The purpose of this Post is to highlight the question of whether, in today’s economic environment, deferred compensation monies should be secured with a secular trust. This Post is Part 7 of a 7-Part series addressing compensation adjustments that Compensation Committees could consider in order to continue to incent and retain their executive officers in today’s economy.
It is well-settled that the assets of non-qualified deferred compensation programs are subject to the claims of the company’s general creditors. Securing the assets with a Rabbi Trust does nothing to change that answer.
With today’s market volatility and many companies struggling to survive, some executives may not value deferred dollars because of the fear that these deferred dollars will be swept by the company’s creditors. And if the executives do not value the program, then the program is not providing the necessary incentive and retention benefits. So does it make sense to consider a different vehicle or approach?