Executive Compensation Plans

Recruit, Retain, Reward
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n today’s competitive business environment, key executives are one of your company’s most valuable assets. Competition to recruit, retain and reward top performers has grown to the point that traditional compensation methods are not enough.

Top executives are seeking ways to cope with tax issues and retirement needs amid restrictive legislation that dramatically limits the amount of income that can be deferred or contributed to the company’s qualified retirement plan. These executives are seeking wealth-building opportunities.

For this reason, a growing number of companies are turning to nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements and split dollar plans to augment their key executives’ retirement benefits packages and overcome many of the regulatory restrictions that apply to qualified retirement plans.

PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE

As professionals with many years of experience in executive compensation strategies, Sterling Financial Partners’ role is to serve as your company’s advocate – helping you define your specifications and compare existing programs with your current goals, with recent developments and with the competition.

We help you orchestrate the plan; assemble the required specialists; coordinate arrangements with your legal, accounting and internal advisors; and guide every aspect of your plan’s development.

The intended end result is a custom-built solution structured around your unique requirements – whether it’s:

  • Retaining key personnel;
  • Restoring executive benefits lost to government limits on qualified retirement plans;
  • Rewarding executives and aligning their behavior with the company’s long and short-term goals;
  • Recruiting key executives to your company; or
  • Retiring executives as part of a well-coordinated succession plan.

COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES

Sterling Financial Partners goes beyond the traditional scope of services in our commitment to help ensure that your executive compensation strategies not only meet your company’s financial goals, but are competitive with other companies that may be seeking the same key performers. Our services include:

1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Our advisors work with you to identify your company’s specific executive compensation needs and any underlying issues that may also need to be addressed.

2. RETIREMENT PLAN DESIGN

A review of your existing executive plans for performance against goals can help you determine:

  • If they provide proper incentive for management to achieve top performance.
  • If they are aligned with current compensation plan goals.
  • Whether they are performing to expectations and how that performance is being measured.
  • If they have remained current with interest and investment rates over time.
3. COST SAVINGS RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on a review of your existing executive plans (compared to the industry’s most current data), we will determine if there are opportunities for cost savings or benefit enhancements by identifying strategies and elements that may have been overlooked or not kept current. Our subsequent recommendations can result in substantial enhancements to earnings or cash saving

4. INTEGRATED PLAN DEVELOPMENT

Our approach to both new and existing plans focuses on three separate but linked elements:

  • Non-qualified plan design
  • Plan funding
  • Plan administration
5. FINANCIAL & ESTATE PLANNING FOR EXECUTIVES

As part of our planning services, Sterling Financial Partners offers financial and estate planning services for your high-net-worth executives.

SEE HOW OUR DISCIPLINED PROCESS WORKS

The best nonqualified designs can fail because of inadequate or ineffective funding arrangements that do not immunize the corporation against the liabilities created by these plans. Accordingly, our professional process is designed to address all aspects of your plan’s mechanics so that it performs as intended.

1. Plan design

Our goal is to ensure that your plan design reflects your company’s goals as well as those of your valued executives..

  • For existing plans, we are available to conduct a comprehensive audit of your current program and/or funding arrangements.
  • For new plans, we work with you to integrate a new strategic design with existing plans – that have been validated, revised and enhanced.

2. Plan funding

Matching Funding Strategies to your Plan Objectives

As your advocate, we provide a thorough and objective evaluation of possible funding methods using conservative assumptions and a strategic (versus product-driven) approach.

 

Integrating Funding Decisions with Your Corporate Methodology

Each method is analyzed using several scenarios that you define. These are then presented under the same parameters you use to make other corporate financial decisions.

 

Implementing Funding Decisions and Selecting Providers

Following that decision, we work with your tax, legal and accounting advisors to put in place a funding program consistent with your stated objectives.

3. Plan administration

A critical part of any nonqualified program is effective and on-going plan administration and management that:

  • Provides your executives with account statements and access to benefit values.
  • Provides the corporation with the data and plan reporting necessary to enhance management oversight.
  • Manages asset-liability tracking on an active, ongoing basis through expense projection and reconciliation.

Sterling Financial Partners provides access to the appropriate combination of third-party plan administration services to accomplish all of these tasks for your organization. We then assist in monitoring the effectiveness of those relationships through technology and comprehensive Annual Reviews.

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