Israel Goldowitz

Washington, DC

Izzy Goldowitz is a Partner with The Wagner Law Group, resident in the Washington office. He previously served as Deputy General Counsel of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, as PBGC Chief Counsel, and as Deputy General Counsel of the United Mine Workers of America Health of Retirement Funds.

He has been on the brief in several Supreme Court cases, including Beck v. PACE Int’l Union, U.S. 2007 (termination and closeout of single-employer plan); Raleigh v. Illinois Dept. of Revenue, U.S. 2000 (choice of law in bankruptcy), and Concrete Pipe v. Construction Laborers Pension Trust, U.S. 1993 (constitutionality of MPPAA), and has argued several cases in the courts of appeals.

His publications include chapters on withdrawal liability and preemption/removal in J. Zanglein, S. Stabile & L. Frolik, ERISA Litigation; a chapter on employee benefits in Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice; articles on choice of law in bankruptcy in the Norton Bankruptcy Adviser and American Bankruptcy Institute Journal; an article on PBGC's work in bankruptcy in the Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Review; and an article on funding rules for public plans in the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal.

He has spoken at meetings of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference; American Law Institute; ABA Taxation, Labor and Employment, and Business Law Sections, and Joint Committee on Employee Benefits; Canadian Bar Association; Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans; International Pension and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association; Norton Bankruptcy Institutes; American Bankruptcy Institute; Turnaround Management Association; Conference Board; and regional bankruptcy/insolvency organizations, metropolitan bar associations, labor organizations, and academic colloquia/symposia.

He is an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches employee benefits and previously taught international bankruptcy. He is a member of the John Marshall Law School Graduate Employee Benefits Advisory Board.

He is a recipient of PBGC’s Distinguished Career Service Award and Georgetown University's Vicennial Medal.

He earned his B. A. from Boston University, and his J.D. from George Washington University.

PBGC Issues
Expert WitnessSpeaker

I have regularly spoken on PBGC's programs to employee benefits, bankruptcy, and other audiences, including ABA, ABI, IPEBLA, and TMA conferences. I also handle PBGC matters for employers, including transactions, terminations, and claims in and outside bankruptcy.

Multiemployer Plans
Expert WitnessSpeaker

I wrote and regularly updated a chapter on withdrawal liability for Zanglein, Stabile, & Frolik, ERISA Litigation. I served as PBGC's senior legal advisor on multiemployer matters, and before that had charge of the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds' withdrawal liability docket. During 2018, I helped provide technical assistance to the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Plans. I now advise employers involved with multiemployer plans and multiemployer plans themselves, or serve as special counsel, on withdrawal liability, contributions, and plan administration matters, and in arbitration, litigation, and other controversies.

DB Plans
Expert WitnessSpeaker

I have spoken on aspects of DB plan design, funding, and risk mitigation. I have also spoken on funding of public-sector plans and on new retirement savings platforms.

Exempt/Governmental Plans

I have written on funding issues for public plans, including bankruptcy and other restructurings, and spoken at conferences on that topic