Melissa Ostrower

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Melissa Ostrower is Principal in the New York City office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Ostrower advises companies on all aspects of employee benefits law, including compliance with ERISA and the Code as well as administrative matters and fiduciary issues relating to benefit plans.  Ms. Ostrower has extensive experience in executive compensation matters and counsels both public and private companies on executive compensation issues, including Section 409A and 162(m) of the Code.

Ms. Ostrower is also a member of the Jackson Lewis healthcare reform task force and is intimately involved in helping Jackson Lewis clients ensure compliance with recently enacted healthcare reform legislation.

Ms. Ostrower is a graduate of Brandeis University (B.A., M.A.), George Washington University Law School (J.D.) where she was a member of The Law Review, and New York University (LL.M.).

Latest Articles

In IRS Notice 2018-94, the IRS announced an extension for furnishing 2018 IRS Forms 1095-B (Health Coverage) and 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage), from January 31, 2019, to March 4, 2019.  The IRS issued this extension in response to requests by employers, insurers, and other providers of health insurance coverage that additional time be provided to gather and analyze the information required to complete the Forms and is largely identical to the…
We recently informed you that the IRS reduced the 2018 health savings account (“HSA”) contribution limit for individuals with family coverage to $6,850.00 despite having previously announced that such limit was $6,900.  Because of compelling comments from stakeholders, the IRS reversed this decision in Revenue Procedure 2018-27 and the contribution limit for individuals with family coverage has reverted back to $6,900 for 2018.  The Revenue Procedure contains helpful guidance regarding how any distributions made in…
In 2017, the IRS released the 2018 inflation-adjusted figures for contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  The contribution limits for HSAs associated with High Deductible Health Plans was increased to $3,450 for individuals with self-only coverage and to $6,900 for individuals with family coverage.  In December, the President signed the tax reform bill commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act).  The Act included a change in the method used to calculate…
This is the sixth article in our series covering the various tax and employee benefits-related changes contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by the President on December 22, 2017. One surprising change made by the Act, summarized below, is the elimination of the employer deduction for certain settlement payments made in the employer-employee context. General Rule Payments made in settlement of claims or suits arising out of the employer-employee relationship are tax…
This is the fifth article in our series covering the various employee benefits-related changes contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by the President on December 22, 2017. Some of the most fundamental changes under the Act in the employee benefits and executive compensation arena impact executive compensation paid by tax-exempt employers and may result in the imposition of significant new excise taxes on such employers.  These changes are summarized below. Excise Tax…
This is the fourth article in our series covering the various employee benefits-related changes contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by the President on December 22, 2017. In addition to the changes we have already discussed in this blog, the Act made significant changes to the taxation of executive compensation arrangements through its amendment of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 162(m)”).  These changes, summarized below, will require publicly held…
In IRS Notice 2018-06, the IRS announced a 30-day automatic extension for the furnishing of 2017 IRS Forms 1095-B (Health Coverage) and 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage), from January 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018.  This extension was made in response to requests by employers, insurers, and other providers of health insurance coverage that additional time be provided to gather and analyze the information required to complete the Forms and is virtually…
On December 2, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which follows a prior passage on November 16, 2017, of a House version of the tax bill.  The bills must now be reconciled by a joint committee of House and Senate members, but both bills would make significant changes to the Internal Revenue Code rules affecting executive compensation paid by tax-exempt employers and publicly traded companies, which would…
On November 2, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) (the “Bill”) as part of proposed tax reform legislation. The Bill is sweeping in scope and provides for significant changes to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), including in the area of executive compensation and employee benefits. Executive Compensation The Bill makes far-reaching changes in the executive compensation arena, which would curtail employees’ ability to defer…
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the “Department”) recently provided guidance regarding the taxation of contributions made under, and benefits paid under, New York State’s new paid family leave program (“Program”).  After reviewing applicable law and other guidance, and after consulting with the Internal Revenue Service regarding the appropriate tax treatment of Program contributions and benefits, the Department provided the following guidance: CONTRIBUTIONS Premiums paid by employees through wage deductions are to…