Eric Paley

Partner/Leader, Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Team, Nixon Peabody
Eric Paley
Eric Paley is the team leader of the firm’s Employee Benefits team. He advises clients on how to comply with the laws governing their employee benefits programs.

What do you focus on?
Three hallmarks distinguish my practice.

Representing nonprofit and governmental organizations I work primarily (though not exclusively) with a wide range of nonprofit organizations—hospitals/health systems, colleges/universities, iconic arts/cultural institutions, trade associations, social service agencies and governmental organizations. Nonprofits are much different animals than for-profit companies.

My appreciation for those differences coupled with my vast experience in these sectors give me a unique perspective on the issues my clients are facing and allow me to be a more effective advisor.

Focusing on fiduciary compliance Of late, I spend a significant amount of time working with clients on fiduciary compliance—helping them establish or reconstitute their retirement plan committees; advising them on whether to engage a third-party investment consultant or conduct an RFP for a new recordkeeper; and educating boards, officers and committee members on the rapidly changing legal landscape in which they operate.

Staying one step ahead One of the things I enjoy most about working in this field is that the law is never static and the issues I face on a daily basis vary greatly. By the same token, the growing mountain of compliance burdens can quickly overwhelm employers. I try to keep my clients on task by focusing on practicalities and, whenever possible, bringing my sense of humor to bear on what can often be inane and unnecessarily complex rules.

What do you see on the horizon?

Blockchain technology, smart contracts and other revolutionary innovations will significantly impact, if not disrupt, the benefits industry in ways we can only imagine at this point. I’m excited to work with those who want to develop these innovations, as well as those who want to adopt and embrace them.