Sherrie Boutwell

  Sherrie Boutwell

Even in undergraduate school, Sherrie Boutwell was drawn to numbers, analysis and solving vexing issues. And in law school, she had her first introduction to the evolving area of employee benefits. To Sherrie, it’s about collaboratively working with clients to find the best solutions to their employee benefit challenges.

For over thirty years, Sherrie has focused her entire law practice and ongoing education on finding solutions in this ever-changing and complex area of today’s employee benefit challenges. She enjoys unraveling the mysteries of ERISA with her clients with a clear focus on truly understanding each client’s issues while carefully and clearly defining the best options for each situation.

Sherrie has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association and the United States District Court, with respect to employee benefits issues.

With an emphasis on retirement and deferred compensation plans, Sherrie advises and counsels a broad range of clients including employers, employees, plan fiduciaries, financial institutions, government agencies and trade associations, on a wide array of employee benefits matters. Sherrie has extensive experience and is a highly sought-after speaker, writer, and advisor on employee benefits topics.

Sherrie takes pride in bringing a practical and down-to-earth approach to resolving complex benefits issues involving qualified plans, non-qualified plans and health and welfare plans.


Representative Speeches and Publications
“COBRA Subsidies.” Boutwell, Sherrie and Bass Salas, Kathleen. Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. Directions, 2021

“Recent Private Letter Ruling Provides Valuable IRS Perspective.” Boutwell, Sherrie. Journal of Pension Benefits, vol. 28, no. 2, Winter


“Do You Need to File a Form 5500 for That Severance Payment?” Boutwell, Sherrie. Journal of Pension Benefits, vol. 28, no. 1, 2020

“Benefits Guide-Basics, Executive Compensation Programs; Top Hat Plans” § 10 (2020). Boutwell, Sherrie. Bloomberg Law

“Every Breakdown is an Opportunity for a Breakthrough: Rethinking Retirement Plans After COVID-19.” Boutwell, Sherrie. Western

Pension & Benefits Council, May 2020

“Final Regulation on Individual coverage HRAs Are Issued-An Opportunity for Small Employers?” Boutwell, Sherrie and Fay, Alison.

Journal of Pension Benefits, vol. 27, no. 2, 2020

“No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Risks of Complex SPDs and Helpful Non-Fiduciaries.” Boutwell, Sherrie. Journal of Pension

Benefits, vol. 26, no. 3, 2019

“COBRA Compliance-Still Relevant in 2018!” Boutwell, Sherrie and Veldkamp, Katrina. Journal of Pension Benefits, vol. 26, no. 2, 2019

“What is a ‘Top Hat’ Plan and Why should I Care?” Boutwell, Sherrie. NIPA 2021 NAFE Amplified 2.0, 18 May 2021

“Plaintiff Proof your Cycle 3 DC Restatement.” Boutwell, Sherrie. NIPA 2021 NAFE Amplified 2.0, 18 May 2021

“Best Practices for Changing Recordkeepers.” Boutwell, Sherrie. Western Pension & Benefits Council, 19 Mar. 2020

“Partial Plan Terminations After COVID-19 –What Employers Need to Do By March 31, 2021.” Boutwell, Sherrie. Western Pension & Benefit

Council, 16 Feb. 2021

“Brave New Retirement: Technology and Techniques for Retirement Saving.” Boutwell, Sherrie. California Lawyers Association, 13-15

June 2019

“What Pension Professionals Wish They Knew About Health and Welfare Plans.” Boutwell, Sherrie. NIPA 2019 NIPA Annual Forum &

Expo, 1 May 2019

“QSLOBS –A Cause for Separation.” Boutwell, Sherrie. NIPA 2019 NIPA Annual Forum & Expo, 1 May 2019 “A Dive Into Distributions.”

Boutwell, Sherrie. Western Pension & Benefits Counsel, 16 Apr. 2019.



1983, California; 1984, U.S. District Court, Central District of California and U.S. Tax Court


University of California, Los Angeles, J.D. 1983
University of California, Irvine, B.A., magna cum Laude, 1979


AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated Martindale Hubbell, 1999-current


ABA, Tax Section, Labor Section, LPM Division
American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries/NAPA
Board Member, Orange County Chapter of the National Institute of Pension Administrators Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
Orange County Bar Association, Tax Law Section State Bar of California, Tax Section
Western Pension & Benefits Council, Orange County, and Denver Chapters WiPN, Women in Pension Network