Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update on 409A Audits

"Even though the audit program is relatively new, practitioners have informally shared anecdotal evidence on which issues the IRS appears focused on so far. The list of issues below is not exhaustive and other issues may be raised, depending on the nature and identity of the employer and its NQDC arrangements.

In general, however, it appears that the IRS is requesting detailed documentation on the following areas (i) if a plan intends to rely on the “short-term deferral” exception, the plan clearly must disclose the relevant terms, including detailed information on any forfeiture risks, (ii) employees' initial and “second” deferral elections must include specific terms for making elections, and specify both the initial and new payment dates, (iii) plan documents must provide detailed information on any events that would trigger the acceleration of benefit payments, particularly events triggered by an employer's deteriorating financial condition, and (iv) plans’ treatment of “specified employees,” (certain senior executive officers of publicly traded companies) who are subject to the general rule that payments cannot begin earlier than six months after termination of employment."

Article From Jackson Lewis

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