Section 409A Compliance Strategies for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans

Navigating Ongoing Challenges in Plan Compliance and Correction

IRS Expands 409A Corrections Guidance and Extends Deadline for Certain Plan Amendments

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide counsel with best practices for structuring plans and agreements and administering them to minimize the risk of noncompliance. The panel will also address how to make operational and documentation corrections and, in the event of a violation, how to calculate applicable penalties.


Two years after the effective date of the regulation and despite the IRS’s establishment of voluntary corrections programs for operational and document failures, achieving Section 409A compliance remains an ongoing challenge.

In late November, the IRS issued Notice 2010-80 expanding 409A’s operational and documentary failure correction program. Furthermore, the new notice extends the deadline for certain documentary compliance from year-end 2010 until December 31, 2012.

The regulations implementing IRS §409A are extremely complex and are difficult to apply to many common compensation arrangements. As a result, effective compliance strategies can be key to managing noncompliance risk.

Listen as our authoritative panel of ERISA attorneys discuss strategies to avoid new and ongoing challenges in 409A compliance as well as the continuing problematic issues in making plan corrections. The panel will also discuss the calculation of appropriate penalties for noncompliance.



  1. Continuing problematic issues in Section 409A compliance
    1. Structuring agreements
    2. Plan administration
  2. Continuing problematic issues in making plan corrections
    1. Operational errors
    2. Documentation errors
  3. Calculating potential penalties for noncompliance


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are practical problems that continue to challenge employers in implementing Sec. 409A rules?
  • What are common pitfalls in drafting deferred compensation plans and agreements?
  • What are the "lessons learned" from the voluntary plan corrections period during 2010?


Durward James Gehring
Durward James Gehring

Seyfarth Shaw

His practice covers all aspects of employee benefits law with a concentration in retirement and deferred compensation...  |  Read More

Edward E. Bintz
Edward E. Bintz

Arnold & Porter

Mr. Bintz specializes in employee benefits and executive compensation. He represents clients on a broad range of...  |  Read More

Douglas S. Pelley
Douglas S. Pelley

Arnold & Porter

His practice focuses primarily on advising clients with respect to the tax aspects of executive compensation...  |  Read More

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