409A Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
A nonqualified deferred compensation plan (NQDC) is an executive’s most effective, tax-deferred wealth-accumulation strategy. When a company, as the plan sponsor, integrates executive benefit plans into total rewards, it aligns the objectives of talent and stakeholders in a powerful and cost-effective way. //NQDC, DCPs, SERPs, and other strategic tools//
409A Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
NQDC Plans Serve Organizations
NQDC plans provide employers powerful leverage for recruiting, retaining, and rewarding the key talent that enables the organization to achieve its goals, maintain stability, and satisfy board members and stakeholders.
Using NQDC, companies can create phantom shares and provide an ownership experience or create opportunities for key executives to be potential future owners.
- Inspire/influence the behavior of key performers by customizing contribution and vesting schedules to establish performance rewards
- Utilize discretionary employer contributions to help fulfil the organization’s unique needs
NQDC Plans Serve Executives
A nonqualified deferred compensation plan can afford you freedom to enjoy your earnings and/or pay taxes on those earnings at the time that is most beneficial for you and your family.
Executives can choose to take payouts to correlate with personal goals such as buying a vacation home or paying for a child’s college tuition. Typically, income taxes are not paid until the tax year the money is actually received, however, you should always consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors.
Contact Fulcrum Partners. Find out how a NQDC plan could enhance your financial future.
Deferred Compensation Plans DCPs
The More You Earn, the Greater the Gap
As a highly compensated executive, you’re acutely aware that there’s a gap between the combined amount of your social security benefits and your qualified retirement benefits versus the amount of savings you will need to replace your current income.
40% of key executives identify that they are concerned about the gap between their current income and their projected retirement income.
Qualified retirement plans, IRAs, and 403(b) plans have limits on contribution amounts. Let Fulcrum Partners show you how deferred compensation plans can provide you meaningful options and opportunities, including 401(k) “restoration” to bridge the replacement income gap.
409A Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans: What is IRC Section 409A?
“Section 409A applies to compensation that workers earn in one year, but that is paid in a future year. This is referred to as nonqualified deferred compensation. This is different from deferred compensation in the form of elective deferrals to qualified plans (such as a 401(k) plan) or to a 403(b) or 457(b) plan.”
Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans SERPs
Well-balanced risk and reward. You recognize this combination as a cornerstone in an effective compensation program. While organizations have traditionally used (and sometimes overused) stock-based incentives to motivate and retain valued executives, the ever-changing economy has brought to light flaws inherent in many equity programs. Stock price alone does not always correlate with either executive performance or sustainable long-term shareholder value. And executives may have taken excessive risks, contrary to the long-term fiscal interests of the company.
A supplemental executive retirement program, (SERP) can help promote a more diversified, portfolio-style approach to executive rewards.
Use SERPs to Balance the Overall Risk/Reward Equation
- Help executives maintain valued equity ownership within a balanced investment portfolio
- Retain top talent in challenging times through extended vesting of a portion of total pay
- Facilitate clawbacks (money or benefits distributed and then taken back as a result of mitigating circumstances) of payouts based on discredited financial statements
Find out how Fulcrum Partners can help you and your organization balance interests and reduce incentive compensation risk.
Executive Benefits Benchmarking
You vs. your peers.
Does your organization benchmark compensation, while overlooking the quantifiable value of executive benefits? Plans may seem comparable on the surface, but when you examine the facts, differences can be substantial …and consequential. //Benefits benchmarking strategies, hard data comparisons, retirement income replacement ratios.//
Executive Benefits Benchmarking
Human capital, key talent, executive leadership … attracting and retaining the best of the best is essential to ensure an organization’s success in any industry or profession.
Executive compensation committees, human resources executives, c-suite and other upper management typically focus on current compensation to attract and keep top talent. Yet even those who have the most to lose, may overlook the measurable significance of executive benefits as part of their own total rewards.
The question is simple, “What are benefits, if not a critical component of compensation?”
