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Employee Benefits Attorney

John leads the firm’s Employee Benefits Team. He counsels employee benefit plan sponsors with respect to compliance with ERISA and IRS requirements for 401(k) plans, ESOPs and other defined contribution plans, defined benefit plans, and deferred compensation arrangements. John also advises clients on employee benefits issues in the context of corporate transactions, including qualified plan compliance issues, change-in-control agreements, continuation of health coverage, and golden parachute payments under Section 280G. John is experienced in negotiating and drafting executive employment agreements and incentive plans on behalf of employers and executives, and advises clients with regard to compliance with Section 409A.

In addition, John helps businesses with issues regarding health and welfare plan design, Affordable Care Act implementation and compliance, and consumer-driven health arrangements, including high deductible health plans, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, and wellness programs. He regularly advises clients with respect to claims procedures, medical and disability appeals, plan documentation, summary plan descriptions and other disclosures, third-party provider agreements, flexible benefits arrangements, taxation of dependent coverage, and subrogation and reimbursement, as well as portability, nondiscrimination and privacy matters arising under HIPAA. John has designed and performed comprehensive compliance reviews for health and welfare benefit plans.

For more information, please contact John Arendshorst at 616/336-6560 or


Honors & Recognitions

Grand Rapids Magazine's Top Lawyers, Employee Benefits Law, 2019 and 2020

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan, Taxation Section, Employee Benefits Committee, 2017 - present

Community Involvement

Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring, 2006 - 2007

Center for Disability and Elder Law: Young Professionals Board, 2011 - 2012

City of East Grand Rapids, Commissioner, 2019 - present

East Grand Rapids Community Foundation Board, 2019-present

East Grand Rapids Planning Commission, 2015 - present

Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence, 2015 - present

Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Health Care and Human Resources Committee, 2017 - present

Grand Rapids Yacht Club, 2016 - present

IRS Great Lakes TE/GE Council, 2017 - present

Minds Matter Mentoring, 2007 - 2010

West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition, Board

News & Publications




Northwestern University School of Law
Chicago, Illinois
J.D., 2010
The Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights, editor

Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts
B.A., 2004

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Michigan

Court Admissions

  • All Illinois state courts
  • All Michigan state courts
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