Executive & Equity Compensation

Regardless of an employers size, designing and implementing an effective executive compensation package can present challenges as well as opportunities. With careful attention, every employer can seize upon a number of available retirement and severance package designs to provide an appropriate mix of incentives and rewards to executive-level employees.

Butzel Long attorneys specializing in employee benefits work with their clients to help ensure that each one has the ability to optimize tax benefits for the employer and employee alike, without breaching the laws regarding the deferral of compensation. Our professionals also assist their clients in drafting and implementing compensation packages that provide equity incentives to align executive interests and shareholders interests. All aspects of short and long term compensation programs are coordinated to ensure compliance with legislative and regulatory environment and corporate best governance practices, including the funding, design, administration, participant and shareholder communications and distribution of benefits.

We are routinely involved in design, drafting and compliance issues involving numerous executive compensation arrangements, including deferred compensation programs rabbi trusts, supplemental and excess benefit retirement plans bonus incentive programs providing current or deferred compensation phantom stock plans executive insurance based programs incentive stock option plans and nonqualified stock option plans early retirement incentive programs and executive severance arrangements, including golden parachutes.

  • Prepared incentive compensation plan for foreign subsidiaries of public energy and defense firm.
  • Tax-Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Analyze potential financial impact on named executive officers by capping change in control severance benefits not subject to excise tax to enable client an executive perquisite without causing adverse financial consequenses to affected officers
  • Advised tier one automotive supplier with documents and legal implications of merging multiple nonqualified deferred compensation plans with rabbi trusts into single national plan with single rabbi trust
  • Defined Benefit Pension Plans
  • Advised large manufacturing clients regarding Code Section 409A compliance for executive supplemental deferred compensation plans, deferred compensation plans and in-kind benefit programs
  • Review a wide variety of nonqualified deferred compensation plans, severance plans and individual employment and other agreements to determine compliance with Code Section 409A before December 31, 2008 document compliance deadline
  • Consulted specialty physician group regarding coordination of supplemental retirement benefits and buy-out benefits
  • Designed nonqualified Section 457(f) deferred compensation programs for executive officers of Credit Union and advised regarding insurance funding options
  • Defined Benefit Pension Plans
  • Advised clients on strategies for addressing Code Section 409A specified employee status for international employees
  • Advised publicly traded auction house on addition of restricted stock units to existing equity compensation plan to minimize accelerated FICA tax implications for retirement age participants
  • Defined Benefit Pension Plans
  • Assisted clients with correction methods for failing to properly withhold FICA taxes for nonqualified deferred compensation programs