C. Frederick Reish is a partner in Faegre Drinker’s  Benefits & Executive Compensation practice group, the Investment Management group, and the Financial Services ERISA Team. His practice focuses on fiduciary issues, prohibited transactions, tax-qualification and retirement income. He works with both private and public sector entities and their plans and fiduciaries; represents plans, employers and fiduciaries before the governing agencies (e.g., the IRS and the DOL); consults with banks, trust companies, insurance companies and mutual fund management companies on 401(k) investment products and issues related to plan investments and retirement income; and represents of broker-dealers and registered investment advisers on issues related to fiduciary status and compliance, prohibited transactions and internal procedures.

Fred serves as a consultant and expert witness on ERISA litigation and FINRA arbitration, with a focus on cases involving broker-dealers, registered investment advisers, financial service companies and other service providers. Fred’s experience includes advising insurance companies and investment managers of the development of products and services that are consistent with ERISA’s fiduciary standards and prohibited transaction restrictions, including retirement income investments and guarantees. Fred is also a consultant member of the Institutional Retirement Income Council (RIC), which focuses on retirement income issues and products.

Professional Recognition and Awards

Fred has received a number of awards for his contributions to benefits education, communication and service, including:
• Selection by PLANADVISER magazine as one of the 5 “Legends” of the retirement industry and with retirement advisers.
• The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)/Morningstar 401(k) Leadership Award for directly and positively influencing the ability of Americans to build successful retirements.
• Selection by PLANSPONSOR magazine as one of the 15 Legends in the development of retirement plans.
• Recognition by 401kWire as the 401(k) Industry’s Most Influential Person for 2007 (and has, for every year of that survey, been in the top 10).
• Recipient of the IRS Director’s Award and the IRS Commissioner’s Award for his contributions to employee benefits education.
• Received Lifetime Achievement Awards from PLANSPONSOR magazine and from Institutional Investor for his contributions to the benefits community.
• Received the Eidson Founder’s Award from ASPPA for his significant contributions to that organization and to the benefits community.
• Recognition as one of “The Best Lawyers in America.”
•Received the Alumni Service Award from Arizona State University.

On behalf of ASPPA, he has co-authored amicus curiae briefs with the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Patterson v. Shumate and with the Tax Court in the case of Citrus Valley Estates v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.


Fred has written four books and over 350 articles on fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transactions, IRS and DOL audits, and pension plan disputes. He authors a monthly column on 401(k) fiduciary responsibility for PLANSPONSOR magazine, and has written a quarterly column on that subject for the Journal of Pension Benefits.

As an experienced lawyer on benefits matters, Fred is frequently quoted by both professional and public publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Inc., CFO Magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Institutional Investor, PLANSPONSOR, and Pensions & Investments.

Speaking Engagements

Fred is a nationally known speaker on fiduciary responsibility, technical compliance matters and litigation issues. He has spoken at the annual conferences of the American Bar Association, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, the Western Pension and Benefits Conference, the Enrolled Actuaries Conference, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the National Institute of Pension Administrators.

In General. Fred received a J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and B.S. from Arizona State University.