CALL 503.248.1134

200 SW Market Street, Suite 1900
Portland, Oregon 97201

Kara Backus CONTACT       Direct: 503.721.2604 Main: 503.248.1134 VCard PDF Profile

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Kara enjoys working with clients to help them better understand and solve their often complex employee benefits issues.  Kara practices exclusively in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation. She has experience with qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare benefit plans, executive compensation issues, and the employee benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
Kara works with clients to design and draft benefit plans, monitor compliance with new legislation and regulatory guidance under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA, and to interact with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor regarding plan issues. Kara also advises clients on COBRA and HIPAA issues, fiduciary responsibility, and prohibited transaction requirements.
As a member of the benefits community, Kara volunteers her time as a member of the Oregon Retirement Savings Board and as President of the Portland Chapter of the Western Pension & Benefits Council.
In her free time, Kara enjoys walking, hiking and working in the yard with her husband, Josh, and their rescue dog, Dr. Woof.  She also likes to read and write fiction and is an active member of a women’s soccer league.


  • Oregon Employment Department Issues Temporary Rule in Response to COVID-19 - Bullard Alert, March 2020


  • Employers with 50-Plus Full-Time Employees Should be Prepared to Respond to IRS Penalty Notices Under ACA - Bullard Alert, September 2018


  • Supreme Court Confirms Pension and Benefit Plans Maintained by Church Affiliates May Be Exempt from ERISA, Bullard Alert, June 2017
  • Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements - Maybe Better Than We Thought - Bullard Alert, May 2017


  • Election Talk in the Workplace: Can Employers Tell Employees to Leave Their Opinions at Home? - Bullard Alert, November 2016
  • The Affordable Care Act - Delays and Clarifications - Bullard Alert, January 2016


  • That’s A Wrap - Key Employment Bills Passed During Oregon’s 2015 Legislative Session - Bullard Alert, July 2015
  • Supreme Court Rejects “Calamitous Result,” Agrees With Obama Administration On Subsidies In Federally-Run State Exchanges - Bullard Alert, June 2015


  • Avoiding Penalties Under the Affordable Care Act - Oregon State Bar Association's Taxation Newsletter, Fall 2014
  • Affordable Care Act Compliance: With Summer Here, Are Employers Feeling the Heat? - Oregon Business Magazine, July/ August 2014
  • Healthcare Reform in 2014 and Beyond - What Individuals and Employers Can Expect - Oregon Business Magazine, March 2014


  • Health Savings Accounts: Where Banks and the Future of Health Care Meet - Banking Matters Magazine, Fall 2013
  • Reform Requires Managers to Collect More Employee Data - Portland Business Journal, February 2013


  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: GINA Puts Your Group Health Plan's Health Risk Assessment at Risk - Employee Benefit Plan Review, May 2010


  • Give Summer Associates Pro Bono Work to Tackle - Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 2009


  • New Perspectives on Health Savings Accounts - Bullard Law Seminar, September 2019
  • Health Savings Accounts - Western Pension & Benefits Council Annual Conference, April 2019


  • Employee Benefits Law Update - Bullard Law Annual Briefing, October 2018


  • Deferred Compensation Plans - Bullard Annual Briefing, October 2017
  • Common Compliance Pitfalls for 401(k) Plan Sponsors - The Plan Sponsor University, April and September 2017
  • Employment Law 101: Covering the Basics for Small Businesses and Employers in Emerging Industries - Bullard Workshop, February 2017


  • What Employers Need to Know About the ACA - Xenium HR, December 2016


  • Affordable Health Care Act Update - Bullard Annual Labor and Employment Law Briefing, October 2015
  • Affordable Care Act Roundtable - Bullard Roundtable, September 2015
  • ERISA & IRS Compliance Requirements for the ACA - LaPorte Insurance, April 2015


  • Health Care Reform and the Long Term Care Industry - Oregon Health Care Association's 2014 Annual Convention and Trade Show, Co-presenter, September 2014
  • Remaining Complaint with the Affordable Care Act - KCMX AM 880 Radio Network's Sunrise with Craig Fronek Radio Show, July 2014
  • ACA Take II - Western Pension & Benefits Council's Spring Seminar, April 2014
  • Health Care Reform: Employer Compliance Under the Affordable Care Act - Lane Powell's 31st Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, April 2014


  • IRS Form 1099 Reporting: What You Need to Know - Lorman Education Services Tax Seminar, December 2013
  • Modern Family Meets Grey's Anatomy: What You Absolutely Need to Know About Same-Sex Marriage and the Affordable Care Act - Lane Powell's New Developments in Employment Law Affecting Employers Now Seminar, December 2013