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Kelsey Mayo

Partner
Charlotte, NC t: 704.342.5307 f: 704.342.5264
Raleigh, NC t: 919.783.2935 f: 919.783.1075

Kelsey Mayo has extensive experience working with governmental, non-profit, and for-profit employers on all aspects of qualified and non-qualified plans, welfare benefit plans, fringe benefit plans, and executive compensation plans.

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Biography

Kelsey’s practice is focused in the areas of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation. She works with business owners and HR executives to understand and manage employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements. She routinely represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation and has extensive experience in virtually all aspects of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements.

Kelsey enjoys helping professionals decipher the most complex areas of this field and speaks regularly with industry organizations, including the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries and CPA organizations. She also volunteers with ASPPA’s Government Affairs Committee, working with government agencies and Congress to develop workable regulations and legislation for the retirement industry. 

Kelsey also brings her background in accounting as well as her study for the actuarial exams to bear for the benefit of her clients. She is uniquely positioned to understand how benefits integrate with a company’s financial concerns and to assist owners and executives in managing these benefit programs.

Areas of Focus

+Retirement

  • Guidance to plan fiduciaries regarding fiduciary duties and managing liability
  • Managing plan liabilities and executing derisking in pension plans
  • Establishing and maintaining plans in compliance with ERISA and the tax code
  • Design and redesign plans for cutting edge designs
  • Identify and correct plan errors through the DOL and IRS compliance programs
  • Effecting plan terminations, including compliance, required filings, and taxation
  • Filing and taxation requirements
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+Medical, Welfare, & Fringe Benefits

  • Advice on compliant administration of benefit plans
  • Identify and correct errors in administration
  • Assistance re applicable laws, including HIPAA, COBRA, Affordable Care Act, and non-discrimination issues
  • Filing and taxation requirements
  • Response to IRS
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+Executive Compensation

  • Negotiating and reviewing executive compensation arrangements, including compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A
  • Design, modification, and termination of executive compensation arrangements
  • Identification and correction of errors in documentation and administration
  • Filing and taxation requirements
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+Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Retention agreements for key employees of the seller
  • Due diligence to evaluate risks
  • Advice regarding amendment and/or termination of benefit plans
  • Financial impacts of plans, including funding obligations and withdrawal liability for pension plans
  • Negotiation of terms in the transaction documents, including representations and warranties, indemnification, escrow arrangements, and employee matter agreements
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+Government Agency – Advocacy & Defense

  • Advocacy in IRS, DOL, and PBGC audits and investigations
  • Excise tax determination and assessments
  • Prohibited transaction determination and assessments
  • PBGC negotiations regarding funding and reportable events
  • Response to assessments and reporting events
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+Benefit Claims & Litigation

  • Help with plan governance to better position the plan in the case of litigation
  • Advice on claims procedures in plans to protect the plan and the company
  • Assistance meeting fiduciary compliance obligations
  • Response to participant claims and appeals
  • Defense in litigation matters
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+Employment & Severance Agreements

  • Negotiating and reviewing executive compensation arrangements for executives
  • Review of severance compensation arrangements
  • Advice regarding protection from penalties associated with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A
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+Outside General Counsel Services

  • Assisting companies with maintaining and documenting governance and corporate actions
  • Negotiating contracts with both company clients and vendors
  • Advising companies on benefits-related compliance matters including ERISA, HIPAA, and the tax code
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Credentials

+Certifications & Specializations

Certified Yellow Belt in Legal Lean Sigma by the Legal Lean Sigma Institute®

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+Education

Wake Forest University, JD, 2008, cum laude

North Carolina State University, BS, 2005, magna cum laude

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+Notable Accomplishments

Passed 5 actuarial exams on way to Associate of Society of Actuaries designation

2019 Leaders in the Law Award

2019 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte

2018 National Women in Law Award by Corporate Counsel and Inside Counsel

Recipient of the James and Marie Mason Scholarship

Articles Editor, Wake Forest Law Review

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+Professional & Community Activities

Charlotte Benefits Forum President

American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Administrative Relations Committee Co-chair, IRS Subcommittee Member

American Society of Enrolled Actuaries Government Affairs Committee

Children & Family Services Center, Board Member

Co-Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Pension Benefits

Professional Mentor with the NCSU Poole College of Management, 2012-2013, 2015-2016

North Carolina Bar Association

North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys

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