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Assistant General Counsel, Retirement Services


in Arlington VA / DC


Job Description

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), with offices in Arlington, VA and Lincoln, NE is the trade association for over 900 consumer-owned electric cooperatives serving more than 42 million people. NRECA is committed to harnessing the strength of America’s electric cooperatives into a single powerful voice. NRECA has won the following awards over the past few years:

  • Top Workplace by the Washington Post
  • 100 Best Places to Work - ComputerWorld Magazine
  • 50 Best Places to Work - The Washingtonian
  • CARE Award Recipient - Recognizing organizations that promote a positive work-life balance
  • Best Place to Work Award Recipient - Lincoln, NE
  • Gold Well Workplace - Wellness Councils of America
  • State of NE Governor's Wellness Award - Grower Level

At NRECA, we work with people who are leaders in their fields. They are down-to-earth, hardworking professionals committed to helping our members serve their communities. Our work is interesting, constantly evolving, and requires new skills to meet the evolving needs of a dynamic industry. In this collegial, inclusive work environment, united around the compelling purpose and history of electric cooperatives, we thrive. And topping it off, NRECA cares about each person’s overall well-being, encouraging health, financial security, and a sustainable work/life balance. EEO/AA- M/F/Disability/Protected Veteran Status/Genetic Data

Summary: Assistant General Counsel, Retirement Services

Serve as counsel for NRECA and NRECA-sponsored retirement plans, providing general legal support on employee benefit plan, retirement plan and financial services matters.  This position specializes in tax-related work affecting the retirement plans. As assigned, address legal issues associated with complex legal matters or NRECA sponsored Retirement and Security Plan (RS Plan), 401(k) Pension Plan (401(k) Plan), and, upon request, deferred compensation plans (Plans).  Complete goals, duties, and responsibilities consistent with regulatory requirements, plan policies, and established professional standards and practices while providing exceptional customer service and legal and business advice.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Specialized Legal Services and Risk Management Area of Responsibility – NRECA Sponsored Retirement and Security Plan, 401(k) Pension Plan, and Deferred Compensation Plan (“Plans”).  (100%) In cooperation with the Deputy General Counsel and other attorneys: 

  • Provide specialized legal advice for NRECA-sponsored defined contribution plan, defined benefit plan, and deferred compensation plan products and services.  Advise the compliance, actuarial, retirement distribution unit, financial services and other adminsitrative departments on Internal Revenue Code (Code) and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) rules affecting retirement benefits. Such work includes core research and writing, contract and settlement agreement drafting, nondiscrimination testing evaluation, advising on the correction of plan errors, statutory and regulatory reviews, maintaining tax-qualified status of the RS and 401(k) Plans, reviewing, writing and editing participant communications and benefits articles, assisting with review and approval of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, advising on possible plan design changes such as Cash Balance, interpreting plan provisions, and conducting legal reviews of any issues affecting the 401(k) Plan, RS Plan, and deferred compensation plans as necessary.
  • Maintain the tax qualified status of the NRECA-sponsored RS and 401(k) Plans through plan document drafting including the preparation of any required or discretionary amendments and restatement of the plan documents, drafting of summary material modifications and other required participant notices, and review of summary plan descriptions.
  • Provide assistance and legal advice with respect to benefits claims related to the Retirement and Security Plan, 401(k) Pension Plan.
  • Advise on all plan mergers and acquisitions and plan asset transfers. Such work involves a diligence review of all incoming plan documents and assets as well as negotiating and preparing the requisite participant notices and merger agreements.
  • Work directly with participating employers, including executives and Benefits Administrators to ensure administration of the plans in accordance with plan terms, includes reviewing plan and adoption agreements specific to each employer, and where necessary providing presentations to cooperatives on key issues impacting the retirement and deferred compensation plans.
  • Assist in litigation management, preparation and response activities, and prepare legal correspondence, memoranda, instructions, and / or other documentation.
  • Responsible for assisting with federal agencies governing the plans including Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), Department of Labor (DOL), and Internal Revenue Services (IRS) to ensure that all such assistance is in accordance with local, state, federal and other laws, rules, and regulations, including or involving, governmental agencies.
  • Serve as the point of contact for managing various federal government filings when needed, including Determination Letters, Private Letter Rulings, Prohibited Transaction Exemptions, PBGC filings, 990s, and 5330s, 408(b)(2) disclosures and any other retirement plan or deferred compensation plan filing or government report.
  • Present to the plan sponsor and the fiduciary committee for the NRECA-sponsored retirement plans as needed for purposes of providing legal advice or for informational purposes related to reporting on plan amendments, litigation activity, plan asset transfers and claim activity.
  • Maintain applicable state bar license or corporate counsel license, fulfill all requirements, including obtaining continuing legal education credits, to remain a member in good standing of the Virginia Bar (as either a licensed attorney or as in-house counsel).  Obtain and maintain specialization relevant certification(s).  Attend conferences and maintain current industry knowledge to ensure that legal expertise is up-to-date.

Direct Reports to this Position:  N/A

Requirements and Qualifications

Formal Education Required:

  • Most Common:  Juris Doctor
  • Lowest Level:  Juris Doctor

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Ten or more years of defined contribution and defined benefit experience required
  • Deferred and executive compensation experience preferred
  • Cash Balance experience preferred
  • Employee benefit plan law firm or federal agency experience required
  • Licensed member of the bar of any state
  • Proficiency with MS Office products and MS Word redlining features
  • Exceptional customer service skills
  • Strong written, oral, and group presentation communication skills


  • Customer Service Orientation
  • Cooperation and Teamwork
  • Innovation
  • Problem Solving

Disclaimer Statement: The preceding job description has been written to reflect management’s assignment of essential functions. It does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

How to Apply

Apply online via the NRECA Careers Site.

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