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Understanding 409A Change Elections
Presentor: Derrin Watson Recorded Date: 4/3/2013 Duration: 100 Min.

This program was recorded during a live presentation on April 3, 2013.

One of the most important parts of the nonqualified deferred compensation plans of Code §409A are the rules dealing with changes after an initial deferral election. The change rules are complex, but limit the ability of participants, employers, or beneficiaries to modify key distribution provisions. This web seminar is filled with examples to show how the change rules apply and what you can and cannot do.

Topics include:

  • Prohibition on acceleration
  • Exceptions permitting acceleration
  • Change election restrictions
    • 12 month rule
    • 5-year pushback
    • Definition of payment
  • Effect on beneficiaries
  • Changes in change elections
  • Changes in short-term deferrals
  • Restrictions on timing of payment
  • Dealing with
    • Late payments
    • Invalid elections
    • Revocation periods
    • Multiple distribution events
  • Plan documentation requirements
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites or other advanced preparation required for this program. The speaker will assume attendees have some familiarity with the nonqualified deferred compensation rules of Code §409A.

Level: Intermediate

Instructional Delivery Method
Group – Internet-Based

S. Derrin Watson, J.D., APM
Recipient of ASPPA's 2006 Educator of the Year Award

Objectives: Following the presentation attendees should be able to:

  1. Determine whether a given change election will satisfy Code §409A
  2. Construct and document a valid change election
  3. Determine the ability of a beneficiary to make a valid change election
  4. Construct an initial deferral election to maximize flexibility
  5. Distinguish the effect of installments being a single payment or a series of separate payments

Hardware System Requirements:

  • Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Windows 7
  • Internet Explorer 4.01 or later, Netscape 4.08 or later, and set Internet browser to allow pop-up windows.
  • High-speed Internet connection.
  • Pentium 166+ MHz, 128MB RAM or more.
  • 1023 x 768 or higher display resolution.
  • Soundcard and Speakers.

Software Requirements:

Program related requests, questions, or concerns may be emailed to: