Walter W. Miller

Walter W. Miller


Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
Oregon, U.S.A.

tel: 541-686-3299
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Wally Miller helps employers ensure that their retirement and welfare benefit plans comply with applicable state and federal laws. Since entering the employee benefit field 35 years ago, he has assisted clients in working through a cascade of new laws, from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Pension Protection Act, and most recently, the Affordable Care Act.

Experience with a complex regulatory system

Clients call on Wally to guide them in matters involving qualified Section 401(k) and defined benefit pension plans; Section 403(b) and 457 retirement plans; nonqualified deferred compensation plans; Section 409A issues; welfare benefit plans, including Section 125 cafeteria plans; self-insured medical plans; health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs); VEBAs; MEWAs; association health plans (AHPs); flexible spending arrangements (FSAs); health savings accounts (HSAs); ERISA compliance; HIPAA privacy; and plan-related issues in connection with acquisitions, dispositions and mergers. Wally’s experience with these complicated regulations helps his clients manage risk and avoid potential tax consequences, fines, and criminal and civil litigation.

A problem-solver in a broad range of industries

Wally represents employers from across the United States, ranging from Fortune 300 companies to counties and other local governments. He works with numerous industries, including retail and distribution, construction, warehousing, steel manufacturing, newspapers, health insurance, auto dealers, lumber companies and real estate management firms. In addition, he is counsel to third-party administrators and benefit consultants that manage employee benefits plans. Wally counsels clients on U.S. federal and state statutes as they apply to employee benefits plans, and how to structure plans to avoid or withstand litigation and reduce costs.

Watching his clients’ backs

Wally handles client encounters with the Internal Revenue Service under various circumstances, including Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) filings, VCP negotiations, benefit plan audits and applications for determination letters. He has also represented clients in negotiations with the Labor Department in connection with benefit plan audits and Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program filings, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in connection with plan spin-off, withdrawals and plan terminations.

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State Courts


  • DePaul University, Juris Doctor degree (1982)
  • Loyola University, Bachelor of Science (1977)
  • DePaul University, Master of Science in Taxation (1983)
Areas of Practice

Employee Benefits | Employment, Labor and Benefits

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Represented a Fortune 300 retail and distribution company in a benefit plan examination by the U.S. Department of Labor. A favorable “no action letter” was issued.
  • Assisted 18 separate employer associations in restructuring their benefit plans to qualify as “bona fide association plans” for purposes of the Affordable Care Act and ERISA.
  • Assisting a construction industry employer in seeking a waiver from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for a substantial multiple employer withdrawal liability upon a plan spin-off.
  • Counseled private and public employers in the offerings of nonqualified executive compensation programs.
  • Represented clients in securing prohibited transaction exemptions from the U.S. Department of Labor for the sale of timberland and other real estate from their qualified retirement plans.
  • Assisted clients in responding to employees’ claims for benefits and in appeals of denied claims.
  • Reviewed administrative services agreements with third-party administrators and administrative services organizations.
  • Prepared HIPAA Privacy and Security Manuals, and conducted HIPAA training, as required under applicable privacy rules.
  • Assisted federal contractors in establishing fringe benefit plans that comply with the Service Contract Act, Davis-Bacon Act or other prevailing wage laws. 


  • Oregon Extends and Increases Group Medical Insurance Premium Tax
  • Texas Federal District Court Opines That the Affordable Care Act Is Invalid in Its Entirety: Where Does It Go from Here?
  • 2019 Benefit Limits
  • New Association Health Plan Regulations Offer Second Option for Associations Sponsoring Plans
  • IRS Reduces 2018 HSA Contribution Limit
  • New Legislation Relaxes 401(k) Plan Hardship Withdrawal Restrictions
  • Are Your 2018 Benefit Changes Legally Effective?
  • New Tax Law Provisions Affect Employee Benefit Programs
  • Beware: IRS To Begin Issuing ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Payment Penalty Notices
  • Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration announce benefit limits for 2018
  • Employment Update: DOL Releases Updated CHIP Notice
  • NLRB Rules That Employers Have a Duty to Bargain Over ACA-Mandated Group Health Benefit Changes
  • Oregon Launches Retirement Savings Program: Employer Registration Will Be Required
  • Affordable Care Act Repeal and Replacement Bills: What Could They Mean for ?Employers and Employees
  • Top Employment and Employee Benefit Issues to Look for in 2017
  • Medical Insurance Premium Reimbursement Arrangements Are Back in Play (For Small Employers)
  • Affordable Care Act: What Lies Ahead?
  • Retirement plan benefit and employment tax limits for 2017
  • Department of Labor Announces Increases to ERISA Noncompliance Penalties
  • EEOC Releases Final Rule on Employer Wellness Programs ?
  • Marketplace Insurance Exchange Notices to Employers Are Coming Soon!
  • Year-End Congressional & IRS Actions Affecting Affordable Care Act Rules
  • 2015 Benefit Limits
  • IRS Issues Regulations Regarding Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements
  • Your Summary Plan Description Must be Updated Every Five Years
  • IRS Issues New Guidance on Affordable Care Act Employer "Play-or-Pay" Mandate
  • IRS Allows Limited Carryover of Unused Health Care FSA Balance
  • 2014 Benefit Limits
  • ACA May Still be Targeted After Surviving Debt Deal
  • Employers Must Provide New Insurance Exchange Notice by October 1, 2013
  • IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Treatment of Employee Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses
  • IRS Issues Guidance on Health Care Reform Act's "Play-or-Pay" Penalty
  • 2013 Employee Benefit Limits
  • What Must Employers Do Upon Receiving a Medical Loss Ratio Rebate
  • After the Supreme Court's Health Care Reform Decision: What Employers Now Need to Do
  • Looming Deadline for Compliance with New Labor Department Retirement Plan Service Provider Disclosure Regulations
  • New IRS Position On Plan Loan Interest Rate
  • PPACA Uniform Explanation of Coverage
  • CMS Issues New Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice Deadline and Model Form


  • Northwest Federal Tax Conference
  • Employment Benefits Conference
  • Retirement Plans for Governmental and Tax-Exempt Entities: 403(b), 457(b), and 457(f) Plans
  • Oregon 2017 Employment & Employee Benefit Seminar
  • Top Employment and Employee Benefit Issues to Look for in 2017