KRISTI L. HILL
Kristi is Vice Chair of the ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and employee benefits practice group. She focuses her practice on the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, employment and labor law, and corporate transactions. She enjoys applying her legal expertise to help employers attract and retain valuable employees by working with employers to find practical and workable solutions to problems they face that are in compliance with complex legal requirements.
Kristi counsels clients regarding all aspects of qualified retirement plan compliance (401(k), profit sharing, 403(b), ESOP, defined benefit, and governmental), including document drafting and review, plan design, operations and implementation, compliance resolution/corrections, prohibited transaction analysis, and other Internal Revenue Code and ERISA compliance matters. She is also experienced in guiding clients through plan mergers, terminations, and spin-offs. Kristi advises plan sponsors regarding fiduciary duties and risks, and recommended best practices and procedures. She also defends clients in IRS audits and DOL investigations to resolve investigations favorably for employers.
With respect to health and welfare plan compliance, including cafeteria, flexible spending, and health savings plans, Kristi addresses issues governed by ERISA, the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, and COBRA.
Kristi is also experienced in advising clients regarding retirement, health and welfare, and executive compensation benefits issues that arise during corporate transactions, including with respect to nonqualified plans and Section 409A issues.
When she is not at work, Kristi enjoys an active life. She is an avid Arizona Wildcats fan, and enjoys traveling and running. She also loves spending time with her husband and children and is an avid reader.
- J.D., magna cum laude, Duke University School of Law
- M.A. Brigham Young University
- B.A., magna cum laude, Utah State University
Areas Of Practice
Our attorneys practicing in the employment and labor relations area advise and defend management in virtually all aspects of the employment relationship.
- Retirement Plans
- Health Care Plans
Awards and Honors
- Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2024
- Southwest Rising Stars®, Employee Benefits, 2021, 2023
- Conducted extensive benefit plan due diligence for international engineering company for $800 million acquisition, and assisted with resulting plan merger.
- Successfully designed and defended complex and unconventional IRS correction application for regional healthcare network’s qualified retirement plan resulting in employer corrective contributions totaling just 15% of the approximately $1.5 million required under the IRS safe harbor correction approach.
- Cleaned up and successfully defended complex IRS Form 5310 application for a favorable determination letter on the plan termination of a large health network’s 401(k) plan that was prepared and submitted by another plan service provider.
- Successfully defended small employer’s profit sharing plan in Department of Labor investigation involving multiple findings of prohibited transactions which resulted in payments to the plan of less than 15% of the more than $500,000 initially demanded by the Department.
Articles and Presentations
- Co-Author “New 401(k) Plan Rules Impose Mandatory Eligibility Requirements for Part-Time Employees in 2024,” Fennemore Client Alert, October 5, 2023
- Co-Author “Roth Catch-Up Contributions Under SECURE 2.0: The IRS Delays New Requirements to 2026,” Fennemore Client Alert, September 6, 2023
- Co-Author, “Health Plans Must Attest They Have No “Gag Clause” By End of 2023: It’s Time To Check Your Service Provider Agreement,” Fennemore Client Alert, August 24, 2023
- Co-Author, “Congress Gives New and Enhanced Tools to Individuals and Employers for Retirement through SECURE Act 2.0,” Arizona Attorney Magazine, April 2023
- Co-Author, “SECURE Act 2.0 gives Arizonans new and enhanced tools for retirement,” InBusiness Phoenix, December 30, 2022
