Stephen L. Ferszt

Stephen L. Ferszt

Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP

Recognized since 2007

New York, New York

Practice Areas

Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Trusts and Estates

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Stephen Ferszt guides businesses and high-net-worth individuals through the complexities of employee benefits, ERISA and executive compensation issues. He also advises on tax, estate and family and business succession planning. Steve chairs Olshan’s Employee Benefits Practice and is a member of the Employment and Tax & Personal Planning Practices.

With a nuanced understanding of ERISA and employee benefits matters, Steve advises on the design, implementation and administration of qualified and nonqualified benefit plans as well as welfare benefit plans. These include defined benefit, defined contribution, 401K retirement, and welfare benefit and cafeteria plans, as well as multiemployer and multiple employer plans, and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs). He also advises on and negotiates executive compensation, incentive, retention, and severance packages and provides guidance to corporations and executives in change-of-control situations including company mergers, acquisitions, restructurings and dispositions. He excels in maximizing tax efficiencies and avoiding tax penalties.

Clients rely on Steve’s astute advice on estate and business succession planning, wealth preservation, and transfer strategies, as well as on their responsibilities as estate fiduciaries. He helps clients maximize their estates and ensure smooth business transitions and personal wealth transfers while limiting tax exposure. Clients benefit from Steve’s deep knowledge and rare ability to advise at the intersection of estate, compensation, benefits, business and tax to meet their immediate needs and ensure they are well-positioned for the future.

Knowing how complex ERISA and tax matters are, Steve reviews and distills technical regulatory procedures for clients and establishes a clear plan so clients feel confident and empowered in making decisions. He advises on parachute payments, accelerated compensation issues, 409A, withdrawal liability, and a host of other issues. As rules and regulations governing compensation arrangements change, Steve keeps his clients informed, ensures their compliance, and helps them avoid costly missteps.

In addition to advising clients, Steve represents them before the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and various state agencies. He advises boards of directors, companies and plan fiduciaries on plan administration matters, including voluntary compliance initiatives with the IRS, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Department of Labor, where he has obtained numerous correction resolutions for his clients. He also assists clients in securing private letter rulings from the IRS.

As Chairman of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT), Steve provided the IRS with direct input on the development and implementation of IRS policy. He knows how the IRS and Treasury Department operate and leverages that knowledge and his experience to resolve matters quickly and favorably for his clients.

A recognized authority in his fields, Steve is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences and events covering issues and trends for attorneys, accountants, third-party administrators, and other pension and tax professionals. He frequently lectures for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and other associations.

Contact & Links
  • 1325 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor
    New York, NY 10019
  • English
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, J.D., graduated 1985
  • Boston University, graduated 1982
Bar Admissions
  • New York, 1986
  • New Jersey, 1986
  • New Jersey, U.S. District Court, District of NJ
  • New York, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of NY
  • New York, U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY
  • New York State Bar Association, Tax Section - Member
  • Employee Benefits Committee, New Jersey State Bar Association - Past Chair
  • Taxation Law Section, New Jersey State Bar Association - Past Chair
  • New Jersey State Bar Association - Executive Council of the Taxation Law Section
  • Small Business Council of America - Legal Advisory Board Member
  • IRS Northeast Area Pension Liaison Group - Member
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Employee Benefits in Estate Planning Committee - Employee Benefits in Estate Planning Committee
  • Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) of the Internal Revenue Service, 2012-2014 - Past Chair
  • American Bar Association - Member

Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP
Headquarters: New York, New York

8 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

3 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America awards

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Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
  • Trusts and Estates
Special Focus:
  • Employee Benefits
  • Estate Planning
  • Executive Compensation
  • Litigation
  • Pension, Health and Welfare
  • Probate
  • Retirement Planning
  • Tax
  • Trust Administration
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Consistently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law/Trusts and Estates since 2007

  • Listed by New York magazine among the “Top Lawyers” for Employee Benefits and Trusts and Estates Law

  • Named to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list for 2009, 2013-2023

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® 5.0/5.0 Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence

  • Named to the New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2009

  • Awarded “Deal of the Year” andActivist Campaign of the Year” by The Deal for representation of George Feldenkreis in his nomination of directors and successful unsolicited acquisition of Perry Ellis

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