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Executive compensation plans, and long-term incentive plans in particular, create a binding promise to pay employees compensation under specified conditions. As such, there are certain tax and legal rules and requirements a company must consider. Generally, employers should look to ERISA, Internal Revenue Code Section 409A, as well as state and federal labor rules to define the plan’s compliance responsibilities. Many phantom stock plans are subject to either ERISA and/or Section 409A. Companies should seek guidance from qualified advisors and tax prep experts if they wish to avoid these regulations.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that establishes minimum standards for pension plans in private industry and provides for extensive rules on the federal income tax effects of transactions associated with employee benefit plans. Qualified plans, such as 401(k) programs, are subject to all of the rules and restrictions of ERISA. Nonqualified plans, including most phantom stock plans, are not. Thus, most phantom stock plans are exempt from the portions of ERISA pertaining to participation, vesting, funding and fiduciary responsibilities.

IRC Section 409A
Internal Revenue Code Section 409A was designed to address perceived abuses by executives who used their authority to accelerate distributions in deferred compensation plans while knowing that the companies they represented were approaching financial ruin. Their goal was to accelerate their plan distributions before the company went bankrupt, thus guaranteeing they could get all of the compensation the companies were planning to pay them at a later date. However, the actions of those executives unfairly benefited them over the interests of other employees and even the company’s shareholders. Therefore, in 2004 Congress passed Section 409A to regulate the timing of compensation payable on a deferred basis and to restrict executives from obtaining distributions on an accelerated or discretionary basis.


Strategic Planning Workshop

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

  1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
  2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
  3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

Limited space available.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

Golf Outing

10:30 - 5:00 pm
General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
Sponsored by UBS

General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.