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.
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.
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.
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.
May 26, 2017
Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice, discusses gig workers in Employee Benefit News.
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.
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.
November 21, 2016
Stephen Bowers discusses the IRS's unexpected 30-day extension for employers to complete the ACA information-reporting requirements
November 05, 2015
Stephen Bowers, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice, discusses how benefit plans are changing.
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.''
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.
February 11, 2019
Stephen Bowers discussed voluntary benefit plans and the role employers play with the voluntary benefits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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...
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.
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 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).
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).
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.
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.
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.''
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'').
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.
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
December 05, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA
June 13, 2018 - Philadelphia, PA
December 06, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA
October 04, 2017 - San Jose, CA
December 07, 2016 - Philadelphia, PA
December 08, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA
March 24, 2015 - Philadelphia, PA
December 03, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA
September 18, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA
March 18, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA
February 06, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA
October 18, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA
April 16, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA
February 06, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA
April 14, 2011 - Philadelphia, PA
January 01, 1900 - Philadelphia, PA