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Treasury/IRS Release Proposed Regulations on Section 4960 Excise Tax

The US Department of the Treasury has released long-expected proposed regulations regarding the section 4960 excise tax on certain remuneration or separation amounts paid to the five highest paid employees of a tax-exempt organization. The new proposed regulations continue the tough approach previously taken on section 4960 issues, while also providing some new exceptions and important clarifications. Access the full article.

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Reassessing Executive Compensation and Benefits in Tax-Exempt Organizations as the COVID-19 Crisis Deepens

Hospitals, health systems and other tax-exempt organizations are responding to a longer and deeper economic crisis by making or considering significant changes to their executive compensation and executive benefit programs. The economic crisis, and these executive compensation and benefit changes, have far-reaching implications for the ongoing work of the board’s compensation committee. We want to provide this review of what we see happening “on the ground” as the crisis continues. Access the full article.

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COVID-19 FAQs: For Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Coronavirus (COVID-19) raises serious concerns for employers of all shapes and sizes, across all industries and in every business sector. As the impact of COVID-19 continues to grow, many employers are faced with new challenges that affect not only their businesses and their employees, but the health and welfare, retirement and executive compensation plans and programs on which those employees rely. These new issues are arising in addition to the myriad benefit plan challenges that employers face each day. We address a number of frequently asked questions regarding health and welfare, retirement and executive compensation issues in the COVID-19 era. This includes not only questions about issues employers are currently facing, but questions about issues employers may face going forward. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the crisis, McDermott’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team will periodically update these FAQs to provide you with the most...

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The Accountability Pendulum Nudges Back Towards Executives

Several new, highly public developments showcase prominent executives being subjected to significant financial penalties, loss of employment and reputational damage arising from allegations that they bore responsibility for corporate scandals to which they contributed, directly or indirectly. Even though these developments are unique in their nature and scope, the sheer magnitude of the penalties asserted and the intensity of the media coverage are likely to attract significant attention in the executive community. They’ve been page-one news; people are noticing and boards may be expected to react. McDermott’s Michael Peregrine authored an article for Forbes in which he discusses how the spotlight on individual accountability is getting a little bit brighter. Access the full article. Originally published on Forbes, February 2020

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The 10 Most Significant Matters CEOs Should Know About Their Employment Contracts

The most significant issues in any employment or severance agreement are going to be personal to that situation, and will be driven in part by special issues and circumstances. For instance, succession planning issues may be incredibly important to the organization when the CEO is 65 years old and there is no clear successor, and may be far less important when the CEO is 45 and there are very able executives ready to assume the CEO role if necessary. With that said, there are certain considerations to keep in mind for all who are drafting these contracts. McDermott’s Ralph E. DeJong contributes to an article in The Practical Lawyer that identifies and describes what frequently are the most important considerations in an employment or severance agreement between an exempt organization and its CEOs. Access the full article. Originally published in The Practical Lawyer, December 2019

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IRS Aims to Curb Workaround of Limit on Executive Pay Tax Break

Public companies would have a harder time evading a stricter limit on deductions for compensation paid to top executives under an IRS proposal. The proposed regulations (REG-122180-18) implement a 2017 tax law provision that expanded the scope of tax code Section 162(m), which prevents public companies from getting a tax deduction for executive compensation exceeding $1 million. The rules target a workaround under which corporations could potentially skirt the limit by paying certain top executives part of their compensation through a partnership. McDermott’s Andrew C. Liazos contributes to a Bloomberg Law article that takes a look at how the IRS is working to curb the workaround of the limit on executive pay tax break. Access the full article. Originally published on Bloomberg Law, December 2019

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Exec Comp Regs Crack Down on Partnership Arrangements

Corporations looking to use partnerships to avoid the executive compensation deduction limitation may be out of luck. The new proposed regs (REG-122180-18) on the section 162(m) executive compensation deduction limitation include a rule on compensation paid by a partnership to an executive of a publicly held corporation that’s subject to the limitation. McDermott’s Andrew C. Liazos contributes to a Tax Notes article that takes a look at these new regulations and what they mean for partnership arrangements. Access the full article. Originally published on Tax Notes, December 2019

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7 Severance Structuring Tips for Tax-Exempt Colleges and Universities

In-house counsel and human resources professionals at tax-exempt colleges and universities often face a variety of challenges when structuring, and determining obligations due under, severance arrangements. There are some key considerations to bear in mind, which are outlined in this article. Access the full article.

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Capital Perspective: An Analysis of Hot Topics in Benefits and Compensation

With the uncertainty of the general election just one year away—and change on the horizon—now is the time to take stock of the legal and regulatory environment to prepare your organization for the future. On September 10 in Boston, the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), Fidelity and McDermott invite you to join your peers and colleagues for breakfast and an interactive discussion at 8 am EDT around hot topics in benefits and compensation. Areas of focus will include: Congressional action on healthcare—from Rx costs to surprise billing Direct contracting for health plans Federal and state paid leave Lasting impacts of tax reform New leveraged ESPP funding alternative Student loan repayment plans The SECURE Act and what comes next Register for the event.

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