Know where you and your organization stand:
- Overlooking the value of executive benefits in the total compensation package is a fragmented approach to executive benefit benchmarking
- Plans may seem comparable and the disparities between two plans seem minor, until you scrutinize the hard numbers
- Not having an executive benefit and rewards strategy, by default, is your strategy
Fulcrum Partners offers analytics for measuring benefits and benefit outcomes as an integrated part of retirement income, comparing total compensation for peer groups, analyzing retirement contributions, and providing insights on all executive benefits and perquisites.
You vs. Your Peers
The public data is out there. In most cases, it’s in proxy statements, plan document filings, and annual reports. As an executive, you don’t have to guess how your benefit plan compares with the plans of your peers.
Nor should compensation committees or board members have any doubts about how the organization’s plans equate in the short- and long-term to those of competitive companies or how retirement contributions fit into total rewards.
Let Fulcrum Partners show you how executive compensation at your organization compares with that of others in your peer group.
For executives at smaller or privately-held companies, where peer group data may not be as readily available, benchmarking benefits against best practices is an effective and enlightening strategy.
Companies have a Statement of Investment Policy for a 401(k) plan.
Why wouldn’t they likewise commit to a Statement of Retirement Strategy?
- What are your benefits relative to those of your peers?
- What is the Retirement Income Replacement Ratio (RIRR) for the Named Executive Officers (NEOs); the top five highest paid employees in your company) and the core executive population?
- What should the RIRR be at your company? In other words, what is your retirement strategy within total rewards?
The executive benefit consultants at Fulcrum Partners can help you and your organization answer these questions and confidently know exactly how your plans compare with those of your peer group competitors.
Retirement Income Replacement Ratios RIRR
Retirement Compensation in Summary: CEO (on left)
This chart shows real data for a sampling of twelve companies, all within the same industry. Company contributions appear as a percentage of the CEO’s salary, to all qualified and nonqualified retirement plans. As you see, six companies appear to have incorporated retirement into total rewards and six companies appear to offer only a 401(k) match or a 409(A) match or restoration.
Career Retirement Benefit (RIRR): CEO (on right)
This chart shows the annual lifetime income replacement, as a percentage of Total Cash Compensation (salary plus bonus), created by company contributions to all retirement plans, assuming the company meets target performance. RIRR is based on current plan design, age, and year of service. It is a life annuity expressed as a percentage of total cash compensation projected at age 65.
Strong, targeted benefit plans help companies attract and retain top talent. Your organization can manage the liability and expense of its benefit plan by utilizing corporate, bank, or insurance company owned life insurance (COLI), (BOLI), or (ICOLI), while benefiting from it as a tax efficient, income-producing alternative asset on the balance sheet. //Learn more about mitigating risks with COLI, BOLI, or ICOLI solutions.//
BOLI: Bank Owned Life Insurance
Bank owned life insurance (BOLI) has become a predominant tool for offsetting the rising costs of employee benefits. In conjunction with our carrier partners, Fulcrum Partners offers a variety of products designed to meet bank needs while also offering competitive yields.
BOLI may be used to
- Provide benefits to key employees
- Help retain top directors and executives
- Protect against loss of critically important employees
BOLI as an asset will
- Offset existing benefit costs
- Post tax advantaged earnings
- Maximize investment yields
- Improve your bottom line
Ask Fulcrum Partners to analyze your needs and develop a portfolio that suits your bank’s investment philosophy, positions you to earn competitive yields, and fulfills regulatory compliance and documentation requirements.
Bank Owned Life Insurance is an alternative investment option that offers unique advantages
- Cash value earnings accumulate tax deferred, and ultimately tax free, if the policy is held until the death of the employee/insured
- The insurance carrier portfolio generally can offer higher yields due to economies of scale and assets with longer durations
- BOLI assets are not subject to mark-to-market risk
- Interest crediting rates reprice on at least an annual basis
- Earnings are recorded as non-interest income
- The insurance aspect of the policy provides for additional death benefit protection, which has value for the bank and/or employee
BOLI Executive Summary
Bank owned life insurance (BOLI) has become a best practice to informally fund officer and director nonqualified benefit expenses and other employee benefit liabilities. Many of the nation’s largest banks, as well as thousands of community banks, have implemented BOLI strategies. These plans provide tax-advantaged income not available with traditional bank investments.
