Ken RuthenbergHaving practiced employee benefits law exclusively since 1979, Ken is among the most knowledgeable and experienced employee benefits attorneys in the U.S. His deep experience covers every aspect of employee benefits law, with particular focus on:

  • Qualified retirement plans (401(k), other defined contribution, defined benefit, cash balance and conversions of traditional defined benefit plans to cash balance plans).
  • Tax-sheltered annuities (403(b)).
  • Equity and executive compensation (non-qualified deferred compensation, 457(b), 457(f) plans, 409A compliance, phantom stock, and other long-term incentives).
  • Employee welfare benefits (health care reform, group health plans, COBRA, HRAs, cafeteria plans and VEBAs).
  • Public agency plans.
  • Church plans.
  • Controlled group, common control, affiliated service group and leased employee analyses.

He is a widely recognized leader in employee benefits law, and has served as an adjunct professor for the McGeorge School of Law's Master of Laws in Taxation program and at Golden Gate University's Graduate School of Taxation. He was also the chairman of the State Bar's Taxation Section's Employee Benefits Committee. 

Ken earned his LL.M. (Master of Laws) in taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law (graduated first in his class), his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, and his B.S., from the University of Kansas.

He is a member of the California Bar Association.


Ken is a fellow of The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBC), which recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of the employee benefits field. He is routinely selected by his peers for inclusion in the registry "The Best Lawyers in America" and "Super Lawyers."

Ken's Most Read Article ~ Employee Aggregation Rules: Part 1

It was not a dark and stormy night--at least it didn't start out that way. Instead, it was a sunny and calm afternoon, and a routine year-end review meeting was taking place between the owners of SMALLCO (a manufacturing business), their accountant and their retirement plan third party administrator (TPA). And then it happened. Read more...

"Ken Ruthenberg hit the ground running in our first conversation."

– Corinna Adams, Director of Benefits, Reiter Affiliated Companies