Carnow & Associates, Ltd. has built a reputation of providing professional, creative retirement plan design with a focus on developing the highest level of tax advantaged savings coupled with the greatest flexibility to tailor a program that will fit your individual company needs.

Located in the NorthShore area of Chicagoland, we have positioned ourselves as one of the premier pension consulting and pension actuarial firms in the region. Our primary niche/focus revolves around designing tax advantaged solutions for the small to medium size business.

Carnow & Associates, Ltd. prides itself on getting to know each of our clients on a individual basis. Properly designing a retirement plan is not “cookie-cutter” business. Your needs and the needs of your company undoubtedly change over time…and that could affect the needs, requirements and goals of your retirement plan.

Shouldn’t you have someone on your side that will be able to clearly identify these opportunities and/or pitfalls for you…before they happen?
Remove the uncertainty of your financial future. Let Carnow & Associates, Ltd. help to keep you on target toward financial independence

Donald S. Carnow

Don is the founder and President of Carnow and Associates, Ltd. He is a practicing ERISA attorney with a practice National in scope.   Don is a former IRS Estate Tax Attorney and has worked exclusively in the Pension and Estate Planning fields for the past thirty years. Mr. Carnow is a member of the Illinois Bar and is licensed to practice before the Illinois and Federal Courts including the U.S. Tax Court. His practice is dedicated exclusively to the pension, estate, and tax planning fields. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association and is an Affiliated Professional Member of the American Society of Pension Actuaries where he is a member of the Government Affair Committee. In addition to managing and directing the day-to-day operations of Carnow and Associates, Ltd., Mr. Carnow is an active member of the American Bar Association Taxation Section, Employee Benefit Committee and a frequent contributor to the proceedings of the Fiduciary Responsibility Subcommittee, the Independent Contractor Subcommittee, the Defined Benefit Subcommittee and the Qualified Distribution Subcommittee. Mr. Carnow received his bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a major in accounting, from Roosevelt University in 1963. Mr. Carnow received his Juris Doctor degree from the John Marshall Law School in 1967.

Mark H. Carnow

Mark is both an attorney and an actuary. For a number of years following law school, Mark practiced law with a large national law firm, and then with a Chicago-based litigation boutique, focusing in complex commercial, securities, and ERISA litigation matters. He now focuses his practice on tax and ERISA matters relating qualified retirement plans. Mark's consulting practice includes, but is not limited to, plan design, advanced combination plan (DB/DC plan) design, implementation, administration, actuarial valuation and actuarial consulting, and related matters. His law practice includes counseling clients regarding fiduciary matters attending retirement plans, representing clients in matters before the IRS, DOL, PBGC, serving as litigation counsel on ERISA retirement plan matters, due diligence reviews associated with M&A transactions, and counseling clients with respect to plan design and related matters. Mark is a member of the Illinois Bar and is licensed to practice before the Illinois and Federal Courts, is a member of the Illinois Bar Association, and the American Bar Association Taxation Section, Employee Benefits Committee. Mark is also an Enrolled Actuary (EA) under ERISA. Mark received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Northwestern University, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in (cum laude).


Ronald J. Thurber

Ron is a Vice President of Carnow and Associates, Ltd. He is an Enrolled Agent, admitted to practice and represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. (What is an Enrolled Agent? Click here for more information.) Since joining the firm in 2001, Mr. Thurber's practice has focused on the pension consulting side of the business, including but not limited to advanced plan design & implementation, plan administration, audit representation and other consulting arrangements with both clients and advisors regarding all aspects of qualified retirement plans to maintain operational compliance. Mr. Thurber is an Associated Professional Member (APM) of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and an active member of The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). Ron received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and Engineering Technology (magna cum laude) from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 1993.