Monday, August 18, 2008

Xtreme ERISA Blog Discusses Unclear Short Term Deferral Issue

Interesting Article Regarding Olympics and Short Term Deferral Rules. Unclear whether this approach is permitted under the regulations.

"So what of a stream of severance payments? If one is terminated on 12/31, only two-and-a-half months' of payments would be made within the S-TD period? Does that possibility doom all but two-and-a-half months' of payments to the Curse of Cap-A?

The answer seems a resounding "no." Under the Regulations as technically corrected, the focus is on whether vesting could occur too long before payment or, stated conversely, whether payment is contemplated to be deferred by too much after a possible vesting event. The focus is not on whether a payment stream might be other than the one that it is. Essentially, you test your stream of payments as it runs, not as it may run. Thus, if the termination is in fact early enough in the year, all of the payments could be S-TDs."

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