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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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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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How the Tax Act Upsets the Board/Executive Compensation Committee Dynamic

Michael Peregrine and Ralph DeJong wrote this bylined article about what they called the “enormous consequences” for tax-exempt hospital senior executive compensation due to the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions that place an excise tax on executive compensation and benefits. “From a corporate governance perspective, the significance of these new provisions carries the potential for recalibrating the relationship between the board and its executive compensation committee,” the authors wrote. Continue Reading. Originally published in Bloomberg BNA's Health Law Reporter, January 2018.

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IRS Provides New 409A Guidance: New Proposed Regulations Provide Additional Clarity, Warn of Abusive Practices and Present Planning Opportunities

On June 21, 2016 the IRS issued proposed regulations to modify and clarify existing regulations under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Many of these changes resulted from practitioner comments and the IRS’ experience with Section 409A after issuing the final regulations. Overall, most of the proposed changes are favorable, and may provide some planning opportunities. Read the full article. 

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IRS Issues Regulations Affecting Compensation Arrangements at Tax-Exempt Organizations

On June 21, the IRS issued long awaited proposed regulations under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code that affect a broad range of compensation arrangements at tax exempt organizations. If a compensation arrangement is subject to Section 457(f), the employee is immediately taxed upon earning a vested right to receive “deferred compensation” that might not be paid until years later. These regulations address important issues under Section 457(f) that were identified by the IRS back in 2007, including whether severance pay is subject to Section 457(f), if changes to a vesting schedule could delay when deferred compensation is taxable and if covenants not to compete would be respected as bona fide vesting conditions A severance pay arrangement will be treated as deferred compensation under Section 457(f) under the proposed regulations unless (1) the total amount of severance pay is limited to two times total annual compensation; (2) payments are completed...

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