Achieve at least 4 strategic objectives through BOLI
- Generate tax-advantaged income to offset the liabilities and recover the costs of certain employee benefit plans
- Generate stable revenue from non-loan sources and enhance the “Other Non-Interest Income” component of the Income Statement
- Provide competitive returns with superior credit quality
- Increase Earnings Per Share and Shareholder Values
BOLI Program Overview
- The bank pays a one-time single premium and is the owner and beneficiary of the policies
- The bank insures directors and/or highly compensated officers
- The policies are held to maturity
- BOLI is an allowable transaction under OCC 2004-56
- The actual purchase amount is calculated based on the bank’s insurable interest
- BOLI plan is funded by an asset sale or liquidation
- The business purpose is defined as “Financing Employee Benefit Liabilities”
- The policy’s initial cash value is equal to the initial premium paid (no loads; no surrender charges)
- Growth in cash value is recorded as “Other Non-Interest Income” and inside buildup of the policy’s cash value is tax-deferred income
- The policy’s death benefit proceeds are received tax free by the bank
- Accounting of life insurance is governed by FASB technical bulletin 85-4
COLI: Corporate Owned Life Insurance
Corporate Owned Life Insurance (COLI) is an institutional life insurance product your corporation may purchase to cover a select management group. The purpose of the purchase includes the financing of executive benefit plans and other corporate liabilities. COLI offers income tax advantages that make it highly attractive for most companies. Fulcrum Partners is recognized as one of the largest, independent distributors of Corporate Owned Life Insurance in the US.
Advantages of Corporate Owned Life Insurance
- Tax-deferred cash value growth1;2
- Tax-free reallocations within the policy (variable COLI) 2
- Tax-free receipt of death proceeds 3;4
- Low net-cost loans and tax; free withdrawals to basis 1; 5; 6
- The option to access COLI cash values via tax-free loans and withdrawals provides unique cash flow flexibility
1 Subject to qualification under US Code §72
2 Subject to qualification under US Code §817(h)
3 Subject to qualification under US Code §101
4 Subject to qualification under US Code §7702
5 Subject to qualification under US Code §7702A
6 Subject to qualification under US Code §7702(f)(7)
Corporate Owned Life Insurance (COLI) is an established funding strategy utilized by companies that elect to finance nonqualified benefit liabilities
- COLI receives favorable accounting and Profit and Loss (P&L) treatment relative to taxable investments
- COLI can reduce taxes on invested assets; increasing returns and enhancing shareholder value
- COLI can make the company and the associated benefit plan(s) more financially viable
- Short term, COLI programs reduce P&L volatility and match plan balance sheet liabilities
- Long term, COLI can increase benefit security and reduce overall plan costs, delivering more value to plan participants
- In addition to the death benefit protection that is inherent in life insurance, COLI provides unique tax and accounting opportunities
Corporate or Trust Owned Life Insurance
In the example below, both a taxable portfolio and a non-taxable portfolio have an investment allocation in fixed income and equity instruments, the same investment management fees (IMF), and the same credit quality and duration. The non-taxable portfolio has expenses (policy loads), but eliminates the income taxes generated by the taxable portfolio1:
* Assumes a 40% effective tax rate on taxable investment.
1 The rates of return are for illustrative and analytical purposes only and the results are not guaranteed. Results may vary based on actual investment performance. You should always consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors.
