My clients, and other professionals who refer their clients to me, want benefits counsel who can get to the rooKen Ruthenbergt of the problem efficiently. They're also looking for the latitude to reward key employees based on individualized performance goals while staying within the rules. Those goals have guided my practice since 1979.

I counsel clients on every aspect of employee benefits law, with a particular focus on:

  • Equity and executive compensation (nonqualified deferred compensation, 457(b), 457(f), 409A compliance, phantom stock, and other long-term incentives).
  • 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)).
  • Employee welfare benefits (health care reform, group health plans, COBRA, HRAs, cafeteria plans, VEBAs and association health plans).
  • Public agency plans.
  • Church plans.
  • Controlled group, common control, affiliated service group and leased employee analyses.

Most Read Series - Employee Aggregation Rules

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 more

Pats On The Back

Preeminent Rating, Martindale Hubbell

Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, which recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of the employee benefits field

Registries, "The Best Lawyers in America" and "Super Lawyers"

Education And Bar Affiliation

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

Admitted to practice in California


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

– Corinna Adams, Director of Benefits, Reiter Affiliated Companies