What Is a Deferred Compensation Agreement

A deferred compensation agreement is a type of compensation plan where an employee agrees to receive a portion of their income at a later date, rather than receiving it immediately. This type of plan is typically used by employers as a way to incentivize employees to remain with the company for a longer period of time and to reward them for their loyalty and commitment.

Deferred compensation agreements come in various forms, but the most common type is a nonqualified deferred compensation plan (NQDC). In an NQDC plan, employees defer a portion of their salary or bonus into an account that will grow tax-free until they receive it at a later date, usually at retirement or when they leave the company. The deferred amount is not subject to income taxes until it is paid out, which can be beneficial for both the employee and the employer.

Employers may also offer deferred compensation agreements in the form of stock options, which give employees the right to buy company stock at a predetermined price at a future date. This type of compensation plan can be even more valuable to employees if the company performs well and the stock price increases.

While deferred compensation agreements can be a valuable tool for both employers and employees, there are also risks involved. For example, if the company goes bankrupt or experiences financial difficulties, the deferred compensation may be lost. Additionally, employees may face tax penalties if they withdraw the deferred compensation before the agreed-upon date.

In conclusion, deferred compensation agreements can be an effective way to incentivize employees to stay with a company and reward them for their loyalty. However, employers and employees should carefully consider the risks and benefits of these plans before entering into an agreement. It is always recommended to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional before making any decisions about deferred compensation.