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Kathy D. Aslinger, Esq.
Employee Benefits, Pension, and ERISA Law

KATHY D. ASLINGER is a leader in the Firm’s Employee Benefits, Pension, and ERISA Law practice as well as the Firm's Managing Shareholder. She has prepared hundreds of benefit plan amendments for her clients. Kathy strives to learn about each client’s business so that she can create or modify a retirement plan or health and welfare plan to suit each client’s unique circumstances, whether it is developing a nonqualified deferred compensation plan for a physicians’ practice or a 401(k) plan for a manufacturing company with a large union workforce. Kathy works closely with both public and private employers, pension boards, fiduciaries, accountants, and third-party administrators, helping them maneuver through the complex world of employee benefit plan design and implementation. Additionally, she uses her experience and knowledge to assist companies in the following areas: due diligence and benefit considerations during merger and acquisitions; controlled group and affiliated service group analysis; executive compensation; audits; fiduciary liability issues; DOL and IRS compliance; HIPAA; COBRA; ERISA and state law obligations; and Affordable Care Act compliance.

Cityview Magazine has recognized Kathy as a Top Attorney of Knoxville in the practice area of Employee Benefits/ERISA - Defense in 2015-2018, and 2020-2022, in which she won the Golden Gavel in 2022. She was also recognized in Business/Commercial Law and Corporate Law in 2021, and Labor & Employment Law - Employer in 2021-2022.

Employment Law

On a day-to-day basis, Kathy is available to guide clients through whatever employment law or benefit questions may arise.  When operational errors in plan administration or documentation deficiencies occur, Kathy will walk clients through the IRS and DOL correction programs to bring their plans back into compliance. Should they become the target of an IRS or DOL audit, she will provide guidance and support throughout the process. In all circumstances, Kathy strives to provide the prompt, personal, and professional service her clients expect and appreciate.

Kathy is a member of East Tennessee Compensation and Benefits Association (ETCBA) and the Tennessee Valley Human Resources Association (TVHRA).

Other Practice Areas

Kathy also practices for select clients in the areas of Business and Corporate LawLocal Government and Public Utilities, and Churches, Nonprofit, and Tax-Exempt Organizations.

For an ERISA attorney, Kathy has an unusual background.  She spent the first 11 years of her career as a government attorney and prosecutor.  During that time, she worked as a judicial clerk for judges on the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, as an appellate attorney for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, and as an Assistant District Attorney.  She has tried cases before judges and juries and handled approximately 200 appeals before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, the Tennessee Supreme Court and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She credits the research, writing, and advocacy skills she gained during these years for her continued success in the realm of employee benefits, and while she works hard to keep her clients out of the courtroom, she is grateful that she has the experience and ability to assist them in the courtroom if needed.

About Kathy

Kathy was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1998. She is also a member of the Knoxville Bar Association (KBA). In 2014, she was named as a Fellow of the Knoxville Bar Foundation. 

Kathy was admitted to the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee in 2002, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004, and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012.

Kathy has earned the respect of her colleagues at the Firm and serves as one of the managing shareholders. This role enables her to lead, mentor, and guide the Firm in a positive direction. She is also a member of the East Tennessee Lawyer's Association for Women.

She is a former Board member and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Uplands Village, a Life-Care Community in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee.


Kathy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1998 and was elected to the Order of the Coif. She received her Bachelor of Science from Middle Tennessee State University in 1994, graduating magna cum laude with Distinction in University Honors.

Contact Kathy Today:
865-546-7311 (Phone) | 865-524-1773 (Fax)



My Unusual Journey to ERISA Attorney | DICTA: April 2021
CARES Act Provides Funding Relief for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans | Confero: Fall 2020
Tips and Best Practices for Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries of Health and Welfare Plans | Confero: Winter 2019
Navigating Fiduciary Responsibility in the Wake of Tibble V. Edison and its Progency: Tips and Best Practices for Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries | Tennessee CPA Journal: May/June 2018
Major Universities Become Focus of Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims Arising out of Failure to Monitor Their 403(b) Plans | Confero: Winter 2017
Governmental Plan QDROs: Not Your Typical Retirement Plan Decision | DICTA: December 2017
A Brighter Line between Governmental and Private Entities: An IRS Project in the Retirement Area | Primerus Xpress: Summer 2012
Curbing Employee Benefit Costs | DICTA: May 2011

Newsletter Contributions and Articles

SECURE 2.0 - A Look at Possible Retirement Changes | KMF Newsletter: Spring 2022
US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of LGBT Employment Rights
The IRS Provides More Flexibility for Cafeteria Plans | KMF Newsletter: Spring 2020
CARES Act Provides Early Access to Retirement Funds and Other Retirement Plan Relief | KMF Newsletter: COVID-19 Special Edition #2
DOL Provides Limited Guidance on New Families First Coronavirus Response Act | KMF Newsletter: COVID-19 Special Edition #2
A Summary of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act for Employers and Employees | KMF Newsletter: COVID-19 Special Edition
In the Spotlight: Kathy D. Aslinger | KMF Newsletter: Summer 2018
Avoiding Employee Benefit Plan Surprises in Mergers and Acquisitions | KMF Newsletter: Fall 2017
Is your company part of a controlled group or affiliated service group? | KMF Newsletter: Summer 2017 
New Law Brings More Clarity and Flexibility to Church Plans | KMF Newsletter: Spring 2016
Retirement Plan Options for Tax Exempt Entities

Speaking Engagements

The Trust Company of Knoxville, Fiduciary Training for Plan Trustees, Fiduciaries and Retirement Committee Members, May 2018.
Tennessee Society for Certified Public Accountants Employee Benefit Plans Conference, Evaluate, Select, Monitor, & Document: Fiduciary Tips and Best Practices for Plan Sponsors, April 2018.
University of Tennessee Research Foundation Tech Talks, Rollover Business Startups, March 2017.
Citizens National Bank, Social Security Retirement Benefits, November 2015.
Tennessee Association of Community Action, Retirement Plan Options for Tax Exempt Employers, November 2015.
Sterling Education, Employment Law Seminar:  Beyond the Basics, ACA/Obamacare:  What Employers Need to Know, September 2015.

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