Tax Management via COLI
Many plan sponsors utilize the favorable cost/benefit effect of institutional corporate/trust owned life insurance (COLI)
- Fulcrum Partners will provide you detailed analysis to evaluate the financial advantage of a tax-managed COLI strategy compared to a non-tax-managed strategy
- The cost/benefit tradeoff of utilizing COLI is relatively straightforward, i.e., the taxes that would otherwise be paid versus the cost that would be payable to an insurance company to eliminate those taxes
- Typically, when funding or hedging a nonqualified plan liability, COLI assets mirror participant liabilities to neutralize Profit and Loss and balance sheet impact
ICOLI: Insurance Company Owned Life Insurance
ICOLI Executive Summary
The investments available to an insurance company to optimize its risk/return profile while improving earnings, surplus, and financial strength, are limited. Insurance company owned life insurance, (ICOLI) is one of the few options available to an insurance company to enhance its tax adjusted earnings, gain favorable risk based capital (RBC), and expand investment choices available to insurers.
Similar to BOLI, ICOLI includes all life insurance that an insurance carrier purchases and either owns or in which it has a beneficial interest.
- Earnings on assets held inside insurance policies are not subject to tax and ultimately are paid tax free to the beneficiary
- Permanent tax deferral under Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), with no deferred tax liability
- Ideal for tax-inefficient asset classes
- Tax-free investment reallocations based on changing investment environment
- ICOLI assets have a National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) risk-based capital (RBC) weight of 0% for Life & Health, regardless of underlying assets
- ICOLI is an admitted asset, categorized as an aggregate write-in for “Other Than Invested Assets”
- Income is recorded as an aggregate write-in for “Miscellaneous Income”
- ICOLI accounting enables the recognition of both realized and unrealized gains in income (“Other Income”), similar to “Trading*” securities
*Held for trading “short term” vs. held for long term.
- Broad universe of high-quality traditional and alternative asset classes and managers
- Access to general account portfolios to produce attractive/stable current yield
- Policy loads of between 50 to 75 basis points in taxes versus 250 to 300 basis points
- Fulcrum Partners provides a full suite of services for an ICOLI purchase from the initial due diligence, through implementation, compliance, and on-going administration and monitoring
Contact Fulcrum Partners and let us help your organization explore the value of using tax-advantaged benefit financing strategies.
*The rates of return are for illustrative and analytical purposes only and the results are not guaranteed. Results may vary based on actual investment performance. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors.
Time and money.
Protect your assets with business succession plans, buy/sell agreements, key person insurance, disability insurance, and executive life coverage.
Succession Planning // Time and Money
Business Succession Plans
Change can occur slowly or abruptly. What happens when the key decisionmaker at a privately-held or family-owned business steps down … or for any number of reasons, is no longer at the helm?
The best time to put a succession plan in place is before you need one.
Buy/sell agreements can ensure the continuity of a company after the death of its owner. Heirs are guaranteed a buyer for the asset while business owners gain peace-of-mind that their business will wind up in the right hands.
Protect yourself, your family, and your company
- Provide heirs and/or other owners assurance that the business will pass only to a selected and suitable new owner
- Safeguard your employees and your clients
- Realize potential tax advantages
For bespoke solutions for even the most complex business planning needs, contact Fulcrum Partners.
Executive Life and Disability Insurance Coverage
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Much of life comes down to time and money. With this in mind, you or your company may find executive life and executive disability benefits and similar insurance strategies essential for dealing with life’s unpredictability.
Key Person Insurance
The death of a key executive can trigger immediate vesting and disbursement of pay elements, including stocks, severance, and deferred compensation. Is your company prepared to weather this level of strain and cash-flow disruption?
Extraordinary Risk Management
In the routine course of business, atypical events may create the need for short-term life or disability coverage. Perhaps key executives are traveling together or mergers and acquisition negotiation and closing periods or pre-initial public offering (IPO) illiquidity periods result in the need for additional insurance. Generally, these types of policies can be in place quickly, simply, and with limited underwriting requirements.
