Companies Remain Committed to Executive Benefits

December 23, 2009 ( – Clark Consulting Inc.'s latest survey of executive benefits trends finds that despite the economy, companies continue to recognize the value of executive benefits plans that are adequately funded.

Although nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan prevalence has decreased since 2007 (95%), it remains high, as 85% of responding companies report having NQDC plans, according to a press release. Two-thirds (67%) of responding companies report having supplemental executive retirement plans (SERPs) – similar to the prevalence in 2007. 

More than seven in ten respondents (71%) report informally funding their NQDC plans, up from 62% in 2007 and at the highest level since 2001. Nearly four in ten (39%) report informally funding their SERPs, vs. 48% in 2007.

Sixty-one percent of respondents funding their NQDC plans and 68% of those funding their SERPs use corporate-owned life insurance or trust-owned life insurance (COLI/TOLI). These funding vehicles remain the most commonly used funding vehicle for both types of plans, the press release said.

The percentage of respondents exclusively administering their NQDC plans in-house has dropped from 19% in 2005, to 15% in 2007 and 3% in 2009. This has been accompanied by corresponding increases in the prevalence of third-party administered and combination (in-house and third-party) administered plans.

The decrease in in-house administration since 2005 may reflect a need for more sophisticated administration in light of the requirements of Internal Revenue Code section 409A, Clark Consulting said.

Nearly a third (32%) of respondents sponsoring SERPs administer their plans in-house, slightly higher than in 2007 (30%) but lower than the levels seen in 2005 (44%).

For more information about Clark Consulting’s 14th Executive Benefits – A Survey of Current Trends, visit or email