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Bonita Hatchett-Bodle



909 Fannin Street
Suite 2300
Houston, TX 77010
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Fax: 832.397.3519
LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC, 1997, Certificate in Employee Benefits Law
J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, New Jersey, 1996
B.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1992
State Bar Licenses
New Jersey

Bonita Hatchett-Bodle


Bonita Hatchett-Bodle has over 19 years of large law firm experience serving as outside ERISA and benefits counsel to national corporations, public sector entities, growth and middle-market companies, jointly-trusteed funds, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations, a national retailer,æand entrepreneurs from every major industry. She currently serves as the Qualified Plans Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.


  • Advice on all aspects of compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as well as the tax-qualification and other requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code).
  • Establishes and advises compensation and benefits committees, preparingæpolicies and procedures.
  • Provides ERISA fiduciary advice, and advice on prohibited transactions and individual, class and statutory exemptions.
  • Designs and writes plans established under Sections 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b)/(f) of the Code, nonqualified plans subject to Section 409A of the Code, health and welfare arrangements, severance and executive compensation plans.
  • Advises plan sponsors on regulatory changes and amends employee benefit plans to comply with current law, to reflect discretionary design changes, and pursuant to collective bargaining.
  • Prepares regulatory submissions to the IRS, the DOL and the PBGC, and negotiates with the regulatory agencies on behalf of plan sponsors.
  • Corrects plan operational failures under regulatory amnesty programs to prevent the assessment of penalties and excise taxes, and to prevent the disqualification of plans.
  • Negotiates service provider agreements, investment management agreements, subscription agreements, other investment instruments, and represents employers and investment advisors in connection with regulatory examinations.
  • Represents employers in the employee benefits aspects of corporate transactions, designs the employee benefits strategy, conducts benefits due diligence, provides advice on benefits integration issues and coordinates and monitors service provider performance.
  • Advises on compliance with the PPACA of 2010, HIPAA Security Standards, the HIPAA Privacy Rules, HIPAA Portability and Nondiscrimination Rules, the HITECH Act of 2009, and other rules governing health and welfare plans.
  • Conduct two-day seminars to former military and civilian employees of the US Department of Defense and armed forces groups regarding æupdates to the Federal Employees? Retirement System (FERS), the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).


  • Did You Know? Unique State Employee Benefit & Employment Issues,æAmerican Bar Association (February 2017)
  • Updates on the Federal Employee's Retirement System, Civil Service Retirement System and Thrift Savings Plans, USæDepartment ofæ Defense (November 2016)
  • Social Security Benefits and DOL's New Fiduciary Rules, Strasburger Tax Symposium (November 2016)
  • Inherited IRAs - What the Supreme Court May Do, American Bar Association (June 2014)
  • In the Loop Employment Issues to Master 2013 - Update on Health Care Reform, Chicago Chamber of Commerce (May 2013)
  • The Use of ESOP by Closely Held Family Businesses, ESOP Association Annual Conference - Illinois Chapter , (March 2013)
  • Federal Health Care Reform: 2013 Is Here ? Now What?, Warsaw Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce (February 2013)
  • ERISA Basics, National Bar Association ? Commercial Law Section Corporate Counsel Conference(February 2013)
  • Health Care Reform - ERISA, South Bend Chamber of Commerce (February 2013)
  • Healthcare Reform 2013: Post-Election Healthcare Reform and the New Regulatory Landscape Under the Affordable Care Act, South Bend Chamber of Commerce (December 2012)
  • Federal Health Care Reform: The Election Is Over ? Now What?, South Bend Chamber of Commerce (November 2012)
  • Employee Benefits Plans and Other Compensation Arrangement Group and Business Planning Group: Using Retirement Plans as a Part of a Business Entrance or Exit Strategy, Qualified Plans Committee of ABA - Real Property Trust and Estate Section (May 2012)
  • Current Trends in Attracting and Retaining Executive Talent After the Crisis, IBA Chicago Conference (April 2011)
  • What is Next for ?Say on Pay??: Preparing for New Developments So Your Company/Client is Equipped to Create Effective Plans, American Conference Institute Forumæ(July 2010)
  • ERISA: The Statute?s Broad Reach, Client Presentationæ(June 2008)
  • New Strategies on Deferred Compensation, Corporate Counsel Forum (June 2007)
  • Human Resources: Legislative Update, Steel Manufacturers Associationæ(November 2003)
  • Planning, Preparation and Persistence: The Large Law Firm Hiring Process, Mid-Summer Professional Development Seminar (June 2003)
  • Workplace 529 Plans: Future ERISA and other Implications for Employers, IBC USA Educational Forumæ(November 2002)
  • HIPAA Compliance: Challenges and Opportunities, Steel Manufacturers Associationæ(March 2002)


  • Automatic 401(k) Plan Enrollment After the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Human Resources 2008æ(2008)
  • Answers to Your Top 25 Questions - Disaster Planning and HR, Human Resources 2006(December 2006)
  • Answers to Your Top 25 Questions - Domestic Partner Benefits, Human Resources 2006(December 2006)
  • Answers to Your Top 25 Questions: The New Roth 401(k) Plan Feature: Expanding theæPossibilities Under 401(k) Plans Through Qualified Roth Contribution Programs, Human Resources 2006æ(December 2006)
  • What You Need to Know About the Prohibited Misuse of ERISA Plan Assets, The Practical Lawyeræ(December 2006)
  • Answers to Your Top 25 Questions ? Forms LM-10 and LM-30 Filing Requirements, Human Resources 2006 (June 2006)
  • Health Savings Accounts: A New Alternative to Cover Healthcare Costs, The Advisoræ(September 2004)
  • What Trustees Should Know About Intermediate Sanctions, Trustee Magazineæ(March 2004)
  • When Employers Want to Avoid Paying for Health Insurance, Bloomberg Business Week (June 2013)
  • Economic Outlook, WNIT Public Television (January 2013)
  • Nondiscrimination Rules for Health Plans Loom Ahead, Society for Human Resource Management (May 2013)
  • Businesses Prep for Health Care Rules, South Bend Tribune (December 2012)
American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, Qualified Plans Co-Chair
Practice Areas
Employee Benefits/ERISA & Compliance
Areas of Emphasis