- Co-Author, “SECURE Act 2.0 gives Arizonans new and enhanced tools for retirement,” Arizona Digital Free Press, December 30, 2022
- Co-Author, “SECURE Act 2.0 gives Arizonans new and enhanced tools for retirement,” AZ Big Media, December 29, 2022
- Interview, “American Rescue Plan Act adds new rules to COBRA,” Arizona PBS, May 5, 2021
- Co-author, “The New Mandatory COBRA Subsidy: What Employers Need to Know,” InBusiness, April 28, 2021
- Co-author, “Employers Required to Temporarily Subsidize COBRA Premiums Subject to Reimbursement,” Fennemore Client Alert, April 6, 2021
- Co-author, “New COVID-19 Legislation Provides Partial Plan Termination Relief,” Mondaq, January 8, 2021
- Co-author, “New COVID-19 Legislation Provides Partial Plan Termination Relief,” Fennemore Client Alert, January 7, 2021
- Co-author, “IRS Issues Initial Guidance on The SECURE Act,” Fennemore Client Alert, October 5, 2020
- Co-author, “Department of Labor Announces New Safe Harbor for Electronic Communications to Participants of Qualified Retirement Plans,” Fennemore Client Alert, May 22, 2020
- Co-author, “DOL and IRS Issue New Coronavirus-Related Guidance and Relief for Employee Benefit Plans,” Fennemore Client Alert, April 30, 2020
- Co-author, “The CARES Act: Implications for Health and Welfare Benefits,” Fennemore Client Alert, April 20, 2020
- Co-author, “Frequently Asked Questions About Unemployment and Employee Retention Provisions in The CARES Act,” Fennemore Client Alert, April 16, 2020
- Co-author, “The SECURE Act: What Employers Sponsoring Retirement Plans Need to Know,” InBusiness, April 1, 2020
- Co-author, “The CARES Act: Implications for Qualified Retirement Plans,” Fennemore Client Alert, March 30, 2020
- Co-author, “COVID-19: Health Plan Coverage For Furloughed Employees,” Fennemore Client Alert, March 26, 2020
- Co-author, “Understanding the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Fennemore Client Alert, March 20, 2020
- Co-author, “HIPAA Implications of COVID-19,” Fennemore Client Alert, March 20, 2020
- Co-author, “COVID-19 Testing and Treatment: Copays, Deductibles, and HSA Complications,” Fennemore Client Alert, March 19, 2020
- Co-author, “The SECURE Act: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know” Fennemore Client Alert, February 7, 2020
- Co-author, “Final Hardship Regulations: Operational Changes and Plan Amendments,” Fennemore Client Alert, December 18, 2019
- Co-author, “Attention Arizona Small Employers: Don’t Let Arizona’s New Mini COBRA Law Bite You!” Fennemore Client Alert, November 2018
- Co-author, “DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Vacated by the Fifth Circuit: The Latest Twist in a Never-Ending Story,” Fennemore Client Alert, March 2018
- Co-author, “Death, Taxes, and the Affordable Care Act’s Individual and Employer Mandates: Taxpayers and Employers Still Have Important Obligations Under the ACA,” Fennemore Client Alert, January 2018
- Co-author, “QSEHRA Update: IRS Provides Promised Additional guidance for Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements,” Fennemore Client Alert, November 2017
- Co-author, “HSAs: More Than Healthcare,” InBusiness, October 2017
- Co-author, “Don’t Look an IRS Gift Horse in the Mouth: Two Valuable Opportunities for 403(b) Plan Sponsors in 2017,” Fennemore Client Alert, August 24, 2017
- Speaker, “Benefits Update: The Affordable Care Act Survives Again, but What is Next for Health Care Reform (and Other Employee Benefits Issues Affected by the New Administration in Washington)?” Fennemore Labor and Employment Seminar, May 4, 2017
- Co-author, “The Rebirth of Standalone HRAs for Employers After ACA,” GLSA, April 2017
- Co-author, “Filing Your 2016 Tax Return? The ACA’s Individual Mandate and Penalties Still Apply,” Fennemore Client Alert, March 7, 2017
- Speaker, “What Every Professional Needs To Know About Health & Welfare Plans,” Western Pension & Benefits Council Spring Conference, April 28, 2016
Professional and community activities
- Board Member, Western Pension and Benefits Council, Governing Board
- Former President, Western Pension and Benefits Council, Phoenix Chapter
- Former Board Member, Western Pension and Benefits Council, Phoenix Chapter