EXAMINING A RANGE OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION ISSUES
This is the fourth and final post in a series aimed at getting the HR, benefits, and executive compensation functions of your organization ready for a potential sale or similar corporate transaction. This post addresses considerations for your organization’s health and welfare plans in a potential sale.
Seeking shareholder approval of an equity compensation plan has become a multi-step, often complex process. Gone are the days when management simply would discuss a share increase with the board of directors, and the company would include a brief discussion of the proposal in the proxy.
In a prior post, we discussed the first eight of 15 recommended steps to consider when submitting an equity plan for shareholder approval. In this post, we discuss the final steps. While we know each situation is different, we hope you find these 15 steps a useful guide to consider when submitting an equity plan for shareholder approval.

In light of the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, our lawyers are closely monitoring and analyzing the impact of state laws regulating abortion access.

This is the third in a series of blog posts aimed at getting the human resources, benefits, and executive compensation functions of your organization ready for a potential sale or similar corporate transaction. Part I provided general guidelines and suggestions on how to get organized. Part II addressed change of control documents that may be affected by a potential sale, as well as the treatment of outstanding equity compensation. This post addresses the impact of a sale on your organization’s retirement plans.
As the US Department of Labor (DOL) continues to contemplate the role of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in ERISA plan investing, ESG issues surrounding retirement plans are cropping up in another way: as a target for proxy vote proposals that seek to require companies to evaluate their ESG commitments in retirement plans.
Many traditional defined benefit plans, such as final average pay plans, offer a lump sum distribution as an optional form of benefit. The amount of the lump sum distribution is sensitive to the applicable interest rate (calculated under Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)) and varies inversely with the rate level. Higher interest rates result in smaller lump sums, and lower rates result in larger lump sums. Plans must update the applicable interest rate on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. With interest rates increasing rapidly, upcoming changes to the applicable interest rate may cause lump sum payments to decrease. In some cases, the decrease may be significant.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved a proposed environmental, social, and governance (ESG) rulemaking for investment advisers and funds. This proposed rule and form amendments will impact SEC-regulated asset managers, but may also be of interest to investors, including ERISA plans, that consider ESG factors and/or invest in ESG funds.
This blog post is Part 2 in the “Ready for a Sale?” series, which is aimed at getting the human resources, benefits, and executive compensation functions of your organization ready for a potential sale or similar corporate transaction. Part 1 provided general guidelines and suggestions on how to get organized and start the process. This second part will address key considerations in the process that often arise early: (1) identifying, assembling, and analyzing documents that will be automatically triggered or impacted by the potential sale, and (2) determining the expected impact of the transaction on any outstanding equity compensation.
In light of the active M&A market, we think this spring could be an ideal time for companies to evaluate the order of their executive compensation arrangements and employee benefit plans, particularly companies that are considering (or hoping for) a sale within the short-term future.