ERISA Expert Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.
ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc. founder Mark Johnson has a 30 year career history bridging four closely related areas:
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Pension, 401(k), group life, health and retiree medical plans administration
- Labor relations
- Human Resources (HR) and personnel policies
Dr. Johnson served as a former Plan Administrator, Fiduciary, ERISA Compliance Officer, and Managing Director of Benefits and Pensions for American Airlines, a unionized Fortune 500 company. During this time he managed ERISA plans covering more than $14 billion in assets and over 100,000 participants, as well as welfare plans covering 350,000 employees and their dependents.
He understands the nuances of ERISA because he made decisions every day regarding pension, life, health, long term disability, and other qualified and non-qualified benefits. As an active ERISA litigation consultant, he now sees how disagreements ranging from individual benefit claims to class action fiduciary liability litigation are resolved in court.
Dr. Johnson is a licensed attorney in Texas and is a Board Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist, as designated by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Highlights of Dr. Johnson’s extensive career are outlined below.
ERISA Plan Administration, Negotiations, and Employee Training
- Negotiated group life and health, disability, pension and 401(k) plans with unions
- Planned and implemented changes in workforce and total compensation strategy
- Made hundreds of presentations to employees, association and union members using practical experience and humor to enliven the program
ERISA Plan Design
- Created new pension, 401(k) and group life and health in response to changing employer/employee needs, collective bargaining agreements or as part of mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs
- Designed and implemented early retirement bridge programs and voluntary severance plans
ERISA Dispute Resolution
- Directed the ERISA appeals process with authority to decide all pension, group life and health and 401(k) cases
- Presented arbitration cases and represented employers in federal and state court
- Served as an ERISA expert witness in dozens of litigation disputes (see Cases)
In addition to a J.D. from the University of Houston, Mr. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Massachusetts. Prior to his corporate and legal careers, he taught, researched and published as a fulltime university faculty member for 5 years. He periodically teaches courses in benefits and compensation, personnel policy, employee recruitment, training and evaluation, and business communication on a part-time basis at Tarrant County College, where he has been an Adjunct Professor.
Mark Johnson is also the founder and owner of "H.O. Heidelberg" and importer and distributor since 1984 of model railroad equipment and accessories.
Prior to founding ERISA Benefits Consulting and his work with American Airlines, Dr. Johnson served as:
- Attorney Southwestern Bell Corporation
- Associate Professor of Communication, Texas Wesleyan University
- Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Houston
Contact ERISA Expert Dr. Mark Johnson
You can reach Dr. Johnson via email or by phone at 817-909-0778. He is available to confidentially discuss a benefits matter.
Click on the link to read about his representative ERISA cases.