Thursday, August 28, 2008

Article Suggests QSERP Practice May Be Problem Under 409A

Author notes potential 409A issue for QSERPS by virtue of removal of risk of forfeiture.

"These plans must be constructed under IRC §409A rules, which includes a requirement that the SERP funds remain an asset of the company, subject to substantial risk of forfeiture...Moving monies from non-qualified plans into qualified plans provides an immediate tax break for the company, and, in essence, removes the risk and virtually guarantees payment of the benefit to the executives. As deferred compensation, the executive maintains the tax-deferral advantage associated with the benefit, without the inherent risk of forfeiture. It will be interesting to see how this practice relates to 409A rules on deferrals."

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