Robert S. Kaplan


Rob advises clients on design, compliance, and operation of qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and nonqualified plans. His clients include public and private companies, boards of directors, compensation committees, and government entities.  Rob has significant experience with IRS and DOL voluntary compliance programs and with ERISA fiduciary rules and best practices.  He regularly advises clients on executive compensation arrangements, including guidance under Internal Revenue Code Sections 409A, 457, and 280G, including equity compensation plans, phantom stock arrangements, and nonqualified supplemental retirement plans.

Rob regularly speaks on plan design, fiduciary governance, and legislative issues and is the author of the Bloomberg (BNA) chapter on 401(k) plan administration. Rob is also a past president of the ASPPA Benefits Council of Greater Philadelphia.



Cozen O’Connor Represents Albaron Partners in First Private Equity Exit in U.S. Podiatry

January 09, 2024

PHILADELPHIA, January 9, 2024 — Cozen O’Connor advised Albaron Partners, a middle-market private equity firm focused on founder-led health care companies, in its sale of Albaron Podiatry Holdings LLC d/b/a Beyond Podiatry, a leader in the management of podiatric medicine in the Midwest, to CUC Inc. The deal represents the first private equity exit in U.S. podiatry history.

Robert Kaplan Named Vice Chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association

March 03, 2023

Robert Kaplan, a member of Cozen O'Connor’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Practice, has been named the vice chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Cozen O’Connor Advises Utz Brands, Inc. on Definitive Agreement to Acquire Truco Enterprises

November 12, 2020

The Cozen O’Connor team is led by Larry P. Laubach. The team includes Richard J. Silpe, Gregory P. Cunningham, Eli S. Wolfe, Lindsey Stillwell, J. Trevor Cloak, Jay A. Dorsch, and Robert S. Kaplan.

Robert S. Kaplan Signs-On to Cozen O’Connor‘s Growing Labor and Employment Practice

July 10, 2019

Kaplan has experience as a former investment and retirement services professional and now advises employers, benefit plan sponsors, and other service providers on employee benefits (ERISA) and executive compensation-related legal and tax issues.


Secure Act 2.0 [Alert]

February 23, 2023

SECURE Act 2.0 is one of the most significant pieces of retirement plan legislation in recent memory and contains new rules impacting every kind of retirement plan.

Department of Labor Proposes New Self-Correction Option for Retirement Plan Prohibited Transactions [Alert]

January 27, 2023

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed an update to its voluntary fiduciary corrections program to allow fiduciaries to correct errors in retirement plans.

VI-118 - Overturning Roe v. Wade and the Impact on Employers and Employees [Employment Law Now Blog]

July 05, 2022

In today's episode, I offer the takeaways from the Supreme Court's June 2022 Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and am joined by colleagues for a roundtable discussion on the impact of the decision on benefits, health care, and labor and employment law. Download this episode....

Department of Labor Issues Strong Caution on Use of Cryptocurrencies in 401(k) Plans [Alert]

March 21, 2022

Rob Kaplan discusses the DOL's compliance release that provides strong caution against ERISA fiduciaries of 401(k) and 403(b) plans including cryptocurrencies as plan investment options.

DOL Issues Model COBRA Notices For Implementing COVID-Relief Bill’s Subsidized COBRA Requirements [Alert]

April 09, 2021

Robert Kaplan discusses the DOL's three model notices employers are required to send to qualified beneficiaries.

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act [Alert]

March 12, 2021

Robert Kaplan, Matt Clyde, and Lynn Brehm discuss the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and how it affects employee benefit plans and publicly traded companies’ tax deductions for executive compensation.

IRS Issues Guidance Implementing Coronavirus-Related Retirement Plan Provisions Under the Cares Act [Alert]

June 23, 2020

Robert Kaplan and John Wilson discuss the IRS's latest guidance for 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans, including the expanded definition of a qualified individual.

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations for Tax on Nonprofit Executive Compensation [Alert]

June 10, 2020

Robert Kaplan and Jay Dorsch discuss the IRS's proposed rules regarding the 21 percent excise tax on compensation over $1 million and excess parachute payments paid by tax-exempt organizations to certain covered employees.

ERISA Fiduciaries Get Protection as a result of High Court Ruling [Alert]

June 04, 2020

Rob Kaplan discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Thole vs. U.S. Bank N.A., and what it means for fiduciaries of ERISA-regulated employee pension plans.

IRS Allows Greater Cafeteria Plan Flexibility During COVID-19 Crisis [Alert]

May 14, 2020

John Wilson, Jay Dorsch, Lynn Brehm, Robert Kaplan, and Matt Clyde discuss IRS Notice 2020-29 allowing employers to provide flexibility to employees to change their elections under cafeteria plans through December 31, 2020.

IRS and DOL Release Employee Benefits Guidance for COVID-19-Related Administration [Alert]

May 11, 2020

John Wilson and Rob Kaplan discuss guidance from the Department of Labor and the IRS regarding retirement plans, COBRA, and employee benefits subject to ERISA.

Summary and Analysis of Key Provisions of the CARES Act

March 28, 2020

Members of Cozen O'Connor's Coronavirus Task Force provide analysis of the CARES Act and how it will impact small businesses, distressed industries, employers and employees, taxes, and the health care, real estates, and energy industries.

IRS Announces High Deductible Health Plans Can Cover COVID-19 Expenses Without Applying a Deductible [Alert]

March 16, 2020

Robert Kaplan discusses the IRS Notice 2020-15 allowing employers to relax deductibles and other out-of-pocket limits for coronavirus-related expenses.

IRS Asserts No Statute of Limitations for ACA Violations; May Require New Record Retention Policies [Alert]

March 02, 2020

Jay Dorsch and Rob Kaplan discuss the IRS's position that there is no statute of limitations for penalties associated with the Affordable Care Act.

Year-End Spending Bill Includes Significant Employee Benefit Plan Changes

December 30, 2019

Robert Kaplan and Jay Dorsch discuss why employers need to begin evaluating the effects of the SECURE Act on their retirement plans as soon as possible.

Five Ways to Simplify Your Employee Benefit Plan Administration For 2020 and Beyond [HR Headaches Blog]

November 25, 2019

As we get ready for 2020 (and beyond) here are five hot employee benefits ideas to implement in order to make your employee benefit plan administration easier: 1. Adopt (or update) Cafeteria Plan and Wrap Plan Document for Health and Welfare Arrangements In order to allow employees to choose...

IRS Sets March 31, 2020 Deadline for 403(b) Plan Document Compliance [HR Headaches Blog]

October 04, 2019

The United States Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has released Revenue Procedure 2019-39, which sets forth a March 31, 2020 deadline by which tax-qualified 403(b) plans must have plan documents that fully comply with the 403(b) requirements.  A 403(b) plan is a tax-qualified defined...


  • Temple University School of Law, J.D., 2006
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S., magna cum laude, 2003

Awards & Honors

ASPPA Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) and Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey

ASPPA Benefits Council of Greater Philadelphia, Board of Directors, 2013-2019; President 2019-Present

Vice Chair, Employee Benefits Committee, Philadelphia Bar Association, 2023-Present