Executive compensation has become the focus of intense public scrutiny and regulation. The enactment of Section 409A of the federal Tax Code has dramatically raised the stakes in this area – with the possibility of substantial tax penalties falling on executives whose arrangements fail to comply.
Spencer Fane helps clients establish nonqualified deferred compensation programs for their executives and other key employees in a way that complies with the increasing tax, securities, and ERISA constraints. We draft, negotiate, and defend executive compensation packages, severance arrangements, change of control (or “golden parachute”) agreements, phantom stock and equity compensation plans, and rabbi trusts. We advise both corporations and their boards, with a particular focus on deferred compensation programs for governmental and other tax-exempt employers, to whom special Tax Code restrictions apply.