans
  • Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans (SERPs)
  • Rabbi Trusts
  • Change-In-Control Agreements
  • Executive Compensation
  • Medical and Welfare Benefit Plans
  • Cafeteria and Flexible Spending Plans
  • Medical Reimbursement Plans
  • Dependent Care Assistance Program
  • ERISA Compliance, Documentation, Administration Advice, Audit Defense, and Transaction Support

Our attorneys provide design, drafting, and counseling services to clients over the entire spectrum of retirement and welfare benefit plans, including:

  • Advising businesses as to the best plans to meet their goals and fit their circumstances
  • Drafting plan documents to meet the client’s needs (e.g., maximizing deductions, minimizing costs, maintaining flexibility, and favoring certain classes of employees)
  • Answering legal questions from clients and their third-party administrators and trustees with respect to plan administration
  • Correcting plan administration errors through self-correction techniques or applying for relief under IRS and DOL correction programs
  • Amending or changing plans as needs or laws and regulations change
  • Assisting clients in keeping their plans in compliance with ERISA, including its anti-discrimination, coverage, employee communication, government reporting, and fiduciary rules
  • Working with companies to design executive compensation packages for owners, officers, and key management personnel
  • Defending clients and their plans from legal challenges and audits by the IRS, DOL, or PBGC, and dealing with claims by participants, beneficiaries, divorce courts, and creditors
  • Drafting post-retirement, “window,” and severance agreements
  • Assisting with COBRA, USERRA (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act), and Stark compliance with respect to employee benefits


Itagaki Cheryl 1Itagaki Cheryl 1

Cheryl L.M.T. Itagaki


Cheryl’s experience in public accounting and employee benefits provides her with invaluable insight into her clients’ legal issues.

Itagaki Cheryl 1