Cozen O’Connor: Bowers, L. Stephen

L. Stephen Bowers

Member

Philadelphia

(215) 665-7283

(215) 665-2013

Recent Publication:

Benefits Guide: Basics, Welfare and Fringe Benefits, Voluntary Benefits [Bloomberg Law]

Stephen Bowers discussed voluntary benefit plans and the role employers play with the voluntary benefits.

Stephen is a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice and co-chair of the firm’s Health Care Industry Group. He advises employers on the design, operation, and regulation of executive compensation agreements and employee pension and health/welfare plans.

Clients rely on Stephen’s deep subject-matter knowledge of all aspects of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as well as relevant health, privacy, and tax laws. He serves a broad array of corporate clients, from nursing home operators to scrap metal processors, and has notable experience helping municipalities, nonprofits, and educational institutions navigate industry-specific employee compensation and benefits rules. Stephen is currently at the forefront of efforts to help telemedicine companies obtain funding through employee benefit plans.  

Prior to entering private practice, Stephen worked as an investigator for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the division of the U.S. Department of Labor responsible for regulation and enforcement of ERISA. Stephen practiced at a peer Am Law 100 firm and a major benefits consulting firm before joining Cozen O’Connor in 2006.

Stephen earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his law degree, cum laude, from Boston University School of Law. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Experience

News

What Andrew McCabe Stands to Lose if He’s Fired From FBI

March 16, 2018

Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discussed with Bloomberg Law why former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe could still receive his retirement plan.

How new bipartisan legislation could affect caregiver benefits

January 23, 2018

Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, spoke with Employee Benefit News about the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage Family Caregivers Act.

Cozen O’Connor Advises Wilco Electronic Systems in Sale of Cable Assets to Comcast Corporation

December 18, 2017

The national corporate practice group at Cozen O’Connor represented Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc., a provider of communication services to educational, government, and low-income communities throughout Philadelphia, in the sale of its cable assets to Comcast Corporation, one of the largest internet providers in the United States.

New Bill Aims to Provide Coverage to Gig Workers

May 26, 2017

Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice, discusses gig workers in Employee Benefit News.

Elderly Health Care Costs to Grow by 25.8% in 10 Years

March 20, 2017

Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Employee Benefits Practice Group, discusses the rising cost of health care for the elderly in HR Dive.

Employers Pursue New Eldercare Ideas As Baby Boomers Retire

March 16, 2017

Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Employee Benefits Practice Group, discusses the impact of baby boomer retirement in Employee Benefits News.

IRS Delays ACA Reporting Deadline

November 21, 2016

Stephen Bowers discusses the IRS's unexpected 30-day extension for employers to complete the ACA information-reporting requirements

Stephen Bowers Discusses Changes in Health Benefit Plans

November 05, 2015

Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice, discusses how benefit plans are changing.

Cozen O'Connor Names 11 Attorneys To Membership in the Firm

May 21, 2009

'We are proud to welcome these highly qualified attorneys into membership in the firm,'' said Thomas A. Decker, president and chief executive officer of Cozen O’Connor. ''Their individual and combined contributions reflect the talent and strength of our firm.''

Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Jay A. Dorsch And L. Stephen Bowers Lecture On Pension Plan Basics

July 19, 2008

Cozen O’Connor attorneys Jay A. Dorsch and L. Stephen Bowers recently lectured on ''Pension Plan Basics and Legislative Updates'' for Kistler-Tiffany Benefits. Some of the topics Dorsch and Bowers covered included pension plan options for small employers and an update on deferred compensation rules.

Publications

Benefits Guide: Basics, Welfare and Fringe Benefits, Voluntary Benefits [Bloomberg Law]

February 11, 2019

Stephen Bowers discussed voluntary benefit plans and the role employers play with the voluntary benefits.

ACA Relief Brightens 2017 for Small Employers [Labor & Employment Observer]

December 23, 2016

L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss the 21st Century Cures Act, which eases restrictions on health reimbursement arrangements sponsored by certain small employers.

Small Employers Cheer Recently Eased Affordable Care Act Restrictions [Employee Benefits Alert]

December 13, 2016

L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss the 21st Century Cures Act that provides government funding and support for a number of health care initiatives.

Vague COBRA Notices Could Prove Venomous [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert]

March 09, 2016

L. Stephen Bowers and Jay A. Dorsch discuss a recent class action settlement wherein a large financial services organization agreed to pay nearly $300,000 to settle claims that the notice it provided to health plan participants and beneficiaries of their right to continue their health coverage upon the occurrence of a qualifying event, as is required by COBRA, was deficient.

Limiting Employees’ Hours to Dodge the ACA’s Employer Mandate Could Violate ERISA [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert]

February 23, 2016

David A. Barron and L. Stephen Bowers discuss Marin v. Dave & Busters, Inc. et al., a federal district court ruling allowing an employee to proceed with a class action lawsuit that alleges her employer violated ERISA when it reduced employees’ hours to avoid incurring increased costs under the ACA.

Will Plan Participants’ Demands for Perfection Retire Large 401(k) Plans? [Employee Benefits Alert]

February 03, 2016

Stephen L. Bowers and Jay Dorsch discuss Bell v. Anthem Inc. et al., and (1) whether it is a breach of fiduciary duty for a large plan to not use its leverage to secure lower administration and investment services fees, and (2) whether the selection of higher-fee mutual funds over similar lower-cost funds constitutes a per se breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA?

Supreme Court Sends ERISA Plans Racing to the Courthouse for Subrogation Recoveries [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert]

January 29, 2016

Stephen L. Bowers, Jay A. Dorsch and Jeffrey I. Pasek discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan and how it impacts fiduciaries of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA.

Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies: What’s Next? [Health Law Informer Blog]

June 26, 2015

On Thursday, June 25, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its much anticipated ruling in King v. Burwell, the second major Court challenge to a core element of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  The Court, by a 6-3 margin, issued a victory for the ACA. King v. Burwell was not a challenge...

DOL Issues Re-proposed Regulations Defining Investment Advice Fiduciary and Proposes New PTEs [Employee Benefits Alert]

May 04, 2015

The DOL issued long awaited re-proposed regulations governing fiduciary status and investment advice for public comment on April 14, 2015. The proposed regulations would amend the definition of fiduciary under ERISA to better protect retirement savers against conflicted investment advice.

Use-It-or-Lose-It Rule Modified for Health Care FSAs [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert]

November 11, 2013

The IRS has issued IRS Notice 2013-71, allowing limited carry-over of amounts in employees’ flex plan accounts to the following plan year. Under the guidance employers may permit participants to carry over up to $500 of unused amounts in their health care flexible spending account into the next plan year.

June 30, 2011 Deadline for Cafeteria Plan Amendments [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert!]

June 20, 2011

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted March 23, 2010, revises the definition of medical expenses as it relates to over-the-counter drugs for employer-provided accident and health plans, including health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), as well as the definition of qualified medical expenses for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (Archer MSAs).

Last Chance to Correct 409A Violations Without Having to Pay a Penalty [Employee Benefit & Executive Compensation Alert!]

November 10, 2010

The IRS issued Notice 2010-6 (Notice) earlier this year, providing taxpayers with a mechanism to correct certain IRC Section 409A document errors. Under the Notice’s transition rules, if certain document compliance errors are corrected by December 31, 2010, the affected employee may avoid incurring any income tax or penalties (other than income tax on amounts actually received).

Health Care Reform Act Provides for Potential Reimbursement of Retiree Health Claims [Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Alert!]

June 21, 2010

The new health care reform legislation provides an opportunity to employers who offer medical coverage to retirees to obtain government reimbursement of certain claims expenses. Called the ''Early Retiree Reinsurance Program,'' it is designed to assist employers who provide health care coverage for individuals who retire before becoming eligible for Medicare (i.e., ages 55 to 65) to continue to provide such coverage. However, there is a catch: the reimbursement program is temporary and is capped at $5 billion in total reimbursements.

Pennsylvania Enacts Mini-COBRA Law [Labor and Employment Alert!]

August 20, 2009

Pennsylvania joined a growing majority of states by enacting a ''mini COBRA'' law to provide former employees of smaller companies with an alternative to obtain health insurance. Federal COBRA provides that employers who provide their employees with health insurance coverage and have at least 20 employees are required to offer continuing health coverage if an employee would lose their health benefits due to a ''qualifying event'' (such as termination of employment). Employers of fewer than 20 employees are exempt from this requirement.

Cozen O’Connor: On Top Of The Hot Issues In Executive Compensation [The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel]

July 01, 2009

''It’s unclear what impact ‘say on pay’ votes will have. A shareholder vote that ‘yes this is a good program’ or ‘no this is not a good program’ doesn’t provide any guidance on why the shareholders have concluded a program is or is not appropriate.''

COBRA Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 [Labor and Employment Alert!]

February 24, 2009

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (the Act). The Act contains provisions which are intended to make health care coverage, particularly COBRA coverage, more affordable. Unfortunately, some of the burden of achieving this goal is placed on employers, including certain actions which must be taken quickly. Following is a brief description of the COBRA provisions of the Act.

Section 409A Deadline Approaching [Employee Benefits Alert!]

November 20, 2008

December 31, 2008 is the deadline for revising nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements to comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. While the rules have been in effect since 2004, the deadline for conforming all documents that are subject to Section 409A was extended from the end of last year and is not expected to be extended further. Although Section 409A addresses only non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, the final regulation.

Summer 2008 [Labor and Employment Observer]

August 15, 2008

Our Summer 2008 Labor and Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.

Summer 2008 [Business Law Observer]

July 14, 2008

This Summer issue of the Business Law Observer focuses on important changes contained in cases and regulatory actions affecting both public and private companies.

2007 Deadline for Deferred Compensation Plan Amendments Under Section 409A Final Regulations [Employee Benefits Alert - 06/25/07]

June 25, 2007

On April 10, 2007, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations on nonqualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (the ''Final Regulations'').

Final 409A Regulations Released [Employee Benefits Alert - 04/12/07]

April 12, 2007

On April 10, 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (the ''IRS'') and the Treasury Department released the long-awaited final regulations regarding the taxation of non-qualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the ''Code''). Code Section 409A provides that amounts deferred under non-qualified plans and arrangements may be subject to current taxation and penalties if certain requirements are not satisfied.

Pension Protection Act of 2006 - New Reporting and Disclosure Requirements [Employee Benefits Alert!]

October 09, 2006

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) contains several new reporting and disclosure requirements which will be of immediate interest to plan sponsors. Outlined below are the new reporting and disclosure requirements for single employer plans.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Health Law 2019

December 05, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

2018 Labor and Employment Law Update

June 13, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA

2017 Health Law Year In Review

December 06, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA

7th Annual Health Law Year in Review

December 07, 2016 - Philadelphia, PA

2015 Health Law Year in Review

December 08, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA

The Legal Intelligencer's In-House Counsel CLE Seminar

March 24, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA

Health Law Year In Review

December 03, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA

8th Annual HFMA Fall Institute

September 18, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA

Health Law Year in Review

February 06, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA

19th Annual PBI Employment Law Institute

April 16, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

Implementing The Affordable Care Act - Countdown to 2014

February 06, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

Breakfast Seminar: IRS Compliance

January 01, 1900 - Philadelphia, PA

Education

  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1999
  • University of Scranton, B.A., 1994
  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association