Managing Expectations When There Is No Perfect Answer

Posted: 03/17/2010
Key executives who work in the non-profit sector today are extremely concerned about non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC), and supplemental executive retirement plans (SERP). This white paper explores the origins of the current situation and develops a potential solutions matrix. As a practical guide, this white paper is intended to help the human resources professional:

1. Understand the nuances of the executives’ deferred compensation dilemma;

2. Explain to the executives the subtleties of the new NQDC and SERP environment, so as to properly manage their expectations about what can and cannot be done.

A starting point for the discussion is a review and analysis of the exact how’s and whys of the current state of NQDC plans for non-profit executives. As tools to navigate this virtual minefield, we explore:

1. What exactly is the problem executives face in deferring income?

2. Is it truly problematic, or more of a perception in the mind of the executive?

3. Does history give us any insight into how to best resolve the dilemma?

For a human resources professional, managing such a situation with no readymade or relatively straightforward solution depends on "properly positioning" the issue to the executive. In other words, background information establishes some direct context. The complexity of legislative changes over the past decade has radically transformed the landscape. In discussions with a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer or Chief Operating Officer, or other senior executives of the C-Suite, it may help to examine the reasons for the current state of NQDC and SERPs and it may help to present the real implications to them.

When broaching this topic, it is worthwhile to keep mind that there have been enough legislative and environmental changes in the past decade to whip up a nearly perfect storm.
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Posted: 03/17/2010