Ronald G. Cluett is Of Counsel in the Employee Benefits and Exempt Organizations practice groups in Caplin & Drysdale’s Washington, D.C. office. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, he was a faculty member in history and classics at a nationally recognized liberal arts college.


Mr. Cluett represents employers in designing and administering their employee benefit plans and compensation practices. Clients have included multinational corporations, international organizations, and both established and newly formed exempt organizations. His practice encompasses advice on a wide range of issues affecting both broad-based employee plans and executive compensation arrangements, including plan design, government filings, voluntary compliance efforts, and dispute resolution.


  • Participated with and advised a retirement plan service provider in drafting multiple 403(b) plan documents which were approved by the IRS as part of its 403(b) Pre-approved Plan Program.
  • Assisted a foundation in terminating its qualified defined benefit plan, including coordination with the plan’s actuaries, participant communications, and IRS and PBGC submissions.
  • Drafted extensive revisions to the qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans of a multinational employer as part of its benefits restructuring.
  • Led Board discussions at exempt organizations on ERISA fiduciary duties and the considerations informing retirement plan benefit design.
  • Advised a multinational employer on cross-border executive compensation arrangements affecting U.S. taxpayers, including compliance with Code sections 409A and 457A.
  • Assisted a governmental employer in drafting and establishing a 115 trust as part of its retirement plan funding efforts.
  • Advised a professional services employer on passing nondiscrimination testing for its qualified defined contribution plan by utilizing new comparability (cross-testing) procedures.

Admissions & Education

Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia 
  • New York 

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 2009

Certificate of International Taxation, Northwestern University School of Law/University of London, 2007

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1994, Full Graduate Fellowship

B.A., Trinity College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1985

Recognitions & Noteworthy

Honors & Recognitions
  • The Legal 500, Next Generation Lawyers, 2017-Present; Recommended, 2017-2018

Newsroom & Publications

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