The Risks and Rewards of Executive Benefit Plans
Just launched today, the experts at IZALE share in less than 4 minutes why executive benefit plans are an integral part of attracting, rewarding, and retaining top talent for financial institutions today.
by Scott Richardson, CEO & President of IZALE
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA 2017) ushered in lower corporate and individual taxes for most. However, some changes are not so good and have a disproportionate impact on tax-exempt organizations like a credit union.
Some background. Deductions for compensation as a business expense are available through Section 162(m) of the code. For many years, deductions for compensation that wasn’t performance-based compensation were limited to $1 million. (No surprise – the vast majority of organizations paid nearly all compensation above $1m as performance-based compensation, thereby preserving the deduction.) TCJA 2017 eliminated the exception for performance-based compensation. So, if a for-profit employer pays $2.5 million in compensation this year to their highest paid executive, the employer would not be able to deduct $1.5 million that exceeds the limit – effectively costing the employer 21% more in federal income taxes.
New excise penalty on Credit Unions. Since credit unions generally don’t have deductions, the loss of one isn’t that concerning. In order to have “equal” treatment of for-profit and non-profit employers, TCJA 2017 imposes a 21% excise penalty on non-profit employers on any compensation they pay to an executive that exceeds $1 million. (This only applies to the top 5 executives.) If your credit union pays $2.5 million to an executive in total W-2 compensation this year, that would cost the credit union an additional $315,000.
Disparate impact on Credit Unions. The problems stems with how supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) benefits are taxed in a tax-exempt credit union vs. a for-profit employer like a bank.
Options. SERPs in a credit union (aka 457f plans) remain a strong planning option but more attention will have to be paid to design for new plans. THERE WAS NO GRANDFATHERING UNDER TCJA 2017, so existing arrangements may be causing your credit union some pain. IZALE Financial Group has worked with multiple institutions since the enactment of TCJA 2017 to restructure credit union SERPs (aka 457f plans) to reduce – even eliminate – the excise penalty. While not all plans can be restructured, if you have a 457(f) SERP we welcome the opportunity to do a no-obligation review and share ideas we have successfully implemented at your peers.
Contact your IZALE representative directly or email us to learn how we can assist your Credit Union with these changes.
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