Executive Disability Benefits
Companies offer executive disability benefits for many reasons, including
- Low maximum benefit amount in the group long-term disability (LTD) plan
- Transfer of risk from the group LTD plan (both insured and self-insured)
- Affords a way to offer similar income replacement to all employees
- Can cover bonus compensation
- Provides access to stronger benefit definitions and coverage levels than with typical group LTD plans
- Expands strategy for recruiting and retaining key employees
- Offers a way to fulfill select employment agreement obligations
Fulcrum Partners for sound, creative, customized insurance strategies.
Fulcrum Partners Asks // Who Inspires You?
Changing lives through education,
one classroom at a time
The road has not been easy, yet great accomplishments rarely are. At Kivu Hills Academy, a vocational school in Boneza, Rwanda, the challenge of raising the money to construct the school paled in comparison to the project itself. Today, Phase I of building Kivu Hills Academy is complete. The fact that the work was done largely with hand tools and a labor force that was willing but meager, makes the accomplishment even greater.
In 2014 and 2015, the managing directors of Fulcrum Partners committed to a donation of $10,000 each year, to be administered and matched through the Valmark Securities Global Gift Fund. Fulcrum Partners Managing Director, David Fisher and his wife, Jeanie were on hand in Boneza, lending their support to the construction project. David explained, “If you have not been to Africa, we can tell you that the people and experience will grab your soul and change your perspective on life forever!”
“To those whom much is given, much is expected.”
“Valmark is so grateful for our partnership with Fulcrum and our shared sense of purpose both in business but also in the more important things in life. I am so thrilled that together, Valmark and Fulcrum Partners, once again are able to help the children in Rwanda. What a blessing…what an opportunity…what a responsibility!”
… Caleb Callahan, EVP/COO of Valmark and Chairman of the Valmark Global Gift Fund (GGF)
What does it take to change a city?
Identified by the U.N. as the third-poorest country in the world, West Africa’s Burkina Faso, is landlocked by Ghana, Mali, and the Ivory Coast. Children here grow up in a difficult and challenging environment in which human trafficking is pervasive and access to food, clean water, education, and healthcare is severely compromised.
Fulcrum Partners Managing Director, Scott Cahill and his wife Joanie, maintain their commitment to the Luis Palau Association outreach. Through its $25,000 gift, Fulcrum Partners was a Presenting Sponsor of the Love Burkina Faso Festival. Andrew Palau led the festival, which reached beyond churches and into the hearts and souls of the city’s communities and equipped local leadership to deliver solutions for the most compelling needs.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho
Forgiveness does not change the past;
It inspires the future
For many people, Rwanda represents suffering, strife, genocide, and horrors, yet today, new chapters are being written for Rwanda. Cultures that were once the harshest of enemies are discovering how forgiveness opens doors for progress, growth, and remarkable healing.
The Valmark Global Gift Fund is helping the people of Rwanda move toward a brighter future in which education is a powerful catalyst of change. By donating $10,000 to this project, Fulcrum Partners provided ten percent of the total amount needed to commence construction of a vocational school, overseen by the team at Arise Rwanda Ministries (ARM). For children in Rwanda, the opportunity to go to school affords the assurance of a daily bowl of porridge as well as the education needed for a better life.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
Creating meaningful change in Ethiopia
The Luis Palau Association has led a 10+ year initiative to join with Christians throughout Africa in spreading the good news of the Gospel. Thanks to Scott Cahill of Fulcrum Partners, along with other donors, the campaign was carried into Ethiopia. Through 175 events held in Addis Ababa and other cities across the country, more than a quarter million people shared the ministry’s evangelic message of joy and faith.
The Luis Palau Association began a mission to transform cities by way of a united and sustainable effort involving churches and cultural leaders. As part of the Luis Palau CityServe project, the Love Ethiopia Festival helped unite local governments and evangelical churches to tear down walls, debunk stereotypes, and attack today’s toughest issues, such as human trafficking, street and gang violence, homelessness, poverty, and health and wellness.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead