EXAMINING A RANGE OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
AND EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION ISSUES
In response to confusion regarding the “10-Year Rule” that was added to the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules by the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided relief to defined contribution plan beneficiaries and individual retirement account beneficiaries. In Notice 2022-53, the IRS provides two forms of relief: (1) the proposed RMD regulations, including the application of the 10-Year Rule, if finalized, will not apply earlier than 2023, and (2) the failure to distribute “Specified RMD” payments in 2021 and 2022 will not be treated as a plan qualification failure or trigger the 50% excise tax for the Specified RMDs.

Welcome Austin Lilling!

October 17, 2022
We are excited to welcome Austin Lilling to Morgan Lewis’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice, as partner in our New York office.

Anti-ESG state legislation continues to focus on public retirement plan investing and asset management. Over the last year, 18 states have proposed or adopted state legislation or regulation limiting the ability of the state government, including public retirement plans, to do business with entities that are identified as “boycotting” certain industries based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Since our last update, four states have either adopted or proposed legislation or other forms of regulation that would restrict ESG activities using state assets.

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.
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.
Equity-based awards are often a significant element of a company’s compensation program. However, unlike more broad-based employee benefit programs, which are generally only subject to federal laws, equity-based compensation arrangements are, in most cases, subject to both federal (for example, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act)) and state laws. Individual state laws generally govern the formation and operation of both private and public corporations and other business entities that are organized in their state. The corporate governance provisions of such state laws typically govern certain aspects of executive compensation arrangements including who has the authority to grant equity awards.