Attorney Gretchen Harders helps companies ensure the health and welfare of their employees with compliant and tax-efficient health care and retirement benefit plans. She also advises multinational employers on designing and implementing equity-based compensation packages to incentivize top-level executives.

Clients value Gretchen’s commitment to understanding their challenges and her ability to break down the complex rules governing their programs. She explains highly intricate tax laws and ERISA regulations from a business perspective. Tax-exempt and not-for-profit institutions rely on her advice to ensure compliance for their pension plans, executive compensation, deferred compensation, and employee benefits.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gretchen helped numerous clients use disaster-relief tax provisions and coordinate with new benefit providers to give employees access to health and wellness benefits through secure mobile apps. As companies grapple with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act rules, Gretchen’s analysis and insight inform practical solutions for updating and changing benefits plans. When implementing a post-merger rollover of benefits, she helps employers see beyond the technical aspects of their decisions to anticipate how their actions will be perceived by employees and the public.

Read more

Gretchen is a frequent speaker on various employee benefits issues and developments. She authors articles on timely ERISA and employee benefits law topics.

Additionally, Gretchen is a trustee of the Helene Fuld School of Nursing and an officer in the Rotary Club of the Palisades. Her interests include reading, playing piano, and coaching youth soccer.

Read less

Focus Areas


  • Frequently helps non-U.S. employers adhere to U.S. tax, legal, and employment considerations when developing compensation plans for U.S.-based executives. For example, Gretchen counseled a multinational financial services firm in structuring its global incentive compensation programs for fund managers. Her global analysis of the incentive compensation strategies allowed her client to integrate its international policies and goals while adhering to U.S. tax, legal, and employment considerations.
  • Helps employers comply with retirement plan rules, and if, for example, the U.S. Department of Labor scrutinizes a client’s 401(k) plan, she brings the plan back into compliance quickly to avoid costly fines. Gretchen has represented many employers in correcting retirement plan qualification and fiduciary issues through the IRS and Department of Labor correction programs.
  • Represented a financial services firm in its post-acquisition termination of its retirement and equity-based compensation plans. Drawing on her knowledge of legal risks and compliance and notice requirements, Gretchen helped her client successfully integrate an Employee Stock Ownership Plan conversion and eliminate retiree medical risks through a seamless rollover to a new benefit plan structure.
  • Counseled a telecommunications company on implementing a national COVID-19 testing program, an employee assistance program, and wellness initiatives. Gretchen navigated strict group health plan legal requirements and privacy issues to help her client use new benefit providers to provide workplace safety benefits delivered through apps.
  • Advises professional sports organizations on tax-favored approaches to providing their workforces with access to qualified COVID-19 relief programs, donation programs, and other benefits. Gretchen helped her clients communicate the valuable benefits of the programs to provide relief to employees directly impacted by COVID-19.
  • Negotiates effectively with unions when transferring pension benefits from distressed multiemployer plans to single-employer plans. For example, Gretchen represented a consumer goods and services company in its union negotiations involving its withdrawal liability of a multiemployer pension plan and transfer of assets to single-employer plan. She negotiated an alternative pathway to address distressed multiemployer plan pension funds involving union members.




  • University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1997)
  • University of Chicago (B.A., 1989)
    • Fundamentals: Issues & Texts

Bar Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Helene Fuld School of Nursing, Trustee
  • New York State Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee, Tax Section





Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.