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Heather B. Bader



Heather Bader assists plan sponsors and service providers in navigating the complexities of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, as well as health and welfare plans. While her work extends to all aspects of employee benefits, she is particularly experienced in assisting plan committees and sponsors in fulfilling their fiduciary duties. Heather advises on a variety of fiduciary compliance issues and assists with the defense of government agency audits and investigations, including but not limited to the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Heather works with plan sponsors that are publicly traded and the issues surrounding employer securities in retirement plans. Heather is co-leader of the firm’s financial services industry group.

Public Sector Experience

Heather works with public sector clients in connection with their retirement plans as well as in coordination with the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). She works with public employers and their advisers on compliance issues in connection with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Heather also assists public sector clients with their health and welfare benefit plans, including retiree health plans.

Published Works and Speaking Experience

Heather authors and co-authors articles for the Journal of Pension Benefits and is a regular contributor to the 401(k) Advisor newsletter. Additionally, Heather is the co-author of the TIPS for TPAs newsletter, which addresses certain risk management and compliance issues for third-party administrators, and co-hosts the Plan Sponsor Audiocast, which addresses various hot topics that affect plan sponsors.

Heather is a co-author of the National Underwriting Company's Tools & Techniques of Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning (14th Ed.).

Related Industries

Related Topics


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Tax Court
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


Southwestern Law School
J.D. (2005)

California State University-Northridge
B.A. (2000)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Firm Blog Contributions

  • LaborSphere – a resource providing coverage and insights on breaking cases, recently enacted legislation and a broad range of labor issues
  • Spotlight on Benefits – a blog offering practical insight on legal developments which impact benefit plans

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

Heather works with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), providing pro bono representation of unaccompanied children who enter the United States and who have been persecuted in their home countries, trafficked to the U.S., and abused, abandoned or neglected, in family court and immigration court.

Professional Associations

  • National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA)
  • American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) — Associated Professional Member
  • Western Pension and Benefits Conference, Los Angeles Chapter
  • Annual Joint ASPPA and Western Pension Benefits Conference — Steering and Program Committees (Past Co-Chair, 2011-12; Past Member, 2010)
  • ASPPA National Conferences — Chair, 2016-18; Vice Chair, 2014-16
  • Western Benefits Conference — Committee, 2016

Firm Leadership

  • Co-Leader, Financial Services Industry Group


  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020-23
  • Super Lawyers — Rising Star, Los Angeles, 2008, 2010-15
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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