NQDC Provision Passes Senate

U.S. Senators may have overwhelmingly approved a bill that includes a provision limiting non-qualified deferred compensation programs (NQDC), but the NQDC provision may still be changed in a later legislative conference committee, according to one lawmaker.

According to news reports regarding the 94 to 3 approval of the Senate version of H.R. 2, the NQDC limit as it now stands would apply to too many executives and should be restricted to only top officials, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) told reporters in Washington.

Wyden suggested House-Senate negotiators could agree to scaling back the existing provisions limiting executives’ compensation deferrals to $1 million per year and making any deferred comp over the lesser of $1 million or average taxable compensation for last five years immediately includible in income and subject to 20% additional tax as under the 409A rules.

The NQDC item was contained in a larger bill raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 over two years – the first such hike in early a decade.

To attract Republican support, Senate leaders agreed to extend tax credits and expand deductions for businesses that would be hit hardest by the minimum-wage hike. Those tax breaks, worth $8.3 billion over 10 years, were coupled with provisions raising taxes – such as the NQDC provision – to pay for the tax breaks.