Public Companies Should Consider Shareholder Reapproval of Section 162(m) Performance Compensation Plans Approved in 2009
As reported in Part 1 of our End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists, Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code limits the deduction a public company may take for compensation payable to “covered employees” to $1,000,000 per year. “Performance-based compensation” that meets the requirements of Section 162(m) is not subject to this limitation. The Section 162(m) regulations require that, every five years, the shareholders reapprove the performance goals that determine the amount of “performance-based compensation” to be paid. This means that companies that obtained shareholder approval of plans containing Section 162(m) performance goals in 2009 must resubmit the plans for shareholder approval in 2014. This is generally done by having the shareholders reapprove either the 162(m) performance goals or a new incentive plan that provides for the award of compensation that complies with Section 162(m).