Bonita has 25 years of large law firm benefits practice with AmLaw 100 Law Firms, serving as ERISA and benefits counsel to national corporations, public sector entities, growth, and middle-market companies, jointly-trusteed funds, as well as entrepreneurs in every major industry group, including a national retailer, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals on employee benefits matters.
Bonita provides advice on all aspects of compliance with ERISA, as well as the tax-qualification and other requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. She establishes and advises compensation and benefits committees, prepares the policies and procedures, provides ERISA fiduciary advice, analyzes prohibited transactions and individual, class and statutory exemptions.
She also regularly designs and writes union and non-union tax-qualified multi-formula plans, nonqualified plans, health and welfare arrangements, severance and executive compensation plans, other compensatory arrangements, and service provider agreements.
Bonita advises plan sponsors on regulatory changes and amends employee benefit plans to comply with current law, to reflect discretionary design changes and pursuant to collective bargaining.
Bonita has extensive experience preparing regulatory submissions to the IRS, the DOL and the PBGC and has negotiated with the regulatory agencies on behalf of employers and multiemployer plans to prevent the assessment of penalties and excise taxes and to prevent the disqualification of plans. Throughout her career, she has also represented employers in the employee benefits aspects of corporate transactions.
Representative Speeches and Publications:
“Planning for Successful Retirement.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Equity Movement Magazine, Issue 5, Part 2, 27 Jan. 2020, pp. 11-13.
“Automatic 401(k) Plan Enrollment After the Pension Protection Act of 2006.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Human Resources 2008: Answers to Your Top 25 Questions, Winter Edition, Thompson Publishing Group, 1 Dec. 2008
“The New Roth 401(k) Plan Feature: Expanding the Possibilities Under 401(k) Plans Through Qualified Roth Contribution Programs.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Human Resources 2007: Answers to Your Top 25 Questions, Winter Edition, Thompson Publishing Group, 1 Dec. 2007
“Domestic Partner Benefits.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Human Resources 2006: Answer to Your Top 25 Questions, Winter Edition, Thompson Publishing Group, 1 Dec. 2006
“What You Need to Know About the Prohibited Misuse of ERISA Plan Assets.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. The Practical Lawyer, 1 Dec. 2006
“Forms LM-10 and LM-30 Filing Requirements.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Human Resources 2006: Answer to Your Top 25 Questions, Summer Edition, Thompson Publishing Group, 1 June 2006
“Health Savings Accounts: A New Alternative to Cover Healthcare Costs.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. The Advisor. 9 Jan. 2004
“What Trustees Should Know About Intermediate Sanctions.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Trustee Magazine, 18 Mar. 2004
“Managing Risks When Returning to Work.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Alexander & Company, 2020 Summer Pandemic Edition, Jam 26 June 2020, Woodstock, GA.
“Benefits Governance.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, 18 Oct. 2018
“Risk Management.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, 18 Oct. 2018
“Benefit Administration.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, 18 Oct. 2018
“Fundamentals of Pensions and QDROs.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, 13 Aug. 2018
“Did You Know? Unique State Employee Benefit & Employment Issues.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. American Bar Association, Feb. 2017
“Inherited IRAs-What the Supreme Court May Do Federal Health Care Reform: 2013 Is Here – Now What?” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. American Bar Association, 14 June 2014
“Federal Health Care Reform: 2013 Is Here – Now What?” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Warsaw Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce, 28 Feb. 2013
Conducted over 80 two-day seminars to former military and civilian employees of the US Department of Defense and armed forces groups regarding updates to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS), the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Commissary Agency. Hatchett, Bodle, Bonita. US Department of Defense 2003-2017
“Health Care Reform-ERISA.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Warsaw Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce, 23 Feb. 2013
“Healthcare Reform 2013: Post-Election Healthcare Reform and the New Regulatory Landscape Under the Affordable Care Act-Webinar.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Warsaw Kosciusko Co. Chamber of Commerce, 13 Nov. 2013
“Employee Benefits Plans and Other Compensation Arrangement Group and Business Planning Group: Using Retirement Plans as a Part of a Business Entrance or Exit Strategy.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. American Bar Association, Spring Symposia, 3 March 2012
“Current Trends in Attracting and Retaining Executive Talent After the Crisis.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. IBA Chicago Conference, 11 April 2011
“What is Next for ‘Say on Pay?’: Preparing for New Developments So Your Company/Client is Equipped to Create Effective Plans.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. American Conference Institute Forum, 23 July 2010
“ERISA: The Statute’s Broad Reach.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. CLE Program: Sears Holdings Corporation, 4 June 2008
“New Strategies on Deferred Compensation.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. Corporate Counsel Forum, 26 July 2007
“Human Resources: Legislative Update.” Hatchett, Bodle, Bonita. Steel Manufacturers Association, 1 Nov. 2003
“Planning, Preparation and Persistence: The Large Law Firm Hiring Process.” Hatchett, Bodle, Bonita. Council on Legal Education Opportunity, 28 June 2003
“Workplace 529 Plans: Future ERISA and other Implications for Employers.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. IBC USA Educational Forum 28 June 2003
“HIPAA Compliance: Challenges and Opportunities.” Hatchett-Bodle, Bonita. 7 March 2002
Texas (2019), Illinois (1997-Inactive), New Jersey (1996)
Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., Master of Laws (LL.M) and Certificate in Employee Benefits Law, 1997
Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 1996
University of Michigan, B.A.
Boston ERISA Study Group 2019-Present
Employee Benefits Women’s Group 2019-Present
Texas Bar Association 2019-Present
Houston Lawyers Association 2019-Present
Perspectives Charter School 2005-2006
Urban Gateways 2004-2007
Abraham Marovirtz Lend-A-Hand Foundation 1998-2006
Lend-A-Hand Foundation Distinguished Service Award
National Association for Public Interest Law Exemplary Public Service Award
Urban Business Roundtable Game Changers Award
Former Qualified Plans Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
Former Professor of Employee Benefits Law Washington School of Law Institute for Graduate Studies