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Susan Elizabeth Rees - Washington, DC

1015 18th St., N.W.Suite 801 Washington, DC 20036

Updated: 04/18/2024

Washington ERISA Lawyer

Overview

Susan Rees has over 30 years of extensive experience with ERISA and other federal employment laws. In her capacity as a Division Chief for the Office of Regulations and Interpretations of the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C...
Susan Rees has over 30 years of extensive experience with ERISA and other federal employment laws. In her capacity as a Division Chief for the Office of Regulations and Interpretations of the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C., she provided advice to state and federal agencies, the public, and lawmakers and their staff, on ERISA interaction with state legislation involving all types of governmental plans and state retirement program alternatives. Throughout the course of her career, Ms. Rees has authored and provided valuable advice in the creation of many ERISA-related regulations, advisory opinions, field assistance bulletins, and other technical legal memoranda on complicated issues including ERISA preemption and employee benefit plan definitions. She has also been instrumental in providing advice on ERISA-related civil and criminal investigations, penalty proceedings and litigation, including on preparation of amicus briefs and on related federal statutes such as the Internal Revenue Code, FLSA, FMLA, ADEA, and the Administrative Procedures Act. Ms. Rees served as the EBSA's representative in intra- and inter-agency deliberations on ERISA litigation and rule making including as the longstanding lead to the ongoing joint agency project on the definition of a governmental plan.

Ms. Rees is frequently asked to speak at bar association and industry group meetings, and is a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. She earned a J.D. from Suffolk University and B.A. from Boston University, and is licensed to practice law in state and federal courts in Massachusetts, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals in the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, and D.C. Circuits.

About Susan Elizabeth Rees

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Of Counsel

Practice Areas

  • ERISA
  • Employee Benefits
  • Executive Compensation
  • Legislative
  • Regulatory
  • Policy Services
  • Taft-Hartley Trusts

Qualifications

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit

Other Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Tax Section Member
  • ALI- BA Tax Section/EBC/ MEP-PEO Subcommittee (C0-Vice-Chair)
  • ABA Tax Section meetings and conferences and with other industry organizations, 1992 - Present (Frequent invited speaker)

Classes and Seminars

  • Multiple Employer Plans Update, Panelist, ABA 2024 May Tax Section Meeting, May 3, 2024
  • ERISA Fiduciary Institute - Panelist, American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (JCEB) seminar, Washington, D.C. September 12, 2023
  • Cybersecurity Issues – 2023 Joint TE/GE Council Employee Plans Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., February 23, 2023
  • Everything You Need to Know About the New RMD Guidance – Speaker, American Bar Association Hybrid 2022 May Tax Meeting, Washington, D.C., May 12 -14, 2022
  • Benefit Claims and Practical Issues in Preparing for a DOL Cybersecurity Audit - Panelist, American Bar Association ERISA Fiduciary Institute 2022: 6-Part Webinar Series
  • Benefit Claims – Panelist, American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, ERISA Fiduciary Institute 2021, April 7 – 14, 2021
  • Pooled Employer Plan Update - Panelist, Southwest Benefits Association Benefits Administration Workshop, March 2 – 4, 2021
  • ERISA Benefit Claims and Appeals Processes – Fiduciary Full and Fair Review Obligations - Panelist, American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, ERISA Fiduciary Institute, Washington, D.C., April 2, 2020
  • Benefit Claims - Speaker, American Bar Association live, CLE webinar, ERISA Fiduciary Institute Webinar Series: Part 2, May 22, 2020
  • Strategic Uses of EBSA Disclosure Regulations and Guidance – Speaker, Pension Rights Center webinar, May 20, 2020
  • Multiple Employer Plans Under the SECURE Act – The Wagner Law Group FREE Webinar, February 27, 2020, 2020 - Present
  • Employee Benefits Multiple Employers, PEOs and Controlled Groups Update - Panelist, American Bar Association Section of Taxation 2020 Midyear Tax Meeting, Boca Raton, FL, January 30 – February 1, 2020
  • Improving the QDRO Submission Process - Panelist, The Pension Rights Center Strategic Convening on Women and Retirement at Divorce, October 29, 2019
  • Speaker, American Bar Association ERISA Fiduciary Institute, ERISA Benefit Claims and Appeals Processes - Fiduciary Full and Fair Review Obligations, 2020 - Present
  • Fall Benefits Briefing – Panelist, , The Wagner Law Group Free Webinar, September 25, 2019
  • Multiple Employer Plan Update: The DOL Final Rule, Reporting Relief, and the “Bad Apple” Rule – Panelist The American Law Institute webinar, September 20, 2019
  • MEWAs and Association Health Plans - Speaker, Society of Professional Benefits Administrators (SPBA) Sprin 2019 Meeting, Washington, D.C. April 24 -26, 2019
  • Speaker, American Bar Association/Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, 2019 ERISA Fiduciary Institute
  • Employee Benefits Briefing – Panelist, The Wagner Law Group FREE webinar, March 28, 2019
  • Frequent speaker at bar association and industry group meetings

Education

  • Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
    J.D.
  • Boston University
    B.A.

Articles

Published Works

  • Abbott Brought Back Into Retirement Plan Cybersecurity Lawsuit - PLANSPONSOR, 2020
  • Cybersecurity Risks Still Lurking for Retirement Plan Sponsors - PLANSPONSOR, 2020
  • Stakeholders Want More Substantive PEP Guidance from DOL - PLANADVISER, 2020
  • Principal Purpose Organizations; An Exersize in Statutory Interpretation and First Amendment Analysis - Co-author with Barry Salkin, Journal of Pension Planning& & Compliance, 2020
  • Death by Paperwork? ESG Investing Probe Hints at Onerous Pile-On - Bloomberg Law, 2020
  • Pension Plan Fiduciaries Get Relief from Supreme Court - Pensions & Investments, 2020
  • Supreme Court Takes Fiduciary Case for Overfunded DB Plan - Pensions & Investments, 2019
  • DC Circ. Urged To Save Rule Expanding ACA-Skirting Plans - Law360, 2019
  • New Tactics Being Deployed in Challenging Church Plans - Pensions & Investments Online, 2019
  • PBGC Requests OMB Approval for Data Collection for ERISA Title IV Coverage Analysis - (Co-author, with Izzy Goldowitz) The Wagner Law Group Law Alert, 2019
  • Industry People Moves: Wagner Law Group Hires ERISA Attorney - PLANSPONSOR, 2019
  • Premier National Law Firm Expands its Washington, D.C. Office With the Addition of Attorney Susan Elizabeth Rees - West, 2019

Office Information

Address

1015 18th St., N.W.Suite 801 Washington, DC 20036

Fax

  • 202-969-2568

Achievements

Honors

  • Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, 2010 - 2021
  • DOL Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Awards, Sarbanes Oxley Blackout Notice Team, 2003 - Present
  • DOL Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Awards, Medical Child Support Team, 2000 - Present
  • DOL Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Awards, QDRO Guidance Working Group, 1998 - Present
  • DOL Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Awards, Retirement Savings Education Group, 1996 - Present
  • DOL Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Awards, PBSD Amicus Program Group, 1996 - Present
  • DOL Secretary’s Exceptional Achievement Awards, PBSD MEWA Group, 1992 - Present
  • Compliance Assistance Awards, Health Benefits Education Campaign, 2006 - Present
  • Compliance Assistance Awards, Fiduciary Education Team, 2005 - Present

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