View From McDermott: SEC Proposes New Pay Versus Performance Disclosure Rules

By on June 23, 2015

On April 29, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), by a three-to-two vote, proposed new rules that would prescribe new mandatory pay-versus-performance disclosure. The proposed rule would include specific information showing the relationship between executive compensation “actually paid” and financial performance of the registrant. The proposed rule, issue under Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), would add a new Item 402(v) to Regulation S-K.

The key take-away is that covered insurers would not be allowed to use their existing pay for performance disclosure approaches to meet the requirements under the proposed rule. Instead, if the proposed rule is finalized in its current form, covered insurers would be required to include a new “Pay Versus Performance” table. Covered insurers would also be required to provide a “clear description” of the relationship between certain data elements included in the new table.

The proposed rule is “designed, in part, to enhance comparability across registrants. . .” perhaps in connection with shareholders’ “Say on Pay” votes. However, commissioners differed on the usefulness of the information that would be provided by the proposed rule, and the final vote was divided along political lines–similar to how the commissioners voted on the CEO Pay Ratio proposal.

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Andrew Liazos
Andrew C. Liazos heads the Firm's Executive Compensation Group and the Boston Employee Benefits Practice. Andrew focuses his practice on compensation and benefit matters, including related securities, M&A, IPO, private equity, international and litigation matters. Clients range from Fortune 500 companies to compensation committees to individual executives in employment and severance negotiations. Read Andrew Liazos' full bio.

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