ERISA Expert Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.


ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc. founder Mark Johnson has a 30 year career history bridging four closely related areas:  

  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Pension, 401(k), group life, health and retiree medical plans administration
  • Labor relations
  • Human Resources (HR) and personnel policies 


Dr. Johnson served as a former Plan Administrator, Fiduciary, ERISA Compliance Officer, and Managing Director of Benefits and Pensions for American Airlines, a unionized Fortune 500 company. During this time he managed ERISA plans covering more than $14 billion in assets and over 100,000 participants, as well as welfare plans covering 350,000 employees and their dependents.


He understands the nuances of ERISA because he made decisions every day regarding pension, life, health, long term disability, and other qualified and non-qualified benefits. As an active ERISA litigation consultant, he now sees how disagreements ranging from individual benefit claims to class action fiduciary liability litigation are resolved in court.


Dr. Johnson is a licensed attorney in Texas and is a Board Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist, as designated by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


Highlights of Dr. Johnson’s extensive career are outlined below.


ERISA Plan Administration, Negotiations, and Employee Training 

  • Negotiated group life and health, disability, pension and 401(k) plans with unions
  • Planned and implemented changes in workforce and total compensation strategy
  • Made hundreds of presentations to employees, association and union members using practical experience and humor to enliven the program 

ERISA Plan Design 

  • Created new pension, 401(k) and group life and health in response to changing employer/employee needs, collective bargaining agreements or as part of mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs
  • Designed and implemented early retirement bridge programs and voluntary severance plans

ERISA Dispute Resolution

  • Directed the ERISA appeals process with authority to decide all pension, group life and health and 401(k) cases
  • Presented arbitration cases and represented employers in federal and state court
  • Served as an ERISA expert witness in dozens of litigation disputes (see Cases)



In addition to a J.D. from the University of Houston, Mr. Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Massachusetts. Prior to his corporate and legal careers, he taught, researched and published as a fulltime university faculty member for 5 years. He periodically teaches courses in benefits and compensation, personnel policy, employee recruitment, training and evaluation, and business communication on a part-time basis at Tarrant County College, where he has been an Adjunct Professor.


Mark Johnson is also the founder and owner of "H.O. Heidelberg" and importer and distributor since 1984 of model railroad equipment and accessories. 


Prior to founding ERISA Benefits Consulting and his work with American Airlines, Dr. Johnson served as:  

  • Attorney Southwestern Bell Corporation
  • Associate Professor of Communication, Texas Wesleyan University
  • Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Houston


Contact ERISA Expert Dr. Mark Johnson


You can reach Dr. Johnson via email or by phone at 817-909-0778. He is available to confidentially discuss a benefits matter.


Click on the link to read about his representative ERISA cases.


Employee Benefit Consulting

Expert Witness

Fiduciary Liability

Employee Benefit Plans

ERISA Fiduciary Facts

ERISA Group Health

Retiree Medical

Wall Street Research

Multi-Employer Pensions




Featured Cases

Resolved Cases

Current Cases




"Public Pension Funding Levels Improve in Second Quarter 2021"


"PBGC to Administer $94 Billion in Financial Assistance to Multiemployer Pension Plans"


"Pension Reform Planned for Texas Retirement System"


"State Sponsored Retirement Plans Continue to Expand"


"The Status of Single Employer Pension Plans in 2021"



Industry News

Connecticut Woodworking Company Becomes Victim of National Pension Crisis Gets Sued Out of Existence

Teamsters Pension Plan Warns Thousands of Beneficiaries that the Checks May Get Smaller

Maple City Ice Strikers Misled?

IRS Announces 2016 Plan Limitations

PBGC Posts 2016 Single and Multiemployer Premium Rates




ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc. Vineyard Centre I, 1450 Hughes Rd, Suite 120, Grapevine, TX 76051 817-909-0778

© ERISA Benefits Consulting, Inc. - 2003-2021 All Rights Reserved - Professional Websites